The problem of human trafficking in the U. S.: Public frames and policy responses
Nine years after the passage of federal anti-trafficking legislation in the United States, fewer incidents of trafficking have been identified than original estimates of the problem predicted. Some scholars and commentators suggest that changes in the public framing of the trafficking problem aimed at advancing particular agendas are to blame. Yet no studies to date had measured such a reframing process and its attendant consequences. Using a natural history of social problems model (Spector & Kitsuse, 1973) as the theoretical framework to examine the framing of trafficking, this study analyzed text from U. S. newspaper articles about human trafficking from 1990 to 2006. Findings suggest the public framing of human trafficking has changed over time corresponding with the adoption of policies focused on national security and the identification, apprehension, and criminal prosecution of trafficking perpetrators. Challenges following such definitional shifts are discussed.
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100 Argument or Position Essay Topics with Sample Essays
Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.
1. Have to be about an issue where people don’t agree.
2. Can be disagreements about facts, definitions, causes, values or solutions.
Choosing Your Topic
Each topic question is followed by the type of claim statement it makes which can help you find a topic if your assignment is to write a particular kind of essay. All of the claim types are useful for «Argument,» «Position,» or «Expository» essays. In addition:
- Fact and Definition claims are good for «Definition» or «Description» essays.
- Cause claims are useful for «Cause Effect» or «Causal» essays. Policy claims are good for «Problem Solution» or «How to» essays.
- Value claims are good for «Comparison and Contrast» essays.
- Policy claims are good for «Problem Solution» or «How to» essays.
Sample Student Essays
Social Media Debates
War and Military
Race, Culture, and Identity
- Is there a way to reduce abortions without legislation? (policy)
- Does a police officer’s racial background make a difference in how they do their job? (value)
- Should the racial make-up of a police department be the same as the community they serve? (definition)
- How can pro-life and pro-choice groups work together? (values)
- Should Barbie be banned? (value)
- Should reality T. V. shows have regulations? (policy)
- What is true beauty? (definition)
- Is video gaming good or bad? (value)
- Are beauty contests a positive thing for young girls? (value)
- Are participation trophies in athletics a good idea? (policy)
- Are overbearing sports parents helpful or harmful? (definition)
- Should young children be pushed to compete at athletics? (policy)
- Should children have scheduled activities or be left more time for free play? (value)
- What is the cause of the increase in child obesity? (cause)
- How can we encourage children to be more active? (policy)
- Should people on welfare be required to submit to drug testing? (policy)
- Why do so many celebrities have terrible life problems? (cause)
- Should media coverage be regulated? (policy)
- What is the effect of media coverage on elections? (fact)
- What is human trafficking? (definition)
- How can human trafficking be stopped? (policy)
- How do elected female officials differ from elected males? (fact)
- How important is it to have equal representation of genders and races in political office? (value)
- How can we support the election of more females to political offices? (policy)
- How can we get more minorities to become police officers? (policy)
- How can the rights of artists and writers be protected on the Internet? (policy)
- Why should you pay for your music? (value)
- Does religious persecution exist? (fact)
- Should people be allowed to make «designer babies?» (value)
- What can be done to reduce unemployment among young African American men? (policy)
- Should the minimum wage be raised or lowered? (policy)
Does sugar make us hungrier?
Sample Student Essays
- How Christians Can Believe Evolution
Can faith and science be compatible?
- Should You Put Your Parent in a Nursing Home?
This essay argues that sometimes, a nursing home can be the best choice.
- Poor Across Oceans
This essay argues that we need to care more for people in developing countries.
- Hunger Hurts
How can we solve the problem of hunger?
