Topics for Debate

Here are 20 topics to discuss with a friend or group. Practise agreeing and disagreeing even if you have to argue against something you actually believe in. One way to have fun with this is to make up a bunch of cards that say agree or disagree. Each person has to pick up a card and then the topic is read out. It is more fun to have a debate this way because you don't have to play your true self. Try to continue each discussion for at least five minutes. Use the expressions that you learned, including agreeing, disagreeing, asking for opinions, interrupting, etc.
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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Swimming in the ocean is better than swimming in a public pool. Alcohol should be illegal. Children should provide room and board for their aging parents. Studying grammar is more important than practising conversation skills. Television is the leading cause of violence in today's society. Dogs make better companions than cats. Smoking should be permitted in public places. Females are better students than males. A parent shouldn't pierce a baby's ears. Women should be allowed to go topless in public. Lawyers should make a higher salary than nurses. Everyone should plan their own funeral. Reading English is more difficult than writing English. Summer is the best season of the year. Children under 13 should not be allowed to babysit. High school students should wear uniforms. 21 should be the legal driving age around the world. Rock and Roll is the best kind of music. The government should pay for post secondary education.

but also a comparative cheap one.Debate Number 1 Arguments Against: 1. sewing. Television provides an outlet for creative talents. Television is now playing a very important role in our lives. People who don't watch television are happier than those who watch it. etc. Television may be a vital factor in holding a family together. cosmetics. 3. Television does the job of education in the broadest sense. Especially where there are economic problems that cause the husband and wife to be at a breaking point. 6. It offers an endless series of programs that are both instructive and entertaining. like housewives. 9. or even more. 21. Television keeps people informed about the government and its programs. Television keeps people informed of the news and weather. painting. 14. It also offers specialized subjects like language teaching. 12. and real. 16. 17. Television provides special broadcasts for those in a TV University. .Television Plays a Positive Role in Society -. vivid. 5. There are a considerable variety of programs on television. or Open University. It brings most distant countries and the strangest customs right into your living room. Television keeps you informed about current events. cooking. 4. Television makes the viewer completely passive because everything is presented to them without any effort on their part. People can be taught about safety through television. etc. 2. 15. People can be informed about special sales at stores. In the case of serious problems television tells people what to do. everything on television is more lifelike. 8. 7. Compared with radio. 18. Television keeps people informed of disasters like floods. etc.Debate Number 1 Arguments in Favor: 1. With television people are still free to enjoy other "civilized pleasures". 19. nothing left. Many television programs introduce people to things they never thought of before and have never heard of before. The viewer is always free to choose whatever he wants to see. like school programs via closed-circuit television. People all around the world are no longer distant and isolated from each other. 20. 10. 13. 11. winds. Television provides enormous possibilities for education. Television is not only a convenient source of entertainment. 2. Television goes with the kind of life that leaves the viewer nothing to spare. lonely old people. Television has been good company to those who do not work. 3. It allows you to follow the latest developments in science and politics. Television is a great time waster. Television Plays a Positive Role in Society -. Television series have done a great job in popularizing many literary masterpieces. Instructive programs achieve their goal through entertaining the viewers.

5. People no longer see the need to read books when they can just watch it on television. gulp their food. The monster. The more the viewer watches television. 3. sleep. and even work. The TV glues them to the set instead of allowing them to go out. TV completely cuts the viewer off from the real world. 19. 2. Television is to blame for the fact that children take longer to learn to read today and barely see the point at all of getting that skill. They see spectacles of violence or sex as long as the children are quiet. 6. Television takes up too much of our time.e. 8. therefore. demands absolute silence and attention. pictures and spoken words. and stupid commercials. Unfortunately all of our free time is now regulated by television. 10. often neglecting the necessary and more important things like meals. . Many of the television programs are bad. 5. entertaining activities. Television passes on to children the corrupting values of a corrupt society. The wide coverage of television programs has reduced society to the conditions in illiterate communities. sports. 14. 16. We are utterly dependent on the most primitive media of communication. No one dares open his or her mouth during a television program 11. television. and then start watching the television. movies. the lazier they become. Television prevents people from communicating with each other. After-school work enhances a young person's social development. 18. We no longer have enough time for hobbies. Students Should have a Part-time Job -. Part-time jobs make students more confident in themselves. which is important for students in the future. 13. They put their children in front of the TV set. It is good for students to have part-time jobs because this helps cultivate independence among young people. The very danger of watching television lies in the fact that the viewer takes no initiative. Other outside amusements like theaters. They don't care whether it exposes children to rubbish. It has done much harm to the relationship between family members.Debate 2 Arguments in Favor: 1. They do not keep pace with the high demand of viewers and do not maintain high quality standards. which is often as simple as a sandwich and a beer. etc get ignored. 9. 12. 7. 4. Through the work they can realize their own value and prove that they are capable people. 17. Part-time jobs in business can foster a sense of competition. Many parents use television as a pacifier for their children. Being able to earn their own money gives students a feeling that they've become adults and. What the viewer receives from television is nothing but secondhand experience.4. 15. People have grown addicted to television. Families sit and watch television at dinner instead of talking with each other. They make no choice and exercise no judgment. makes them feel more mature. i. People rush home.

