The choice of debate topics for students can be a real challenge for a teacher. Debating is catchy and attractive for youngsters, mostly when it involves their personal interests and something they know well. Of course, discussions are a necessary part of studying in any sphere of knowledge, but finding something interesting in each of them is not easy at all.
Below, you will find a list of 50 exciting debate topics that can be used for classroom discussion. Some of them are more suitable for kids, and others are serious enough to be used even in colleges and universities. Check them out and choose something that can grasp the attention of your class.
What is the idea of good debate topics?
Debating is a perfect tool which can involve students in communication and give them a chance to speak their mind. The more controversial debate topics you choose, the better. Each point of view will be voiced out no matter how popular the opinion will be. The only condition of good debates is to bring forth good reliable arguments. It is not enough to say “because I think so”. It is necessary to prove why this point of view is good and correct.
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All this shows the idea and principal use of debating: it develops critical thinking, the ability to have and defend one’s own point of view and to find decent arguments to protect it. In separate cases, teachers choose very controversial topics and exchange students' points of view.
For example, while discussing abortions, those students who support the freedom of choice need to imagine that they have an opposite point of view on the matter and find strong arguments to defend their opinion. Those students who are against the artificial termination of pregnancy need to find arguments why abortion is necessary and why it is a personal choice. Such work also gives students a chance to see a problem from the opposite side, understand, and accept a different point of view.
So, let us recapitulate all this and figure out the main idea of a good topic:
- It is attractive to the classroom
- It involves everyone because the discussed topic belongs to a common sphere of life
- It is current and up-to-date
- It is more or less controversial to provoke a collision of opinions
This is what good debate topics should be to increase interest and desire to participate in the debate.
The best 50 debate topics from all spheres
Education is one of the most common and clearly understood topics for all students. Topics that relate to education can be interesting, funny and they have potential. If you need a long and productive discussion that involves all students, here it is.
- There is an opinion that boarding schools can do harm to students. Do you think it is correct? How can a boarding school be harmful? Which positive sides of such education do you know?
- Only a person with a higher education from a college or a university can receive a good job and become successful. Do you think that higher education is not as crucial as people think?
- Schools should avoid practising contact sports. What is the ground for a thought that contact sports should be banned from schools?
- Some educational subjects are less important than others. For instance, mathematics and computer science are better than arts and humanities. Do you agree that all students should give more attention to the sciences instead of the arts?
- Schools should keep an eye on what students eat. Fast food should be banned from schools forever. Do you agree or do you think that everyone chooses food for themselves?
- Girls and boys should be encouraged equally when it comes to the sciences, computers and so on. There should be no gender preference in schools.
- There is an opinion that studying at home is better than studying at school. What do you think and what would you prefer?
- There is no need to give homework assignments in schools. Students need some rest after classes, and there is enough studying during the lessons time.
- Schools should ban the usage of devices like laptops, tablets and phones not only during exams but all the time. Books and memory should be the only sources of information for students.
- Schools should give more attention to teaching religions. There should be one religion taught at school, and no others should be allowed.
Social problems are a thing which students encounter all the time in the world that surrounds them. Thinking about these problems, questions, and issues can help young people develop or change their world outlook.
- Abortion is a free choice of a woman; it is not a sin or a murder. Criminalisation of abortions can be a big disaster for women and a whole nation.
- Gender issues in big companies. The number of female employees should be equal to the number of male employees and salaries within the same sphere should be equal for both genders.
- All young girls should try to do their best to look like Barbie dolls. Only a classic Barbie doll is a perfect symbol of feminineness and elegance.
- All countries should have a death penalty among the list of possible punishments for heavy crimes. Knowing that they can be executed will keep murderers and rapists away from their crimes.
- All countries should legalise euthanasia as an excellent means to help people pass away with dignity in case their health conditions get incurable and tormenting. Every person should have a right for a painless death.
- There is no more place for feminism in our society. Women already have all the rights they need, and everything they still do not have is simply unnecessary to them. It is already time to defend the rights of men.
- It is necessary to allow gay people to get married everywhere and in all countries. They should also be allowed to take kids from orphanages or resort to the services of surrogate mothers.
- There should be more censorship in mass media and social networks. People need to know precise restrictions regarding what they can or cannot post on their Facebook.
- Religions should be banned as harmful cults. Their believers often know no limits and do horrible things in the name of their faith. There is no place for religions in modern society.
- Social networks should be banned for people under 21. They are too harmful, ruin communicative skills and distract the attention of young people from their studying.
