APPROVED REGENTS' TEST ESSAY TOPICS


Following is a complete list of the essay topics approved for use on the Regents' Test. The Essay Test requires students to choose among four topics drawn from this list.

Last updated: May 3, 2004


Discuss the influence that advertising has had on your life or the lives of your friends.

If you were asked to make a fair evaluation of your teachers, what criteria would you use for the evaluation? Discuss.

What influence should students have in the determination of college policies? Explain.

Has college made you less sure about what is right and what is wrong? Discuss.

How has your attitude toward your home (either town or family) changed between the time you entered college and now? Discuss.

If your doctor told you that you had only a few months to live, how would you alter your way of life? Discuss.

Name someone you consider to be a modern hero or heroine and explain why.

Do college students benefit from participation in extracurricular activities? Explain.

Is too much emphasis placed on grades in our educational system? Explain.

Each year, many teenagers run away from home. What do you think are the chief causes?

Explain why you would or would not want to live in a large city.

Should every able-bodied citizen be required to serve for a certain period of time in some branch of the military service? Why or why not?

What do you believe are the chief reasons for students' academic failure in college? Explain.

How does your public image differ from your private self?

Has the automobile been harmful to our society? Discuss.

If you were an employer, under what circumstances would you fire an employee? Explain.

Should sex education be taught in public schools? Why or why not?

"Television has made America a nation of watchers, not doers." Agree or disagree.

What are the essential characteristics of an effective leader? Discuss.

Do you think that sports help develop good character? Discuss.

Explain the chief reasons why students drop out of high school.

Is romantic love a good basis for marriage? Discuss.

Should children be disciplined by physical punishment? Discuss.

Do you think that you receive your money's worth for your student activity fees? Why or why not?

Discuss one cause for which you would be willing to risk your life.

Are spectator sports overemphasized in this country today? Discuss.

Is college a good place to find out who you really are? Discuss.

Discuss the most important characteristics an elected official should have.

Do you long for the past or look eagerly toward the future? Explain.

Which of the college courses that you have had do you consider to be the most beneficial? Why?

Has credit buying affected your way of life? Explain.

What changes would occur in your way of life if you were forced to live in a cash economy?

Was giving eighteen-year-olds the right to vote a mistake? Discuss.

If you could have a conversation with a famous person (living or dead), whom would you choose? Discuss.

Discuss some practical ways in which each of us can help to conserve natural resources.

What steps need to be taken in order to reduce crime? Explain.

Do you believe that violence in television programs leads to violence in our society? Explain.

Explain your reasons for admiring a particular high school or college teacher.

How has the women's movement affected relationships between men and women? Discuss.

Which do you think has a greater effect on a person -- heredity or environment? Explain.

Explain why you do or do not vote.

Discuss what could be done to increase the public's respect for police officers.

In your opinion, what invention or discovery has brought about the most far-reaching and lasting changes in our civilization? Explain.

Should government-owned wilderness areas be preserved? Discuss why or why not.

Is it beneficial for a high school graduate to work full-time for a year before entering college? Why or why not?

Should the U.S. government subsidize our Olympic teams? Why or why not?

If you had the power to change any event in history (outcome of an election, who won a war, etc.), which would you choose to change, and why?

What characteristics do you regard as important in a person you would choose as a friend?

Should both parents assume equal responsibility in child rearing? Explain why or why not.

What vice or weakness do you find most offensive? Explain.

How great a role do you think "knowing the right people" plays in getting ahead in school or in work? Explain.

What are the essential characteristics of a good parent? Discuss.

Should court proceedings be televised? Explain why or why not.

"American family life would be more stable if parents, not the couples involved, arranged the marriages of their children." Agree or disagree.

Students at public colleges currently pay, through tuition and fees, about one-fourth of the cost of their education; however, some people say students should pay a greater share of the cost. Argue for or against this proposal.

Is there any job that you would absolutely refuse to take? Explain.

Should government employees such as police officers and fire fighters have the right to strike? Discuss.

What advice would you give to an entering college freshman? Discuss.

Should prostitution be legalized? Discuss.

Which courses that you did not take in high school do you now wish you had taken? Why?

Research indicates that you and your friends are likely to have fewer children than your parents and grandparents. What do you think are reasons for this? Explain.

What makes one college course more enjoyable than another? Explain.

Should smoking in public places be illegal? Explain why or why not.

"Professional athletes and entertainers are among the highest paid people in this country -- and justifiably so." Agree or disagree.

What are the characteristics of a good college student? Explain.

Should college students have complete freedom to choose their own courses? Discuss.

If you were to be deprived of one of your five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing) which one would you most hate to give up? Explain.

Would you prefer to rear a family in the city or the country? Explain why.

In general, do movies and/or television programs provide a realistic picture of life in America? Explain.

How should public high schools deal with students considered to be constant troublemakers? Discuss.

Some states now permit single men and women to adopt children. Do you favor such a policy? Explain why or why not.

Should college students be required to attend classes? Discuss.

For what qualities or achievements would you feel justified in calling an individual successful? Explain.

Recent elections have been characterized by small turnouts of eligible voters. Some democracies -- Australia, for example -- require their citizens to vote. Explain why such a policy should or should not be adopted in the United States.

Discuss some of the status symbols of today's society.

Various commentators have suggested that no person should serve more than twelve years in either the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives. Discuss.

Should people on welfare be forced to work? Explain why or why not.

Why do you believe radio has continued to be popular in the age of television? Discuss.

Should all college courses be specifically related to a future occupation? Explain why or why not.

Many families today are growing home vegetable gardens. Discuss some reasons for this.

How can a course in government, political science, or civics help students to become better citizens? Explain.

What do you think are the major causes of divorce? Explain.

