• The Most Captivating Discursive Essay Topics For High School Students

    With the latest changes to standardized testing and required curriculums, students in high school are writing more essays than they have in the past. Students not only write argumentative, narrative, descriptive, and expository papers; they also have to write discursive papers. This style of paper requires students to avoid being argumentative. They need to be balanced and objective. This can be a difficult task for high school students, especially those who actually prefer to argue a point rather than discuss it without bias.

    Even though the assignment requires students to be unbiased, the topics of any discursive paper should be controversial. Here are few captivating topics for high school students:

    1. The use of smartphones in school
    2. The value of homework
    3. The right age to receive plastic surgery
    4. The role of social media in education
    5. The role of movies in academic classes
    6. Video games and social lives
    7. Gas-powered vehicles vs. alternative fuels
    8. Reading, writing, and arithmetic vs. New educational necessities
    9. Standardized testing and the public school student
    10. Should schools provide one-to-one technology for their students?
    11. Are reality television shows really real?
    12. Should communities invest in zoos?
    13. Are vacations better learning experiences than school can offer?
    14. What makes a good teacher?
    15. The importance of recess at all grade levels
    16. School uniforms
    17. Legal driving ages and requirements: Are they appropriate?
    18. Should grammar be taught in school?
    19. Is a college education financially worth it today?
    20. Is body image as big a problem as the media thinks it is?

    The best topics are the ones that seem the most argumentative, but the discursive paper should not argue anything about the topic. Instead, the student should present the different sides of the issue with the pros and cons. The reader then gets to make up his or her mind about the right side to take. The best papers will also include real-life examples to bring the issues of the topic to life. If a student does not have a real life example from his or her own life, then they can make up something or use an example from another person’s life.

    This type of essay forces students to look closely at the issues from both sides. All too often, students will only look at the sides they agree with, so they never learn about those who prefer the opposite side.

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