in steemiteducation •  4 months ago


Debating, as some would see it, is an intellectual argument on about almost anything. It can include serious topics about the political views of a group or person. Various topics such as love, the current crisis in the economy, dealing with current issues which is newsworthy.

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Merriam-Webster defines debate as a contention by words or arguments. In terms of law or government, it is the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure. A debate can also serve as a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides.

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The Debate Speech

  • Formally greet the chairperson and the audience.
  • In the introduction make clear reference to the definition and topic of the debate.
  • In the body make *three points to support the thesis statement.
    Facts, statistics and Quotations may be used to support your viewpoint.
  • Refute your opponent's argument forcefully.
  • Conclude with a brief summary of the argument and appeal for support from the audience.

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Debaters should prepare themselves for unexpected responses and should be able to 'think on their feet'

Although the concept of a debate is that it does not always have to be so formal and that the exchange of ideas can be casually done, there are occasions that it will have to be formal especially when representing your school for an inter-school competition or simply for a debate class. You may also see the motivational speech. Considering that the topic has already been assigned to you and your group mates, it is important that you begin preparing for your debate with the opposing party.

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It is important to understand how a debate works. The team will be given a topic which is called a “resolution” and your team will have to decide whether to take the affirmative or negative stance to the resolution. Whether you will be assigned to a certain stance or asked to choose, you will have to be ready for every possibility.

The Format of the debate

(Debate formats may differ)


  • introduces the topic under discussion and the various team members introduces each person when it is his/her turn to speak
  • ensures correct timing - under or over-timing may be penalised

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    First Affirmative Speaker:
  • defines the topic
    introduces the basic line of argument of the team by supplying concrete examples
    prepares the way for his team members and re-affirms the team's standpoint
  • Second Affirmative Speaker:
    debates the definition and may amend it
    briefly, rebuts the argument of the negative team by focusing on its flaws
    restores and develops the argument of the Affirmative team
    Second Negative Speaker:
    -briefly attacks the line of argument of the Negative team
    develops and completes the argument of the Negative team
    develops and completes the argument of the Negative team
    Third Affirmative Speaker:
    reviews both sides of the argument by comparing and contrasting them
    rebuts the argument of the second Negative speaker

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    summates or rounds off his team's position with a strong conclusion
    Third Negative Speaker:
  • cannot bring in any new material
  • refutes the argument of the third Affirmative speaker
  • reviews both sides of the argument
  • attacks the argument of the opposing team
  • defends and summates the position of the negative team
  • gives an overall judgement and feedback to each team
  • announces the winning team

Sources: EBH Joubert: Oral Communication: Debating


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