Choose a profession whose members make a worthwhile contribution to society and discuss the benefits that society receives from members of this profession.

Discuss ways to increase the public's respect for elected officials.

What, in your opinion, are some of the reasons so many people have pets? Discuss.

Do you prefer shopping at a large shopping center or at downtown stores? Discuss.

Apart from chronological age, what are some major differences between an adolescent and an adult? Explain.

Should women in the military services be assigned combat duties? Discuss.

Attack or defend the practice of advertising by doctors and lawyers.

Discuss what you like or do not like about the South.

What do you think would be the consequences of the legalization of marijuana? Explain.

Does our society allow women to assume masculine roles more readily than it allows males to assume roles traditionally called feminine? Discuss.

If you were made the programming director of a major television network, what changes in the programming would you make? Explain.

If you could live in some other historical period, which would you choose, and why?

Should fathers be given the same chance as mothers to gain custody of their minor children? Discuss.

We now have more people over 65 than at any other time. What are the major effects of this increased proportion of older people? Discuss.

Should victims of crime be compensated? Explain.

Do you function best in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Explain.

What do you think are the major effects of divorce upon children? Discuss.

It has been proposed that American presidents be elected for one six-year term and not be eligible for reelection. Do you agree with this proposal? Discuss.

Why did you choose the career for which you are preparing?

Do you favor decreased spending for national defense? Why or why not?

Should the United States severely restrict the import of foreign cars for sale in the United States? Discuss.

"In spite of advances in scientific knowledge, people are still superstitious." Agree or disagree.

Watching the "soaps" has become an American pastime. Why are these television shows so popular?

In the United States, as a rule, are the punishments imposed appropriate to the crimes committed? Explain.

Why do some couples choose to live together without getting married? Explain.

Would you like to be a candidate for public office? Why or why not?

Do college students benefit from having to earn at least part of their tuition? Discuss.

If music reflects the mood of an age, what does current music say about America? Explain.

Are Americans too dependent on the automobile? Discuss.

What are the characteristics of an effective television newscaster? Explain.

Why are so many people over the age of twenty-one entering college? Discuss.

What could be done to make the public less hesitant to report crime?

Do Americans seem unable to relax in their leisure time? Discuss.

"Human rights" is a term frequently used but seldom defined. What rights should belong to every human being? Discuss.

Should American students be required to learn a second language? Why or why not?

Do you or your family support public television (the educational channels) either as viewers or contributors? Why or why not?

Are elementary and high schools adequately meeting the needs of their students? Discuss.

How do you account for the popularity of horror films? Discuss.

Robert Frost said, "We come to college to get over our littlemindedness." Discuss in relation to your own experiences.

In what ways has the availability of fast-food restaurants affected your eating habits?

What do you hope to accomplish within the next ten years? Explain.

Should college students be required to take physical education courses? Why or why not?

If you could ban anything in the world, what would it be and why?

Should prison inmates be allowed to take college courses? Explain why or why not.

If you were awarded an expense-paid trip to any one place in the world, where would you go? Why?

Do you think that you have the qualifications of a good parent? Discuss.

What do you consider the most important event of the past decade? Why?

If you were guaranteed a steadily improving standard of living (in terms of buying power, free time, quality of goods and services, etc.), would you be willing to give up your right to vote? Explain.

Jogging has become extremely popular. Explain why you jog or why you don't.

Is anger ever beneficial? Explain.

How can the individual citizen reduce the probability of his or her home's being burglarized? Explain.

What are the most important skills and/or values that children learn from their parents? Explain.

Is it better for a political leader to be feared instead of loved? Why or why not?

What specific sacrifice or sacrifices would you endure as a partial solution to our country's economic problem? Discuss.

Most people consider themselves part of a particular generation. Discuss what you consider the most important values of your generation.

Should a graduating college senior be required to pass a comprehensive examination in his or her major before receiving a degree? Why or why not?

Is an academically competitive atmosphere helpful or harmful to you as a student? Discuss.

Should the government do more to discourage cigarette smoking? Why or why not?

"Manners belong to a bygone age; they are no longer relevant." Attack, defend, or modify.

In your view, what would most impress (favorably or unfavorably) a foreign student spending his or her first weekend in an American home? Discuss.

At a scientific conference, Russia's chief space scientist, Leonid I. Sedov, taunted a U.S. colleague: "You Americans have a better standard of living than we have. But the American loves his car, his refrigerator, his house. He does not, as we Russians do, love his country." If you had to answer Mr. Sedov, what would be your reply?

Discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of nuclear power as a source of energy.

In what areas should all college graduates be required to have some competence? Why?

Is marriage an outmoded institution in the United States? Explain why or why not.

Is athletic competition good for children under twelve years old? Explain why or why not.

Many American homes and offices have become a jungle of houseplants. Why do you think that so many people surround themselves with growing things?

If you could make one scientific discovery in your lifetime, what would it be? Why?

Given all the evidence that cigarette smoking is harmful, why do people continue to smoke cigarettes? Discuss.

If the average life span were increased to 150 years, what major changes in society would you expect? Discuss.

What would cause you to end a friendship? Explain.

When we return to places we knew as children, we are often surprised at how different these places seem. Compare and/or contrast your impression of some place you knew as a child with your current impression of the same place.

Do you believe that banning certain books from public and school libraries is justified? Discuss.

Do high schools put too much emphasis on athletics? Discuss.

What would you place in a time-capsule to allow people opening the capsule 1,000 years from now to understand life today? Explain.

"Self-discipline is the most important ingredient for success." Agree or disagree.

Describe a model physical fitness plan.

Does our public educational system promote mediocrity? Discuss.

Is it harmful for children to be in day-care centers all day? Explain why or why not.

