Controversial Essay Topics

Controversial essay topics allow you to present a factual, clearly reasoned argument offering one perspective. It is an opportunity to express yourself on topics that are ambiguous and have equally compelling arguments on both ends. If you manage to write a controversial or argumentative essay with expertise, you learn to not only present your opinions effectively, but also to consider the opinions of your opponents. As such, a good controversial essay relies on your ability to predict the key points of the argument by the opposition and address them compellingly in your statement. In order to do so, you must begin by completely understanding the other side of the debate, before researching appropriate rebuttals for them.

Remember to choose a topic that you are passionate about. This will help you to write a stimulating essay. But also prioritise facts and research over your personal opinions, in the essay. This will help you to ensure that you don’t veer off into a persuasive essay and remain argumentative.


Food, and Nutrition based Topics

Nutrition and food are often controversial topics of discussion because there is no one size fits all diet or ideology that is suitable for all. The growing trend of new diets and lifestyle choices also offers you the opportunity to write a controversial essay on a relevant topic. Some of these are suggested below to get your brain going.

  • Is veganism a diet fad or a healthy alternative lifestyle?
  • Eliminating meat and dairy from the diets of people does nothing for animal rights. Argue for or against this statement.
  • Lab-grown meat, non-dairy milks, etc. should be named differently so that they do not benefit from consumers’ predisposition towards the original food products. Provide a compelling argument in support of this statement.
  • Honey is as vegan as avocados and figs. Make a compelling case to support this theory.
  • Supermarkets should be legally obligated to reduce food waste by donating excess inventory to those in need. Argue against this statement.
  • How can obesity and starvation exist in the same region simultaneously? What does the coexistence of both phenomena indicate about society?
  • Intermittent fasting – Boon or Bane?
  • Does an all-natural diet do anything useful for people suffering from allergies?
  • Should the world return to more ancient food systems and eliminate processed food for good health?
  • Any diet that restricts one from consuming a subcategory of food items is unhealthy and indicative of an eating disorder. Offer one side of the argument for the statement.

Psychology and Human Behaviour based Topics

If you’re keen to delve into human psyche and feel passionately about how people behave, you can always pick a topic from the selection below. These topics can be argued multiple times, from all perspectives and philosophies, and they continue to remain fresh and relevant, because of the nuanced variation and uniqueness of human beings. Pick one of these topics if you’re fond of complex situations and logical interpretation.

  • Almost everyone on the planet can be diagnosed with some mental health disorder or the other, based on their personalities. So, when should a person be diagnosed as requiring mental health services?
  • Why do victims of abuse choose to return to their abusers in the majority of situations?
  • Should there be mandatory mental health support for people identifying as LGBTQ+?
  • Do antidepressants help a patient recover or do they simply help in symptom management?
  • Is racism taught/ learnt or a natural predisposition of human behaviour?
  • Are mental health practitioners more likely to recommend drugs over other treatment opportunities?
  • How does the segmentation of psychology and psychiatry affect the accessibility of mental health support services?
  • Is online bullying worse than physical bullying?
  • Is virginity a social construct that is detrimental to the mental health of women?
  • Should polygamy be normalized in the current society seeing that it was a natural occurrence in the past?

Topics based on Political and Socio-economic Concerns

Like psychology, socio-economic and political concerns will continue to arise as long as society exists. None of the topics offered below can ever be argued away to irrelevance. So, if you want a timeless yet relevant topic, you need to look no further.

  • Should members of low-income communities have their student loans waived off and be sponsored by their governments for higher education?
  • Should developed countries be morally obligated to intervene in the national affairs of vulnerable countries?
  • Should minimum wage differ across varying industries?
  • Should China be pressured by the rest of the world to adopt better human rights practices?
  • Should taxation policies strive for maximum socio-economic development or wealth maximization?

Social Media based Topics

If you’re looking to play the devil’s advocate and enjoy discussions that challenge common perceptions, pick one of the topics below and argue against the existing sentiments. It will allow you to challenge yourself and help you to gain new insights into a seemingly over-analysed scenario.

  • Can social media be used to drive political change?
  • Should social media platforms be banned from advertising political parties, debates and campaigns during times of elections?
  • Do social media influencers encourage online bullying of their competitors, etc. via subtle messaging to their followers?
  • Should there be a distinct, global governing body overseeing the ethical operation and utility of global social media platforms?
  • Is the curation of content to regional preferences harmful to humanity?



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