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How to select controversial topics for essays

Controversial topics can make writing a persuasive essay an enjoyable experience. However, the topic you choose can also make your writing divisive and frustrating for your readers. When you choose a controversial topic, you should be careful about the topic you choose and the approach that you take. Since essays are meant to be read, writers need to be alert to the level of animosity and frustration their essays could be to a reader.

It is rather easy to choose a controversial topic for an essay. You simply need to be aware of what you writing skills are and who your audience will be. These are a few considerations to make before you commit to a controversial topic.

  1. Consider your writing skills. If you have difficulty writing complex sentences or using transitions appropriately, you should avoid topics that require a significant amount of explanation. Without the appropriate use of transitions, your writing could be understood differently than you intended.
  2. Know your audience. If your instructor wants to you push yourself and simply wants to see your ability to defend a topic, then you should be safe choosing any topic. However, if your instructor does get easily offended, then you should choose a topic that is controversial, but not offensive. If you have to present your essay to an entire class or publish it in a public forum, then avoid any topic that could affect your personal reputation. In many cases, it is best to keep certain opinions to yourself. When it comes to selecting a controversial topic, live by the rule “ask the instructor” before you make any decisions.
  3. Avoid the divisive topics. Even though these topics are controversial, they often stir emotions that you might not want to stir. These topics should be avoided, unless you have been given permission to write about them: abortion, gay marriage, racism, and the death penalty. There are plenty of controversial topics that do not stir emotions, like environmental issues, standardized testing in schools, and exorbitant pay in professional sports.
  4. Choose a topic of interest. There are so many interesting controversial topics that you should be able to find something that you can focus on creatively. When we write about topics we enjoy, our essays always turn out better than topics that are forced upon us. Show your interest in the topic with high-quality writing.