Should the custom of tipping be abolished? Explain why or why not.

"In the United States, we waste a great natural resource: the elderly." Agree or disagree.

Beauty contests, despite some criticism, are still very popular. In your opinion, what are the chief reasons for their popularity? Explain.

What are the chief causes of shoplifting? Discuss.

Overcrowded prisons are one of the major problems facing Georgia. What might be done to ease this problem?

What can be done to prevent violence in public schools? Discuss.

Should law enforcement agencies be permitted to tap telephone lines? Explain.

Should public agencies be required to inform parents if their minor children (those under 17) seek birth control? Discuss.

If you could pass one law, what would it be? Why?

What do you consider to be your duties as a citizen? Discuss.

Should national and state governments set aside land for parks? Discuss.

Do you believe that it is the responsibility of the young to provide financial security for the aged? Why or why not?

Why are many people afraid of growing old? Discuss.

What can parents do to prepare their children for school? Discuss.

The changes brought on by the women's movement are typically seen as benefitting women. Do men also benefit from the women's movement? Discuss.

According to studies, the average American watches television as much as six hours a day. Why do Americans watch so much television? Discuss.

America has many regional foods. What would you recommend to a traveller who wanted to experience food from the South? Explain.

If you could hold any job for one year, what would you choose? Why?

If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would it be? Discuss.

How can parents promote good reading habits in their children? Discuss.

Is it better to have brothers and sisters than to be an only child? Explain.

Is the traditional role of fathers changing? Discuss.

It has been said that computers are taking over our lives. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

Is the person without knowledge of computers handicapped? Discuss.

Should adoption records be open to the people directly involved (the person adopted, the biological parents and/or the adoptive parents)? Explain why or why not.

How does a person make a good first impression in an interview? Discuss.

What is your most prized possession? Why? (Do NOT write about a person.)

What is your definition of a gentleman or a lady? Explain.

What is the value of recreation? Explain.

Should teenaged children of divorced parents have the right to decide which parent to live with? Discuss.

P.T. Barnum supposedly said that "a sucker is born every minute." Explain how this idea relates to American advertising.

Should college physical education grades be included in the grade point average? Discuss why or why not.

Do you favor or oppose a rule that would prohibit professional teams from recruiting college student athletes until their college sports eligibility is over? Why?

Knowledge can be gained from books and scientific observation. What are some other important sources of knowledge, and why are they valuable?

Whether we want them or not, many of us get tagged with one or more nicknames during our lives. Discuss the positive and/or negative aspects of the practice of nicknaming.

Whom would you identify as a truly wise person? What makes him or her seem wise to you?

Archaeologists have learned much about the lives of first-century Romans from the excavations of houses buried by lava at Pompeii. Suppose that your home were preserved just as it is now. What conclusions about modern life might this evidence lead future archaeologists to draw?

Discuss what people reveal about themselves by the way they drive.

What steps should be taken to improve the quality of education in our public schools? Discuss.

Name your favorite game or sport and explain why you find it enjoyable.

What should a college athlete consider in deciding whether to turn professional or to remain in college?

Athletic programs at some colleges are big business. Discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of this situation.

Discuss how student evaluations of faculty could be used by administrators, faculty, and/or students.

Partners in marriage often write their own detailed marriage contracts, covering such matters as the number of children they wish to have and the management of money. Would you write such a contract? Explain why or why not.

In the development of a national budget, which should be more important -- fighting poverty at home or arming to fight an aggressor? Explain.

Should all students be required to take a course in computer science some time during their education? Explain why or why not.

Which of the four seasons of the year appeals to you the most? Why?

Some high school and college students commit suicide. Discuss reasons why.

What is the best advice you ever got? Explain.

Discuss why people are fascinated by amusement parks such as Disney World and Six Flags.

Explain why you do or do not hunt.

Discuss some of the roles a college student plays.

How effective is television in disseminating news? Explain.

What steps would you recommend be taken to make health care in America more available to everyone? Explain.

Is it better to know a little about many subjects than to know a lot about one subject? Discuss.

Should an introduction to art, music, and drama be a part of every college student's education? Explain why or why not.

Do you believe young college students should postpone marrying until they graduate? Why or why not?

Should first-aid courses such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) be a required part of the college's curriculum? Discuss why or why not.

How do you expect your college education to change the rest of your life? Discuss.

Should every college student take a course in public speaking? Discuss.

What are some possible reasons for the decline in the reading skills of high school students? Discuss.

What could be done to make students more interested in learning about science? Discuss.

Should the law require automobile drivers and passengers to use safety belts? Discuss.

Discuss some of the appeals used in automobile advertisements.

What steps should be taken to reduce the number of drunk drivers? Discuss.

Is increased life expectancy a blessing or a curse? Discuss.

Every applicant for a Georgia driver's license must choose whether to be an organ donor. Would you choose to be a donor? Explain why or why not.

Should the United States offer foreign aid only to those nations which support our policies? Discuss.

What is your favorite piece of furniture? Explain.

Though a favorite sport of many, boxing is a dangerous sport that leaves many boxers suffering from eye and/or brain damage. Should the sport of boxing be outlawed?

Why do people still go to movie theaters despite the availability of television movies and video cassettes? Discuss.

If you were forced to live without television, how would you spend the time you normally spend watching TV? Discuss.

How have your eating habits changed since you've been in college? Discuss.

Do you think of yourself as a "goal-oriented" person? Explain.

Does a person have to be wealthy and powerful in order to be considered successful? Discuss.

If you had the power to do one thing to improve the world, what would you do? Discuss.

What do you think are the best methods of disciplining children? Explain.

If you could have a household robot, for what jobs would you want it programmed? Discuss.

