Controversial Art Topics

Choose controversial art topics if you have to write an impactful essay, speech, or post because such topics leave no one indifferent. When you have a chance to discuss a debatable issue, it is a good idea to try and play devil’s advocate and familiarize yourself with the viewpoints and arguments of the opponents. This will boost your analytical thinking and will contribute to the critical value of your own arguments. Besides, you will learn to defend your point of view more effectively – a skill that is useful across all disciplines and spheres of life. Once you master the skill of argumentation, you will have the upper hand in a variety of situations, from discussions on a college board post to situations when you have to support a public policy you prefer. The truth is, an ability to demonstrate critical thinking and acknowledge other people’s points of view enhances your chances of making your audience interested in what you are meaning to say.

Below you will find a refined selection of the best controversial art topics to help you create a great essay or speech. The list covers a wide array of subjects and we continue to expand and improve it. If you have to prepare an interesting essay but have not come up with a meaningful topic yet, welcome to our website. We are sure that what you will find here will be more than enough to get you started. Note that we also have an exhaustive list of topics for argumentative, persuasive, and policy speeches.

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Selecting a Perfectly Appropriate Topic

If you set your mind at creating a presentation that fascinates your listeners and/or readers, you have to choose the most appropriate topic. Here are some good ways to approach this task:

  • Bear the purpose in mind. Are you planning to inform you audience about the topic or is your goal to persuade them? A mixture of two approaches is possible, as well. Whatever your choice and preferences, be sure to decide on the purpose in advance and keep it before your eyes till the end of the writing process.
  • Know your audience. It is recommended to think about your intended audience already at the topic selection stage. For instance, if your audience comprises of young people rather than adults, they might be more interesting in modern art and topics that are trendy. Consider their social and cultural backgrounds, tastes, and preferences and you are sure to find a topic that hits home.
  • Do not forget about your personal interests. Knowing the tastes of your audience is a good thing but you should also explore and discuss a topic that interests you. This will transform your research into a fascinating adventure as you discover new and more intriguing details of a topic you like. Similarly, you will be more inspired to present the information you have found. People adore speeches and essays that are written by passionate authors.
  • Establish credibility. If you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the topic you are writing about, your readers / listeners will be more inclined to believe you as they will perceive you as a credible source of information. Mind you, you can achieve the opposite effect if you make mistakes and refer to unreliable sources, so be sure to do some fact checking even if you are absolutely convinced in the accuracy of your knowledge.

Controversy penetrates all spheres of human life and that is why people find it intriguing. If you cannot come up with a controversial topic you like, do not give up! There are so many more resources to explore. For instance, you can draw inspiration from the up-to-date newsfeeds in social media, check our different forums, and use helpful websites, such as CQ researcher. In addition, be sure to visit our trending topics page.

A Compilation of Controversial Art Topics for Speeches and Essays

  1. 21st century music industry is a mafia world and that is why buying songs is expensive.
  2. Religious radicalism is an increasing threat to democracy.
  3. Genetic information of clients should not be available for health insurance companies.
  4. High-school education leaves kids unprepared the real adult life.
  5. Downloading copyright music for education should be legal.
  6. Farms should not receive subsidies.
  7. People should be able to buy HIV tests in drugstores.
  8. Hunting should be forbidden across the globe.
  9. The era of nuclear power energy has come to an end.
  10. Only well-performing students should be able to receive higher education.
  11. Medical marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes.
  12. Women should strive to build their careers before getting married and having kids.
  13. School prayer should be made an integral part of activities in early childhood education institutions.
  14. Agnosticism means being skeptical about theology.
  15. Satellite broadcasting endangers indigenous cultures.
  16. Women are still restricted by glass ceiling in the democratic societies.
  17. Child labor can be stopped provided government takes the necessary action.
  18. The minimal wage should not be smaller than the amount of money necessary for survival.
  19. Healthcare services should be free.
  20. Self-esteem problems can lead to social isolation.
  21. Unruly children in public places are their parents’ responsibility.
  22. Emergency contraception should not be sold to underage girls and boys.
  23. Cosmetics and drugs should be tested on humans and not animals.
  24. Wild life safaris have no benefit other than providing fun for rich people.
  25. Small universities are more comfortable than the big ones because they find individual approach to every student. This is the reason why small universities offer better education.
  26. Rural areas should adopt home schooling as an effective substitute for in-school education.
  27. Night shifts have a more detrimental effect on human health than day shifts do.
  28. People who buy overly expensive things have self-esteem problems.
  29. The society should perform castration surgery on offenders.
  30. Colleagues should no date.
  31. The trend of living with your lover before marrying one prevailing in the modern society has a negative impact on marriages.

