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What is an argumentative research paper?

Note that argumentative research papers are some of the common assignments in learning institutions.

In most cases, writing such papers will require you to explore suitable argumentative research paper topics. 

Just like in the case good argumentative essay topics, selecting the right argumentative research paper topics is one of the key steps for writing a research paper.

This requires an understanding of what an argumentative research paper entails.

Argumentative Research Paper

So, what is an argumentative research paper?

An argumentative research paper can be defined as:

A research paper that supports a particular stand on an issue.

Based on the above definition, an argumentative research paper is analytical in its approach, and uses evidence to support the point being made.

The writer introduces the topic in the introduction and states the stance taken. This is done using the thesis statement.

Accordingly, since the goal of the paper is to persuade the reader, argumentative research paper topics should be controversial or debatable.

To write a good paper, you must know what the paper should aim to do.

An argumentative research paper should:

  1. Inform and explain a position
  2. Appeal to reason instead of emotion
  3. Illustrate the validity and strength of an argument’s side and at the same time adequately present the other point of view
  4. Guide the reader to informed and logical conclusions about an issue
  5. Examine the other side of the argument and counter it
  6. Show the ability to use valid points to argue a particular position while referencing credible sources   

Argumentative Research Paper Format

Understanding the format is key in selecting feasible argumentative research paper topics.

So, what should an argumentative research paper format be like?

The format should encompass 4 parts as explored below:

1. Main Claim

The main claim should be in the introduction part.

Usually, this part should be like any other introduction of a research paper.

Is should contain:

  • A background: Information to help the reader understand the paper’s content
  • A thesis statement: Your stand on an issue that refutes the opposition

2. Evidence – The argument

This entails the main point or the argument the research paper is advancing.

The argument must be credible, clear, and insightful.

It should utilize compelling evidence derived from sources that support the thesis.

Further, the argument and evidence should demonstrate the existence of a problem and explore different solutions.

To ensure that the evidence is strong enough, it should include facts, statistics, examples, and testimony from experts.

3. Counterarguments – Rebuttal

The rebuttal encompasses different views that oppose the research paper’s main argument.

The counterarguments should also have adequate evidence supporting them.

It is important to let the reader understanding that the arguments oppose the research paper’s main argument.

4. Counter

This entails the counter to the counterarguments made.

Usually, the rebuttal should be followed by a paragraph that aims to conclusively address the oppositions to the main argument.

The counter should clarify why the main argument is the strongest.

Argumentative Research Paper Topics

Argumentative research paper topics can be found in different areas and sources.

You can explore social media, news sites, books’ table of contents, online library databases, etc.

Suitable argumentative research paper topics may include:

School and Learning

Argumentative research paper topics in this area may include:

  1. Are students tested too much testing at school? Why or why not?
  2. Should schools include media literacy as a required course?
  3. Should teachers be paid more? Why or why not?
  4. Should students be disciplined for what they say on social media?
  5. Should student newspapers be censored by schools?
  6. Should students be prohibited from using laptops in class?
  7. Should climate change be a course in schools?
  8. How should schools discipline students who hurt others?
  9. Which the appropriate way to handle racial slurs in literature in the classroom?
  10. Should teachers be armed with guns while at school?
  11. Is school a conducive place for self-expression?
  12. Should live-streaming classrooms be allowed?
  13. Is it a good idea to eliminate gifted and talented education?
  14. Should schools teach you how to be happy?
  15. In what ways can the American education be improved?
  16. Should nicotine and drugs tests for students be allowed in schools?
  17. Can social media be used as a tool for learning and growth in schools?
  18. Should yearbooks include political news?
  19. Should all schools be required to offer music programs?
  20. Does your school required more funding?
  21. Should all schools be required to teach cursive?
  22. Should public preschool be mandatory for all children?
  23. Do you think that there books that should not belong in schools or public libraries?
  24. How do you feel about math as a mandatory subject in schools?
  25. Should school should start later for teenagers?