Is it the responsibility of the United States to share its food supplies with the hungry people of the world? Explain.

What is the value of foreign travel? Discuss.

The United States has never had a female president. To what do you attribute this? Discuss.

What is the difference between "good" and "bad" stress? Explain.

If you could choose any culture or society, which one would you choose to live in? Discuss.

Why have the Southern states been gaining population in the last two decades? Discuss.

Discuss some of the advantages and/or disadvantages of having three or more generations of a family living together under the same roof.

Why do people play practical jokes? Explain.

If you were alone for a week, what books (or music) would you select to read (or listen to)? Discuss.

Should teachers be required to pass competency tests? Discuss.

What type of music do you prefer? Why?

Why is college football so popular? Discuss.

Which of your talents do you value most? Why?

Do you feel that teachers show favoritism among students? Discuss.

Should the school year be extended to include longer hours and more days required to obtain a high school diploma? Discuss.

If you were among the first colonizers of a new planet in the twenty-first century, what would you not want your fellow colonists to transport from the planet Earth? Explain.

Americans generally condemn daydreaming as a waste of time. Do you agree with this view, or do you see some benefits of daydreaming? Discuss.

When you are approached for a charitable contribution, do you generally contribute? Why or why not?

Publishers report that horoscope columns are among the most widely read features in newspapers. Do you check your astrological forecast from time to time? Why or why not?

The evidence shows that for many reasons the family-owned and family-run small farm is a vanishing American institution. Should this situation cause concern in American society? Why or why not?

Do you suppose you would be happier if you lived more simply, eliminating the effort it takes to acquire an abundance of luxuries? Why or why not?

Do you read the newspaper every day? Why or why not?

The "Living Will" directs a person's family and physicians not to keep that person alive by artificial means if that person were to suffer a totally incapacitating disease or illness. Would you consider signing such a document and giving it to your own family? Why or why not?

Is noise pollution becoming a serious threat to the welfare of Americans? Discuss.

"Very few of us really know how to listen." Discuss why you agree or disagree with this statement.

Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Discuss.

Do you favor or oppose the use of animal organs (such as hearts or kidneys) as transplants in humans when human organs are not available? Explain.

The Supreme Court has ruled that public schools have the right to conduct searches of students' persons and property when there is reasonable cause to suspect the presence of weapons or drugs. Do you support or oppose such searches? Explain.

Would you be better off if you didn't own a television set? Discuss.

It is said that the United States has the highest crime rate of any country that keeps accurate records. What, in your opinion, are some of the reasons for the unusually high rate of crime in the U.S.? Discuss.

If you could participate in only one extracurricular activity, which would you choose? Why?

What measures might be effective in reducing drug dealing in Georgia? Discuss.

Should the government allow unlimited numbers of refugees from political oppression to enter the U.S.? Discuss.

Should the government cut funds from educational, cultural, and welfare programs to support a strong defense budget? Discuss.

Should the advertisement of alcoholic beverages be banned from television? Discuss.

Should tax dollars be used to subsidize public television and radio broadcasts? Discuss.

If you were placed in a position to reduce the national debt, what area would you cut? Why?

Many states have enacted laws banning all non-returnable drink containers. Should Georgia pass such a law? Why or why not?

Some think that divorces are too easy to obtain today. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

What steps can be taken to reduce the amount of litter found along highways and in the countryside? Discuss.

Should stricter laws be enacted banning billboards along our major highways? Why or why not?

Presidential greatness is often debated by professional historians. Which U.S. president would you identify as the greatest? Justify your selection.

Several communities have passed laws making it illegal for bars to promote the consumption of alcohol through sales specials such as happy hours, two-for-one hours, and ladies' night. Do you agree or disagree that these laws are needed? Discuss.

What is your favorite source of entertainment? Explain why.

Would you want to survive a nuclear war? Discuss.

Is it better to have lived in one place all one's life than to have moved around? Discuss.

What is your favorite holiday? Why?

Do Americans place too much emphasis on physical appearance? Discuss.

Nearly all students have had classmates who they wished were anywhere else but in that particular class. What kinds of students do you find most annoying? Discuss.

Should the media show more respect for celebrities' desire for privacy? Discuss.

"The best things in life are free." Discuss why you agree or disagree with this statement.

Is there anything that teachers can learn from students? Discuss.

If you had to choose between a job that you loved that paid $25,000 a year and a job that you hated that paid $50,000 a year, which job would you take? Explain why.

Why do so many people like to have collections of something (antiques, coins, stamps, dolls)? Discuss.

It has been said that winning is not the most important thing; it's the only thing. Explain why you agree or disagree with this view.

With the widespread availability of calculators, is it necessary for students to learn arithmetic? Discuss.

Should student evaluations of faculty members be made available to students? Discuss why or why not.

Has the space program benefited the average American? Discuss.

With news readily available from the electronic media, why are newspapers still popular? Discuss.

What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of being single? Discuss.

Should parents encourage their teenage children to work even if the family does not need the money?

Which advertisements do you find most appealing or offensive? Why?

What do you do to cope with stress?

Do you think that most people would rather conform (be like everyone else in a group) than stand out as individuals? Discuss.

What contemporary problem do you find most disturbing? Explain.

Has television brought members of the family together? Discuss.

What animal do you like (or dislike) the most? Why?

Should polygraph (lie detector) tests be used as a condition of employment? Discuss.

If you could live in any city in the world, which would you choose and why?

What single experience do you believe every human being should have, one without which human life, in your opinion, would not be complete? Explain.

Do you agree that children diagnosed as having AIDS should be permitted to attend public schools? Discuss why or why not.

What is the greatest bargain you ever got? Explain.

Should college students be tested for AIDS? Discuss why or why not.

