Impossible Arguments (Prompt)

Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich? 


Some arguments are impossible to solve; ie, no single answer will be satisfactory to everyone because the truth is likely somewhere in the middle. This might be true of all arguments, actually. Here’s an example of one particularly challenging argument…is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes, absolutely? No, of course not? I hope you already feel passionately one way or another about this pressing issue. Good, let’s argue!

Convince your readers that your position is correct on the question of whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. You must do this without relying on any outside research or additional sources. You will do it entirely based on your own experience and knowledge. (Or choose a different argument using the “Alternate Option” prompt at the end of this doc.)


You are making your case to people who are interested and invested in this question, so pretty much anyone.


The idea is to be persuasive. You want the audience to walk away agreeing with you. At the same time, exposure to the argument should leave your audience more knowledgeable about the subject than they were previously, even if they end up disagreeing with you. 


  1. What is a sandwich? If you’re going to argue about whether a hot dog is a sandwich, you might first need to define what makes a sandwich a sandwich. Spend some time figuring this out based on your own understanding of sandwiches. 
  2. Is a hot dog a sandwich? Now decide where you stand. You’ve defined a sandwich. Does a hot dog fit the criteria?
  3. Argue the opposite. What is the best argument against your position? Imagine someone saying, “Yeah, but…” What would you say in response? 
  4. Write out your argument. Make sure it is persuasive and that you definitely come down on one side of the issue. 

Alternate Option:

See if you can come up with your own impossible argument. What’s something people could argue about endlessly that would be interesting and where the argument itself may help them to better understand the subject being argued over? Add some sources (not just your opinion) if it helps make your case. 

Hint: Arguments about whether someone or something is best often works. And sports arguments are great to have. Here are some suggestions:

  • Are athletes role models?
  • Should P.E.D. users be allowed into the Hall of Fame?
  • Is it appropriate to kneel during the National Anthem?
  • Michael vs. LeBron? Who is the G.O.A.T?
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