An argumentative speech is a persuasive speech in which the speaker attempts to persuade his audience to alter their viewpoints on a controversial issue. While a persuasive speech may be aimed more at sharing a viewpoint and asking the audience to consider it, an argumentative speech aims to radically change the opinions already held by the audience. This type of speech is extremely challenging; therefore, the speaker should be careful to choose a topic which he feels prepared to reinforce with a strong argument.
Argumentative speeches generally concern topics which are currently being debated by society, current controversial issues. These topics are often derived from political debates and issues which are commonly seen in the media. The chosen topic may be political, religious, social, or ethical in nature. The audience should be challenged to re-examine their long-held values, and will be asked to alter deeply held convictions based on new evidence or viewpoints on the issue.
List of Argumentative Speech Topics
How poor accounting methods cause businesses to lose money.
Does the government have the right to tax its citizens?
Torture is an acceptable measure to prevent terrorism.
Banning some books and movies can help society.
Guns should be made illegal.
The legal drinking age should be changed to 18 for hard liquor and spirits, and to 16 for beer and wine.
Should the government be able to access cell phone data?
Paying waiters a hourly rate below minimum wage is unfair.
Illegal immigrants are good for the economy.
Decreasing the wealth tax is good for the economy.
What caused the recession in the USA?
Rich people should have tax breaks.
Should students sometimes teach the class about a subject they are an expert on?
Should schools offer sign language in addition to foreign languages?
Any student caught cheating on an examination should be automatically dismissed from college.
Should there be a dress code to prevent students from wearing revealing clothes?
Government aid for students should be based purely on academic performance.
Mobiles phones should be banned in schools for both students and teachers.
How No Child Left Behind has not been implemented correctly.
Foreign language instruction should begin in kindergarten.
College students should have the freedom to choose their own courses.
Should schools have single sex education?
Are academics and sports of equal importance?
Should teachers have to take a yearly test to keep their jobs?
Students should learn about world religions in public schools.
Should sports be made a compulsory subject in universities?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of school uniforms?
Hungry students cannot learn, which is why free meals should be provided.
Should students be held back for bad grades?
Do colleges put too much stock in standardized test scores?
Home education should only be allowed for medical reasons.
CPR and first aid instruction should be mandatory in schools.
Essays do not demonstrate a student’s knowledge on a topic.
Should all students be randomly drug tested?
Educational computer games should be used in school.
Why the government should prevent violence in schools.
Teachers should wear uniforms or obey a dress code.
Why are sports trips paid for while club trips are not?
Music education should be placed back into schools.
Should teachers give out homework on the weekends?
Sex education should be required in all schools.
Exam scores do not reflect student performance.
Testing and choice are undermining education.
The benefits of attending a single-sex school.
State colleges should be free to attend.
There should be no religion in schools.
Education should be free for everyone.
Gender does not affect learning.
Smoking and drinking on campus should be banned.
Should homework be reduced?
The pros and cons of Common Core.
Exams should be abolished.
Grades are not important.
Why do we have homework?
Teachers should be punished for rude behavior to students.
Students should take a year off between college and high school.
Why we should learn more than one language.
How the USA can use renewable energy, and what role oil companies can play.
How renewable energy technologies became economically and politically viable in the late 1990s.
Destruction of the world’s forest is justified by human need for land and food.
The racing industry should be forced to use environmentally-friendly fuel.
The government should support and subsidize alternative energy sources.
Alternative energy and hybrid vehicles can help save our planet.
Penalties for crimes against the environment should be tougher.
Vegetarianism is an ecologically thoughtful lifestyle.
Has marine engineering increased pollution?
Working from home is good for the environment.
Rainforest logging should be banned.
Hunting is good for the environment.
The advantages of recycling water.
Should celebrities be held to a higher moral standard since they are often viewed as role models by children and teens?
Convicted prisoners should not have better living conditions than those not in prison.
Clothing and other items produced using child labor should not be imported and sold in the USA.
Denying health insurance because of pre-existing conditions violates human rights.
Using animals for scientific research is inhumane.
DNA experiments on human embryos are unethical and should not be allowed.
Zoos, aquariums, and circuses violate animal rights and should be shut down.
Are beauty pageants exploitive?
Should scientists bring back extinct species through cloning?
People should not be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets.
Should there be world population control?
Stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.
Hunting is unethical and should not be allowed.
Everyone in the world should have civil rights!
Do you agree that honesty is the best policy?
Assassination can never be justified.
The sale of human organs should be legal.
Euthanasia is not morally acceptable.
Euthanasia should be legalized.
Is human cloning ethical?
Wearing fur is unethical.
We shouldn’t eat meat.
Every family with children filing for divorce must go through a mandatory ‘cooling off’ period.
Adoptive parents should be legally bound to allow biological parents access to their children.
Should babies younger than one get their ears pierced?
Those who want children should take parenting classes and pass tests before having a child.
Both parents should assume equal responsibility in raising a child.