Discuss some of the pressures on college students.

Should final examinations in college courses be comprehensive? Discuss.

Discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of being a commuting student.

If you were a fashion designer for college students on a budget, what wardrobe would you suggest that would be reasonably priced and adaptable to various occasions? Discuss.

Explain what motivates students to strive for good grades in college.

Many college freshmen complain that they have never learned how to study. What pointers could you give to help people with poor study habits? Explain.

Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to have a job while attending college? Discuss.

Should colleges make it optional for students to pay activity fees? Discuss why or why not.

What types of students do you like to have in your classes? Discuss.

Should computer literacy be required of all college students? Discuss why or why not.

Should the government increase taxes to help improve the standard of living of poor people? Discuss why or why not.

How do you think our future will be influenced by the great influx of foreign products into the United States? Explain.

In order to protect American industry, should the U.S. government impose heavy tariffs on foreign goods coming into this country? Discuss why or why not.

Have you observed any significant differences between high school and college teachers? Explain.

What advice would you give to a student just beginning high school? Explain.

How can we reduce the problem of illiteracy in our nation? Explain.

Should high school students be required to wear uniforms? Discuss why or why not.

What can high schools do to lower the number of dropouts? Explain.

Should schools establish dress codes? Discuss.

Is concern for a clean environment a dead issue today? Discuss.

One suggested partial solution to the drug problem is to furnish drugs to certified addicts, thus removing the profit for drug dealers. What do you think of this idea?

Should employers have the right to require their employees to take drug tests? Discuss why or why not.

Should a person tell his or her spouse about past love affairs? Discuss why or why not.

What can be done to help prevent a marriage from ending in divorce? Explain.

Would you rather spend a weekend with your friends or your family? Explain.

Of the sources of entertainment which are popular today, which do you find least appealing? Discuss.

What was the most important event of your life? Discuss why this event was so important.

What types of movies do you prefer? Explain.

Which do you believe has been more influential in your life -- good luck (chance) or good decisions? Explain.

What impact has attending college had on your relationships with others? Explain.

What types of reading materials do you prefer? Discuss.

If you could buy one very expensive thing, what would it be? Explain.

How do you account for the popularity of your favorite entertainer?

What kind of information would you want to obtain before making a major purchase such as a car or stereo system?

How would your life change if you inherited a million dollars?

Name a person, place, or thing that is currently very popular but that, in your opinion, is overrated. Explain why it does not deserve its popularity.

What career, other than the one for which you are preparing, do you find most appealing? Explain.

What situations are most stressful for you? Discuss.

Discuss the influence that a relative (other than a parent) has had in your life.

Given the choice, would you rather live in the mountains or near the beach? Discuss.

If you were to set up a personal museum of the most significant objects you own, what would you include and why?

Do you like surprises? Explain why or why not.

Explain why you do or do not smoke.

Discuss a New Year's resolution that you actually kept (or wish you had).

What region of the United States do you like the most? Why?

If for some reason you were prevented from getting a college education, what career would you pursue? Why?

Explain why you do or do not like having picnics.

Is there one place on earth that means more to you than all others? Why?

People dress to project an image or to follow trends or to be comfortable. Discuss why you dress the way you do.

What have you been promising to throw out for years but just cannot seem to part with? Discuss.

If you could relive one day in your life, which day would it be? Explain.

What is your idea of a perfect vacation? Explain.

What are some characteristics of people you try to avoid when selecting friends? Explain.

What would be the ideal number of children for you to have in a family? Discuss.

Name some of your family's traditions (perhaps concerning holidays, birthdays, vacations, or other activities) and discuss why they are important to you.

How are you different from your parents (or other adults significant in your upbringing)? Explain.

Explain why you would or would not recommend a movie you saw recently.

What advice would you give to a person about the process of ending a meaningful relationship?

What influences from the past have helped shape the person you are today? Discuss.

If private ownership of automobiles were impossible, how would your life change?

If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal secretary, which, if any, would you choose? Why?

What foreign country would you like to visit, and why would you like to go there?

What can be done to encourage more and better candidates to seek public office? Explain.

Should local governments pass a law restricting the ownership of dangerous pets such as pit bulldogs? Discuss why or why not.

What advice would you give to a young person just beginning to date? Discuss.

More and more people are seeking plastic surgery for purely cosmetic reasons. Why are so many people willing to accept the costs and risks of this kind of surgery?

Explain why you think so many people get the holiday blues.

Are people in the U.S. overly concerned about being thin? Discuss.

Americans are fast becoming the most overweight people in the world. To what do you attribute this trend? Explain.

Should animals be used in medical research? Discuss.

What can be done to improve the treatment of the elderly?

What can be done to make the public more aware of the dangers of drinking and driving?

What was the most useless invention of the twentieth century? Explain.

Do you think a person's looks affect his or her success in the job market? Discuss why or why not.

What should be done to reduce the problem of homelessness in the U.S.?

How can Halloween be made safer for young people?

Some television series (such as M.A.S.H., The Andy Griffith Show and Seinfeld) have enjoyed a long life both in production and in reruns. Explain why.

What are the chief reasons for our youth's interest in music videos? Explain.

Choose a character in a recent movie or television show whom you find especially appealing or unappealing. Explain your choice.

Why are television talk shows so popular? Discuss.

Why do many people prefer watching television news shows to reading newspapers? Discuss.

Do you like being in the presence of young children? Discuss why or why not.

Should people accept it as their duty to take care of their aging parents? Discuss.

Women today are waiting until they are older to marry for the first time. Why?

If you could take back any deed you have done and do it differently, what would it be? Why?

Fill in the blank in the following statement and discuss: "They don't make ________ like they used to."

