Environmental Issues Essay Ideas On Counter

Updated, March 2, 2017 | We published an updated version of this list, “401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” as well as a companion piece, “650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing.” We also now have a PDF of these 200 prompts.

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What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing most passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

Our annual Student Editorial Contest invites you to write an evidence-based persuasive piece on an issue that matters to you. To help jump-start your brainstorming, we have gathered a list of 200 writing prompts from our daily Student Opinion feature that invite you to take a stand.

Though you won’t be limited to these topics for the contest, you’ll see that our list touches on every aspect of modern life, from politics to sports, culture, education and technology. We hope the range inspires you, and we hope the fact that each question links to at least one related Times article gives you a starting point for finding evidence.

So skim the list below to think about the topic you’d most like to take on.

For more information, here are links to our spring 2014 editorial-writing contest, a list of winners from that contest and a related lesson plan on argumentative writing.


Education

  1. Is Cheating Getting Worse?
  2. Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers?
  3. Does Your School Hand Out Too Many A’s?
  4. Should Middle School Students Be Drug Tested?
  5. Should Reading and Math Be Taught in Gym Class Too?
  6. How Seriously Should We Take Standardized Tests?
  7. How Well Do You Think Standardized Tests Measure Your Abilities?
  8. Do You Spend Too Much Time Preparing for Standardized Tests?
  9. Should Schools Offer Cash Bonuses for Good Test Scores?
  10. Should We Rethink How Long Students Spend in High School?
  11. Do Schools Provide Students With Enough Opportunities to Be Creative?
  12. What Are You Really Learning at School?
  13. How Important Is Arts Education?
  14. Does Gym Help Students Perform Better in All Their Classes?
  15. Who Should Be Able to See Students’ Records?
  16. Are Children of Illegal Immigrants Entitled to a Public Education?
  17. What Is the Right Amount of Group Work in School?
  18. Is Your School Day Too Short?
  19. Do You Think a Longer School Calendar Is a Good Idea?
  20. Should the Dropout Age Be Raised?
  21. Should Students Be Allowed to Skip Senior Year of High School?
  22. How Does Your School Deal With Students Who Misbehave?
  23. Should Schools Be Allowed to Use Corporal Punishment?
  24. How Big a Problem Is Bullying or Cyberbullying in Your School or Community?
  25. How Should Schools Address Bullying?
  26. Should Schools Put Tracking Devices in Students’ ID Cards?
  27. What Do You Think of Grouping Students by Ability in Schools?
  28. Do We Need a New Way to Teach Math?
  29. Does Class Size Matter?
  30. Should All Students Get Equal Space in a Yearbook?
  31. Is Prom Worth It?
  32. How Important Are Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  33. Should All Children Be Able to Go to Preschool?
  34. Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?
  35. What Criteria Should Be Used in Awarding Scholarships for College?
  36. Do You Support Affirmative Action?
  37. Do College Rankings Matter?
  38. How Necessary Is a College Education?
  39. Should Engineers Pay Less for College Than English Majors?

  40. Technology and Social Media

  41. Are the Web Filters at Your School Too Restrictive?
  42. Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
  43. Are You Distracted by Technology?
  44. Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?
  45. Do You Spend Too Much Time on Smart Phones Playing ‘Stupid Games’?
  46. Has Facebook Lost Its Edge?
  47. Does Facebook Ever Make You Feel Bad?
  48. Should What You Say on Facebook Be Grounds for Getting Fired?
  49. Should People Be Allowed to Obscure Their Identities Online?
  50. What Should the Punishment Be for Acts of Cyberbullying?
  51. Is Online Learning as Good as Face-to-Face Learning?
  52. Do Your Teachers Use Technology Well?
  53. Should Tablet Computers Become the Primary Way Students Learn in Class?
  54. Can Cellphones Be Educational Tools?
  55. Should Computer Games Be Used for Classroom Instruction?
  56. How Young Is Too Young for an iPhone?
  57. Should Companies Collect Information About You?
  58. Would You Trade Your Paper Books for Digital Versions?
  59. Are Digital Photographs Too Plentiful to Be Meaningful?
  60. Do You Worry We Are Filming Too Much?
  61. Would You Want a Pair of Google’s Computer Glasses?
  62. How Would You Feel About a Computer Grading Your Essays?
  63. What Role Will Robots Play in Our Future?
  64. How Many Text Messages Are Too Many?
  65. How Much Do You Trust Online Reviews?

