Have you been assigned to write a research paper? Are you looking for a controversial topic for a speech? Want a unique theme? Here are a few controversial research paper topics for high school students. These, of course, can also be used by middle school and college students.
Controversial Essay Topic #1: Should estate taxes (a.k.a. the “death tax”) be changed?
This article will discuss the taxes that are applied to someone’s estate after he/she dies. Currently the minimum on estate taxes is 18%, which applies to amounts less than $10,000. The highest is 55%, which is for amounts over 3 million dollars. Estate taxes do not apply if the spouse is the heir, or if the money goes to a charitable organization.
If you choose to write about estate taxes, you could argue that this hard-earned money has already been taxed once. You could also say that it is simply not fair, especially if the heirs are in a poor financial situation. Read “Death Tax: Is it Fair?” and “Double Taxation: Death and Taxes” for more discussion on this issue.
Controversial Essay Topic #2: Should parents be allowed to choose the gender of their children through advanced medical procedures?
New fertility treatments now allow parents to choose the gender of their children. One procedure, known as PGD gender selection, is 100% effective of having a child of the gender of your choice. (That is, if they do become pregnant.) Basically, the parents must go through in-vitro fertilization. Numerous embryos are created. If the parents want a boy, all of the girl embryos are discarded. If the parents want a girl, the boy embryos are destroyed. (Or, in rare cases they are put up for embryo adoption.)
If you choose this topic, you can discuss if you feel this is ethically and morally okay. If you would like to interview a parent who has chosen this procedure, you might check out the message boards on a gender selection website here.
Controversial Essay Topic #3: Should parents be allowed to refuse a cochlear implant on a deaf child?
This topic is very controversial among persons who are hearing impaired. The cochlear implant allows many (perhaps as high at 90% of) babies who are born deaf, to have the ability to hear. It must be done when the child is very young, as the older he/she is, the less effective it could be. (The surgery is usually not done before one year of age.)
There are some parents who have chosen to not have the surgery on their child, even though insurance will usually pay for it. For more details on this sensitive topic, search on Yahoo for “cochlear implant controversy.”
Controversial Essay Topic #4: Should sex offenders be banned from working in hotels?
This serious topic will discuss if sex offenders should be allowed to work in hotels, and have access to hotel room keys. If you choose this theme, you might begin by watching this Inside Edition news clip here. You could discuss safety issues, parents’ concerns and more.
Controversial Essay Topic #5: Should people be allowed to own exotic pets such as monkeys?
This article will debate if it is ethical for people to keep animals such as monkeys, chimps and others as pets. You could talk about the dangers, and how it takes animals from the wild. You might read “The Cruelty of the Pet Monkey Industry” for more insight.
These are just five controversial topics for papers or speeches. Still stumped on a topic idea? Check out “Controversial Essay Topics for a Research Paper or Speech.” Click here to read it and see more suggestions.
For more ideas, please be sure to read “Argumentative Essay and Speech Topics for High School Students.” You might also take a look at “Unique Persuasive Essay / Speech Topic Ideas.” Happy Writing!