What commonly held ideas about the South seem to you most true or untrue? Discuss.

What is the dumbest thing you ever did? Explain why you did it.

What kind of injustice makes you "fighting mad"? Explain.

How is the threat of AIDS changing dating habits? Explain.

Which qualities or characteristics of childhood should we strive to preserve throughout our lives? Discuss.

What can be done to reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States? Explain.

How should students who turn in someone else's work as their own be punished? Discuss.

Should high school students go steady? Discuss why or why not.

Name the worst movie or television program you have ever seen, and explain why you dislike it.

Is there ever a situation in which a person should hide his or her true feelings? Explain.

Name your favorite pastime and explain why you enjoy it.

Name some place you would not like to go on a date and explain why you would choose not to go there.

Propose an ideal sex education program.

If you could make one resolution and follow through with it no matter what the difficulties, what would you choose? Explain.

Are there superstitions you claim you do not believe and yet would never ignore? Explain.

Why are people often unwilling to intervene in or report crimes that they observe? Explain.

Has there been a time in your life when you should have complained about a situation but didn't? Discuss.

Discuss the images of men presented in recent movies and television shows.

Discuss the images of children presented in recent movies and television shows.

Discuss the images of minorities or women presented in recent movies and television shows.

Would you prefer to attend an amateur or a professional athletic event? Explain.

Why do Americans eat so much junk food? Explain.

How do you account for the popular appeal of murder mysteries (in novels, movies, and/or TV dramas)?

What elective course that you have taken would you not recommend to other students? Explain your dissatisfaction with the content of the course.

Has attending college made you a better person? Discuss.

Discuss what you perceive to be some of the causes of homelessness in America.

How do you think the money raised by the lottery in Georgia should be spent? Discuss.

Discuss the special problems that single parents and their children face.

Do you believe that recycling should be mandatory? Discuss.

Should physicians be prevented from intentionally providing people with the means to commit suicide? Discuss.

Some people have argued that zoos are inhumane, that keeping animals captive is wrong. Discuss why you agree or disagree.

Is there one sport that you would never play and/or would never want to play? Explain.

Some people have begun to regulate the hours of television that their children may watch each week by giving each child a "television allowance" time. Do you believe that this is a good idea? Why or why not?

If you could be a cast member of any movie ever made, which film would you choose? Why?

What should be invented, but has not yet been, that would make your life easier? Explain.

If you could donate a thousand dollars to a charity, which one would you choose? Why?

Many women in the film industry have for years complained that not enough significant female roles are available for them. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

A character in Hamlet says, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Is this good advice? Explain.

John F. Kennedy once said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Discuss whether Americans are heeding this call from the past.

Studies over the last twenty years have shown that academic dishonesty is on the rise in colleges across the United States. To what do you attribute this increase in cheating? Explain.

Have you observed any significant differences between older and younger college students in classroom discussions? Discuss.

If you could influence the way products are advertised in the United States, what recommendations, if any, would you make? Discuss.

What are some activities that are especially appealing to children? Why?

Should sex education programs emphasize the need for abstinence before marriage? Discuss.

What do you think have been the main reasons for the increase in violent behavior in our schools? Explain.

Discuss the image of women presented in music videos.

What changes might occur if gasoline prices rose to $5.00 a gallon? Discuss.

Why are Americans generally resistant to learning foreign languages? Explain.

If you had the time and opportunity to sit in on any college classes just for the purpose of learning about the subject, which classes would you choose? Why?

Have you ever been pressured into doing something that you would have preferred to avoid but that later turned out to be beneficial? Discuss.

Why are movies and television shows about actual crimes so popular today? Discuss.

Should a person who has been convicted of a crime be allowed to run for public office? Discuss why or why not.

Why is it that political candidates do not always keep their campaign promises once they are in office? Discuss.

Is it appropriate for the President of the United States to appoint a close relative to an important policy-making position? Discuss.

Have you ever learned something that seemed insignificant at the time but that later became particularly valuable? Discuss.

If you could endorse one product that met its advertised claims, what would that product be? Explain.

Discuss a stereotype that you once believed but that later proved inaccurate.

Should English be the standard language in public schools, or should schools be required to offer classes in the language a student speaks at home? Discuss.

What things would you look for when buying or renting a place to live? Discuss.

What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of growing up in a large family as opposed to a small family? Discuss.

Should state governments spend more money on school districts with low-achieving students than on districts with high-achieving students? Discuss.

Describe a decision you have made that has been particularly significant to you.

During what period of your life have you been the happiest? Explain.

What working conditions do you or would you look for when applying for a job? Explain.

What are the advantages (or disadvantages) of young children's going to daycare centers instead of staying home? Discuss.

Which college courses were most difficult for you? Discuss.

How is your generation different from your parents' generation? Discuss.

Should couples in the United States be discouraged from having more than two children? Discuss.

If your need for sleep were reduced to only one or two hours, what would you do with the added time while others are sleeping?

What kinds of people do you enjoy most? Explain.

Do you have the skills to run your own business? Explain.

What things about yourself would you most like to improve? Explain.

Have your attitudes changed much in the last few years? Explain.

If you suddenly found that your home was on fire and you had time to rescue only a few belongings, what would you save? Explain.

Do you watch talk shows on television? Why or why not?

Do you listen to radio talk shows? Why or why not?

If you could take one entire year off from your responsibilities of school or work, how would you spend that year? Explain why you would make these choices.

It often takes people as long to heal from emotional wounds as from physical ones. What steps can people take to recover from emotional trauma? Explain.

Have computers made our lives easier or more complicated? Explain.

Would you buy and use an electric car? Explain.

If you had to choose a few words to describe yourself, what words would you choose and why? Explain.

If you do not measure success in monetary terms, how do you measure it? Explain.

