Guide to Debating
Preparing your argument
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Should be Closed
- 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.
- Look for concrete ideas and examples, not just abstract ones. Think
of a question related to each example.
- Let these questions generate actual arguments and then use the real-life
examples to illustrate those arguments.
- A good split is the basis for building a case from your
set of arguments.
- A split attempts to:
- Find two separate ways of proving the same general idea (e.g., for
the individual and for society)
- Look for logical development of an idea.
- Go from the general to the specific
- Examples of good splits:
- Social/political implications vs Economic costs
- Best for society vs Best for individual
- Global impact vs Local impact
- Examples of bad splits:
- Moral vs Practical
- History vs Present day
- Moral vs Personal
- Why x is bad vs Why y is good
- Finishing Touches
- Decide on a definition which is fair but still suits your case
- Choose an appropriate theme and stick to it.
- 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.."
- Enjoy Yourself - Debating is fun when you're well-prepared!
- Speak clearly and not too fast
- Avoid monotone and repetition
- Prepare and know your material well enough so you can "speak on
your feet" and not depend on your note cards
- Follow the definition/motion given
- Develop your argument
- Think out content and style
- If you find yourself "racing", take a deep breath and slow
- Never, EVER, panic. If your speech falls apart, rely on your team to
support you and restate your argument when it comes his/her turn.
Blackline Master #21