Of all the resources we publish on The Learning Network, perhaps it’s our vast collection of writing prompts that is our most widely used resource for teaching and learning with The Times.
This list of 401 prompts (available here in PDF) is now our third iteration of what originally started as 200 prompts for argumentative writing, and it’s intended as a companion resource to help teachers and students participate in our annual Student Editorial Contest. (In 2017, the dates for entering are March 2 to April 4.)
So scroll through the hundreds of prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from social media to sports, politics, gender issues and school — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information. And for even more in-depth student discussions on pressing issues like immigration, guns, climate change and race, please visit our fall 2016 Civil Conversation Challenge.
What’s your favorite question on this list? What questions should we ask, but haven’t yet? Tell us in the comments.
And visit our related list as well: 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.
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20 Argumentative Essay Topics For Middle School
An argumentative essay is designed to explain to your reader information about one side of an argument. It is a lot like a persuasive essay because the idea is to explain one side of an issue but the idea is to present the facts without your opinion involved. A persuasive essay would display personal opinions. So for an argumentative essay simply state which side of the issue you believe in and then give your reasoning as to why you believe it.
There are some great topics to consider when choosing a topic for your argumentative essay. You would choose a topic that interests you. Once you have the topic, answer the question and then support your answer with at least three reasons why you believe it. For example, if you take the first option on the list, you can write that sports should not be coed and then tell your reader three reasons why it shouldn’t be coed.
- Should sports be coed?
- Should schools sell fast food?
- Should students wear school uniforms?
- Should there be harsher punishments for bullying?
- Is it fair to ban preteenagers and teenagers from the mall without adult supervision?
- Should there be less homework?
- When are you old enough to stay home alone?
- Should middle school students still have a bed time?
- Does summer school benefit the student?
- How would you change the school lunch menu?
- Should school sports be mandatory?
- Do kids watch too much television?
- Should kids have chores?
- Should you have to wear your seat belt on the bus?
- Should students who play sports still have to take Gym class?
- Should children be more concerned with what they eat so that they don’t have health problems when they get older?
- Should you get a larger allowance?
- Should school be year round with more breaks to improve education?
- Do violent games and television shows make kids violent?
- Should your school have a school newspaper?
Any one of these topics would work well. They are designed to establish a question pertaining to a conflicted view and then challenge yourself to prove your stance. Therefore, you would tell your side of the dispute and then for each body paragraph talk about a different reason why you believe it.