If you could begin next year with one new ability, what would it be? Explain.

What really scared you when you were a child that you now consider humorous? Explain.

What do you think it means to be well-informed? Are you? Explain.

What is the most frustrating thing that regularly happens to you? Explain.

Discuss the qualities of a good movie.

Discuss how life can be made easier for people with disabilities.

If you could wake up tomorrow as someone else, who would it be and why?

Should a person be given another chance after he or she has been unfaithful, lied, or broken a promise? Explain.

Some doctors now believe that people make themselves sick with their attitudes and lifestyles. How much do you think people influence their own health through their attitudes and lifestyles?

When was the last time you changed your mind about something after reading a book or article or listening to a debate? Explain what happened.

What is one of the worst things that people do to one another? Explain.

What does someone have to do to earn your respect? Discuss.

Imagine that you must choose one of the following: a heartfelt and fulfilling relationship with one person but no other close friendships, or lots of friends but no single, enduring connection to one person. Which would you choose and why?

When you are unhappy, what do you do that usually makes you feel better? Explain.

What would it take to make you give up TV? Explain.

What do you think is lost in the process of growing up? Discuss.

If you could reclaim an item, attitude, or feeling from your childhood, what would it be? Explain.

Imagine that you are a creature from outer space and have been sent by your leader to observe life on earth and report your findings. What will you tell your fellow creatures who are planning to visit?

If you could be a fictional character who could walk off the page of a book, what character would you become and what would you do? Explain.

In what circumstances, if any, should it be legal for people to assist their loved ones in suicide? Discuss.

What are some major changes you expect to see in America during the early part of the twenty-first century?

Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Describe a real or imagined day in your life to demonstrate the truth of Murphy's Law.

Discuss one of your short-term goals and one of your long-term goals.

Describe a time when you were surprised by the behavior of a group or a person you thought you knew well. Explain the effects on you.

What advice would you give to your former high school teachers about preparing students for college? Explain.

Some sociologists argue that if we look carefully at shopping malls, we will see in them many clues to our current values and attitudes. Discuss.

Optimists are people who always expect the best; pessimists always expect the worst. Which kind of person is it better to be? Explain.

If it were possible to be reincarnated, would you want to come back as a person of the other sex? Discuss.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of HOPE scholarships?

In what situations can laughter be especially helpful? Why?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Georgia lottery?

What are the main reasons people go to college?

If you could design a new course for high school students, what would it be? Why would students need or want to take it?

Explain what it means to be an honorable person.

What measures would you suggest to counteract prejudice? Explain.

Which person in the public eye do you admire the most? Why?

Many colleges do not allow alcoholic beverages to be served or consumed on campus, not even in restaurants or faculty clubs. Do you agree or disagree with this rule?

Would you rather live in a city and visit less populated areas for vacations, or live in the country and go to the city for visits or vacations? Why?

Discuss how life can be made easier for the elderly.

What are the best ways to deal with telephone solicitors? Discuss.

Discuss some of the major pressures faced by teenagers.

How useful is the movie rating system? Explain.

How does the news coverage of public election campaigns influence voters? Discuss.

Should grandparents be awarded visitation rights in a divorce decree? Why or why not?

What should be done with "deadbeat parents" who refuse to pay child support?

Should all public employees and elected public officials be subject to drug testing? Why or why not?

Has the time come for the United States to abandon the two-party political system? Why or why not?

What responsibilities do members of the media have as the primary shapers of public opinion? Explain.

How should the United States protect itself from terrorist attacks? Discuss.

What are the best ways for step-parents to deal with the special problems they face? Explain.

In recent years Americans have expanded their fascination with sports to include such activities as gymnastics and soccer. What do you think are the reasons for this interest in a greater variety of sports?

Explain why you do or do not like to gamble.

Should the legal driving age be raised to eighteen? Why or why not?

Will computers ever completely replace books? Discuss.

Discuss the advantages or disadvantages of shopping by TV.

Do you plan to go on to graduate or professional school? Why or why not?

Is there a member of your family whom you wish you were not related to? Discuss.

Pick one type of music that is currently very popular and explain why it is popular.

Should doctors be required to inform a patient when he or she probably has a short time to live?

Would you rather take one longer vacation during the year or several shorter ones? Discuss.

Has the TV remote control device been a blessing or a curse? Discuss.

If you were going to a foreign country, would you rather go with a tour group or on your own? Explain.

Do you enjoy shopping? Why or why not?

Failure can often teach more than success can. Has failure ever taught you a valuable lesson? Discuss.

Discuss one aspect of your life in which you have settled for less than you had once wanted.

How has your birth order (eldest, middle, youngest, or only child) affected your personality development? Discuss.

What specific things might one do to enrich personal relationships (parent-child, husband-wife, friends) despite a busy schedule? Discuss.

Many political commentators are now questioning whether debates between political candidates are worthwhile. What do you think? Why?

In this age of mass-produced goods, why do people still enjoy going to craft fairs and purchasing handmade items? Discuss.

How do you interact with your fellow students in college differently from the way you interacted with your fellow students in high school? Explain.

If you were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would you question, and what would you ask? Explain.

How would your life be different if computers did not exist? Discuss.

Can computers and the personal information stored in them jeopardize our right to privacy? Discuss.

If your town received a gift of several million dollars, how would you recommend the money be spent? Discuss.

Is space exploration worth the risks and the costs? Explain.

How can learning a foreign language prove helpful to you? Discuss.

What of lasting importance did you learn during your teenage years? Discuss.

Other than preparation for a job, what is the value of a college education? Discuss.

Discuss ways in which one person's actions can help to improve the world.

Argue for or against the view that people of your generation are selfish and concerned only with money and comfort.