  66. Arts and Media: TV, Music, Video Games and Literature

  67. Why Do We Like to Watch Rich People on TV and in the Movies?
  68. Do TV Shows Like ‘16 and Pregnant’ Promote or Discourage Teenage Pregnancy?
  69. Does TV Capture the Diversity of America Yet?
  70. Is TV Too White?
  71. Is TV Stronger Than Ever, or Becoming Obsolete?
  72. Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?
  73. What Current Musicians Do You Think Will Stand the Test of Time?
  74. What Artists or Bands of Today Are Destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
  75. What Musician, Actor or Author Should Be a Superstar, but Hasn’t Quite Made It Yet?
  76. Will Musical Training Make You More Successful?
  77. Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?
  78. Should Stores Sell Violent Video Games to Minors?
  79. Can a Video Game Be a Work of Art?
  80. Do Violent Video Games Make People More Violent in Real Life?
  81. When Should You Feel Guilty for Killing Zombies?
  82. What Game Would You Like to Redesign?
  83. What Were the Best Movies You Saw in the Past Year?
  84. To What Writer Would You Award a Prize?
  85. Do You Prefer Your Children’s Book Characters Obedient or Contrary?
  86. Where Is the Line Between Truth and Fiction?
  87. Can Graffiti Ever Be Considered Art?
  88. Do We Need Art in Our Lives?
  89. What Makes a Good Commercial?
  90. Why Did a Cheerios Ad Attract So Many Angry Comments Online?
  91. Does Pop Culture Deserve Serious Study?

  92. Gender Issues

  93. Do Parents Have Different Hopes and Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?
  94. Is School Designed More for Girls Than Boys?
  95. Is There Too Much Pressure on Girls to Have ‘Perfect’ Bodies?
  96. How Much Pressure Do Boys Face to Have the Perfect Body?
  97. Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?
  98. Is It O.K. for Men and Boys to Comment on Women and Girls on the Street?
  99. What Should We Do to Fight Sexual Violence Against Young Women?
  100. How Do You Feel About Rihanna and Chris Brown Getting Back Together?
  101. Do Fraternities Promote Misogyny?
  102. Why Aren’t There More Girls in Leadership Roles?
  103. Why Aren’t More Girls Choosing to Pursue Careers in Math and Science?
  104. Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Front Lines Alongside Men?
  105. Do You Believe in Equal Rights for Women and Men?
  106. Are Women Better at Compromising and Collaborating?
  107. Do Boys Have Less Intense Friendships Than Girls?

  108. Sports and Athletics

  109. If Football Is So Dangerous to Players, Should We Be Watching It?
  110. Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?
  111. Should College Football Players Get Paid?
  112. When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying?
  113. Has Baseball Lost Its Cool?
  114. Are Some Youth Sports Too Intense?
  115. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams to Use Native American Names and Mascots?
  116. Where Should Colleges and Sports Teams Draw the Line in Selling Naming Rights?
  117. Should Colleges Fund Wellness Programs Instead of Sports?
  118. Is Cheerleading a Sport?
  119. How Big a Deal Is It That an N.B.A. Player Came Out as Gay?
  120. Should There Be Stricter Rules About How Coaches Treat Their Players?
  121. Should Athletes Who Dope Have to Forfeit Their Titles and Medals?
  122. Should Sports Betting Be Legal Everywhere?
  123. Should Home-Schoolers Be Allowed to Play Public School Sports?
  124. Would You Want a Bike Share Program for Your Community?

  125. Politics and the Legal System

  126. What Local Problems Do You Think Your Mayor Should Try to Solve?
  127. If You Were Governor of Your State, How Would You Spend a Budget Surplus?
  128. When Is the Use of Military Force Justified?
  129. What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?
  130. Should the U.S. Be Spying on Its Friends?
  131. Do You Trust Your Government?
  132. What Do You Think of the Police Tactic of Stop-and-Frisk?
  133. Do Rich People Get Off Easier When They Break the Law?
  134. Should Rich People Have to Pay More Taxes?
  135. Do Laws That Ban Offensive Words Make the World a Better Place?
  136. Is It Principled, or Irresponsible, for Politicians to Threaten a Shutdown?
  137. Do Leaders Have Moral Obligations?
  138. Do Great Leaders Have to Be Outgoing?
  139. How Should We Prevent Future Mass Shootings?
  140. Should Guns Be Permitted on College Campuses?
  141. Would You Feel Safer With Armed Guards Patrolling Your School?
  142. What Is Your Relationship With Guns?
  143. Do You Support or Oppose the Death Penalty?
  144. When Should Juvenile Offenders Receive Life Sentences?