Controversial Essay Topics by Themes

Economics, Law & Politics

  1. Define slacktivism. Is online activity in support of political or social issues effective?
  2. Do laws that regulate concealed carry permits make the country safer?
  3. Capital punishment and democracy: can these two phenomena coexist?
  4. Analyze the security and privacy concerns associated with e-voting.
  5. Should we arm teachers for better protection of schoolkids?
  6. Why do women have lower salaries? Recommend a policy that would help fix this.
  7. What are the benefits of casinos?
  8. Does multiculturalism contribute to higher level of tolerance in the society?
  9. Pro-life and pro-choice views on abortion.
  10. How do the rights of LGBTQ community affect those of heterosexuals?
  11. Explain how gun control contradicts the rights prescribed by the Second Amendment.
  12. The advantages and dangers of euthanasia.
  13. Racial profiling: a myth of reality?
  14. Should we use torture to interrogate terrorists?
  15. The dangers of corruption in public media.
  16. The reasons leading to some schoolchildren’s refusal to participate in Pledge of Allegiance recital and what should we do about it?
  17. Code of ethics in politics.
  18. Should we ensure financial protection for farmers against natural disasters, like draughts?
  19. Discuss the causes and consequences of the US intervention in Iraq.
  20. The US should not interfere in politics of other countries.
  21. SI there a chance for world peace?
  22. The financial ramifications of political campaigns.
  23. Playing the victim of racism.
  24. How can people control nuclear arms utilization?
  25. Are labor unions helpful?
  26. Why are people worried about gay marriages?
  27. Salaries of famous professional athletes are sometimes higher than the salaries of military workers. Is it fair?
  28. Mudslinging in politics: why do we allow people who violate ethical codes rule the country?
  29. Can we win the war on homelessness? Should we?
  30. Discuss the rights prisoners are entitled to.
  31. Can we make college education available to all?
  32. Living in abusive homes vs. being put in ‘the system’: what is better for children?
  33. Why does working community support double standards between male and female employees?
  34. How can we make nursing homes better?
  35. Should we reduce the legal drinking age?
  36. At what age should teens be allowed to own cars?
  37. The pros and cons of banning tests on animals.
  38. Are the taxation rates too high in developed countries?
  39. Discuss and analyze the restriction on freedom of speech as it relates to social media.
  40. What are the positive and negative consequences of censorship?
  41. Economic benefits of illegal immigration.
  42. Is insanity plea real or is it a clever excuse?
  43. How to stop school shootings?
  44. Discuss the appropriate punishment for sexual harassment.
  45. Smoking in public places.
  46. Should we make laws against discrimination tougher?
  47. How does the environment in prisons contribute to future crimes rates?
  48. The dangers of announcing that you want to be organ donor.
  49. Obligatory drug tests for sportsmen.
  50. How do seat belt and helmet laws help save lives?
  51. Should the jury be abolished?
  52. Discuss the pros and cons of allowing biological parents to remain in contact with their children after the latter have been adopted.
  53. How to decrease the rates of animal cruelty?
  54. Mandatory neutering and spaying of pets o decrease the number of homeless cats and dogs.
  55. Regulating birth rates.
  56. Electronic health records: the benefits and dangers.
  57. How to protect patients against medical malpractice?
  58. How does wage influence work performance?


