Debates are contests of opposing ideas, in which people discuss topics from two opposing sides. Most debates aim at reaching an agreement rather than sending an opposing party into a knockout. Often, this is really challenging task, that’s why debates are frequently compared to sports. Indeed, at times convincing someone who holds an opposing view is like hitting a homerun. To become as good in this intellectual sport as Barry Bonds or Bay Ruth in home runs, you should learn some skills.
Choosing good debate topics or deciding how to behave are common difficulties students experience during their preparations. Although you may find it challenging to prepare for this event, as well as participate in them, this is really fun academic activity that makes college experience more memorable. There are some tips on choosing the best controversial debate topics and becoming confident, passionate, unwavering debater.
Choosing Good Debatable Topic is Important
Good topics are prerequisites of interesting and meaningful debates, so students should choose debatable topics responsibly. No matter whether you are participating in high school class dialogue or in college or club discussion, choose topics that are matters of controversy. There are plenty of such topics, as even science suggests, there are several alternative responses to a single phenomenon.
If students have little preparation time, they should pick familiar topics that are neither too difficult nor too easy for their intellectual level. For instance, one should not choose patriotism effect on international relations or censorship justification when looking for middle school debate topics. Political topics may be too challenging for middle school kids. Mandatory school uniforms or fast food at school cafeteria are better debate questions for these students.
Finally, when choosing topics, consider how excited you feel about them. Interesting topics will result in more passionate and memorable discussions. When topics are appealing enough, students end up participating in impromptu, forgetting about shyness or their fear of public speaking. Making your choice, remember that teens find those topics as particularly interesting that somehow reflect their own experiences.
In order to pick topics easier, our experts developed list of relevant controversial questions. They are divided into several categories, so you may pick topics that fit your preferences best. However, before proceeding with our list of debate topics, consider finding out how to behave during dialogue and beat your opponents.
Behaving During Debates
Class along with club debates often follow formal guidelines that are predetermined long before beginning. Your teacher will most likely notify you about rules you will address. Still, here are some recommendations you should follow while speaking:
- Maintain correct posture
Use hands and gestures while expressing thoughts. Mind that correct posture and natural gestures make speakers look confident.
- Speak loudly and clearly
Clearly presented argumentation suggests that students prepared well for discussion. Don’t use colloquial expressions, keeping your speech formal.
- Maintain eye contact
Don’t look at your teacher or somewhere into distance all the time. Instead, maintain eye contact with opponents. After all, debates are conversations. Also, this is another sign of confidence that students use effectively during discussion.
- Be calm
Don’t get nervous, even if you’ve forgotten something. Restate your main argument and start again.
- Concentrate on your idea
A statement, a dominant idea, is at the heart of every dialogue. Concentrate on your statement, don’t switch to ideas that make you or your opponents lose tracks of argumentation.
- Maintain order
Present your arguments in an orderly fashion, just as you planned during preparations. Either presenting arguments from weaker to stronger or vice versa, use good transitions.
- Listen “actively”
When your opponents present their ideas, listen to them and, if it is allowed, write down their major arguments. This will enable you to elaborate strong refutation. Active listening also suggests patience and respect to someone else’s turn to speak.
- Be polite
Avoid yelling, particularly for silencing opponents. Remember that debates are about others switch their view, which demands one to be respectful towards others.
Read also: 100 Evaluative Essay Topics + Bonus Tips for Choosing the Best One
Preparation Stage Before Debates
If you have time, use it wisely and research your debate topics. Do what you usually do when writing research papers. You should develop your major claim (a thesis statement) and supporting arguments with relevant evidence. Also, students should think about possible counter arguments and refutation to them. Ensure to cite your sources properly. Otherwise, your opponents will have opportunities for questioning data credibility. Develop strong introduction and conclusion and prepare a presentation you may use during discussion.
Writing an outline which contains, introduction, thesis statement, arguments, counter-arguments, refutations, and a conclusion may be very helpful in this respect. When you are done, ask friends about reviewing your argumentation and checking whether it is convincing enough. If you still have doubts or if your friends can’t help, EduBirdie writers are always here to assist you. Use website that corrects essays to ensure strongest argumentation and best outcomes. Mind that EduBirdie can either check your essay or write it from scratch: just provide your debate topics and receive everything you need, including outlines, properly researched and cited arguments, and presentations.
Read also: 25 Illustration Essay Topics for Students
List of 120 Debate Topics Divided into Categories
If you have your own idea and need it worded in a laconic manner, feel free to use our title generator for essays. This tool, which is completely free, creates topics using your keywords. Otherwise, use this list of debate topics and pick those items that best fit your requirements.
Debate Topics for High School
- Banning homework or not: does homework promote learning?
- How essential is college education for getting a good job?
- Banning mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones) at schools: yes or no?
- Is it appropriate to allow students form their own curricula?
- Is abortion murder?
- Are violent video games appropriate entertainment for teenagers?
- Do social media contribute to teenage suicide?
- Does modern social media make people less socially active?
- How modern society should respond to teenage pregnancies?
- Is higher education a necessary prerequisite of one’s financial success in future?
Topics Related with Education
- Are private schools better than public schools?
- Should education be completely privatized?
- Are student loans exploitative?
- Does classical classroom address contemporary society needs in education?
- Is allowing teachers carry guns on campuses a good idea?
- Does contemporary grading system perfectly fulfill its role?
- Should college education be compulsory?
- It is appropriate to teach religion in schools?
- Is home education better than school education?
- Is it sound to demand all students learn at least one foreign language?
Social Debate Topics
- Does contemporary policing of marginalized communities in the United States contribute to criminalization of youth?
