A Personal Approach To The Study Of Debating

A debate involves a discussion among two or more individuals to find an agreeable solution to a problem. A judge remains present to scrutinize the debate and declare the winner.

Irrespective of their forms, democratic societies use debates to examine and resolve problems. Collective discussions or debates help official communities like local organizations or legislative assemblies to reach a probable conclusion.

Discussions or resolutions are similar to a debate that may (but not necessarily) follow formal norms. In a classroom, the curriculum’s knowledge, value, and skill sets determine the debate topic.

The layout of a debate

The structure of any formal debate comprises three parts, which are –

  1. An affirmative team – supporting a resolution
  2. An opposing team – opposing the resolution

Both these teams each carry three members. The judge can be either a single teacher or a student’s group.

There can also be an audience of class members who do not participate in the debate. However, once the solution to the problem comes to light with case study help, the debating rules become active.

  1. The judge – is the group that judges the quality of the evidence placed and the arguments discussed.


The preparations for a debate

The following nine points show how to prepare for a debate

  1. Form the resolution over which the debate will take place.
  2. Create a group and organize a team.
  3. Set the norms of the debate and mention the timelines.
  4. Investigate the topic and lay out rational arguments.
  5. Collect the proper evidence with relatable examples for the position.
  6. Place counterarguments and prepare a defense against the opponent’s arguments.
  7. The team members decide on the structure and content of the debate speech.
  8. Create the environment to initiate the debate.
  9. Implement possible expectations to assess the debate.


Conducting the debate


The debate starts with the affirmative, resolution-support team that places the argument. An opposing team member makes the next move once the previous team finishes.

The debate follows the same pattern for the second member from both teams. In the end, both teams can defend each-others arguments.

The speakers must follow a slow pace and maintain clarity in their speech. During the progress of the debate, both – the audience and the judges should note down the entire discussion.


The time involved in a debate

  1. First Part (5 to 10 minutes) – the first speakers from the opposing teams place their arguments that oppose the resolution.
  1. Second Part (5 to 10 minutes) – the second speaker from the affirmative team places more arguments that support the resolution. The speaker also identifies the conflicting areas or offers answers to questions from the opponent speaker.
  1. Third Part (5 to 10 minutes) – The second speaker from the opposing team places more arguments speaking against the resolution, finds out more conflicting areas, and offers solutions to questions from the prior affirmative speaker.
  1. Fourth Part (5-minute break) – The teams take a short break to work on and prepare their arguments.
  1. Fifth Part (3 – 5 minutes) – The opposing teams start their arguments and try to defend the contradictory statements. They try to overcome the negative views without implementing new additional information.
  1. Sixth Part (3-5 minutes) involves the affirmative team’s first rebuttal.
  1. Seventh Part (3-5 minutes each) – Both teams obtain a second opportunity to defend each other’s arguments. The affirmative team gets the final chance to speak out their opinions.
  1. Free from unnecessary interruptions – There must not be any interruptions, so speakers should wait for their turns. Thus, the teacher should take steps to enforce these rules.

Discussion and assessment after the debate

Once the formal debate is over, take some time for debriefing and facilitate a discussion. You can offer an opportunity for the audience members to place their questions or opinions within the argument. The debate team members can take this time to reflect on their performance. They can also request feedback from the teacher or the audience.

If the debate plan had any assessment involved, now is the best time to conduct it. Then, the teacher, jury or the whole class can complete the evaluation.

Implement support materials

During the preparation for the class debate, one can seek aid from a research paper writing service or follow these curriculum support materials

  1. The Inquiry Process (Conducting Research)
  2. Persuasive Writing
  3. Articulate Perspective on Issues
  4. Dealing with Controversial Issues
  5. Critical Thinking in Social Studies

Fundamental skills in debating

A debate includes these fundamental skills in –

  1. Style – Style is the essential portion in debating that you should master. It is the way you follow to communicate your arguments. A reliable and insisting communication approach is more important than the content layout strategy.
  1. Speed – The speaking pace should be fast to sound intelligent to the audience and jury. Take time to speak out your thoughts but do not speak too fast. 
  1. Tone – Try to maintain a changing tone throughout the debate since a constant tonal sound can fill your audience and jury with boredom.
  1. Volume – You must speak aloud sometimes; however, it is not necessary to keep shouting throughout the entire debate. You can maintain a sober volume so everyone in the room can listen to what you are speaking. However, you must be careful that your voice does not become too low so others cannot hear you.
  1. Clarity – Debating is about how you can express complicated issues shortly and clearly. Once the speaker loses their “train of thought”, they start sounding unclear. Simplicity is also vital in a debate. Elongated words might make your audience think you’re clever, but they might also find it difficult to understand.
  1. Note usage – Note–making is vital in any debate; however, it should have a brief and organized structure. However, your notes must not damage your communication with your audience. People generally sketch out the main headings of the speech and place brief notes under them.
  1. Eye contact – Remember to place your eye contact with your audience but do not keep staring at them. You can try shifting your gaze from one person to the other.

The Content

The content of the debate carries the main information. It involves the arguments that justify your case and refutes your opponent’s case.

  1. The case of the argument

The case of your group should express itself in the introduction. You can state the main arguments and provide explanations of your case. However, it would be best if you kept it brief, as your focus is to argue the case. You can also place the subjects from every team member you wish to discuss.

  1. The Parts of the argument

Once you’ve outlined the complete argument, you can build your case around it. You can divide your case between two and four ideas or the number of people in your group.

Use basic logic, quotations, statistics, and examples to justify your arguments. You can also place supportable evidence or proof to convert your assertion into an argument.

You can create argument groups to divide your cases into economic, political, social, international, regional, and other issues. However, if you cannot group, you can use individual arguments.

Explain the reason that justifies your argument and your methods under each of these individual headings. Prioritize the placement of the views in proper order, with the top priority at first.


  1. Rebuttal or defensive arguments

Sometimes, there remain logical, moral, and factual flaws in arguments. Arguments can also be either irrelevant or unimportant. Sometimes, a team might fail to complete their assigned tasks or contradict each other. Such conditions are available in almost every argument, forming the foundations of a rebuttal.

Therefore, it is crucial to carry a better perspective in a debate and specify its core arguments. Thus, if you want to follow a systematic approach to understanding a case, you should –

  • Question yourself on the flaws of your opponent’s approach to the case.
  • Point out the tasks the opponent party has set aside and check if they have addressed them.
  • Understand the general emphasis and the assumptions of the case. Then, make efforts to refute them.
  • Apply the same technique to the main arguments. Do not repeat a point in your rebuttal if somebody else already uses it. However, you can use that point as a reference and expose its failure. Remember, your goal is to reveal that your opponent’s case has drawbacks.


A debate involves two opposing parties that support and refute an argument to come up with a solution. Then, a judge or teacher decides on the outcome of that debate. The goal of a debate is to justify an argument with supporting and opposing views.

Author Bio

Perry Stone is a debate moderator who has worked with MyAssignmenthelp.com for the past seven years. She enjoys reading books and learning new things.


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