300 Best Debate Topics for Students

How to choose a debate topic?

Students may not be as enthusiastic about going into a debate as you are. There are many possible reasons for this. However, one way to spice up a debate is by choosing a great debate topic. There are a lot of fun debate topics if you know how to find them. Here are some ways to research debate topics:

Find out your students’ interests

Filter topics based on what your students' interests or what you talk about in class. The most fun topics to debate about are those they already know and care about. For instance, young students are passionate about gun control, climate change, and racism. Topics under these would encourage even the shy students to participate in debates in the classroom.

Consider the students level

Consider your students' capabilities when choosing the best debate topic ideas. High school students can deal with more complex topics than middle school students. A good rule of thumb is to find some easy debate topics to research. Younger students will have no problem preparing for the debate this way. Controversial debate topics are more suitable for high school and college students. Such topics are a great way for developing critical thinking, argumentative, and persuasion skills.

Most of the time, the complexity of a topic depends on the phrasing of the debate topic. Pay attention to how you frame the issue or what you want your students to focus on.

Timeliness of the topic

Another consideration in choosing debate topics is the timeliness or relevance of the topic. The most pressing national and global topics are the most interesting debate topics for college students. It is challenging to find a timely topic since there are too many issues and events being reported and talked about all at the same time. But this is worth your while. These topics are new and allow them to engage real world problems. 

How to research debate topics

What better way to look for a topic than on the Internet? There are countless articles about everything under the sun. We can even read stories happening in another time zone in real-time. Still, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of information. Here are websites where you can look for the perfect debate topic.

  • Google News - Google News can give you an overview of the headlines all over the world. You can survey this page so you have an idea of current happenings in the world.  It's easy to look for topics through Google News since it classifies headlines by topic.  The categories are: Latest, Your country, World, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Sports, Science, and Health. Google News is a great first step as it can give you an idea about the latest topics. 
  • Online Newspapers - Online newspapers are accessible for anyone and they provide more information about the headlines that you will find on Google News. Online newspapers like the New York Times and Times Magazine report more than just the facts, they also provide insights on the stories. You will find good examples of good high school debate topics. Online newspapers can help you gain perspective on the news reports. This is important because, as you are probably aware, the issues faced by society are essentially the same (racism, sexism, war, inequality, etc.), with only some modifications. Taking the time to read online newspapers can help you form a new perspective on issues and avoid the pit of using a generic topic. 
  • Culture and Political Magazines - Culture and political magazines cover news stories and political and cultural criticisms. These are an excellent source for topics that great college debaters can use. Some magazines have sections targeted to students. The New York Times, for instance has The Learning Network. The Learning Network covers stories that the younger generation is concerned with, and they are written by students. Though this is generally more suitable for high school students, you can still get great ideas of debate topics for elementary students. Students would benefit from these types of websites. Introduce them to these sites when you prepare for the debate. It will expand their horizon and exercise their critical thinking.
  • Look around - Look around your classroom and your hallways. What issues do your students talk about? What do their posters feature? It would be easier to engage high school students when the debate topics are things that they are interested in and are things that directly concern them. Look around social media, too. You don’t need to snoop around your students’ accounts, but try to explore hashtags and trending topics in your area. Chances are your students are talking about the same things in their free time. 

How to debate using pro and con arguments?

All debates are pro and con arguments. One group comprised of 3-4 students is assigned to argue I favor of something, while the other group is assigned to argue against it. Before going to a debate, it’s best to orient the students on the procedure. Specifically, introduce them to the sequence of speakers, how to present a rebuttal, and how to make a closing speech. More advanced students can be taught the different types of debates: the Lincoln-Douglas, the Rebuttal, the One-Rebuttal, and the Oregon-Oxford type of debate. Students can structure their research accordingly and plan their speeches in advance

CustomEssayMeister has scoured the internet and other sources to prepare the best list of interesting debate topics of 2019. Save your time by choosing a topic from this list of suitable debate questions for your students.