- Should we have a national high school exam? (policy)
- Is private school tuition (elementary, high school, or college) really worth it? (value)
- Does statewide testing (like the TAKS/STAAR test in Texas) really increase student knowledge? (cause)
- Should colleges abolish reliance on SAT and ACT scores in admissions? (policy)
- How should the country’s school system be reformed? (policy)
- Should the U. S. adopt an educational system like Europe’s? (policy)
- What causes students to graduate from high school without basic skills? (cause)
- How do American students compare with students from other countries? (fact)
- What role should technology play in education? (value)
- What is the value of a liberal arts education? (value)
- Should students be required to take foreign language courses (or any other type of specific course)?
- Does adding days to the school year really improve learning? (fact)
- Should schools continue to spend money on fine arts? (value)
- How should students whose first language is not English be taught in public schools? (policy)
- Should college athletes be paid? (policy)
Social Media Debates
- Cell phones control our relationships. (definition)
- Computers are changing the way humans think. (fact)
- Texting and cell phone use has caused young people to be less able to concentrate and focus (or you can do the reverseвЂ”has caused them to be able to handle multi-tasking more effectively and efficiently). (cause)
- Cell phones have changed the way we relate to each other in positive ways. (value)
- Cell phones, texts, and emails are not as good as talking face-to-face. (value)
- Textbooks should be replaced by i-Pads and online resources. (policy)
- How are online technologies changing the way we live? (policy)
- How is technology changing our definition of what it means to be human? (value)
- What laws should we have about cell phone use in cars? (policy)
- How is social media changing family relationships? (definition)
- Should parents limit teenagers’ use of social media? (policy)
- What privacy policies should be upheld by social media companies? (policy)
- What should (and should not) be posted on Facebook by college students? (value)
- Should scientists be allowed to experiment on human embryos? (value)
- What is nanotechnology? What are its applications and possible uses in the future? (definition)
Which kind of topic are you most interested in?
Is China the Next Superpower? (Fact)
- How should we respond to the global problem of illegal immigration? (policy)
- Would a border fence solve the immigration problem in the U. S.? (fact)
- What is the relationship between immigration and nationality? (definition)
- What causes people to immigrate illegally? (cause)
- Should the U. S. have a visitor work program? (policy)
- How has immigration affected the history of the U. S.? (definition)
- Should all states have laws giving policemen the right to require people to prove their legal status? (policy)
- How can legal immigration be streamlined? (policy)
- Who should be allowed to immigrate? Who should not? (value)
- How many illegal immigrants live in the U. S.? Who are they and where do they live? (fact)
Toilet Video Games? Have We Gone Too Far?
War and the Military
- Is war inevitable? How does war become integral to society? (definition)
- How do people justify war? (value)
- What might help establish peace? (policy)
- Should the U. S. continue to act as a policeman for other countries? (value)
- How should the United States defend itself against terrorism? (policy)
- Is drone warfare ethical? (value)
- How is cyber warfare becoming more important? (fact)
- Is the U. S. engaging in cyber attacks on other countries? (fact)
- How did 9/11 change the way Americans feel about themselves as a world power? (definition)
- Should military spending in the U. S. increase or decrease? (policy)
Race, Culture and Identity
- How important is race to American identity? (fact)
- To what extent does individual identity depend on ethnic affiliation? (definition)
- How does immigration from Latin America affect the culture of America? (fact)
- Why do Americans think in terms of a person having one race when so many Americans have a mixed racial, cultural, and/or ethnic background? (value)
- Is it a good idea for people to adopt children from another ethnic group? (value)
- What is culture? (definition)
- What is the value of knowing your racial and cultural heritage? (value)
- Should schools be required to teach multiculturalism? (policy)
- Should churches work harder to be multi-racial? (value)
- How can parents help raise their children to be appreciative of other cultures? (policy)
- Is global warming a problem and if so, what can we do about it? (fact)
- How can we resolve the economy versus environment debate? (policy)
- How can we be sure to provide clean water for everyone? (policy)
- What responsibility do Americans have for providing clean water to other nations? (value)
- How will the worldwide population increase affect our planet? (fact)
- What can be done to stop poaching of endangered species? (policy)
- Is hunting good for the environment? (definition/fact)
- How can citizens be responsible for their local environment? (policy)
- What can manufacturers do to help clean up the earth? (fact)
- What is the importance of clean water? (fact)
- What is the relationship between health and pollution? (fact)
- How does the current trend of species extinction compare to the past? (fact)
- What can Americans do to stop global pollution? (policy)
- How can we encourage people to recycle more? (value)
- How does global warming increase the dangers of disease in the U. S.? (fact)
Are Group Projects Useful?