Technology and Social Media

Some common argumentative research paper topics in this area include:

  1. What is the effect of online public shaming prevent on our ability to grow and change?
  2. How young is too young for children to use social media?
  3. What do you think about cancel culture?
  4. At what point should there be a line between community health and safety and individual liberty and privacy?
  5. What is the likelihood of your addiction to phone hurting your relationships?
  6. Should people trust Facebook?
  7. Can online conspiracy theories be dangerous?
  8. Should tech companies be able to block people they feel are toxic?
  9. Are parent supposed to be concerned about how much children use their phones?  
  10. Are recreational drones safe?
  11. How does technology affect dating?
  12. Should there be more effort to make online gaming communities safer?
  13. Is it a good idea to have kids as social media influencers?
  14. Is correct grammar still a concern in the age of twitter?
  15. Should texting while driving be handled like drunken driving?
  16. Should social media companies be required to do more about online harassment?
  17. Can using your phone while with others be rude?
  18. What are your thoughts about driverless cars?
  19. Should tech devices have addiction advisories?
  20. Are video games designed to calm the mind be fun or worthwhile?
  21. Are there places where phones should be prohibited?
  22. Is the society getting too addicted to devices?  

Gender and Race

Argumentative research paper topics on gender and race include:

  1. Is gender binary?
  2. What do you think of the events that followed the death of George Floyd?
  3. How should children be taught about race and racism at home?
  4. Should anti-bias training for employees in all companies become mandatory?
  5. What do you think about replacing Columbus Day with indigenous peoples day?
  6. Is America loosing gains made on race?
  7. What are your thoughts about making anti-bias education mandatory for all Americans?
  8. Are there other industries or aspects of life that need more diversity?
  9. What reasons made Whitesboro, N.Y., decide to change its seal?
  10. Is fear of ‘the other’ harming public life?
  11. How close are we to achieving gender equality goal?
  12. Should more boy dolls be encouraged?   
  13. Should some movies mainly featuring male actors be remade with largely female casts?
  14. What are your thoughts about feminism?
  15. What makes being a boy hard?
  16. Are gender expectations or norms confining?


Argumentative research paper topics in this area include:

  1. What are your feelings about censored music?  
  2. Should there be subjects that are off-limits to artists, or to certain artists in particular?
  3. Should art provide trigger warnings?
  4. Which do you think are the greatest songs of all time?
  5. Should looted artifacts in local museums be returned to their countries of origin?
  6. Do you think that graffiti should be protected?
  7. Do you think that the digital era is improving or ruining the experience of art?
  8. Is there need for more female superheroes?
  9. Can art be separated from the artist?  
  10. Is the bad reputation video games get deserved?
  11. Are museums still relevant in the digital age?
  12. Are movie theaters still relevant in the age of digital streaming?
  13. Are there stereotypical characters that make you cringe?
  14. Do you think that Hollywood is becoming more diverse?
  15. Are there dead artists that you would like to see perform live?
  16. Should law allow musicians to copy or borrow from other artists?
  17. Is listening to an audio book just as good as reading it?
  18. Can you gain something from reading books you hate?
  19. What are your favorite book covers? Why?
  20. Can art be used as an act of resistance?   
  21. What fashion trends do you like? What trends do you dislike?


Argumentative research paper topics on sports include:

  1. Do you thinks that youth sports too competitive?
  2. Can pursuing risky sports like extreme mountain climbing be considered selfish?
  3. How should sports cheaters be punished?
  4. Should girls and boys sports teams be allowed to compete in the same league?
  5. Do you think that college athletes should be paid?
  6. What do you think about limiting technology in sports?
  7. Do you think that blowouts in youth sports should be allowed?
  8. Do think that some youth sports too intense?
  9. What do you think are the greatest sports comebacks in history?
  10. Do think that better sports equipment unfairly improve athletic ability?
  11. Do you think it is offensive for sports teams and their fans to use Native American names, imagery and gestures?
  12. Do you think sports officials deserve more respect?
  13. Is there a team in any sport you would like to see win a championship?
  14. Do you think that children under the age of 12 should play tackle football?
  15. Should dance be included to the Olympic events list?
  16. Do you think that all sports leagues should treat political speech as a right for their players?
  17. What do you think is the world’s most difficult sport?
  18. Should women and men compete against each other in sports?