Since we all live on the same planet, issues of the environment are our common issues. Talking about them as debate topics can help students understand the importance of being environmentally friendly.
- Humanity is ruining the planet. There is nothing to be done to save it so far.
- It is necessary to increase penalties and fines for the emission of carbon dioxide. All companies need to know it.
- All people should go vegetarian and practice full fasting from time to time. It will save resources, and the humankind will become healthier.
- It is necessary to ban killing animals for their skins, fur, meat, or fat. It is intolerable cruelty for the 21st century.
- All the big forests that have remained on the earth should be turned into national parks and preserved very thoroughly.
- There is no agriculture in future without pure organic farming. We all need to learn how to do it.
- It is necessary to close down and ban all zoos and circuses that still use animals in their shows.
- It is necessary to calculate the amount of litter each household throws away and try to reduce it as soon as possible.
- The environment wins a lot from tourism. Countries receive money from tourists and can direct it to the development of national parks.
- It is necessary to punish hunters who catch and sell rare animals to other countries via hidden schemes.
Science and inventions are interesting to school and college students because they are cool and modern. This is why debate topics connected to the newest developments and research can be quite catchy and allow people to unleash their imagination.
- It is necessary to legalise cloning of humans because this is how parents can have their late kids back or vice versa.
- The government of each country in the world should give more attention and financial support to the development of renewable power sources instead of oil, coal, gas, and so on.
- Governments of all countries in the world should concentrate on the researching of the most effective treatments for the most dangerous illnesses instead of buying weapons and starting wars
- Governments of the wealthiest countries in the world should contribute to the funding of a Mars space mission because we all may need this planet when Earth collapses due to the pollution, wars, or so
- Comments on social media like Facebook should not be deleted, and people should not be banned for them because this is a violation of freedom of speech.
- Science should make it possible that parents choose the gender, face, eye or hair colour of their future children. Simply because it is cool!
- Testing of medications on animals should be replaced with that involving humans. We have numerous life-term prisoners who will never leave jail. Why cannot we experiment on them?
- Governments should make the Internet available to every citizen in every corner of the globe. This is an essential means of communication nowadays.
- Parents should have a right to forbid their children to watch TV, play video games, and so on because there is too much violence in all that stuff.
- Smartphones with all their possibilities and games have replaced parents to many children who grow in families.
Politics is something everyone will face sooner or later. While kids at school may hear about it only from their parents, older students may be active participants of political movements in the country or have active political views. Debate topics dedicated to politics can also be interesting and catchy.
- There is no better government than a democratic one. All countries in the world should transfer to this system, no matter what they have now and no matter whether their people like their current state.
- Governments should control what people say and think, introduce heavy censorship and restrict freedom of speech if it interferes with a peaceful life of the state.
- Voting should involve everyone, and there should be no right not to vote. All those who violate this rule should pay a penalty.
- All countries should allow their citizens to have weapons. It will bring more order into the life of their citizens because criminals and their victims will be equal.
- It is necessary to reduce the voting age because teens have their opinion on the political situation.
- Presidents should be elected for a shorter term than now. Two years will be enough for one president.
- Rich people should pay higher taxes than poor ones.
- A high level of patriotism is good inside a country but destructive when it comes to international communication.
- It is necessary to make churches and other religious organisations pay taxes as if they were regular companies.
- Our country should own more land. Why should we not claim the surrounding lands are ours?
You should remember that good debate topics are not always based on something serious. You can always choose something funny and provocative just to liven up the atmosphere.
How to choose a good debate topic if you are a student?
If you are a student and you were told to choose a debate topic, you need to keep in mind several things:
- The topic should be interesting to everybody, not just you (not your hobby, your eating habits, your favourite sports, etc.). The best topics for the entire classroom are dedicated to social matters, politics, and other areas of everyone’s life
- You need to be able to conduct thorough research on the subject. Just speaking your mind will not do. You will need to back your opinion up with a range of facts, which are able to prove your point of view.
- You need to be able to speak for at least several minutes, involving the entire group of students. It should not be something like, “I like football because it is an interesting game”. You need to provide controversial information, which will cause feedback, like, “It is said that football fans are more intelligent than those who prefer basketball”. It is a rough example, but you need to force the audience to speak with the help of something unusual and startling
If the choice of debate topics is your homework assignment, give it enough time and prepare thoroughly. Sometimes, you may need the opinion and approval of your teacher. In such a case, you may need to get in touch with your teacher in advance and discuss the list of possible topics which you have invented so far.