Other Places to Get Ideas
Use Your Textbook
Sometimes, it can help to look through your textbook to find essays to spark ideas. In my class, we use a book by Nancy Wood called Perspectives on Argument. In the back of this book is a list of suggested issues and articles related to those issues. Usually, these articles are just a start for looking for a topic. You can take an idea from the article you like and then research it to find out what different people think about that issue.
Still having trouble finding a topic? Try looking up an issue you are interested in on YouTube. You might get some good ideas just browsing around. Sometimes the title of a video can give you a main idea and title. Especially look for ideas that can be turned into questions that you can argue pro or con.
Look at Magazines and Newspapers
Whether you go online or look at a paper copy, you can use the news to give you an idea of what to write about. Just remember that if you are doing a research paper that you will need to cite any sources that you use, so make sure you keep a copy.
Questions & Answers
What would be a good topic on coral reefs for an argumentative essay?
Here are some topics you could write about on coral reefs:
1. What is causing damage to coral reefs?
2. What can be done to protect our coral reefs?
3. What are some of the most important threats to the Great Barrier Reef?
4. What would happen if all of the coral reefs disappeared?
5. Can artificial reefs work to help restore habitat?
6. How has global climate change affected coral reefs?
7. What is the ecological importance of coral reefs?
8. What are coral reefs and why are people concerned about them?
9. How can individuals help preserve coral reefs?
Is «Would you consider an animal as human?» a good argument or position essay topic?
A better question is: How are humans like animals? However, I don’t think that is a particularly strong argument essay topic. Here are some better ones on that subject:
1. Are humans unique in the animal world?
2. Does being the top animal give humans the right to do anything to nature?
3. Do animals have rights?
Where are the position paper samples?
If you look at the section which has «Sample Student Essays» you will see some links to example essays.
What do you think of the topic, «Do immigrants steal jobs in America?» for an argument or position essay?
I’m not sure «stealing» is quite the right way to frame this question. Here are some alternative ideas:
1. Do illegal immigrants take jobs away from American citizens?
2. Do American citizens lose work and income because of illegal immigration?
What is a good argument or position essay on the topic of ‘sex slaves and human trafficking’?
Unless this is the instructor’s question, you probably should reword it because this particular question is rather narrow. For the most part, people would just say «I’m against it and I think it should stop.» That doesn’t make for much to say in an essay. Better questions would be:
1. How should we solve the problem of sex slaves and human trafficking?
2. How big a problem is human trafficking?
3. What causes human trafficking?
4. What is the definition of human trafficking?
5. What can the average person do to help in the problem of sex slavery and human trafficking?
Could you please help me think of an essay topic related to production design?
How about these:
1. What is the best way to deal with a design failure?
2. What is the value of a national design policy?
3. How important is creativity to production design?
4. What role does culture play in production design?
5. How can production design help make an impact on global problems?
What do you think of the essay topic «A rapist having parental rights of a child born from his crime?»
You will need to make sure this is written as a clearly arguable question. Here are some possibilities:
«Should a rapist have parental rights to a child born from the rape?»
«Is there a situation when a rapist deserves to have parental rights to a child born from the crime?»
When I first read your question, I assumed most people would argue that no rapist has any right to demand anything. However, I thought about some instances where a prior relationship between the two people involved which might make this a question that could be argued. One situation is a rape of a wife by her husband, or a rape between a couple living together or two people in a long-term relationship.
What do you think of «Should reality T. V. shows have regulations?» as an essay topic?
