What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of academic writing that requires students to investigate a topic, gather evidence, and present a well-reasoned argument. Similar to a persuasive essay, it aims to persuade the reader to adopt the writer’s viewpoint or take a specific course of action. In middle school and college, argumentative essays serve as essential tools for developing critical thinking, research skills, and effective communication. Students learn to analyze various perspectives, construct logical arguments, and support their claims with credible evidence. These essays encourage students to engage in intellectual discourse, evaluate complex issues, and present their ideas convincingly. Through the process of crafting an argumentative essay, students learn to construct logical arguments, utilize credible sources, articulate their opinions, engage in informed debates, and strengthen their persuasive writing skills, preparing them for higher-level academic pursuits.

A study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that middle school students who regularly engage in argumentative writing demonstrate higher levels of academic achievement across various subjects. On the other hand, college professors emphasize the importance of sample argumentative essays and community college essay writing as valuable learning tools. An analysis of college course syllabi shows that 94% of English and composition courses include assignments specifically focused on argumentative writing. Thus, writing argumentative essays is crucial as it enables individuals to develop and articulate persuasive arguments supported by evidence. Students and learners of all levels enhance their ability to engage with complex issues and contribute to meaningful discussions by engaging in this form of writing. 

Examples of Argumentative Essay Topics

In this section, we present a range of compelling examples of argumentative essay topics. These topics cover diverse areas such as social media, smoking, college, technology, and more. Each topic provides students a platform to explore, analyze, and present persuasive arguments on relevant and engaging issues. 

The impact of social media on mental health: Students can explore the potential negative effects of excessive social media use on mental well-being, analyzing studies and providing recommendations for healthy online habits. The benefits of social media for activism: Students can argue how social media platforms have empowered individuals and communities to raise awareness, organize protests, and advocate for social change. The dangers of smoking: Students can examine the health risks associated with smoking, citing research and advocating for stricter regulations on tobacco products. The effectiveness of campus-wide smoking bans in reducing smoking rates among college students: Students can evaluate the impact of smoking bans on college campuses, considering factors such as compliance, smoking cessation resources, and public health outcomes. The role of technology in education: Students can argue how technology, such as tablets and online learning platforms, enhances or hinders the educational experience, presenting evidence and personal experiences. The impact of standardized testing on student performance: Students can explore the effects of high-stakes testing on learning, addressing issues of stress, curriculum narrowing, and alternative assessment methods. The benefits of college education for career success: Students can argue the advantages of obtaining a college degree in terms of job prospects, earning potential, and personal development, supporting their claims with statistical data. The affordability of college tuition: Students can examine the rising costs of college education and propose solutions to make higher education more accessible, such as increased financial aid or tuition-free options. The role of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food production: Students can discuss the benefits and potential risks of GMOs, considering factors such as food security, environmental impact, and consumer concerns. The influence of advertising on consumer behavior: Students can analyze how advertising techniques manipulate consumer choices, exploring the ethical implications and proposing ways to promote more responsible advertising practices. The impact of climate change on future generations: Students can argue the urgency of addressing climate change, presenting scientific evidence and advocating for sustainable practices to mitigate its effects. The benefits and drawbacks of online learning: Students can weigh the advantages and disadvantages of virtual education, considering factors such as flexibility, social interaction, and learning outcomes. The impact of fast-food consumption on public health: Students can examine the link between fast food consumption and obesity rates, discussing the role of personal choice, industry responsibility, and potential policy interventions. The legalization of recreational marijuana: Students can explore the social, economic, and health implications of legalizing recreational marijuana, presenting arguments for and against based on evidence and societal impact. The importance of teaching financial literacy in schools: Students can argue for the inclusion of financial education in the school curriculum, emphasizing the benefits of early financial literacy and its impact on personal financial well-being. The impact of video games on youth aggression: Students can examine the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior, discussing the role of parental guidance, industry regulation, and the need for media literacy education. The benefits of school uniforms: Students can argue for the implementation of school uniform policies, highlighting potential benefits such as fostering equality, reducing peer pressure, and enhancing a sense of belonging within the school community. The ethical implications of animal testing: Students can explore the ethical considerations surrounding animal testing in scientific research, discussing alternatives, regulations, and the balance between scientific progress and animal welfare. The importance of sex education in schools: Students can advocate for comprehensive sex education programs, addressing topics such as consent, contraception, and STD prevention, and highlighting the potential positive impact on teenage pregnancy rates and sexual health outcomes. The impact of social media on political engagement: Students can analyze how social media platforms have influenced political discourse, voter participation, and political activism, examining both the positive and negative aspects of these digital platforms.

