The Key Elements of a Good Argumentative Essay Topic

Writing an argumentative essay is not as difficult as many students tend to think it is. Every argumentative essay is structured in the same way, with an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction needs to include a hook, bridge, and thesis statement. The body paragraphs need to support the thesis and the conclusion needs to sum-up the topic. The biggest challenge in writing an argumentative paper is choosing a topic.

Choose Your Topic

In some cases, instructors will give argumentative assignments because they want their students to write about a certain topic. Other instructors, especially writing instructors, will allow their students to pick any topic at all. There are key elements to picking a quality topic and without those key elements, you could have difficulty writing a strong argumentative essay.

Elements of a Strong Topic

The first key element in the topic is that it needs to be argumentative. This means that you cannot just pick a topic that is made up of one word or a few words. For example, “global warming” is not an argumentative topic. While the topic might be controversial, the way the topic is phrased is not argumentative.

Put the Topic Into a Question

In order to make a topic argumentative, it needs to be put into a question. The question can be a simple yes or no question or it can be open ended. It just depends on what you want to prove in the essay. For example, your global warming topic could become:

  • Should scientists use the term “global warming” to explain climate change?
  • How can people help slow global warming?
  • Can global warming be reversed?
  • Do hybrid cars help prevent global warming?
  • Should communities eat local foods to prevent global warming?
  • What are some options for fuels that can slow global warming?
  • How far is too far when it comes to global warming?
  • Why is global warming used when climates get colder?

Prove Your Thesis

All of these topics are argumentative because they require the writer to prove their stance on the topic. They all lend themselves to research that the writer can use to prove a thesis. All of the questions can be answered in the form of a sentence that can later become a thesis statement. If you were to simply write about global warming and what it is, you are not writing a real argumentative paper. Your paper needs to take a stand and you need to prove that your stand is believable.


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