Searching For A Topic For An Argumentative Research Paper

An argumentative essay clearly describes two opposing sides of a debate without the writer picking a side or trying to convince the reader to. An argumentative research paper goes a step further in that it requires the researcher to look through academic sources for information that supports everything that gets included in the paper. The results may point to one side being correct rather than another but the intention is not to persuade, just to inform. In your search for a good topic you should look at the following sources:

News stories

When something is in the news that means it has the public’s attention and can easily be adapted into research that satisfies the public’s curiosity.


If pandering to public opinion seems too crass for you, try looking into the journals of your field. There may be an argumentative topic that has never been explored in depth just waiting for you to find it.


Talk to other researchers and see what topics come up in your discussions. They may not automatically seem like topics but it helps to stimulate your mind through conversation and see what comes from it afterward.

The following list represents some of the types of topics you might come up with this way:

  • Can deception be seen as an integral part of the negotiation process?
  • Are cities returning to a more walkable format comparable to that of previous generation?
  • Will kinetic energy powered devices eventually replace those powered by fossil fuels?
  • Do democratic countries by definition always get the government they deserve?
  • Should the use of wood products be criminalized?
  • Should chocolate be made illegal until all producers are made fair trade?
  • Is the use of organic only produce a matter of health primarily or one of morality?
  • Should more children be encouraged to emancipate themselves?
  • Can small businesses make unemployment obsolete?
  • Is the increase in gluten intolerance and celiac disease related to pesticide use?
  • Should extra marital sex be made illegal?
  • Will the prevalence of VOIP options render the landline completely obsolete?
  • Is there a clear link between violent video games and school shootings?
  • Does gun control infringe on the rights of American citizens?
  • Do immigrant workers substantially contribute to the production of American crops?

No list of topics will ever cover all the avenues that you can choose from. This is merely a sample and your choice remains with you.