Debate topics by levels of education

When thinking of things to debate about for elementary students, it’s best to stick to topics that they experience or can see around them. This way they are able to tap into their stored knowledge and apply it. One more tip on how to choose a debate topic is to frame the topic in a way that students can learn abstract ideas. For example, some of the topics listed for elementary students teach the students to think about the concept of right and wrong. On the other hand, middle school debate topics start to tackle more complex moral questions.

A. Elementary School Debate Topics:

These topics are deeply appropriate for grade-school students. A healthy exercise, these topics will certainly help their reasoning and analysis skills.

elementary school debate topics

B. Debate topics for middle school students

The topics, while endowed with a certain depth, are appropriate for early teens.

middle school debate topics

C. Debate topics for high school students

As high school students already possess a good foundation of reasoning and speaking skills, these topics should only further enhance their talent and ability.debate topics for high school students

D. Debate topics for college or university students

The breadth and range of topics continue to expand.debate topics for college students

E. Debate topics for undergraduates 2019

Due to college or university being a vast learning ground for a wide array of disciplines for students, the list inevitably expands.debate topics for undergraduate students

Persuasive debate topics

Often subjective in nature and contentious, these topics are worth tackling, both in debate and in writing. persuasive debate topics

Controversial debate topics

Ranging from age-old issues (i.e. abortion) to relevant ones (i.e. ride-hailing apps), these topics promise to exercise the polemic skills of students. controversial debate topics

Argumentative debate topics

Overlapping in contentiousness with both controversial and persuasive topics, these are nevertheless rife with a varied range of arguments and standpoints. argumentative debate topics

List Of Debate Topics By Field Of Knowledge

Choosing a debate topic for students can be time consuming. To make the time you prepare for debates shorter, we have classified topics based on subject. Simply pick which topic is relevant or interesting for your students or subject. The topics listed here are more debatable topics for undergraduates in 2019; however you can still get ideas for elementary school debate topics from them.


A perennial topic of scholars, educators, and students alike, education is replete with countless of stances.education debate topics 

Science and Technology

In the ever-evolving field of science and technology, all debates are useful.science and technology debate topics

Health and Medicine

While this field can easily be categorized under science and technology, it must have its own due to the ever-evolving issues and scientific breakthroughs in health sciences alone. health and medicine debate topics


Yet another category filled with topics fit for healthy discourses. debate topics about the environment


This is self-explanatory. History will an ever-present category when it comes to debate. What could have been? What if? These are just a few of the questions that would hugely dominate a debate about history topics.debate topics on history

Policy and finance

Debates in connection to policy and finance are getting more and more intricate in today's society that is getting smaller with every single day. Hence, the need for this list:

Psychology, sociology, and ethics 

Cultural sensitivity. Solipsism. Memes. Zeitgeists. Rights. These are just a few topics worthy of debate.psychology, sociology, and ethics debate topics

Feminism debate topics

The past 150 years have seen the role of women in society expand by leaps and bounds, and will continue to do so for as long as civilization exists.


While not bearing the same weight as the other fields, leisure is intrinsic to life, nevertheless.debate topics on leisure

Funny and interesting

The icebreaker topics. Everything is better with a little humor, isn't it? So there is every reason to believe that humor makes everything worthwhile. Everything can be interesting with humor, without a doubt. funny and interesting debate topics

Essence of debates

As educators, our mission is not just to teach young minds, but also to challenge them. One of the most exciting ways to achieve both, regardless of the level, is through debates. How to choose college debate topics for college students is pretty much the same as how you choose for high school students. The most educators can do is to guide the students in forming their own informed opinion and in arguing for them effectively. My last advice for educators is not to be afraid to choose tough high school debate topics. All this lies in how you frame the question or the topic. You’ll be surprised the perspectives students can offer when steered towards the right direction.

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