What would be a topic that merits a written discussion? I am to write a nonfiction essay on a topic of my choice. I'm sure that many would love this, but I really need a prompt to be able to write a well-written essay. I am absolutely horrible at picking a discussion-worthy topic. Please help me? Thank you!

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What matters to you? What are you passionate about? What subject can you talk to your friends about for hours on end? That is what you should choose to write your essay about. Pick something you already know about, and it will be easier to write an essay.
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I agree with you!  I hate completely open-ended essay topic choices.  Just tell me what to write and I'll write it.

As a teacher, when it comes time for 11th grade research papers, I always try to provide a list of topic ideas posed in the form of questions that merit an argument on one side or another.  I usually try to pick things that are age-appropriate and culturally relevent.

I'm not sure what that means for YOU, but here are a couple to chew on and possibly move from.  Essentially, the thesis of your essay is the answer to the question (yes or no), and why (prove it)?

  1. Does a standard mode of dress in public schools actually improve behavioral problems?
  2. Should there be a minimum GPA requirement for participation in extra-curricular activities?
  3. Should there be stricter laws regarding cell phone use while driving?
  4. Is technology in the hands of teenagers a positive or negative thing?
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The most important thing here is to pick a topic that is of interest to you.  You are most likely to be able to write a good essay if you actually care about the topic.  Given this, it is likely that you would be able to do a better job of picking a topic than we could.

Let me suggest some examples of what you might pick if you have an interest in various general areas.  If you are interested in the social sciences, you could write an essay describing what you think are the most important causes of poverty or discussing how it could be eradicated.  You could write an essay on what you think is the most pressing problem that faces the United States today.

If you are more interested in the arts and literature, you could write an essay on what role from Shakespeare (or any other playwright) you would most like to play.  You could write about what your favorite painting is.

If you are interested in the sciences, you could discuss what scientific discovery has made the biggest impact on human society.  Or you could write about what you think the best solution to reducing America's energy consumption would be.

One way or another, you need to write about something that you care about.  It will be much easier to write a good essay if you have a topic that interests you.

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