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How Can We Write Essays That Are Built Around Controversial Topics?

Writing About Controversial Topics

Controversial topics can be some of the most interesting subjects to write about but they are sometimes difficult because they have the ability to offend people easily. The themes in these essays are often things that have been in the news lately that have no clear line between “right” or “wrong” that stir up debate among the general public.


Although I don’t want to say that you should be afraid of offending people with your writing, you should be conscious and respectful of other people’s views and opinions. Writing in a respectful tone is very important when dealing with topics of this nature. It can often be hard to come up with ways to express your opinions whine being respectful and this is something that you need to be aware of. Try having friends read your paper or listen to your ideas. Something that sounds fine to you might be offensive to someone else. Controversial topics are also cumbersome to discuss because the arguments are often very livid and one sided. Many extremist websites use ignorance and logical fallacies to try and prove a point that is either ill supported or not existent at all.

Resolving Issues

It is hard to find unbiased or neutrally biased information in one way or another. It is best to approach this by looking at sources from both sides of the fence and coming up with your own conclusions. For example, if the topic is abortion, there are people who are 100% prolife, who say no one should be denied their right to live for any reason, and there are some people on the opposite side, prochoice, who say that women have the right to choose what happens to their body and consequently the body of their fetus. If the essay is prolife, simply using logical fallacies to “prove” one thing or another makes for a weak and unbelievable argument. In order to avoid this try to stick to facts and stay away from opinions. The paper is about your opinion, it doesn’t need to be filled with them too. Try to stick to concrete facts. By doing so you avoid logical fallacies and it is less offensive to the reader. If you stick to the following 7 points you should be able to write a clean, well-composed essay on a controversial topic:

  1. Stick to the facts
  2. Avoid logical fallacies
  3. Approach the topic from all angles in your research
  4. Use credible, non-biased sources to support your opinion
  5. Discuss with your peers
  6. Be respectful
  7. Stay on topic
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