- Should death penalty be abolished in the United States?
- Is it ethical to forbid women do abortion on early stages of pregnancy?
- Will electronic databases fully substitute brick and mortar libraries?
- Is cloning ethically acceptable?
- Is legalization of marijuana a food idea?
- Should euthanasia be legalized?
- Are there any reasons to raise minimum wages?
- Drug addicts: addressing their actions through help or punishment?
- Is patriotism beneficial or dangerous in context of globalization?
Environment and Environmental Issues
- Is climate change already irreversible?
- Banning plastic bags and packaging: yes or no?
- Are genetically modified foods a viable solution to hunger on Earth?
- Banning zoos: yes or no?
- How tourism affects environment?
- Should there be more national parks in the United States?
- Is banning fracking a good idea?
- All people should become vegetarian.
- What is organic farming role in agriculture future?
- Are live animal exports ethically acceptable?
Political Debate Topics
- Political campaigns should be organized on money borrowed by corporations.
- Democracy is the best government system.
- It is appropriate for governments to limit citizens’ freedom of speech?
- Are taxes that increase at accelerating rates fair?
- Limiting terms for US senators and representatives brings more harm than benefit.
- Former offenders should preserve their voting rights.
- Modern patterns of incarceration that affects minorities more than whites contribute to racial inequality in the US.
- Is it necessary for a political leader to be present in social media nowadays?
- Is the US Constitution a living document?
- Should the Supreme Court judges be appointed for predetermined fixed periods?
Debate Topics Related with Parenting
- Should children use smartphones without parental supervision?
- Teenage girls having access to birth control medicines without parental supervision: yes or no?
- Should parents decide for their children which career to pursue?
- Parents always treat their children fairly: yes or no?
- Is it ethically permissible for parents to pick genders of their future children?
- Gay couples adopting children: pros and cons.
- Should parents control their children’s activities in social media?
- Is parental supervision the same as parental control?
- Teenage children and completely autonomous decision-making: should parents allow this?
- Is parental support essential for future success of children?
- Will technology make people smarter?
- Is artificial intelligence dangerous?
- May robots increase people’s quality of life?
- Do technological advances influence us as planet Earth citizens?
- Will humans colonize another planet in nearest future?
- Can all cars become electric?
- Does technology intensify human communication?
- Recent developments in technology transform people’s interests: yes or no?
- Can people save nature using technology (or destroy it)?
- Do laws effectively keep up with changes in technology?
- Justifying legalization of recreational marijuana from perspective of modern healthcare: yes or no?
- Is mandatory vaccination a means of ensuring proper health of population?
- Alternative medicine and its impact on healthcare future.
- Does technology promote human health?
- Modern healthcare and antibiotics.
- Is drug legalization sound from perspective of healthcare?
- Does globalization promote universal healthcare?
- Should healthcare services for all citizens be fully funded by governments?
- Healthcare and politics: should one field be completely autonomous from another?
- Can competition improve healthcare services qualities?
Debate Topics Related with Leisure
- Is summer vacation better than winter vacation?
- Encouraging teenagers to read books: are outcomes worth efforts?
- How technology changed way young people spend their leisure?
- Has leisure decreased quality since social media introduction?
- Can high-quality daily leisure substitute wholesome vacation?
- Is leisure essential for workplace effectiveness?
- Playing video games during leisure: pros and cons.
- Has work-life balance concept changed with Internet development?
- Have globalization and people’s increased mobility changed leisure concept?
- Women spend their leisure time differently than men.
Debating on Financial and Policy Matters
- Can current US government ensure country’s financial stability?
- How secure is mobile banking?
- Does crediting promote or hinder economic country development?
- Is there any economic justification for wars?
- Should wealthy people pay higher taxes than poor?
- How would lowering voting age impact American society future?
- Mass incarceration and its impact on US government representativeness.
- Mandatory financial education: pros and cons.
- Should online financial advice be available for free to every country citizen?
- Can high profitability alone justify environmentally hazardous practices?
Debating on Historical Matters
- History is an important subject all students should learn: yes or no?.
- Is King Arthur real historical figure or myth?
- Knowledge of history enriches one’s worldview: yes or no?
- What role did Britain play during the First World War?
- How different historians interpret World War Two?
- Were there any justifications to atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US?
- Revolutionary War Interpretation.
- Ancient Roman culture versus contemporary culture.
- History & its impact on future.
- Modern interracial conflicts evaluation from historical perspective.
Controversial Topics for Fun Debates
- Are men stronger than women?
- Day dreaming versus night dreaming: which is better?
- Communication between sexes: do men and women have different approaches?
- Choosing the best pizza topping: healthy versus tasty.
- Do fairy tales affect children’s reality perception?
- Is living together before marriage appropriate nowadays?
- Should teenage students get after-school jobs?
- Teenagers explain their deviant behaviors referring to peer pressure as major reason.
- Gender and life expectancy: what factors explain gaps all over the world?
- From historical perspective, are women smarter than men?
EduBirdie Will Make Your Participation in Debates Victorious
Participation in any discussion is fun, as well as stressful activity. Students’ experiences significantly depend on their choices: Which debate topics should they discuss? How should they prepare for them? How should they behave during debates? How strong are their arguments with respect to those of competitors? Aiming at helping students prepare for their debates, we tried to share our experience while responding to these questions. We prepared controversial debate topics, but there are extra benefits you may gain upon asking EduBirdie writers for assistance. There is no need to spend time brainstorming and evaluating arguments. Instead, place an order and receive ready-made argumentation prepared by professional writer of your choice.