  1. How does the hookup culture impact teenagers?
  2. Recommend a policy to stop teenage bullying.
  3. The causes depression and anxiety in teenagers and how to eliminate them.
  4. Who is to be made responsible for teen suicide?
  5. How to restrict gambling among youth?
  6. What should schools do to protect children from drugs?
  7. The negative impact of social media platforms on teenagers’ self-esteem.
  8. How to deal with eating disorders among teenage girls?
  9. What is the appropriate age to be allowed to vote?
  10. Should parents forbid their children start dating at an early age?

Trending Topics

  1. Donald Trump: does he harm America or make it better?
  2. Will a wall be an effective measure to stop illegal immigration?
  3. The minimum wage is not livable and must be raised.
  4. We should ban anti-opponents campaigns in politics.
  5. Political correctness is being taken too far and it restricts the freedom of speech.
  6. Does the US need a tax reform?
  7. Same-sex couples have the same rights for marriage and family as the heterosexual ones.
  8. The federal government constantly takes excessively intrusive measures that are unacceptable in a democratic society.
  9. There should be no appointments that last for life in court.

Foreign Policy

  1. Global cooperation is the key to stopping terrorism.
  2. The US has been a world policeman for far too long.
  3. What are the intangible costs of war?
  4. Which one is more appropriate in the North Korea issue: diplomacy or force?
  5. Should we continue accepting refugees from armed conflict zones like Syria?

Funny Topics

  1. Why do people like stupid videos so much?
  2. Ice bucket challenge, cheese challenge, and the like: what is wrong with people?
  3. Does texting while holding the steering wheel of your car have benefits?
  4. Big shopping centers like Walmart should implement dress code for clients.
  5. Three reasons to like smog.
  6. The Kardashians are more influential than the president. Explain why.
  7. Why we should shut down Amazon.

World History

  1. The history of death penalty in America.
  2. When and why was abortion legalized?
  3. Once-legal drugs: the story behind pharmaceutical mistakes.
  4. The origins of ghosts.
  5. How did home and kitchen become the place for women?
  6. Does genocide still exist?
  7. The lost art of midwifery.
  8. Will there be World War III?
  9. Suffragettes: the causes and effect.


  1. The benefits and dangers of medical marijuana.
  2. Affordable Care Act: did it really make healthcare services more affordable?
  3. The controversy behind physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.
  4. Should adults continue drinking milk?
  5. The dangers of eugenics.
  6. Government regulations to limit advertisement of prescription drugs.
  7. How to convince more people adopt healthy diet?

Popular Controversial Art Topics

  1. Lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18: the social and financial concerns.
  2. Why should the US stop drone strikes in other countries?
  3. Imprisoned criminals should not vote.
  4. Privatizing Social Security.
  5. US Pledge of Allegiance has a phrase ‘under God’. Should we keep it given the freedom of faith and worship?
  6. The government is to blame for income inequality.
  7. Politicians should not be involved in lobbying.

Topics Related to Religion

  1. Does religion make the world more peaceful?
  2. Why do religious institutions oppose divorce?
  3. The views of Christianity and Buddhism on unmarried couples living together.
  4. Does the Bible represent historical facts correctly?
  5. Are religious courses in public schools advantageous to the society?
  6. Can we still expect to find the Holy Spirit in American churches?
  7. Why do Muslims call Islam a religion of peace?
  8. Religious views on obligatory vaccinations in schools.
  9. Should we tax churches?

Science & Health

  1. Is consumption of GM food really harmful?
  2. Does smoking cause lung cancer?
  3. PETA’s grounds for becoming vegetarian.
  4. Antibiotics in meet production.
  5. Should vaccinations be mandatory?
  6. The benefits and dangers of vaccinations.
  7. The scientific proofs of alien life.
  8. Humane ways of testing drugs.
  9. Biological weapon in the 21st century.
  10. Birth control for men.
  11. How to stop fetal abuse in the period of pregnancy?
  12. Will America win the war on obesity with the currently existing measures?
  13. The prospects of research on stem cells.
  14. The signs of paranormal life existence.
  15. Can we meet the energy demands if we rely solely on renewable and alternative energy sources?

