Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.
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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?
Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.
Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.
So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.
For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.
- Is Cheating Getting Worse?
- Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
- Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
- Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
- Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
- How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
- How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
- Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
- Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
- Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
- What Are You Really Learning at School?
- How Important Is Arts Education?
- Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
- Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
- Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
- What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
- Is Your School Day Too Short?
- Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
- Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
- Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
- How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
- Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
- How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
- How Should Schools Address Bullying?
- Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
- What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
- Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
- Does Class Size Matter?
- Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
- Is Prom Worth It?
- How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
- Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
- Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
- What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
- Do You Support Affirmative Action?
- Do College Rankings Matter?
- How Necessary Is a College Education?
- Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?
- Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
- Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
- Are You Distracted by Technology?
- Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
- Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
- Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
- Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
- Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
- Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
- What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
- Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
- Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
- Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
- Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
- Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
- How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
- Should Companies Collect Information About You?
- Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
- Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
- Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
- Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
- How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
- What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
- How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
- How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?
- Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
- Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
- Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
- Is TV Too White?
- Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
- Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
- What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
- What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
- What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
- Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
- Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
- Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
- Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
- Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
- When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
- What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
- What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
- To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
- Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
- Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
- Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
- Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
- What Makes a Good Commercial?
- Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
- Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?
- Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
- Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
- Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
- How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
- Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
- Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
- What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
- How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
- Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
- Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
- Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
- Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
- Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
- Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
- Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?
- If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
- Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
- Should College Football Players Get Paid?
- When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
- Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
- Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
- Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
- Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
- Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
- Is Cheerleading a Sport?
- How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
- Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
- Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
- Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
- Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
- Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?
- What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
- If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
- When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
- What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
- Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
- Do You Trust Your Government?
- What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
- Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
- Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
- Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
- Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
- Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
- Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
- How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
- Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
- Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
- What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
- Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
- When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?
- Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
- When Do You Become an Adult?
- When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
- Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
- Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
- Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
- Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
- How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
- What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
- Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
- How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
- Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
- How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
- Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
- How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
- Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?
- Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
- Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
- Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
- Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
- How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
- Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
- Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
- Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
- Should Marijuana Be Legal?
- Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?
- Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
- Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
- Can Money Buy You Happiness?
- Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
- Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
- Do People Complain Too Much?
- Can Kindness Become Cool?
- Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
- How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
- When Should You Compromise?
- Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
- Can You Be Good Without God?
- Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
- What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
- What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
- Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
- How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
- How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
- Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
- How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?
- Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
- Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
- When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
- Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
- Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
- How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?
- Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
- What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
- Should Charities Focus More on America?
- Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
- Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
- Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
- What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
- Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
- How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?
Technology and Social Media
Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature
Sports and Athletics
Politics and the Legal System
Parenting and Childhood
Health and Nutrition
Personal Character and Morality Questions
Education is one of the broadest subject matters a student will be lucky enough to write an essay on due to the wide range of topics you can choose from as well as the large body of work or research materials available for your reference purposes. And to simplify your task even more, this article will serve as a user guide on choosing a topic as well as provide 20 sample topics you can choose from and to round it all up, one of the provided topics will also be expatiated and drafted in such a way that each section of the expanded topic will provide you with a guide on how to go about drafting yours.
First and foremost, before delving into the article, it is important to introduce what the topic is about and why it is important we write about issues on the subject matter. So, education—either formal or informal — is the acquisition of knowledge, beliefs, values and habits. Obviously, there are numerous ways to acquire these knowledge values etc. but were problems may arise is the process of acquiring these knowledge. And this is how most of the topics on this list come about, they either include, sort the issues or discussing them.