the economic burdens of their parents. 10. And. Part-time jobs give students a feeling of achievement through contributing to the national construction and economy. and some students even play truant. Though some after-school work can help students to practice what they learn in classes. students can pay for their education and thus will value their education even more. 9. It's not good for students to do part-time jobs because they will become moneyoriented. Part-time jobs may expose them to social ills at an age when they cannot differentiate the good from the bad. 7. 16. luxuries that their parents can hardly afford. Students who have part-time jobs may relieve their parents' economic burdens. Part time labor helps the employer by providing labor at peak workloads without the costs of the labor when the workload goes down. 12. Part-time jobs can make the students' lives more colorful and is good for their personal development. Part time work helps the economy by providing additional inexpensive labor. The main task of students is to study hard and learn what is needed for the development of our nation. Students. 3. Social experience can be gained later after they finish their studies. in return. to our socialist construction. Because they earn money. 13. Part-time jobs can help students apply their knowledge in practice. Part-time jobs do not help develop a sense of thriftiness among young people. 8. Some students have become dropouts because through part-time jobs they've found that the more education you have. Students who have part-time jobs can relieve. 2.6. After-school work teaches students how hard it is to earn money and helps develop thriftiness in our younger generation. 15. 11. 5. But their early contact with society adds greatly to the worries of their parents. to some extent. 7. Students Should have a Part-time Job -. students can buy many books they like. Part-time jobs often distract the students' attention away from their studies.Debate 2 Arguments Against: 1. 6. Many students who have part-time jobs have shown a decline in their studies. With the money earned. 9. many jobs require nothing of the students' knowledge. the less money you make. 4. part-time jobs contribute a lot. Part-time jobs experience gives students an insight into what work is about and prepares them psychologically for their future jobs. Students are in their formative years. 14. 8. 10. Because many students spend the money on high-priced items. in one way or another. . Some students become juvenile delinquents because they come under the influence of bad people through part-time jobs. their experience will make them know better what they have learned in classes and books.

12. The problem of dropouts only makes the situation worse. The number of cigarettes smoked per day and the duration of the smoking habit increase your chances. Because of the low cost of part time workers. many of them can hardly resist the temptation to smoke. 7. An American scientist estimated that smokers who average a package a day for 20 years would lose about eight years of their lives. When the mother smokes so does the baby. 6. employers are tempted to employ only part time and not employ full time workers. Children exposed to parental cigarette smoking are put at a higher risk of developing lung cancer later in their lives. etc. but also many other diseases. one every six seconds.Debate 4 . Part time workers are not given vacations. Smokers cause many fires that kill people and destroy property. Smoking should be prohibited. headaches. 15. Most part time jobs are very menial and do not lead to meaningful full time jobs. China now has a shortage of 60 million engineers. they often lose confidence in themselves. Scientific research has shown that the risk of developing lung cancer increases with smoking. and health care. sick pay. for a smoker who consumes a package a day will spend much money every month. Smoking speeds up the process of aging and helps cause wrinkles on people's faces. After the chaotic 10-year-long Cultural Revolution. 11. On the one hand. some smokers share the same pipe. smokers realize the bad effects of smoking and are persuaded from time to time to stop. sore throats. Smoking is an expensive habit. Some smokers flick ash off their cigarettes and throw cigarette butts everywhere. Smoking Should Prohibited -. 13. 2. 14.11. Each cigarette smoked costs smokers six minutes of their life. 13. 3. People who smoke smell bad to nonsmokers. Statistics show that passive smoking is causing 3000 to 5000 lung cancer deaths a year among American non-smokers. which is even more unhealthier. chronic bronchitis.Debate 4 Arguments in Favor: 1. Smoking not only leads to lung cancer. 12. The World Health Organization points out that diseases linked to smoking kill at least three million people each year. Smoking makes the indoor environment far more polluted than the outdoor environment. 4. Pregnant women who smoke run the risk of having deformed babies. Smoking Should Prohibited -. It diminishes with the cessation of smoking. 5. pulmonary emphysema. 9. Smoking not only pollutes the air but also makes the streets dirty. Thus. 10. In the countryside. Smoking has a bad impact on the psyche of the smokers. 14. Smoking is not only harmful to the smoker but also results in the deaths of nonsmokers. On the other hand. This includes heart attacks. 8.

