Argumentative Essay Prompts for Middle and High School

When it comes to essay writing, there is one thing students just can’t avoid — the argumentative essay. Being one of the most popular academic assignments, the argumentative essay requires the writer to present their arguments coherently and logically to convince their audience of the validity or merit of their claims. What makes this type of academic writing particularly valuable is the fact that it helps students improve, among other things, their investigative (fact finding), analytical (reasoning), and debating skills.

But you’re probably wondering now: ‘What are the argumentative essay prompts, anyway?’ That is a good question, and here’s the answer: the argumentative essay prompt is a statement that introduces a topic of an essay and usually contains a question that narrows or specifies the issue to be debated or argued. Because it always poses a question, the argumentative essay prompt elicits a response or, in other words, ‘prompts’ the writer to respond. And it is the response that your essay should be all about. Usually, the writer is expected to take a stance on the issue, making it clear whether or not they agree with the statement or what their answer to the question is. The chosen stance is revealed by the writer in what is known as the thesis statement. The thesis statement should be written in the introductory paragraph of the essay, which is the starting point of an essay. In it, the writer reveals their viewpoint on an issue and sets the stage for their arguments that should be analytically, coherently, and logically presented across the body paragraphs. The introduction can, therefore, be thought of as a relatively brief response to the question posed by the prompt.

Writing prompts for an argumentative essay helps to narrow or specify the essay topic and, by extension, serves as a key reference point or basis whereby the essay will be assessed. That is also a good way of checking how well the essay actually responds to the specific question posed in the prompt. That is a crucial point because it often happens that well-written essays are scored lower than the writer or their readers would expect. Yes, the grammar and vocabulary can be phenomenal (perhaps even deserving of a literary prize), but and if the arguments (though exceptionally convincing) do not respond to the specific topic, that can ruin the otherwise brilliant essay. Let’s consider, for instance, the following essay prompt:

Enjoying fundamental human rights, should women be legally allowed to decide whether to keep or terminate pregnancies?

If in reply to the above prompt the writer focuses most of their arguments on how women have been subjected to different forms of sexist behavior and how this experience contributed to the rise of the feminist movement, the essay will fall far short of being a good response. Please, note that the issues addressed and argued in such an essay may seem relevant to women affairs, but they are too broad and do not match a specific question. The writer can argue a point or two based on related issues, but the focus should always be on the question posed. The simple lesson to be drawn here is that you should keep most of your arguments focused on the topic raised by the prompt.

List of Argumentative Essay Writing Prompts

In this section, we’ll be providing middle school, and high school students with a list of sample prompts for the argumentative essay. You may not necessarily find all of them interesting, but at least you should be able to draw inspiration from them and come up with something more suitable or interesting.

Argumentative Essay Prompts for Middle School

Look through these argumentative essay prompts for middle school we’ve picked for you and try to find an issue that you are interested in.

  1. Building digital relationships: Is Facebook still relevant or is it fading away?
  2. Changing times: Are kids spending too much time on social media?
  3. Playing video games: Does playing computer games regularly and for hours on end negatively affect the academic performance of children at school?
  4. Music to one’s ears and mind: Should children be allowed to listen to any kind of music they like?
  5. Bullies are silly: Should every bully be publicly shamed in school and suspended or even expelled?
  6. Are there any real benefits to using social media or is it just a waste of precious time?
  7. Natural vs. Digital connections: Do social media negatively affect human relationships?
  8. Same-sex education: Should boys study only with boys and girls only with girls?
  9. What should school children focus more on: Sports or academic subjects?
  10. Bullying is not cool: What should be done by school authorities to prevent or control bullying at school?
  11. Would you support the expulsion of any kid found guilty of bullying another kid, even if it happened only once?
  12. Correct versus incorrect writing: Should students be penalized for misuse or lack of punctuation in writing?
  13. Should girls be allowed to wear makeup to school?
  14. Is it safe for children to be allowed to play baseball at school?
  15. Should parents allow their children to play violent video games?

Argumentative Essay Prompts for High School

If you are looking for good argumentative essay prompts for high school, our list is definitely what you need!

  1. Psychologists maintain that having strong family relationships is important for a teenager’s well-being and performance at school. Is this a valid assertion?
  2. Scientific studies have shown that too many people, especially teenagers and young adults, are using social media more frequently than they should. Do you agree that excessive use of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram has negative consequences?
  3. Regularly using computing devices like laptops and smartphones for long periods of time can produce adverse health consequences: Is there any truth to this statement?
  4. Social media narcissism: Are people becoming obsessed with what other people think and say of them on social media?
  5. Gender equality: Should female soldiers be allowed to fight alongside male soldiers?
  6. Alcohol consumption: Is it fair to have different legal drinking ages across various states?
  7. Drug abuse among teenagers is a major social health problem: Should teenagers be legally allowed to purchase drugs like marijuana?
  8. Should the minimum age of drinking be reduced to 18 across the country?
  9. Living in the digital age: Are smartphones helpful or just a waste of time?
  10. Bullies using computers: Should people report known cyber bullies to school authorities? Can this help reduce or solve the problem?
  11. Are girls being subjected to high and unrealistic standards of beauty by the fashion industry and media?
  12. Pokemon Go is a ‘cool’ augmented reality game in that was a big hit with gamers back in 2016. Is the adventure game format of pokemon Go just a fad that will go away?
  13. Should transgender individuals be assigned separate public toilets?
  14. Who should be responsible for teaching teens about puberty and sexuality — parents or teachers?
  15. Is cheerleading a sport?

Well, there you have it, your tips and essay prompt samples! Hopefully, by now you had accomplished whatever purpose you had in mind when you started reading this article. Please, remember that if you ever need assistance with writing your argumentative essays or any other kind of academic paper, our skilled and experienced writers will always be happy to lend you a helping hand. If you are looking to get started or have any questions you wish to get answers to, please do not hesitate to contact our 24/7 customer support team. We really look forward to alleviating your academic burden!