How to Choose a Great Debate Topic

The debate is surely one of the most challenging assignments both at school and university. Hardships start right from the beginning – choosing the right debate topic.

If you want to have a great debate, first you should choose a topic that would fuel a discussion and would show your strongest skills. So how to choose the topic?

Start with asking yourself what things you truly like. What topics would you want to discuss or how to write my essay? Then consider the audience. What debate topics would it find useful? Then combine your answers and you will surely come up with a great solution.

If you still doubt, below you will find debate topics for high school and college students, as well as a few funny topics that won’t leave anyone indifferent.



Debate topics for high school

Almost every school has a debate club. It is a great way to improve communication between classmates and to stimulate their intellect. If you want to join the club or are already a part of it, here are the topics that you can discuss:

  • Should animal testing be banned?
  • Is the death penalty justified?
  • Should students be able to use cell phones in class?
  • Should laptops be prohibited in class?
  • Is global warming real?
  • Should violent video games be banned?
  • Euthanasia: is it justified?
  • Influence of social networks on our lives;
  • Should school detention be prohibited?
  • Should commercial-use nuclear energy be produced?
  • Is the modern grading system effective?
  • Is cloning ethical?
  • Influence of television on children’s minds;
  • Same-sex schools: are they efficient?
  • Should schools offer daycare to students with children?
  • Is it justified to sentence adolescents to life without parole?
  • Should drug testing of sportsmen be banned?
  • Is school uniform necessary?
  • The efficiency of alternative sources of energy;
  • Are we to be blamed for the extinction of animals?
  • Should some media parts be censored?

Debate topics for college

When you enter college or university, you already have clear ideas about how the world operates. You also have moral standards and set beliefs, which help you to make choices and to distinguish right from wrong.
However, every student has a different moral compass and settings, so you will hardly find people with the same ideas and beliefs in a single room. That is a great soil for debates!
Here are debate topics that you can choose for a college debate and will surely grab the attention of the audience:

  • Should arts and music be compulsory classes at college?
  • Should sex education classes be banned?
  • Should junk food contain a warning label?
  • Should zoos be closed?
  • Are credit cards really so harmless?
  • Are celebrities good or bad role models?
  • Should people live together for a while before getting married?
  • Is it necessary to give homework?
  • Is eating meat unethical?
  • Cigarettes should be banned everywhere;
  • Influence of peer pressure on individuality;
  • Should cell phones be allowed at school?
  • Should torturing be allowed, when it comes to national security?
  • Are social networks really useful or do their negative aspects outweigh all the benefits?
  • Is money the biggest motivation for people to work harder?
  • Is co-education the best option?
  • Legalization of same-sex marriages;
  • Do security cameras invade our privacy?
  • Are we dependent on smartphones?
  • Plastic bags must be banned;
  • Are animal dissections justified at schools?
  • Should war toys be prohibited?
  • Impact of nuclear energy on society;
  • Should human cloning be allowed?
  • Should adolescents be treated equally with adults?
  • Should schools be able to drug test students?
  • How to prevent and stop school bullying;
  • Influence and positive aspects of competition at schools;
  • Is school uniform really necessary?
  • Is posting grades publically humiliating or it motivates others to study harder?
  • Should libraries contain prohibited books?
  • Curfews as a necessary measure to keep teenagers out of trouble;
  • Should boarding schools still exist?
  • Should high school students be able to decide whether to attend classes or not?
  • Importance of age for relationships;
  • Should companies be prohibited to market products to children?

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Non-standard debate topics

It is a common misconception that debate topics must be serious. However, in reality, everything is completely the opposite. There are plenty of humorous topics, which may bring lots of joy and satisfaction to people even though they have opposite points of view.
Below we want to introduce topics that are able to grab and hold listeners’ attention and to give you a few positive moments!

  • Who is more complicated: women or men?
  • Should we work to live or live to work?
  • Video games are to blame for children’s bad behavior;
  • Should older women marry younger men?
  • Would you prefer to be poor and honest or to be rich and dishonest?
  • Is it true that nice girls usually finish last?
  • What is the best season of the year?
  • Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
  • Pop or Rock?
  • Is Batman a real hero?
  • The best topping for pizza;
  • The best TV show of all the times;
  • Regular water vs. bottled one;
  • Best dating websites;
  • Does life after death exist?
  • Have we already replaced real communication with an online one?
  • Was the Universe created by mistake or by God?
  • Will there ever be a female US president?
  • What do you prefer: day- or nightdreaming?
  • Can vampires get AIDS?
  • Who is more real: ninjas or pirates?
  • Advantages of being a woman;
  • Why is it better to have a dog than a cat?
  • Is it better to be with a smart and intelligent person or with a popular and attractive one?

Consider different opinions

When you are starting a debate the first thing you need to remember is that your opponent or the whole audience may have a different point of view. Moreover, they may have solid arguments against your own ideas.

That is why you should devote enough time to proper preparation. Make a list of all the pros and cons to have a clear idea of both sides of the topic.

How does it look like? Let us provide examples of pros and cons on the topic of ‘life sentence without parole’.


  • Some crimes are too serious to let criminals return to normal life;
  • Violent criminals are dangerous for society;
  • People never change.


  • Everyone deserves a second chance;
  • Some of the criminals were convicted by mistake;
  • Many criminals change in prison and are no longer the people they were when committed a crime. Some of them are willing to fix their mistakes and to serve society.

Don’t be afraid to debate

Once you choose a debate topic, you will need to start paper help practicing. Remember that every argument must be convincing and clear. Don’t try to fire as many arguments as possible: instead, provide solid reasons to back your opinion.

Of course, you may feel nervous but try to remain calm and remember that the audience is interested in your opinion. However, you should always remember that there are topics, which should be avoided not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

If you think that the topic is controversial, try to imagine your audience and see whether the selected topic would be appropriate. Some of the most sensitive topics include gender inequality, same-sex relationships, nationality, terrorism, and religion. When choosing one of these topics make sure you remain objective and neutral without hurting others.

Using the debate topics above you will surely have plenty of ideas for a great speech. So just pick the one you like the most and don’t be afraid of anything!