How to Write an Essay About an Issue

Issues are topics of debate that involve people’s opinions about the world. In the context of a college writing assignment, an essay about an issue asks students to analyze it and offer a stance based on logical reasoning. Some examples of issues include government spending, pollution from fossil fuels and bias in news coverage.

A “social issue” is a topic that involves the well-being of communities or larger groups within a society and about which there is usually public disagreement about its nature, causes or solution. Some examples of social issues are drug addiction, global warming and inequality.

Social issues have the potential to impact the lives of people around the world and affect how those individuals live, work, learn and play. They can also influence the overall health and stability of a nation, region or community.

The polarization of political leaders, the rise of Islamophobia, global poverty and infectious diseases are all considered pressing social issues. These issues require a collaborative effort to find sustainable solutions.

An issue may be “bottom-up” or “top-down.” For example, drug addiction is a bottom-up social issue that affects individual people from all walks of life. On the other hand, climate change is a top-down issue because it threatens the world’s ecosystem and the livelihoods of billions of people. Regardless of their origin, however, all issues are important to address and prioritize.