How to Write a Well-Structured Argumentative Essay

In this section, we provide a comprehensive guide on how to write a well-structured argumentative essay. From selecting a topic to crafting a compelling thesis statement and organizing supporting arguments, these essential steps will help you develop a coherent and persuasive essay that effectively presents your viewpoint.

Step 1: Select a Topic

Choose a relevant and engaging argumentative essay topic, such as the influence of social media on society. Consider its significance, availability of credible sources, and personal interest.

Step 2: Conduct Research

Collect information from reliable sources, including scholarly articles, books, and reputable websites. Use the sample argumentative essay in PDF or MS Word format as a guide for finding credible sources.

Step 3: Create an Outline

Develop a well-structured argumentative essay outline. Include an introduction, clear thesis statement, supporting arguments with evidence, counterarguments, and a compelling conclusion. Refer to examples for inspiration and guidance.

Step 4: Write the Essay

Start with an engaging introduction that provides background information and a strong thesis statement. Support your arguments with evidence, citing sources, and addressing counterarguments. Use logical transitions to maintain coherence.

Step 5: Revise and Edit your Argumentative Essay

Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and persuasive impact. Ensure that your arguments are well-supported and your writing is concise. Proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Consult feedback from your peers or instructors to enhance the quality of your argumentative essay.


Where can I find sample argumentative essays for middle school or college?

You can find sample argumentative essays in various formats, such as PDF or MS Word, on educational websites, online databases, or academic writing resources. These samples provide valuable insights into essay structure, argument development, and topic selection.

How can sample argumentative essays help me in writing my own essay?

Sample argumentative essays serve as models for understanding effective argumentation, essay structure, and the use of evidence. They can inspire ideas, help you develop your own writing style, and provide guidance on creating an outline or selecting appropriate topics.

Popular argumentative essay topics related to social media include the impact of social media on mental health, the influence of social media on relationships, the role of social media in political activism, and the effects of social media on privacy and security.

How should I create an outline for my argumentative essay?

To create an outline, start with an introduction that introduces the topic and presents your thesis statement. Then, organize your body paragraphs, each focusing on a specific argument with supporting evidence. Address counterarguments in separate paragraphs. Finally, conclude by summarizing your main points and restating your thesis.

Are there specific guidelines for formatting and citation in argumentative essays?

Formatting and citation guidelines may vary depending on the style guide required by your educational institution. Commonly used styles include APA paper, MLA, and Chicago. Consult the appropriate style guide for instructions on formatting your essay, citing sources, and creating a bibliography or works cited page using a sample annotated bibliography PDF.

How can I choose a suitable argumentative essay topic for college?

When selecting a college-level argumentative essay topic, consider choosing a subject that aligns with your academic interests or major. Look for topics that are current, debatable, and have sufficient research materials available. Additionally, consider the relevance and significance of the topic to society or your field of study.

Can I use sample argumentative essays as my own work?

No, you should not use sample argumentative essays as your own work. They are intended for reference and learning purposes only. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Instead, use sample essays as inspiration and guidance to develop your own original ideas and arguments. Always properly cite any sources or references you use in your essay.

Therefore, sample argumentative essays serve as valuable resources for middle school, high school, and college students. By exploring various examples of argumentative essay topics, students gain exposure to diverse subject matters and learn how to construct well-supported arguments. Understanding the steps involved in writing a compelling argumentative essay, from creating an outline to conducting research and revising, equips students with essential writing and critical thinking skills. With these resources and knowledge, students can effectively engage in persuasive writing, develop their own unique perspectives, and contribute to meaningful discussions on a wide range of topics. Start writing your essay with our downloadable essay outlines and other writing tools such as a lined paper and a writing sample, designed to level up your writing skills.