  145. Parenting and Childhood

  146. Do We Give Children Too Many Trophies?
  147. When Do You Become an Adult?
  148. When Should You Be Able to Buy Cigarettes, Drink Alcohol, Vote, Drive and Fight in Wars?
  149. Should the Morning-After Pill Be Sold Over the Counter to People Under 17?
  150. Should Birth Control Pills Be Available to Teenage Girls Without a Prescription?
  151. Is Modern Culture Ruining Childhood?
  152. Are Adults Hurting Young Children by Pushing Them to Achieve?
  153. How, and by Whom, Should Children Be Taught Appropriate Behavior?
  154. What Can Older People Learn From Your Generation?
  155. Do ‘Shame and Blame’ Work to Change Teenage Behavior?
  156. How Should Children Be Taught About Puberty and Sex?
  157. Is Dating a Thing of the Past?
  158. How Should Parents Handle a Bad Report Card?
  159. Should Children Be Allowed to Wear Whatever They Want?
  160. How Should Educators and Legislators Deal With Minors Who ‘Sext’?
  161. Do You Think Child Stars Have It Rough?

  162. Health and Nutrition

  163. Is Smoking Still a Problem Among Teenagers?
  164. Are Antismoking Ads Effective?
  165. Is Drinking and Driving Still a Problem for Teenagers?
  166. Do You Think a Healthier School Lunch Program Is a Lost Cause?
  167. How Concerned Are You About Where Your Food Comes From?
  168. Is It Ethical to Eat Meat?
  169. Do You Prefer Your Tacos ‘Authentic’ or ‘Appropriated’?
  170. Should the Government Limit the Size of Sugary Drinks?
  171. Should Marijuana Be Legal?
  172. Should Students Be Required to Take Drug Tests?

  173. Personal Character and Morality Questions

  174. Do Bystanders Have a Responsibility to Intervene When There is Trouble?
  175. Should You Care About the Health and Safety of Those Making Your Clothing?
  176. Can Money Buy You Happiness?
  177. Does Buying and Accumulating More and More Stuff Make Us Happier?
  178. Are We Losing the Art of Listening?
  179. Do People Complain Too Much?
  180. Can Kindness Become Cool?
  181. Which Is More Important: Talent or Hard Work?
  182. How Important Is Keeping Your Cool?
  183. When Should You Compromise?
  184. Is Your Generation More Self-Centered Than Earlier Generations?
  185. Can You Be Good Without God?
  186. Have Curse Words Become So Common They Have Lost Their Shock Value?
  187. What Words or Phrases Should Be Retired in 2014?
  188. What Words or Phrases Do You Think Are Overused?
  189. Should Couples Live Together Before Marriage?
  190. How Important Do You Think It Is to Marry Someone With the Same Religion?
  191. How Long Is It O.K. to Linger in a Cafe or Restaurant?
  192. Does Keeping a Messy Desk Make People More Creative?
  193. How Important Is Keeping a Clean House?

  194. Science

  195. Should Scientists Try to Help People Beat Old Age So We Can Live Longer Lives?
  196. Given Unlimited Resources, What Scientific or Medical Problem Would You Investigate?
  197. When Is It O.K. to Replace Human Limbs With Technology?
  198. Do You Think Life Exists — or Has Ever Existed — Somewhere Besides Earth?
  199. Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’?
  200. How Concerned Are You About Climate Change?

  201. Other Questions

  202. Is It Wrong for a Newspaper to Publish a Front-Page Photo of a Man About to Die?
  203. What Causes Should Philanthropic Groups Finance?
  204. Should Charities Focus More on America?
  205. Should the Private Lives of Famous People Be Off Limits?
  206. Did a Newspaper Act Irresponsibly by Publishing the Addresses of Gun Owners?
  207. Would You Rather Work From Home or in an Office?
  208. What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?
  209. Do You Shop at Locally Owned Businesses?
  210. How Much Does Your Neighborhood Define Who You Are?

Most forms of atmospheric pollution are harmful to human health as well as the environment at both urban and rural areas and this is because the activities that lead to pollutants being released into the air are carried out in both areas. The regions most affected by air pollution are nations in the developed and developing world such as China, India and Bulgaria.  Industrialized nations such as the United Kingdom, Germany and the US also struggle with air pollution problems mostly as a result of human activity.

Statistics show that if the Earth continues to burn fossil fuels in large quantities as we currently do, approximately 6million people will die yearly as a result of air pollution. Therefore, a true discussion on the effects of air pollution and how to reduce them is important for the future. Educating yourself as well as the public on air pollution is one way to counter these effects and essay writing is a step in the right direction. This means that a task on writing an argumentative air pollution essay must be taken seriously. Therefore, this article shall be providing 20 essay topics students can utilize as headlines for writing and talking about air pollution.

