Censorship is the control of public communications. Because censorship occurs — in some form — within government, schools, media and popular culture, it is a very approachable, socially-relevant essay topic.
Censorship — Persuasive Topics
- Internet Censorship. Should the Internet be censored? Who should decide what Internet content is deemed “inappropriate?” Should companies and schools use “Net Nanny” software to monitor and restrict Internet access?
- Literary Censorship. What type of books should be allowed in school libraries? Should publishers censor books? Should people be allowed to buy books that include sensitive or potentially-inappropriate information, such as sex, crime or violence?
- Media Censorship. Should the media be allowed to leak government secrets? To what extent should the media be able to alter interviews and source information before publication?
Censorship — Expository Topics
- How has government censorship changed in the last century?
- What role does the government play in censoring content in [country]?
- What effect have government censures had on the availability and popularity of banned books?
Censorship — Literary Essay Topics
Examine censorship as it relates to a work of popular fiction:
- Meta-censorship in Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Characters’ self-censorship in A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Argot as a censorship-avoidance method in A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Books that have been banned throughout history because they were deemed “obscene”: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, Candide by Voltaire and Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence.