Debate Writing

Cathy A.

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

Published on: Jan 17, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 18, 2022

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A debate is a structured argument where the two sides speak for and against a specific topic. It is an excellent way to improve public speaking skills. Moreover, it also enhances our ability to develop a convincing argument. However, debate writing requires a proper format structure.

The main purpose is to persuade the audience and judge that your opinion is right. Similarly, writing a winning debate is dependent on the research work and the ability to cite the facts correctly.

Most students consider it is challenging because they do not have a clear idea of the template and debate types. Look at this blog to get a detailed understanding of drafting a perfect debate in no time.

What is Debate Writing?

A debate is a formal contest of argumentation where two opposing teams defend and attack a given resolution. Similarly, it is also a persuasive manner of speaking to convert one’s opinion into your viewpoint.

Here, the speaker either speaks for or against a particular topic being discussed. Moreover, it is the process of preparing and writing the debate before its formal presentation.

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

Types of Debate

Below are the different  types of debates  to help you get started.

The following is a detailed description of these debate types.

Debate Writing Format

The debate writing for middle or high school follows the same format structure. Here, we have mentioned a detailed format for you to get an idea of the parts of a debate.

Opening Statements and Clarification

It includes opening sentences with three arguments and clarifying questions.

In this section, the debaters repeat and analyze the opponent’s arguments and position.

Here, the debaters will summarize their positions after detailed arguments with the opposing team. Similarly, it also allows them to explain why their opinion is best.

After a detailed discussion, each team must answer the questions in a 20-minutes long session.

Check out the given debate writing template to get a better understanding.

Debate Template

How to Start a Debate?

Follow the below-given steps to start a debate speech.

speech examples

How to Write a Debate?

The following are the steps to write a debate speech.

1. Understand the Debate

The first step to write a debate is by understanding its nature. Here, both teams will be given a topic, and they will choose an affirmative or negative stance.

2. Research the Topic Thoroughly

Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the debate. Make a list of critical points and use credible sources to cover them in your arguments.

3. Develop a Debate Outline

Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail.

It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber. Introduce your topic and present the context with the help of a  thesis statement . Also, provide a brief overview of the students’ arguments to understand the direction of the debate.

It is the main section of the debate that discusses the major arguments in detail. Moreover, it further includes logical reasoning and evidence to support the thesis.

The conclusion of the debate is the last chance to demonstrate significant ideas. It summarizes the main body by adding emotion and drama to the words. However, do not forget to add a closing sentence that leaves a lasting impression.

4. Writing the Debate

Start writing the final draft of your debate. Mention the crucial elements of persuasion that are logos, pathos, and ethos. These are used to explain the effects of the resolution in the real world.

Also, use  transition words  to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs. Lastly, edit and proofread your work to avoid plagiarism, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

How to End the Debate?

End the debate by making sure that you have included the following elements. It will help you access the credibility of your debate.

Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some amazing  debate tips  and tricks for you to write a perfect one.

Debating Techniques

Below are some easy  debating techniques  to write a primary and high school debate.

Bad Debating Techniques

Here are some bad techniques that should be avoided while writing a debate paper.

Debate Writing Examples

Check out the following debate writing sample to get a better idea of the concept.

Debate Example for Ks2

Debate Example for Class 7

Debate Example for Class 8

Debate Example for Class 9

Debate Example for Class 11

Debate Example for Class 12

If you need some samples to learn speech and debate writing, refer to our  debate examples .

Debate Writing Topics

The following are some impressive debate writing prompts for you to get an idea.

Have a look at our list of  debate topics  to get more unique ideas.

Hire Professional Writers for Your Debate Writing

This comprehensive guide to debate writing will help you write a perfect one for your high school or college. However, we know that having high-quality debates are important to you.

Therefore,  is the  top essay writer service  for you. They have advanced degrees with years of experience to draft impressive cursive writing in school debates.

Furthermore, we will also provide you with a debate paper example to get an idea. All you have to do is to contact our customer team and specify your requirements.

You can also buy speeches and debates from our  writing services  at affordable rates. Thus, place your order now to get your debate written within the given deadline.

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

People also read

Interesting Debate Topics and Ideas for Students

Debate Speech - Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

Types of Debate - A Complete Overview & Examples

Free Debate Examples for All Academic Levels

Best Debate Tips for Students - An Easy Guide

Advanced Debating Techniques for Students

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How to Write a Debate Speech

Last Updated: July 10, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 1,363,700 times.