monotonous situations. Smoking kills no more people than epidemics or traffic accidents. Parents object to their daughters' marriages unless their future sons-in-laws have jobs with good prospects. Some people in Shanghai would even trade their self-esteem for money. Everything in modern society is based on money. money makes the world go around. . 14. Smokers can improve their performance in complex situations while smoking. 11. More emphasis is put on material life than on spiritual life in modern society. 4. 16. Many young people marry for money rather than love. 5. Many young women admire handsome boys with a cigarette on their lip. The government should not restrict the rights of an individual to seek pleasure that does not hurt anyone. many people in the tobacco industry will be out of jobs. Young women who smoke appear cool and capable. 4. Security is more important than happiness. Tobacco has not been proven to be harmful to health.Debate 5 Arguments in Favor: 1. 6. Most nonsmokers spend much money on snacks. and therefore. Many smokers live to a very old age. 6. 17. etc. Facts have shown that if a chain-smoker suddenly quits smoking. Nicotine can produce a tranquilizing effect during high emotions and shock situations. Students acquire knowledge not for its own sake. Tobacco and smoking is a harmless pleasure enjoyed by many for many years. a habit costing as much as smoking if not more 8. 2. furniture. Winston Churchill was a chain-smoker but he enjoyed a long life. for cigarettes give many people a good deal of pleasure much of the time. He's more likely to have lung-cancer than those who keep the habit. Smokers are no exception.Arguments Against: 1. 7. 19. helps to calm people down. Money is the Most Important Thing in Life -. 18. but for a bigger wage. Many non-smokers die an early death. 3. 8. 13. 7. Smoking should not be prohibited. Everybody has the right to keep his or her habits. and that will create many social problems. Smokers help increase the revenue of our country. 15. 2. Smoking may not always lead to death. 5. 12. Materialism influences education. If we eliminated smoking. cars. 3. too. As the saying goes. Many older people derive great pleasure for a smoke now and then. Students choose business courses rather than liberal arts for the sake of earning big money in the future. 10. People do anything in their power to earn money to buy their houses. Very few people want to be teachers because teaching is not a lucrative profession. 9. Smoking counteracts the decrease in efficiency that typically occurs in boring.

They are motivated by their interest in work. 12. 17." 15. What scientists and engineers want is often better conditions or work rather than more money. When you are rich it is hard to tell who is your real friend. Being poor is not very much fun. There exist many volunteer organizations. 12. such as neighborhood communities in China. the more you want. There is now a return of interest in the humanities. They give away their money to less fortunate people. 3. Some Chinese officials are corrupted by the love of money and the power it brings. With much wealth simple things lose their pleasure. which ruins good human relationships. The pursuit of money causes some to neglect their children. 13. Some people think it is vulgar to be always after money. 8. You must spend a lot of time to protect your wealth. Many people desire to have a rich and interesting life is thwarted by their quest for money. 10. 5. 11. It is easier to marry well if you are wealthy. 7. 20. 14. There is a marked reluctance among people to work long hours for money. The love of money is the root of all evil. 16. Being rich allows you to do what you want. If you are rich. Being wealthy allows you to enjoy life to the fullest.9. Many people try to kidnap and steal from the wealthy. "To get rich is glorious. 9. 18. Deng Xiao-ping said. 13. Money corrupts. . Money is obviously not the sole interest to these people. Some young people reject materialistic values. Financial rewards for pop stars make many people envy them. 14. People spend most of their lives struggling frantically to keep up with their neighbors. 11. Money is the Most Important Thing in Life -. Wealth often brings out the worst in people. many people want you for a friend. 6. 19. 10. Wealthy people are not always the happiest. Success and wealth often earn you envy and even hostility. Murder or kidnapping might occur when big money is involved. Wealthy nations can succeed by offering their poorer talented neighbors bigger salaries. 18. The man who has the money makes the rules. which arouse people's academic interest. people involved in work without a reward. 17. 2. The more money you have. Too much wealth leads to disaster. 20.Debate 5 Arguments Against: 1. 16. 15. Some devoted teachers consider teaching a noble career and are not demoralized by their low salaries. The wealthy spend too much time trying to get wealthier. 4. A desire to earn more money is nothing to be ashamed of. 19. People are trained to be acquisitive from an early age and are not considered successful unless they make good money.