Parenting and Childhood

Argumentative research paper topics in this area may include:

  1. Do you think that growing up in the 21st Century is harder than it was in the past?
  2. Do you think that childhood today over-supervised?
  3. Is it right for parents to track their children?
  4. Who do you think should decide whether a teenager can get a tattoo or piercing?
  5. How do you this parents should talk to their children about drugs?
  6. What name should be given to your generation?
  7. What do you think about ‘snowplow parents’?
  8. Do you think that stay-at-home parents be paid?
  9. Do think that parents can cross a line by helping too much with schoolwork?
  10. What do you think is the best way to discipline children
  11. When do you think one becomes an adult?
  12. Should children be required to help out around the house?
  13. Do you think parents say “no” more often when their children demand new things?
  14. Is it a good idea for parents to use smart devices to monitor their children when at home alone?
  15. Do you think there are some trends adults should not try?

Ethics and Morality

Argumentative research paper topics on ethics and morality include:

  1. Do you think it is okay to laugh during dark times?
  2. Should increasing prices of goods during crisis be considered immoral?
  3. Do you think that students should be monitored when taking online tests?
  4. What do you think makes a great leader?
  5. Do you think you would ever live with an ex-prisoner?
  6. Would you return a lost wallet even with money?
  7. Do you think people should be concerned with where they get their pets?
  8. Should people focus on animal welfare when humans are suffering?
  9. Do you think animal testing can be justified?
  10. What do you think is the reason bystanders just watch when they see someone in danger?
  11. Do you think any person should have $1 billion?
  12. Does failure to keep up with the news make us bad citizens?
  13. Should incarcerated people be offered education opportunities by prisons?
  14. Do you think it is ethical to create genetically edited humans?
  15. Should reporters be expected to help the people they are covering?
  16. Is using family connections to get a job okay?
  17. Should DNA data from genealogy websites be used for criminal investigations?
  18. Should robots be treated like people?
  19. Should people accept a cash rewards for doing the right thing?
  20. What are the lengths you would go to in support of a worthy cause?
  21. Is leaving tips for services paid for okay?
  22. Is it okay to turn the bunker where Hitler killed himself to a tourist attraction?

Government and Politics

Key argumentative research paper topics in this area include:

  1. Should possession of drugs in the U.S. be decriminalized?
  2. Do you think that the death penalty be abolished?
  3. Is it the responsibility of everyone to vote?
  4. How should the problematic actions of the nation’s founders be remembered?
  5. How helpful are presidential debates to voters? Should they be terminated?
  6. Should you care about who becomes a Supreme Court justice?
  7. Do you think that the Electoral College presents a problem? Should it be fixed?
  8. Should voting by mail be made possible for everyone?
  9. Do you think that the U.S. should pay reparations to the descendants of enslaved people?
  10. Should teenagers be encouraged to participate in political activism?
  11. Is the American dream real?
  12. Do you think that plastic bags be banned everywhere?
  13. Do you think that the voting age be lowered to 16?
  14. What do you think lawmakers do about guns and gun violence?
  15. Do you think that national monuments should be protected by the government?
  16. Self-expression that discriminates be excluded from free speech?
  17. Do you think that confederate statues should be removed or remain in place?
  18. Do you think that the U.S. constitution needs an equal rights amendment?
  19. Do you think that the freedom of the press is important?
  20. Is it right to allow ex-felons to vote?
  21. Should military-style semiautomatic weapons be banned in the U.S.?
  22. Should daylight saving time be abolished in the U.S.?
  23. Is it a good thing when celebrities weigh in on politics?
  24. Can you demonstrate peacefully to express your views?
  25. Do you think it is necessary for people with different political beliefs to talk to each?

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