The debate is something you need to deal with pretty often as a student. While debating is a wonderful activity for many reasons, it’s also one of the most challenging aspects of student life.
One of the hardest things about succeeding in a debate is choosing the right topic. The topic should be not only relevant for the class or group you are debating with, but also match your personal areas of interest. If you are struggling with this step of preparing for a debate, check out our tips and the best debate topics we gathered specially for you.
How to Debate Using Pro and Con Arguments
When preparing your points for the debate, you should always keep in mind that the opposing side, as well as any audience members, may have different opinions on the topic. They will be willing to debate the points you make, and that is something you should be prepared for.
The best way to prepare for the controversial opinions during a debate is to create both pros and cons for the chosen debate topic. It will allow you to see the issue from both sides without being caught off-guard by the controversial remarks of your opponents.
It is rather easy to find both pro and con arguments for nearly any topic in the world. For example, if the subject of your debate is social media, the pro arguments will include the fact that it allows for quick and effortless communication between people from any part of the globe, while the biggest con argument is that it also alienates people and promotes jealousy.
Interesting Debate Topics for 2019
These newest debate topics are very relevant for 2019 and will help you create an engaging discussion with any audience:
1. Does debating promote effective communication in the classroom?
2. What is better: to be honest and poor or lying and wealthy?
3. Can the American war on terror really be justified?
4. In your opinion, should the death penalty be used in the modern world?
5. The real efficiency of alternative energy sources.
6. Are social media platforms doing more bad or good?
7. Should we use torture as a national security measure?
8. Using nuclear energy for commercial purposes: is it ethical?
9. The pros and cons of debit cards vs. credit cards.
10. The most memorable US presidential candidate debate in history.
11. How stem cells can be used in modern medicine.
12. Should a person have a right to terminate their life?
13. How can we make human life longer?
14. Should we do more human clinical trials than animal clinical trials?
15. What influences our behavior more, genes, or upbringing?
If you are looking for interesting debate topics, these 15 topics are a pretty good option, but there are even more fascinating debate topics coming your way later in this post!
How to Choose a Topic for Your Debate?
When you think about it, you can debate about nearly anything in the world. However, not every topic you can think of is a good fit for the classroom environment and your academic level. Here are some things to consider when you are choosing the best topic for your upcoming debate:
● First, consider the things that interest you personally. Only when you are personally invested in the debate topic, you can organize a thoughtful and effective discussion. Another thing to take into account is your current curriculum. If you take one of the topics you are currently studying in class and turn it into a debate opportunity, it will be very helpful for you and your classmates’ understanding of the subject.
● One more important factor to consider when choosing a debate topic is the level of the students taking part in the discussion. In order for each participant to form a strong opinion about the topic, the topic should match the level of knowledge and understanding of every student. It’s best not to choose topics that are too complex if you want to have a resultative and lively discussion.
● While thorough research is an important step in preparing for a debate, you shouldn’t make the debate participants spend every free minute researching the topic of the debate. They need to form an opinion using their own knowledge and expertise and only rely on the research for minor details to strengthen their position.
● If time is a sensitive matter in preparation for the debate, as it usually is, make sure the topic does not require too much time for research. You want the participants to spend most of their time formulating the arguments, not finding out as much as they can about the topic of the debate.
● When you are on one side of the debate, you need to believe in what you are saying strongly. In other words, when picking out the debate topic and your side, make sure it matches your own values and beliefs.
● Debating is not about being negative or insulting your opponents, which is why you shouldn’t pick a topic that is too controversial and bound to spark a negative argument between the debate participants.
Debate Topics by Levels of Education
The level of education of the debate participants is one of the most important factors in the process of choosing a topic. Here are some fantastic topic ideas for every education level.
Debate topics for elementary school
Elementary school students don’t have enough knowledge and intellectual maturity to handle complex issues, which is why it’s very important to give them topics they can adequately process and discuss. The most effective debate topics for elementary school are closely connected to the realities of their life and things they see around themselves every day. Here are some examples of elementary school debate topics:
1. Should annual field trips be made mandatory?
2. Should we allow elementary students to bring an unlimited number of toys to class?
3. Should we place a pet into every elementary class?
4. Should elementary students be allowed to watch cartoons during class?
5. Should we give elementary school students absolute freedom in choosing what to wear?
Debate topics for middle school
Middle school students already have developed analytical and critical thinking skills, which is why middle school debate topics should stimulate those abilities. However, students don’t need to do extensive amounts of research to understand the topic — they should find it easy to form an informed opinion on the matter. Here are some successful examples of middle school debate topics:
1. Should gadget use be allowed in middle school classrooms?
2. What is more effective for education purposes, books, or movies?
3. Should everyone go in for sport in middle school?
4. Should we increase or decrease the number of seasonal holidays?
5. How can we increase students` engagements in school?
Debate topics for high school
In high school, debates actually have double importance. Not only do they teach the students how to have a mature and informed discussion, but they also teach them how to find solid sources to back up their opinions. Here you can try more challenging and controversial debate topics, for example, the following ones:
1. Why peer pressure in schools is so dangerous.
2. Are final exams a really effective way to measure one’s knowledge?
3. Should sex education in high school be mandatory?
4. Is GPA an outdated concept?
5. What is the most effective solution to fight and prevent bullying in school?
Debate topics for colleges and universities
College and university students usually love debate, but they are not only highly entertaining and challenging but also very useful for their development. When choosing a debate topic for college or university students, pick the one that is relevant, controversial, and provides for an engaging discussion. Try one of these topics:
1. Does living in a dorm benefit or harm the student’s education process?
2. Do college students engage in cheating more or less than high school students?
3. Does technology help or stand in the way of effective education?
4. Should we install tracking devices in every student’s ID?
5. Do students learn more from personal interaction with professors or through online courses?
Debate topics for undergraduate students
Looking for more ideas on engaging and enlightening debate topics for undergraduate students? Perhaps, you’ll like one of the following ones:
1. Are alternative energy sources as effective as everyone says?
2. Should we abolish the death penalty altogether?
3. How social networks impact our society.
4. Should we go back to same-sex schools?
5. Are school vouchers a viable and effective idea?
6. Is it ethical to advertise prescription drugs in media?
7. Beauty pageants are objectifying women and should be canceled.
8. Drug testing should be made mandatory for all students.
9. Should we give parents the freedom to ban certain books from libraries?
10. Curfew is the only way to keep the children safe.
Debate Topics for Different Formats
The academic level of the students is an important aspect of the successful outcome of the debate, but it is not the only one. It is also very important to take the format of the discussion into account because different debate formats require different preparation and different discussion techniques.
Controversial debate topics
Controversial issues always spark a lively discussion, but you shouldn’t pick the topic that is too controversial if you want to keep the debate civil and respectful. When choosing a controversial topic for the debate, make sure to pick the one that clearly divides people into two polarizing groups: only then the debate is guaranteed to be successful.
Argumentative debate topics
Argumentative topics may not be as widely discussed as controversial topics, but they can still make your debate a success. To successfully debate an argumentative topic, students need to do large amounts of in-depth research, which is only possible if they are personally interested in the topic.
Regardless of the academic level and format of the upcoming debate, use the following criteria when choosing the topic for the discussion:
1. It has to be relevant to the current situation.
2. It has to be personally interesting to you.
3. It has to elicit two opposing opinions from people.
4. It has to be neither too broad nor too narrow.
5. It has to be easy to research.
Debate Topics by the Field of Knowledge
If you have a specific field of knowledge for your next debate, choosing a topic is both easier and harder, since it has to be both relevant to the field and fit the interests of the students. Here are our best debate topics for the most popular fields.