That is a good question and you could use a lot of interesting situations from the show to argue your position. The overall topic that this falls under is the idea of censorship. Therefore, you can use articles about censorship and T. V. content in research for this paper. Additionally, you might want to use qualifiers in stating your opinion. That means using statements like:
Whenever. happens, then.
Only in the case of. should.
What do you think about «How can we improve public transportation?» as a topic for a letter to my congresswoman?
Improving public transportation is a good topic if you have some good ideas to suggest. The best topic for a letter to a government official is one that you have some good ideas about. You might want to research the ideas that other people have had to solve the transportation problem. That will give you facts and evidence to make your paper stronger.
What do you think of «Is our society too dependent on social media?» as an essay topic?
I think your topic is a very popular one and you should find a lot of research on it. However, rather than saying «society,» I would specify a group of people like teenagers, college students, young adults, Americans, or just «people today.» Using «society» is not really correct because «society» can’t really be dependent; people are dependent.
How would «What is the solution to the problem of sexual assault» work as an essay topic?
This is a very current topic and you might want to narrow this a bit:
What is the best way to fight sexual assault on college campuses?
How can the entertainment industry (or any other industry you want to name) fight sexual assault and harassment?
How can an individual woman best protect herself against sexual assault?
What laws can be changed to better protect people against sexual harassment?
How can parents (or teachers or some other authority) best prevent sexual assault?
What do you think of » What ages should be allowed to watch Disney Movies?»
I think you might want to narrow it down to certain kinds of Disney movies or ask: «Should parents ever censor Disney movies?» That question would let you talk about different ages, types of film, and reasons for not allowing children to watch all Disney movies, or just certain kinds. For example, my husband was very concerned because our young preschool daughters do not think that all women had to look a certain way to be beautiful, so he worried that some of the Disney princess movies projected an unrealistic image of female beauty. Not everyone would agree with that, but I give you that example as a type of argument which would say that children should not watch some kinds of Disney movies, or to be cautious about Disney.
Do you have any suggestions for the essay topic «Will an immigration reform benefit the United States?»
I think your position essay would be better if you talked about what kind of immigration reform you are considering. Here are some ideas:
1. Would a «border wall» help immigration in the United States?
2. Would a «path to citizenship» benefit the United States?
3. What kind of immigration reform would most benefit the United States?
What about depression as an essay topic?
Depression is a good and current topic for an argument essay. Questions on depression include:
1. Why is depression such a widespread mental illness in developed nations?
2. What are the best non-drug ways for people to deal with depression?
3. How effective are the widely-prescribed anti-depression medications Prozac and Zoloft?
4. How can you best help a family member or friend who is depressed?
5. How to know someone is suffering from depression.
6. What is depression?
7. What causes postpartum depression?
8. Why do more women than men suffer from depression?
9. How do physical disorders like thyroid disease, or chronic pain interact with mental diseases like depression?
10. How can depression in one family member affect the whole family?
11. How does depression affect the workplace?
12. Does transcranial magnetic stimulation really help people with depression?
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I have to write a policy claim essay but i dont seem to get my fact, value and policy right. I want it to talk about obesity. But neither of the fact value policy i have propose my professor seems to accept. Please help.
5 months ago from United States
Alyssa, you probably want to stick to one main idea in your argument essay. Here are some topic ideas:
1. What is the best way to help immigrants assimilate into a country’s culture?
2. How important is it for a minority group to become acculturated to the dominant group?
3. How can Sweeden help prevent gang violence and help their refugee population assimilate more effectively?
4. Should European countries work harder to acculturate their refugee residents rather than having them live separately?
5. How effective are churches in America at helping refugees and immigrants acculturate to American life?
I have to write an essay pertaining to culture. It must be an argumentative essay. not sure what to make my these statement? Wanted to speak about different types of cultures like topics including assimilation, acculturation
10 months ago from egypt
A lot of inspired topics and issues,
you always help in finding ways by arrange your reader thinking and informative things.
i am big fan of you.