So, you've joined debate, and it's time to write a debate speech. There are some tried and true methods to writing an effective debate speech. If you understand them, and the components that make up a standard debate speech, you will increase your chances of success.

Sample Speeches

How to write a debate introduction

Preparing for the Debate Speech

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Writing the Debate Speech

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Concluding the Debate Speech

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How to write a debate introduction

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About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a debate speech, start by researching the topic thoroughly with credible and scholarly sources, and make an outline of your argument including an introduction, thesis argument, key points, and conclusion. Write the thesis argument and develop 3-4 strong points of argumentation. Be sure to clearly state your stance, and utilize expert opinions, statistics, and examples to support your opinion. To finish the speech, write an interesting introduction that incorporates your thesis and a brief conclusion that summarizes your main points. If you want to learn more, such as how to make your debate speech persuasive, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Start an Introduction for a Debate

The art of the debate is something that has been practiced among people for centuries. Like any performance or conversation though, the introduction to a debate is the most important part. Your introduction grabs your audience and gets their attention. As such, it should be one of the most thought out parts of your argument.

Research your part of the debate. Say for instance you are arguing for stricter gun control. You should already have your statistics on gun ownership, reasoning for stricter controls and what benefits that should have, and counter arguments against your opposition's likely points prepared before you sit down to work on your introduction.

Examine your points carefully. Your introduction should take the best points you prepared in your debate, without actually using them up front. For example, if you were opening a debate for gay marriage on the pro side, you should mention broad points, such as the idea of equal rights. You should not include specific numbers in your introduction.

Write your introduction. It should include a statement of your purpose and view on the debate, as well as list broad, persuasive points. The language used should be appealing to your target audience, and your introduction should be as brief as possible, taking no more than 20-30 seconds to read aloud.

Test your introduction on a target audience. Find someone outside of your research and ask them to read it, or to listen to you read it. Ask them for feedback. Find out what parts of the introduction work, if the language is right, and if the tone is proper. Then revise your introduction, and try it again.

Once your introduction has been revised, revamped, and tested on other people, it's ready to be read. Care should be taken that every part of your debate undergoes the same treatment as the introduction, otherwise your audience will be sucked in by a false promise.

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

Six Easy Steps to Write a Debate

This article explores how to write a debate in six easy steps.

This article explores how to write a debate in six easy steps.

Wikimedia Commons

Six Tips for Writing a Debate

Whether it was for an English class, as a part of a club, or just for pleasure, almost everyone has had to write a debate at some point or another in their life.

However, just because most people have done it before doesn’t mean that writing a debate is easy. There are a hundred different things to consider:

To help take away the guesswork, this article demonstrates how to structure and write a debate in six easy steps. By following this method you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at coming out on top in your next verbal sparring match.

Step One: A Strong Opening

Every good debate starts with a strong opening line. If you're dealing with something emotionally charged, as debate topics tend to be, then starting with a similarly emotional opener is the best way to go.

For example, if you were arguing for your country to take in more refugees then an opening line might be something like, "Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be forced to leave your home? To be so scared of violence or other persecution that you and your family have to leave behind everything you've ever known and travel to a new country?" Don't get caught up in the idea that facts are completely separate from emotions, either.

Adding a powerful statistic to the opening line of your debate can work just as well. For example, if you were arguing that your school should increase suicide awareness you could start with, "Did you know that close to 800,000 people die of suicide every year?"

If your topic isn't obviously emotional, then sticking to a surprising or concerning statistic can still inject a bit of feeling into your opening line. You should be aiming to make your audience and your adjudicator sit up a little straighter in their chairs.

Step Two: Defining the Topic

After your opening, you need to make the subject that you're talking about crystal-clear to your listeners. To do this, state your topic and your team's position on the topic.

For example, "Today we're here to discuss the topic X. As the affirmative/negative side, my team firmly believes that Y."

You should also make certain to define any key words in your topic. This doesn't have to be a literal dictionary definition, but could rather be your view on what the word means in the context of the topic or the issue at large. While this may seem pedantic, it's important to do so that you know that you and your opponent are on the same page. It's incredibly hard to debate someone when they have a different idea of what the topic means than you do.

If you're not the first speaker in the debate, then you should use this slot to either agree with or contend the definition that your opponent gave. If they didn't give a definition, feel free to provide your own as if you were the first speaker).

If you don't define your topic then you might just find that you're debating a completely different topic to your opponent.

If you don't define your topic then you might just find that you're debating a completely different topic to your opponent.