1. Should more students be home-schooled?
2. Homework is an essential part of studying and should not be banned.
3. A college education is not equally useful for everybody.
4. Students should switch to tablets instead of textbooks.
5. School uniforms should be introduced at all schools.
6. Standardized tests are a great improvement to the educational system.
7. Early admission policies in schools actually harm students.
8. All students should learn at least one foreign language.
9. The electoral college is a failed idea.
10. We should pay athletes to play for schools and colleges.
11. All students applying to colleges should do some community service.
12. Elementary students should not bring food to school.
13. The school year should be made longer.
14. Physical education needs to be mandatory in all schools.
15. Music and art classes should not be compulsory.
Science and technology
1. Google is the perfect search engine on the planet.
2. Using a smartphone all day is dangerous.
3. Science and religion can coexist peacefully.
4. Children should not be allowed to use smartphones.
5. Online study is a more effective alternative to a physical classroom.
6. The current cultural decadence is the direct result of TV.
7. A mathematical mindset makes people predisposed to success.
8. Space travel is not wise from an economic point of view.
9. Genetically modifying children are the future.
10. We should get rid of animal testing completely.
11. Mars colonization is completely realistic.
12. Fully driverless cars are extremely dangerous.
13. The laws cannot keep up with the development of modern technology.
14. Our future is in jeopardy because of technology.
15. We should strive to create a mechanized biological hybrid.
Health and medicine
1. Smoking should be prohibited on a state level.
2. Euthanasia should be freely available.
3. Recreational marijuana should be legal everywhere.
4. All athletes should be allowed to take performance drugs.
5. Legalization of drugs will lead to a decrease in organized crime.
6. A recent memorable medical phenomenon.
7. All children should be vaccinated.
8. The effect of the internet on our health.
9. How technology can negatively impact our health.
10. Health insurance should be cheaper.
11. Air pollution is the biggest modern health threat.
12. Drinking can be safe if you do it right.
13. Antibiotics should be prescription-only.
14. Parents should have a choice of whether to vaccinate their children.
15. Alternative medicine is a viable alternative.
Psychology, sociology, and ethic
1. All adults should be allowed to carry guns.
2. More people should adopt children instead of having their own.
3. Same-sex marriages should be made legal everywhere.
4. Abortion should not be prohibited.
5. Is there a single proof that God exists?
6. Religion is an escape from reality.
7. Prostitution should be decriminalized.
8. What effect does psychology have on our lives?
9. Violent behavior among students continues to grow.
10. Wrong family dynamics lead to mental health problems in kids.
11. Your social group determines your moral values.
12. Ethics should be made a compulsory subject.
13. Hunting needs to be banned completely.
14. Social groups influence children’s behavior more than family.
15. Cigarettes should be made illegal.
Policy and finance
1. There is evidence that voting doesn’t matter.
2. We should protect intellectual property more.
3. How we can improve the financial stability of our country.
4. We should impose more taxes on the rich.
5. Anti-sodomy laws are outdated and need to be banned.
6. The USA is ready for the first woman President.
7. Mobile banking is not secure enough.
8. Banks cannot be fully trusted.
9. Education should be free everywhere in the world.
10. Credit cards will not be used in a decade.
11. All financial advice should be provided for free.
12. Finance management should be taught at school.
13. Financial problems are the biggest threat to our nation.
14. Wars are a way for certain people to make money.
15. The voting age should be lowered to 14.
Arts and Leisure
1. Books versus TV for schoolchildren.
2. Should we allow children to play unlimited video games?
3. Social networking harms the development of children.
4. Children should be allowed on social media only after the age of 16.
5. Social media makes people less sociable.
6. Legal drinking age should be under 21.
7. The effect of listening to music on stress.
8. Art therapy should be widely used in mental health institutions.
9. Pregnant women and their babies can benefit from listening to music.
10. Video games can be successfully used in education.
11. Movies can be a valuable education method.
12. There should be more scientific clubs in school.
13. Everyone can benefit from going to a concert.
14. The circus is not a good place to take children to.
15. Games are the most effective early development technique.
1. Should we continue animal testing in science?
2. How we can contribute to the protection of the environment.
3. How we as people contribute to climate change.
4. Our city will be unrecognizable in 200 years.
5. Plastic packaging should be banned completely.
6. The environmental catastrophe is coming at an alarming pace.
7. Solar energy is actually not at all cost-efficient.
8. We should be more concerned about protecting wildlife.
9. Reforestation is a viable solution to the global warming problem.
10. More people should become vegans.
11. Fuel economy standards in vehicles should be changed.
12. Oil drilling is the biggest threat to wildlife.
13. Zoos are actually bad for animals.
14. Countries should introduce international aviation taxes.
15. People should be fined for harming nature.
1. Are we just repeating the same mistakes from history?
2. How Britain was involved in World War II.
3. Was King Arthur a real historical figure?
4. Genghis Khan is misrepresented in history.
5. The demise of the Soviet Union could have been prevented.
6. Why did World War II start?
7. All immigrants should be tested for historical knowledge.
8. Britain and World War I.
9. Presentism is superior to historicism.
10. Who actually discovered the effect of gravitation?
11. The USA started the war with Japan.
12. Ancient Roman culture was not all that original.
13. The Korean War started after the provocation by South Korea.
14. An alternative history of World War II.
15. The cause and effect of the Revolutionary War.
Funny debate topics
Sometimes you want the debate not to find the truth, but to lighten the mood and entertain both the audience and the participants. In that case, you can choose one of the following funny and entertaining debate topics:
1. We should use arts and music to combat stress in school.
2. We should not turn celebrities into role models.
3. Can vampires be infected by sucking blood?
4. We should be allowed to nap at any age.
5. Elementary students should not be given any homework.
6. Every student should be involved in at least one extracurricular activity.
7. Cartoons and movies can be an effective study tool in elementary school.
8. The top 3 best TV shows in history.
9. Should we ban the zoos completely and let the animals go?
10. Pineapple is the best pizza topping.
11. Superheroes are not good role models.
12. Academic success should not determine the status of the student.
13. School is not the place for public prayer.
14. Social networks should not be accessible in school.
15. All students should work after school.
16. All students should be allowed to leave school during lunch.
17. God did not create the world.
18. Are pirates nothing more than mythical creatures?
19. Juvenile criminals should be treated as adults.
20. All couples should live together for a while before getting married.
21. Being a woman is easier than being a man.
22. Being a man is easier than being a woman.
23. Peer pressure has both benefits and side effects.
24. All nursery rhymes have a dual meaning.
25. Fast food should be taken off the school menu completely.
26. All students should be free to use their phones in school.
27. More schools should move their curriculum to online courses.
28. We depend on technology too much.
29. Animal dissections traumatize young students.
30. Military toys and games should be banned for children.
31. How our society is impacted by nuclear energy.
32. We should use human cloning more.
33. What is the best age to begin sex education?
34. Books can shape any personality the necessary way.
35. Life after death: does it exist?
Debating is an all-around beneficial activity for students. It teaches you to do proper research, formulate your thoughts in an eloquent way, and argue with your opponents in a civil manner. We believe that every student should take part in school debates as often as possible, so if you have a debate coming up and need to find the perfect topic, you are guaranteed to find one on our list!