20 air pollution essay topics:

  1. Air Pollutants and Their Harmful Effects
  2. Analyzing the Components in Air Pollutants
  3. How Do Human Activities Create Air Pollutants
  4. Nature and the Role it Plays in Air Pollution
  5. The Adverse Effects of Air Pollution to Human Health
  6. Analyzing the Negative Effects of Air Pollution on the Ecosystem
  7. The Economic and Financial Toil of Air Pollution on Developed Economies
  8. The Cost of Mitigating Air Pollution
  9. Air Pollution in the Developing World: A Growing Concern
  10. Tackling Air Pollution and its Effects in Urban Communities
  11. Decimating the Effects of Fossil Fuel Burning on Human Health
  12. Making a Case for the Diesel Engine, the Leading Cause of Air Pollution
  13. Air Pollution at Home: The Emerging Threat
  14. The Effects of Burning Fossil Fuels in Domestic Enclaves
  15. Air Pollution and its Effect on the Human Mental State
  16. Understanding How Air Pollution Creates Attention Deficit Problems in Kids
  17. Developing Policies to Counter the Effects of Air Pollution
  18. The Importance of Educating the Public on Air Pollution
  19. Air Pollution and its Impact on Public Health
  20. The Association between Air Pollution and Global Warming

Now that you have chosen a topic for your air pollution essay, the next step is learning more about the make-up of an argumentative essay, and doing the research needed to come up with important facts for your arguments. Our learning materials include one providing 10 argumentative essay facts on air pollution as well as tips on writing a platinum tier argumentative essay on air pollution. Lastly, a sample argumentative essay will be written using one of the topics above to help you start with drafting yours.

Sample Argumentative Essay: How Human Activities Create More Air Pollutants

Since the beginning of human existence, man has continuously produced waste and has applied dubious means to dispose of this waste. But when industrialization came with a set of new effective ways to manufacture mass products and drastically increased the amount of waste man produced, the lack of understanding of its effect on the environment has led to dire consequences. Therefore, this essay will discuss how human activities have been more involved in polluting the air than natural disasters with the use of case studies to make my points.

Although natural disasters such as hurricanes and volcanoes preceded the discovery of fossil fuels by man, the indiscriminate use of these fuels has done more damage to the entire earth’s population than all natural disasters combined. Statistics from the UK’s Environment Audit Committee stated that the burning of diesel and fossil fuel emits approximately 46% of carbon monoxide and 42% nitrogen oxide into the air. These emissions were in part responsible for the great smog in London which caused approximately 8,000 deaths in 1957. A study on this calamity found that cold weather was responsible for reduced visibility but gas emissions from burnt fossil fuels were the primary cause of the recorded fatalities.

The case of human’s polluting the air to our detriment is also similar in the United States. Using California as the example, human activities related to the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, factories and power plants. A majority of California’s 33 million residents are guilty of this due to the use of vehicles that burn fossil fuels. Sadly, this pollution has been attributed to 5,000 deaths yearly in the State. Asia is not left out either, the industrial growth in China and India has led to deadly consequences for its citizens. A study conducted on the level of air pollution in Beijing found that the city’s populace produced enough gas emissions to travel as high as the Central Valley in the US. The fall-out of this pollution is the approximately 250,000 deaths on a yearly basis as well as other disease such as the Beijing cough attributed to China’s polluted air.

In conclusion, the human pursuit of economic gains with no regards of how economic activities and our luxurious life style affect the environment has led to disaster to both the ecosystem and the standard of living we experience. And if not curtailed, the year 2050 will witness an unprecedented death rate of 6million humans due to health related problems caused by air pollution. This means that the responsibility of protecting our future and the lives of those unborn from the devastating effects of air pollution is in our capable hands.

Here we come to the end of our air pollution essay covering the topic of human role in producing air pollutants. For further reading do not hesitate to read up on the 10 argumentative essay facts on air pollution and its follow-up on writing a platinum tier argumentative essay on air pollution.

References:
Han, X. & Naeher, L. (2006). A Review of Traffic-related Air Pollution Exposure Assessment Studies in the Developing World. Environment International, 32(1), pp.106-120.
Thurston, G. (2007). Air Pollution, Human Health, Climate Change and You. Thorax, 62(9), pp.748-749.
Pope, C. (2000). Epidemiology of Fine Particulate Air Pollution and Human Health: Biologic Mechanisms and Who’s at Risk?. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108, p.713.
Selgrade, M. (2000). Air Pollution and Respiratory Disease: Extrapolating from Animal Models to Human Health Effects. Immunopharmacology, 48(3), pp.319-324.
Rive, N. (2010). Climate Policy in Western Europe and Avoided Costs of Air Pollution Control. Economic Modelling, 27(1), pp.103-115.
Gonzalez, G. (2005). The Politics of Air Pollution. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Grigg, J. (2011). Air Pollution and Children’s Respiratory Health – Gaps in the Global Evidence. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 41(8), pp.1072-1075.

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