How to Choose Topics for Argumentative Essays: Things to Stay Away from

When you are writing an argumentative essay there a few things you should stay away from.

  1. The first thing that you should stay away from is a topic that you don’t care about. If you have no passion for the subject or don’t agree with your topic then it won’t do you any good to write on the topic.
  2. The second thing you should stay away from is a topic that is too broad to cover in your particular essay. If you are assigned a five page paper your topic needs to be introduced and analyzed in the span of five pages. You do not want to end up with content that covers fifty pages. So if you want to argue that computers have changed the education system you might want to narrow it down to something more concise such as how computer typing programs have changed elementary schools in your area. That being said you should also steer clear from a topic that is too narrow. If you have a five page paper and your topic can be adequately introduced and analyzed in two pages then you have a problem.
  3. The third thing you should stay away from are topics that do not relate to your assignment. It is imperative to review the assignment details before you start researching and writing. So many students fail to do this and instead just scan the assignment and dive right in. Look over your assignment details for keywords that tell you what is required of you. Look for “compare OR contrast” rather than “compare AND contrast” or “only between 1900 and 1910” rather than “any time before 1900 or after 1910”. These keywords or constrictions can make or break a paper if you fail to adhere to them.
  4. The fourth and final thing you should stay away from when writing an argumentative essay is something that does not have two sides. An argumentative essay is one that revolves around an argument. If there is no argument then there can be no argumentative essay. If your thesis does not have an opposing thesis or your argument has no counter argument then the topic is not good for your assignment. If you have a topic in mind try and test it against the counter topic. Write out your thesis and the opposing thesis just to make sure there is one. This will prevent you from many any mistakes.