11 months ago from United States
Hi Christina—My articles on how to write can help you! Find them by looking to the side or on my profile page. Or just use Google and type what you need with my name.
I’m trying to write an argument research paper on social media and mental illness or social media and relationships but I’m having trouble narrowing my topic and creating the key points for my paper.
12 months ago from United States
Hi Rosie—You have a good topic and an interesting personal connection. I’d suggest that you do a frame story introduction and conclusion. Start with your situation and then stop part-way through and ask the question: should you call CPS? Then do your answer and tell why or why not. Finish with telling the end of your story. See my articles on «How to write an argument paper» and «How to write a position paper» for full instructions.
Wondering how to write a position essay. Topic should you call Child Protective Services. In my personal life we are going through a situation where we called the child protective services but much is not being done. Was thinking if I choose this topic I could write some of our family’s frustration about the situation, don’t know how to go about writing this essay
12 months ago from United States
Khen—You can find help if you look for my articles about how to write different kinds of position or argument papers. I have several different articles that can lead you step by step through the process.
Can you please help me in my position paper?
14 months ago from United States
Roami, You have an interesting idea. I think one way for you to get some good information to start your paper is to research why local languages are not included in the instruction first. Next, you might want to interview some people to find out their positions and to get some quotes on this topic. Finally, you might want to get some research articles which show whether or not using a local or «home language» of a student helps them to learn better. In the United States, research has shown that students who receive some instruction in their own language at least at first often do better in the long run than a child who is «fully immersed» in English. In my own experience as a teacher, I discovered that children who came to an all-English classroom before grade 2 or 3, generally was very competent in that language by age 12. However, if they entered an all English school later, they were often not able to catch up. However, that only works if the child is in a school where no one else speaks their native language (as is often true in the U. S. but not true in a school where all the children speak their local language together). You have a wonderful topic and one that is very important for your country to consider. I wish you great success in your paper.
pls, i need u to look into this position topic for me. Should local languages be made as compulsory as religious languages in schools
16 months ago from United States
Hi Sam, you might want to try my article about Funny Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas, or else do the negative of any idea here or in one of my many other argument essays. In a «devil’s advocate» paper, you want to go against what most people think. Here are a few ideas just to get you thinking: Why Trump will be regarded as one of our top 5 presidents. Why we should leave ISIS alone. Why race is less a problem in America than Europe. Why the leader of North Korea isn’t really crazy.
I have this assignment of playing the role of devil’s advocate and I can’t think of a good topic!
( I personally prefer a political related topic).
18 months ago from United States
Aidyn-You add a very interesting position topic. I had not thought about schools making rules against fasting but it certainly could hurt a child’s performance in school if they were fasting for a longer period than a day or two. That could cause a school to be concerned. Thanks for your comment and idea.
I greatly appreciate your website, and I have a suggestion for a topic. «Should we allow fasting or other religious acts in schools?» This topic facsinates me and I do hope you will consider it. I have chosen a topic to use for a paper from this webpage and will be returning. Thank you, Aidyn.
18 months ago from United States
Rose—You did not mention what aspect of culture you are writing about which makes it hard to help you. However, for example, if you are writing a paper arguing to people that only like modern music that classical music is worth listening to, you could start by talking about what you agree with about modern music and acknowledge why people of your generation might prefer to listen to it. Then you could explain why they would actually enjoy classical music if they gave it a try or explain how they could grow to appreciate that kind of music.
I need help on my regerian Argument eassy on culture. I dont now how to start it, Does anyone knows how. thanks
These are great topics for the upcoming research essays. I will definitely be using one of them. Thank you for this resource!
Excited for your class this semester!
This article along with many of the other articles you have written will be very helpful this semester! I’m looking forward to your class!