- Making a Case for Educational Disparities and Racial Inequalities in the United States
- Comparing and Contrasting the Education Policies between Public Schools in America’s Wealthy and Poorer Districts
- The State of U.S Education: Still Separate and Unequal
- Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States
- How Does your Social Class Affect the Quality of your Education
- The Connection between Education and Wealth
- Economic Inequality: The Growing Wealth Gap between Rich and Poor Students
- Girl’s Education and Gender Inequality
- Education and Gender Equality: The United States Perspective
- Discussing Employment and Unemployment Rate using Educational Attainment as a Yardstick
- Education as the Perfect Instrument for Social Change
- The Impact of Culture on Education
- Promoting and Protecting the Right to Education of Students from Minority Groups
- The Interplay between Politics and Education in the United States
- The Impact of Bad Policies on Education
- The Importance of Quality Education in Our Lives and Societies
- Education and the Role it Plays in Personal Development
- An Effective Use of ICT for Educational Purposes
- The Role of Education in National Development
- A Study of the Effect of Discipline and Reward in Education
Here we are at the end of 20 unique topics on the topic of education and its diverse functions to society. These topics were provided to help and the ease in which they could be worked upon and drafted out makes them viable options for your homework essay. Make sure to pay a visit to our 10 facts for an informative essay on education and guide on this general academic genre. So as earlier explained, below is an essay on one of our 20 topics providing you a blueprint which you can put to use when writing.
Sample Informative Essay: The Growing Education Gap between Rich and Poor Students
Education as the saying goes, is a tool for fostering equality by providing the disadvantaged with the needed leverage and knowledge to grow. But is this really so? And do the facts really back education’s ability to create social equality?
Here, I will attempt to answer these questions using a holistic approach that would present the facts and figures behind receiving an education before making educated inferences that would provide the needed answers.
It is a proven fact that education has played a huge role in the United States by creating a more level playing ground for people of diverse races. Statistics show that the test score deficit accrued between 1950 to 1970 – of African American students in the 9-17 year old demographic, had been drastically reduced by 50% in 2012. Thereby providing a base for these students to catch up and improve the living standards of African Americans. These positive growth among minorities which includes Native Americans is quickly erasing the education gap between white students and students of minority descent. But in the midst of these positives, a newer form of inequality is rearing its ugly head, in the form of an educational gap between students from wealthy homes and these from poorer homes.
Although this new educational gap still affects minorities to a large extent, this menace does not care about race but takes into account a family’s financial status. Therefore it affects both white, black, Hispanic and Asian students from low income backgrounds. According to Sean Reardon of the Centre for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford, racial disparities are still a stain in the US’s education sector but its biggest problem today is ‘class’.
And how does class create this new gap? Students from wealthy backgrounds are privy to more educational opportunities such as the expensive private preschool programs in the United States which already puts these kids ahead of their peers right from infancy. This means that in most cases, students from wealthier homes already learn and test at a higher level than even smarter kids from poorer homes on starting kindergarten.
The next hurdle for students from low income families who manage to somehow close the learning gap encounter comes in the form of education policies in public schools. For those who inevitably attend middle school located in poor districts, a new set of challenges come up. Statistics show that schools in poorer districts are more likely to be assigned first time teachers with little or no experience than those in wealthier districts. These teachers usually get their hand full quickly and do the bare minimum required to get students ready for tests.
Other hurdles include the lack of certain important subjects students need to learn before pursuing higher education degrees due to no available teachers to teach them. Another disturbing statistics put the number of High schools, located in poorer districts that do not offer Algebra II or chemistry as one in every four. Lastly, unfair punishment policies affected by teachers who are more likely to suspend students of minority descent end up leaving these students jaded and these combined forces have led to a dropout rate of approximately 13% among black students.
And the circle continues for only 5% of Americans age 24 to 35 whose parents didn’t finish high school go on to attain a college degree. Comparing the above figure to statistics from over 20 countries which show a figure of 20% of college graduates come from parents who didn’t finish high school proves that the fault lies in the US education system.
In conclusion, this gap truly exists and can only be closed if policies are made to equalize education achievement of every student between the ages of 0 to 14. This policy will in turn provide students from every background with enough ammunition to enroll for and attain a college degree.
Richard, G. (2015). Are Schools Still Struggling with Racism? Teachers more likely to label black students as troublemakers study finds.
Steven, H. (2014). 14 Disturbing Facts about Racial Inequality in American Public Schools
Lindsey, C. (2015). U.S. Education Still Separate and Unequal
Eduardo, P. (2015). Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider.
Benjamin, L. (2016). Graph: The Growing Education Gap Between Rich and Poor.
Rodney, R. (2015). Education and Inequality.
Richard, B & Inkwan, C. (2015). Income Inequality and Education.
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