Guide to Debating

Preparing your argument

Resolved: Palmer Station Should be Closed

  1. Write down every idea/example that any team member can come up with that supports your view. Do not look for problems or possible opposition cases at this stage.
  2. Look for concrete ideas and examples, not just abstract ones. Think of a question related to each example.
  3. Let these questions generate actual arguments and then use the real-life examples to illustrate those arguments.
  4. A good split is the basis for building a case from your set of arguments.
    1. A split attempts to:
      1. Find two separate ways of proving the same general idea (e.g., for the individual and for society)
      2. Look for logical development of an idea.
      3. Go from the general to the specific
    2. Examples of good splits:
      1. Social/political implications vs Economic costs
      2. Best for society vs Best for individual
      3. Global impact vs Local impact
    3. Examples of bad splits:
      1. Moral vs Practical
      2. History vs Present day
      3. Moral vs Personal
      4. Why x is bad vs Why y is good
  5. Finishing Touches
    1. Decide on a definition which is fair but still suits your case
    2. Choose an appropriate theme and stick to it.
    3. Write three speeches. The third speaker's summary should be prepared in advance and be an explanation of the whole case, not just, "My first speaker said..." and "My second speaker discussed.."

General Hints


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