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Best 4 Types of Student Debate Topics | 30+ Best Ideas | 2024 Reveals


Jane Ng 15 April, 2024 9 min read

Are you looking for debatable topics for college students or high school students? Debates are widely used in school, as both teachers and students come up with student debate topics for different classes!

Similar to two edges of the same coin, any issue naturally combines negative and positive edges, which drives an action of arguments between people’s opposing opinions, called debate. 

Debating can be formal and informal and takes place in various activities such as daily life, studying, and the workplace. Especially, it is necessary to have a debate in school that aims to help students broaden their perspectives and improve critical thinking.

In fact, many schools and academia set debate as an important part of the course syllabus and annual competition for students to perform their opinions and earn recognition. Getting deeper knowledge about debating structures and tactics as well as interesting topics is one of the major strategies to build up aspirational debating in school. 

Table of Contents

In this article, we will give you the Go-To guideline with a range of debate topic lists that help you to find your own voice:

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Type of Students Debate Topics

As mentioned before, debate topics are diversified, which is appeared in all aspects of life, some of the most popular fields include politics, environment, economics, technology, society, science, and education. So, do you curious what is the most debated topics in recent years? 

Here is the answer:

Politics –Students Debate Topics

Politics is a complicated and versatile subject. It can be relevant to government policies, upcoming elections, newly enacted laws, and resolutions, recently dismissed regulations, etc…  When it comes to democracies, it is easy to see many controversial arguments and points of citizens on these related issues. Some common topics for disputing are listed below:

  • Should there be stricter gun control laws?
  • Is Brexit a wrong move?
  • Should the government force churches and religious institutions to pay taxes?
  • Should the UN abandon Russia out of its seat on the Security Council?
  • Should there be compulsory military service for women?
  • Do electronic voting machines make the electoral process more efficient?
  • Is the voting system in America democratic?
  • Should discussions about politics be avoided in school?
  • Is the four-year presidential term too long or should it be extended to six years?
  • Are illegal migrants criminals?

Environment –Students Debate Topics

The unpredictable climate change has raised more discussion about people’s responsibility and actions for environmental pollution deduction. Debating about environmental-related problems and resolution is vital to people from all walks of life which may help to raise awareness about protecting 

  • Should nuclear energy replace fossil fuels?
  • Are the rich or the poor more responsible for environmental damages?
  • Can man-made Climate Change be reversed?
  • Should limit the time used for private cars in large cities?
  • Are farmers paid enough for their work?
  • Global overpopulation is a myth
  • Do we need nuclear power for sustainable energy production?
  • Should we totally ban disposable plastic items?
  • Is Organic farming better than conventional farming?
  • Should governments start banning plastic bags and plastic packaging?

Technology –Students Debate Topics

As technological advancements have reached a new breakthrough and it is forecasted to replace plenty of labor forces down the road. The increase in leverage of disruptive technology drives many people to worry about its dominance threatening human beings is questioned and argued all the time.

  • Are cameras on drones effective in maintaining security in public spaces or are they a violation of privacy?
  • Should humans invest in technology to colonize other planets?
  • How do technological advances influence us?
  • Recent developments in technology transform people’s interests: yes or no?
  • Can people save nature using technology (or destroy it)?
  • Is technology helping people become smarter or is it making them dumber?
  • Has social media improved people’s relationships?
  • Should net neutrality be restored?
  • Is online education better than traditional education?
  • Should robots have rights?

Society –Students Debate Topics

Changing social norms and traditions and their outcomes are among the most disputed topics in recent years. The emergence of many trends has made the older generation considers their negative impacts on the new generation and concerned traditional rituals will disappear, meanwhile, youngers do not believe so.

  • Can graffiti become a highly regarded art like classical paintings?
  • Are people too reliant on their smartphones and computers?
  • Should alcoholics be allowed to receive a liver transplant?
  • Does religion do more harm than good?
  • Should feminism focus more on men’s rights?
  • Are children with broken families disadvantaged?
  • Should insurance provide coverage for cosmetic procedures?
  • Is botox doing more harm than good?
  • Is there too much pressure in society to have perfect bodies?
  • Can stricter gun control prevent mass shootings?
Student Debate Topics
Student Debate Topics – Debate Topics for college students

Expanded Student Debate Topics list in each Educational Level

There are no good or bad debate topics, however, each grade should have a suitable topic to discuss. The right opt of debate topic is essential for a student in brainstorming, organizing, and developing claims, outlines, and rebuttals. 

Student Debate topics – For Elementary

  • Should wild animals live in the zoo?
  • Children should have the right to vote.
  • School hours should be changed.
  • School lunches should be planned by a dedicated dietician.
  • Do we have enough role models for this generation?
  • Should animal testing be allowed?
  • Should we need to ban cell phones in schools?
  • Are zoos beneficial to animals?
  • Traditional instructional methods should be supplemented with AI-powered education.
  • The curriculum should be developed according to the needs of the kids.
  • Why is it important to explore space?

Check out best high school debate topics!

  • Parents should give an allowance to their children.
  • Parents should be held responsible for their children’s mistakes.
  • Schools should restrict sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram on their computers.
  • Should we add a second language as a compulsory course aside from English?
  • Can all cars become electric?
  • Does technology intensify human communication?
  • Should governments invest in alternative sources of energy?
  • Is public education better than homeschooling?
  • Historic should be an elective course in all grades

Controversial Student Debate Topics – Higher Education

  • Are humans to blame for global warming?
  • Should the export of live animals be banned?
  • Is overpopulation a threat to the environment?
  • Lowering the drinking age can have positive impacts.
  • Should we lower the voting age to 15?
  • Should all monarchies in the world be abolished?
  • Can a vegan diet fight global warming?
  • Is the #MeToo movement already out of control?
  • Should sex work be legalized?
  • Should people reveal their weaknesses? 
  • Should couples live together before getting married?
  • Is it necessary to raise the minimum wage?
  • Should smoking be banned?
Student Debate Topics
Student Debate Topics – debate examples for students

What helps with successful debate

So, that’s the general debate topic for students! Besides the best student debate topics list, like any skill, practice makes perfect. Delivering a successful debate is difficult, and a debating trial is necessary for your future in-stage one.  If you don’t know how to organize, we have helped to create a typical debate sample in class for you. 

Don’t know how to choose brilliant discussion topics for students? We’ll leave you with an excellent example of student debate topics from a show on the Korean broadcasting network Arirang. The show, Intelligence – High School Debate, has pretty aspects of a good student debate and also educational debate topics that teachers should inspire in their classrooms.

🎊 Learn more on How to set up a debate in AhaSlides

Ref: Rowlandhall

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is debate good for students?

Participating in debates helps students foster their critical thinking skills, and also public speaking skills,…

Why do people like to debate?

Debates give people chances to exchange their thoughts and obtain other viewpoints.

Why are some people nervous while debating?

Debating requires public speaking skills, which truly is a nightmare for some people.

What is the purpose of debate?

The main target of a debate is to persuade the opposite side that your side is right.

Who should be the first speaker in a debate?

The first speaker for the affirmative side.

Who started the first debate?

No clear confirmation information yet. Perhaps the scholars of Ancient India or the world-famous philosophers of Ancient Greece.