PERSUASIVE RESEARCH PAPER TOPICS
                                ENGLISH I

1. The United States’ role in the Middle East.
         Does the US owe a responsibility to the people of Libya,
         Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, etc. to maintain a military
         presence? Should we still give financial aid to these countries?

2. The economic/financial crisis.
          When did the economic crisis begin? What policies helped?
          Which policies hurt? Is Reaganomics the core of the problem?

3. The two-party system.
         Is the division between the two major political parties causing
         more problems than it solves? Should labels, such as “Democrat,”
         “Republican,” etc. be abolished once someone is serving in the Senate,
         the Presidency, or the Supreme Court?

4. Professional Sports Strikes
          Should professional sports teams be allowed to strike? Are owners and
          players too greedy? Whose fault is the strike? Was anything decided?
          Should fans still support the sports that strike?

5. Electric/Hybrid cars.
           Are they really saving energy? Do they improve air quality? Should the
           government require citizens to buy these cars? Should high-performance
           cars be outlawed? How long does it take to realize a financial savings? an
           environmental savings?

6. Year-long School.
          What are the benefits? the drawbacks? Would costs increase? Would
          students achieve more? less? Would it create a hardship on families? School

7. Alternative energy.
          Does the US have a viable alternative energy policy? Is the US doing
          enough to implement alternative energy programs?

8. Ratings for media, music, and video games.
          Should an age limit be put on a consumer product? Is it the government’s
          responsibility to monitor what minors see, listen to, or play with? Is this
          infringing on parents’ rights? If ratings are not followed should fines or
          other consequences be levied?
9. Policing the Internet.
          Should the government oversee what is posted on social websites? Should
          guidelines be established for the use of social networks? What should happen
          to hackers? Should web browsers put stricter security measures in place?

10. Celebrities as Role Models.
           Do celebrities owe a responsibility to their fans to be positive role models?
           Should they be fined if they commit an immoral act? fired? censored on their

11. School restrictions.
           Should all licensed drivers (including sophomores and freshmen) be allowed to
           drive to school? Is the school’s dress code fair? the tardy policy? the absentee

12. Legalization of all drugs.
           Should all drugs be legal? If not, what should be the criteria for labeling a
           drug as illegal? Should there be age limits like the ones with alcoholic

13. College Sports National Playoffs with one team as a national champion.
           Should college sports have playoffs to determine a national champion? What
           would be the drawbacks to this? the pluses?

14. College athletes paid/given stipends.
           Should colleges be allowed to pay/reward college athletes? Should they
           receive a signing bonus? If not money, should the receive items, such as
           a car? apartment? clothing? etc.

15. Stem cell debate.
           Should stem cells be allowed to be used to cure illnesses or defects? Should only
           a few types of stem cells be used? Which ones? Why? To what extent should
           stem cells be used?

16. The space program.
      Should there be a space program, and if so, how much money should be allocated for
      the program?

17. Media in today’s world.
      In our hyperactive, instant-satisfaction media environment, does it help or hurt
      the learning process? What fallback may occur that will impact society?
   18. Health and weight loss.
                      Why as a nation are we getting fatter and what to do about it?

   19. College hazing.
           How serious is hazing and what should be done about it? Should students be
           prosecuted for participating in such an event?

   20. Stem Cell Research.
           Should genetic engineering be controlled by law?

   21. College Athletics vs. Academics.
             How should colleges manage their athletic programs in relation to their academic

   22. Professional Strikes
              Should public servants (like school teachers, hospital workers, trash collectors)
              have the right to strike?

   23. Polygraph testing/Drug Testing
              What restrictions should be placed on polygraph testing (or drug testing or
              personality testing such as Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator) either for the criminal
              justice system or for the workplace?

   24. The Justice System
              Does the American system of justice need reform to ensure that criminals are
              properly punished?

25. Euthanasia.
             To what extent should individuals have the protection of the law and the
             assistance of the medical establishment in terminating their own lives?

26. The Federal Government’s Role in Social Issues
             What role should the federal government take in dealing with the problem of
             AIDS, homelessness, or other widespread social, medical, and economical
             problems (pick only one problem for a focus)?

27. Health Care.
             Should the federal government provide health care for all citizens who cannot
             afford their own?

   28. The Law
         Should juvenile offenders be tried and punished as adults?

   29. Surrogacy.
         Should surrogate motherhood be either banned or regulated be law?
   30. Should a rating system be required for song lyrics?
       To what extent should advertising aimed at children be regulated by law?

   31. Should English be declared the official language of the United States? To what extent
       should bilingual education be offered in public school

32. The Protester.
       Does the Government have the right to break up or run off protesters? Does this action go
       against their constitutional rights?

33. Reality TV.
       Is Reality TV REAL or SCRIPTED? Should “stars” of Reality TV be paid so much?
       How does the exploitation of these “stars” lives affect them emotionally, and mentally?
       socioeconomic status? Do these shows affect the way viewers lead their lives and how?

34. Bullying.
       Cyber-bullying (on facebook, twitter, texting, blogs, or any other social media): What is
       it? How does it affect those who are bullied? Should the bully be held responsible

35. Small Business.
      Can small businesses survive in a Wal-mart world? In a world of cyber-shopping
      (Amazon, Overstock, iTunes, etc).

36. Presidency.
       Personal life vs. professional life: should the candidate’s personal past affect the election?
       Should slander of opponents be allowed and to what extent?

37. Piracy of media.
        What is legal downloading vs. illegal downloading? Why is illegal downloading harmful
        and why should it matter? Who is the guilty party: the company providing the illegal
        download, the media world and high prices or the individual? What is SOPA? What has
        been the response to SOPA? If SOPA is not passed, should something be done about
        illegal piracy?

38. Immigration Laws
       Proof of valid picture id on request. Does this go against Constitutional Rights?

39. Organ Harvesting
       Should individuals be allowed to sell their organs? Should the government stop
       regulating organ donors?

40. Post 9-11 America
       How has security changed? How has the view on the Middle East changed? How has
       racism and stereotypes been affected? Were the NYPD and FDNY American heroes or
       just doing their jobs? Should the people behind the collapse of Twin Towers be
       monetarily responsible for the health issues of workers clearing the rubble? Is the
       proposed memorial an appropriate symbol?

41. Child Soldiers.
       Should countries who use Child Soldiers have sanctions brought against them? Should
       the government ban companies from buying products or furnishing supplies to these
       countries? International organizations that help to spread the voice of the oppressed: are
       they helpful and how?

42. Technology and society
       How has technology changed society: more specifically the cell phone and smart phones?
       Social media websites? How has it affected communication? Human interaction?

      Should teens in the United States adopt the British custom of a “gap year” between high
      school and college?

44. Beauty Contest
       Do they serve any purpose in society? How does it affect people emotionally, mentally,
       and health wise, not just those in the contests, but those watching as well. How does it
       affect the fashion world eating habits, and “fad diets?”

45. 2012 Doomsday Predictions
       Should Doomsday Predictions be banned? Should the proclaimer of a doomsday
       prediction be held responsible for those who follow them?

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