Male and Female Sexuality

  1. Legalizing polygamy
  2. The positive influence of pornography on marriages.
  3. Sex in movies: should directors avoid them?
  4. Should gay couples raise children?
  5. Dealing with homosexuality in the military.
  6. How to control adult content in movies for children?
  7. Is sexual orientation inborn or cultivated?
  8. Which locker rooms should the members of LGBTQ go to?
  9. The social benefits of prostitution.
  10. Should the military accept transgender people?


  1. Does violent game addiction exist?
  2. Will a ban on alcohol advertisement reduce the rates of underage drinking?
  3. Discuss the best music genre.
  4. Why are tattoos frowned upon in some societies?
  5. The dangers of gambling.

Environmental Issues

  1. The negative impact of pesticides on world water bodies.
  2. Will recycling help save the planet if the consumption rates remain the same?
  3. The most effective ways of water conservation.
  4. Can mandatory alternative energy use prevent irreversible environmental crisis?
  5. Is global warming real and why some people question its existence?
  6. How to make going green fashionable?
  7. Is restricting weekly litter output effective?

Philosophical Topics

  1. What is the true meaning of life and should we keep searching it?
  2. Is truth subjective?
  3. Do people change?


Technology & Innovation

  1. Are cellphones really harmful?
  2. Does electronic surveillance violate the right to privacy?
  3. How to preserve the privacy of social media users?
  4. The hidden dangers of implanted GPS tracking systems.
  5. Should the humanity continue studying cloning?
  6. The future of online education.
  7. Are computers in schools overemphasized?
  8. Restrictions on plastic surgery.

Learning and Education

  1. What is the appropriate age for sexual education?
  2. Do we need school uniforms?
  3. Tablets and textbooks: which are more effective?
  4. Should students study evolutionism?
  5. The effect of homeschooling on kids’ social life.
  6. Do we have to teach children arts or do they need more practical disciplines?
  7. Should gap year be made mandatory?


  1. Should breastfeeding in public places be banned?
  2. The moral issues behind hunting.
  3. Media representation of school shootings.

Controversial Art Topics for Debates

Politics & Economics

  1. Should the voting age be higher?
  2. Allowing children to get married.
  3. Positive and negative effects of making the minimum wage higher.
  4. Are the restrictions on smoking in public places grounded?
  5. Educating children on birth control: when to start?
  6. Does unemployment insurance benefit contribute to unemployment?
  7. Do drug bans work?

History and Religion

  1. Are slavery reparations reasonable?
  2. Creation vs. evolution debate.

Science and Healthcare

  1. The healthcare benefits of alcohol and light drug consumption.
  2. Can humans be enhanced thanks to eugenics?
  3. Is the controversy around GMO justified?


  1. Why are ads containing sex more effective?
  2. Is make-believe violence beneficial?


  1. The pros and cons of drug testing in schools
  2. Why was corporal punishment once made illegal?
  3. Sex education.

Topics for Teens

  1. Allowing recruitment to the military on campus: pros and cons.
  2. The advantages of school uniforms.
  3. Should teenagers be allowed access to the morning after pills?

Interesting Topics

  1. Psychological and physiological dangers of beauty contests.
  2. Censoring pornography.
  3. The debate over prayers in public schools.

Controversial Topics for Research Papers

Law and Order

  1. How do unwise political decisions make climate change more adverse?
  2. Should media cover trials?
  3. Corporate lobbying


  1. The origins of same-sex relationships.
  2. No Child Left Behind history.

Biology and Health

  1. Should we ban animal cloning?
  2. The dangers of AI.
  3. The pros and cons of genetic engineering.
  4. Privacy concerns behind genetic testing.
  5. Are the risks associated with vaccinations real?
  6. The major drawbacks of the US healthcare system.
  7. The dangers of electromagnetic radiation.


  1. What is gender?

Fun and Entertainment

  1. The harmful effects of advertisement on children.
  2. How can we control the content in social media?

Information Technology

  1. The adverse effects of cyberbullying and online hate speech.
  2. Do modern people suffer from internet addiction?
  3. When is it acceptable to filter online content?

We hope that you will find a controversial topic for your paper. Choose something that makes you excited and your essay will definitely spark interest in your reader’s eyes.


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