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What is debating?

Types of debating

The debating process


Teachers

Resources

What is a (good) debate?

A debate is an organized clash of good ideas. Each side employs worthwhile evidence to promote their viewpoint and to rebut the "flawed" evidence advanced by the other side. Debating is a formal intellectual contest and there are endless ways it can be played. However, a good debate is like a tennis match where each side, following the rules set down, bats ideas back and forth to defeat the other team. As in any other subjective sport, debaters have to persuade the judges that they have won. Yet, debating can be an exciting even dangerous activity because emotions often run high.

What makes a good debater?

Debaters challenge ideas, they do not attack each other. Like other sports, fair play is critical. Regular debaters will be transferred to play on the other side later in their careers, so it does not pay to be too emotionally tied. A debater is a spokesperson for the moment for or against a motion and is not a fanatic for a cause.

How do we conduct a debate?

There are slightly different ways to do debating. Generally, you need a Chairperson, Proposer, Opposer, Proposer and Opposer's Seconders and a time-keeper.