Many people take pride in their family history. To what extent is ancestry important in your family, and how does your family react to its past? Discuss.

What sort of problems could be caused by advertisements that make exaggerated or false statements? Discuss.

Have you ever witnessed a special place being ruined by pollution, whether by a company or by individuals? Discuss that example in an argument against that form of pollution.

The value of an American high school education has become a controversial issue. Do you see your own high school education as worthwhile? Why or why not?

Are there situations in which lying is appropriate? Discuss.

Should content on the Internet be regulated? Why or why not?

Should Georgia's legalized gambling system be expanded to include other types of gaming such as dog racing, horse racing, or casino betting? Why or why not?

Beyond human injury and death, what have been the effects of the major airplane crashes of recent years? Explain.

Entertainers referred to as "stand-up comics" continue to be popular. Why?

Have Americans lost their appreciation of nature? Discuss.

Many people consider the Social Security system necessary for the economic well-being of the United States, yet this system may be headed for bankruptcy. What sacrifices should people (whether young or old) be willing to make to assure that the system continues? Explain.

Should two years of tuition-free education after high school graduation be guaranteed for all qualified citizens? Discuss.

Should every college include a community service component as part of its graduation requirements? Discuss.

Should a course in ethics be a mandatory part of all college curricula? Why or why not?

What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of genetic testing of human beings? Discuss.

At what major historical event would you like to have been present? Why?

Discuss the advantages or disadvantages of marrying someone significantly older or younger than yourself.

Discuss the effects in society of the increasing number of women in the workforce.

What is the difference between courage and recklessness? Discuss.

What is the difference between love and infatuation? Discuss.

Discuss the following quotation based on your experience and/or observation, "We would be ashamed of our finest acts if the world were aware of the motives behind them." -- Rochefoucault.

What are some of the best techniques people use to deal with loneliness and isolation? Discuss.

Have you ever had a boss you particularly admired or one you particularly disliked? Discuss.

What subjects do you (or did you) especially enjoy (or avoid) discussing with your family? Explain.

Has your greatest challenge in college been personal or academic? Explain.

Should all college students be required to buy or rent a computer? Why or why not?

Is the American lifestyle bad for the environment? Discuss.

Should high schools provide day-care services for teenage parents? Why or why not.

Does the press have too much influence in judging criminal suspects before they are actually convicted of a crime? Explain.

Are there any circumstances in which an individual should be required to take an AIDS test and disclose his or her HIV status? Discuss.

Is language use -- how a person writes or speaks -- an appropriate means of judging a person for employment purposes? Discuss.

Should anything be "private" about the life of a public official? Discuss.

Do Americans expect political candidates to have to compromise their ethical standards in order to win an election to public office? Discuss.

Should beauty pageants for children be banned? Discuss.

Are the effects of progress always humane? Discuss.

Many educators are now looking to computers as the key to improving education. Are there limits to what computers can do to teach our children? Discuss.

What stereotypes of the South get an immediate favorable or unfavorable reaction from you? Discuss.

If you wrote a book about your life, would it be a comedy, a tragedy, or a combination of the two? Discuss.

Do schools focus enough on educating students in non-academic areas? Discuss.

Do you think the world will become more peaceful in the next 10 years? Discuss.

Should immigrants from other countries focus on trying to blend into the American culture or should they try to maintain much of their original culture? Discuss.

Should government fund efforts to change people's habits if those habits are legal but clearly unhealthy? Discuss.

To what degree should parents influence their teenagers' choices of dates and friends? Discuss.

How are you different from your best friend? Discuss.

What are the best ways to meet new friends? Discuss.

How have your relationships with the people significant in your life changed since you started college? Discuss.

Are you motivated more by external rewards (such as money or grades) or internal rewards (such as self-esteem or integrity)? Discuss.

Justice is said to be blind. Is justice in our courtrooms blind to economic status? Discuss.

What do you think motivates people to offer assistance to others through volunteer work? Discuss.

Discuss why you agree or disagree with the following: "Historically, most good leaders have not been people of good character."

What would be the advantages of requiring police officers to have college degrees? Discuss.

What types of assistance should public schools be required to provide for non-English speaking students? Discuss.

What are the positive and/or negative effects of teenagers and young adults "surfing the net?" Discuss.

The Georgia legislature has restricted the privileges of teenage drivers. Discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages of these restrictions.

Is it important for you to "make a difference"? If so, in response to what issues? Discuss.

What is good about American schools? Discuss.

What qualities of character does it take to be a survivor? Discuss.

Does a "double standard" still exist between the sexes? Discuss.

Do celebrities have a responsibility to the public to act as good role models? Discuss.

Should foreign diplomats have diplomatic immunity? Discuss.

What kinds of courses might be most useful for students planning to run their own businesses? Discuss.

Should convicted lawbreakers be required to serve their full sentences without parole? Discuss.

What factors make a job or career satisfying? Discuss.

Suppose you were asked to teach a subject, sport, or activity of your choice. What would you teach and to whom would you teach it? Discuss.

Should the United States Constitution be amended to allow "single-sex" public colleges and universities? Discuss.

If you had to live life as an animal, which animal would you prefer to be and why?

What are the most appropriate ways for people to show anger? Explain.

Should cigarettes be made illegal? Why or why not?

Describe the way a television show presents a particular occupation and discuss the accuracy of the portrayal.

Explain how a television show, movie, commercial or popular song stereotypes a group of people.

What do sports reveal about American culture? Discuss.

Explain why people sometimes continue to do things that are harmful to them.

How is fear of crime affecting America? Explain.

Should preserving endangered species take priority over jobs, development, and property rights? Why or why not?

Have your family's expectations of you been a help or a hindrance? Explain.