How to Debate - Tips and Tricks


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"Ignorance is no argument’ - Baruch Spinoza

The first round of the QDU took place last week, and I am involved in a team (fortuantly we won). Seeing that this is a world wide activity I felt that I should write some basic tips for debating, as I realize how hard it is when I first started. I have been debating for 5 years and hopefully I can pas my experience on to others.

I'm not sure if different countries have different types of debating, but Australia has a system where there are 3 people on each side who take it in turns to argue a point.

(1) - You are always right - no matter what you really believe, if you want to win then you have to know that what ever you say is correct and your opposition is always wrong.

(2) - Strong central argument - after you make each point link it back to your teams case. This makes the whole team look more prepared and gets big marks.

(3) - Rebut - if they have an incorrect fact, rebut it. If they do not link back to their teams case, rebut it. If they give an example that has no relevence, rebut it. Remember, the opposition is always wrong.

(4) - If you need more time, summerize - a good summery not only gets good points, it also increases your time. If you go under time you lost points and the same occurs if you go over. Try to find a balance.

(5) - Never insult the opposition - no matter how much you want to, don't! If you want to insult something, do it to their argument. Don't use personal attacks if you want to win.

(6) - Have passion - believe in what you are saying and you probably will win. Speak from the heart, but also use logic and academic research.

This is not so much a guide but just some helpful tips, so that you can earn maximum points. If you still have some query's, then post a comment below.

Russ Egan


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