23 months ago from United States
Look for my articles about how to write argument or position essays for lots of ideas on how to introduce essays and find sources. Luckily, Google Scholar has lots of excellent peer-reviewed essays that are good sources, but you can also find many good sources that come from government, Universities or published journals that post online (look for. gov,.edu or a journal that also appears in print). One easy way to start your introduction is to tell a story about a student who is generally shy (or maybe bullied) but gets excited (and more included by others) when they are able to share about their own culture during a multiculturalism unit.
I am doing an Apa essay on «should schools be required to teach multiculturalism» any idea on how I should start my intro and what sources I should use?
23 months ago from United States
Bebe—You don’t tell me whether your paper is a research paper or not, but I’ve written many articles on how to write different sorts of essays. You can use the search engine on HubPages to find them, or look at the links that usually appear when you pull up one of my articles. Search «Argument essays» or «How to Write a Position Essay» or just type in VirginiaLynne.
To start a paper on your topic, I think I would use a story in the introduction showing a miscommunication when people don’t talk face to face.
Hey . Can you please help me in my position paper . I dont how to start . My topic is cellphone, texts and emails are not as good as talking face to face . It is from yours sample 🙂 thank you
I think that is video gaming good or bad is a great topic to choose.
2 years ago from United States
Yes Alsaifl, I think that «What is beauty?» could be a topic. You are right that your answer would be a definition claim.
Is the topics What is true beauty? (definition) a good topic for a position paper? I was thinking of writing how the definition of beauty is different for each individual
Brittany Adams 14
Thank you so much for posting! This helps a lot with my writing!
Tariq Ali Khan
Excellent work buddy! Thank you so much !
3 years ago from Northeast Ohio
Great topics for a variety of essays for everyone who needs to be inspired. Voted up for useful!
That Tom Hanks video is hilarious. These ideas are very thought-provoking and inspiring!
3 years ago from United States
Cindy A. So glad I was able to give you some good information!
Unbelievable. You have helped me enormously. Thank you so much
Thank you for these great topics.
3 years ago from Texas
This would be an interesting article for school students. They always seem to struggle for essay ideas.
4 years ago from United States
Hi Safa—Here are the main steps:
1. Choose a question you are going to write about. Then think about what your answer to the question is going to be.
2. Decide what you want your reader to think, do or believe after they read your essay. That is your thesis (the answer to your question).
3. Decide who you want to persuade to believe this (that is your reader or audience). Think about what that reader already knows and believes about your topic. That will help you develop your arguments. The reader should not be someone who already believes what you do. If they do, you aren’t really arguing are you?
4. Think of at least 3 reasons why your reader should believe your thesis. Those reasons will be the main body part of your essay.
5. Think of examples or evidence which supports each of those reasons. That is what you will use to support those three reasons.
6. What objections will your reader have? Write those out and also your answers to those objections. This will be a paragraph after your reasons.
7. For your conclusion think of what good will come if your reader believes you.
I’ve written more in detail about this in my article: https://owlcation. com/academia/How-to-Write-an-Arg.
4 years ago from United States
Hi katha — if you look at the bottom right blue box I have the links to sample essays. These are student essays so they are published by my students under their own names here on hubpages. Maybe I should move these up on the page so you can find them more easily.
4 years ago from United States
Samarah—Yes I think that vaccinating children is a very good topic. You can also narrow that to particular types of vaccinations that are new like the chickenpox vaccine or the HPV. Another possible argument on this topic is whether or not it is true that vaccines are the main reason for better health in people today than in the past.
Is the right to vaccinate children a good topic?
4 years ago from United States
I think you can do something related to obesity or how different types of food are good or bad for your health. Or you can talk about GMO foods or organic or locally grown produce.
6 years ago from United States
Xstatic—I love the fact that you do have a position on everything—I like to look at all sides of things and that is great as an instructor teaching positions, because I can play the devils advocate, but sometimes I do need to just nail down my own point of view!
6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon
A great «how to» for position papers. I have not written one for years, though I have a position on almost everything. Useful Hub and well done as usual.
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