Step Three: Signposting

Signposting may seem annoying and unnecessary. If you're a word-enthusiast it can even seem like it's disrupting the flow of your otherwise smooth and lyrical speech. However, it's completely and totally necessary in the structure of a good debate. You may think that you've written the best and most easy-to-follow debate in the world, but the fact is that the audience isn't you. They don't know the topic you're covering in the depth that you know it and they're certainly not as invested in the debate as you are. They might zone out for a few moments in the introduction and then get completely lost. This is what makes signposting so important; it's a way to simply and effectively remind your listener of what you're talking about and where you're up to in your speech. At the end of your introduction add a few sentences that tell the listener how many points you're going to be making and in what order you're going to be making them.

For example, "To begin my case, I'm going to argue X. I'll then move on to demonstrate Y and will conclude by examining Z." At the start of each argument, you can then remind the audience of what you're talking about by saying, "Firstly, I'm going to be arguing X."

While this may seem simplistic and like you're expecting the audience to have fallen asleep on you, it’s actually completely essential and makes your debate easier to follow.

Signposting is critical in any good debate. Without it, you might just find that your audience gets lost.

Signposting is critical in any good debate. Without it, you might just find that your audience gets lost.

Step Four: Rebuttal

The phrase 'sometimes the best offence is a good defence' isn't just a cliché. If you've ever watched a professional debate you’ll know that the most compelling part is usually when one side takes one of the arguments of the opposition and then absolutely shreds it to pieces. While it's fantastic to watch, it's also the most difficult part of any debate to execute correctly. Rebutting arguments forces you to think completely on the spot. You have about thirty seconds to make an argument that your opposition has likely spent hours researching and honing and convincingly refute it. Luckily, there are some strategies that you can use while rebutting that make the challenge a little less daunting. These include:

Just like in boxing, in debating sometimes the best offence is a good defence. That's where rebuttal comes in.

Just like in boxing, in debating sometimes the best offence is a good defence. That's where rebuttal comes in.

Step Five: Your Arguments

And now we've reached the most important part of your debate; the arguments. To make things easier, I've broken this heading down into four simple subtopics.

Your arguments will be what make or break your debate. Make sure that they're well researched and packed full of persuasive strategies!

Your arguments will be what make or break your debate. Make sure that they're well researched and packed full of persuasive strategies!

To Sum Everything Up:

Your speech's structure should read as follows:

Step Six: Conclusion

The conclusion to any piece of writing is one of the most important parts. It sums up the points you've made in the body of your text and leaves the reader with a take-home message that should make them feel as if they've gained something by reading your piece. For writing a debate, this rule is no different. Fortunately, aside from being one of the most important bits of your speech, writing a conclusion for a debate is also the easiest part. All you really have to do is sum up the arguments that you've made. Try not to repeat them word for word, but instead rephrase your topic sentences and, if you have the time, include an important statistic or two that you included as evidence. If you're the last speaker in a team debate you need to make sure that you also sum up your team member's best arguments in your conclusion too. At the very end, you could choose to firmly restate your position on the subject or perhaps reiterate an emotional call that you made in your introduction. Finally, you should thank your audience for listening and your opponent for his or her time. You want to come across as grateful and humble, even if you have just delivered a killer speech.

Questions & Answers

Question: How long should a debate be?

Answer: The length of a debate depends on what level you're debating at. A typical middle school debate probably wouldn't exceed five minutes, while high school and college debates often go over ten minutes. If you're unsure check with your teacher or your head adjudicator; it's important to get the length of your speech right to avoid losing marks.

© 2018 K S Lane

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on August 22, 2020:

Thank you for sharing

kata on August 19, 2020:

Thank you so much, this was useful

Ayp on July 26, 2020:

Hannim on July 24, 2020:

Thanks I'm determined to become a perfect lawyer in future.

some one you helped on June 23, 2020:

hi you helped me so so so much during class debates and guiding me through it.

i'm sure my teacher is going to appreciate my work you've helped me with.

Queen on June 08, 2020:

i really appreciate your guidance in writing my debate

H on June 01, 2020:

I really appreciate this article. because this helpful article made me enhance my skills in writing a debate properly and how to respect your opponent while debating. Thank you so much!

Abdallah Mansaray on May 19, 2020:

I am grateful for your contributions towards my developments in public speaking and debating

Yang on May 09, 2020:

Thanks for the ideas/concepts

Oscar Fiifi on April 28, 2020:

Thankyou sooo much. I read this article to help a friend but now surprisingly I seem to see Debate from a different perspective. I always thought I was kinda boring. But now I've changed my mind. Honestly.

Ranveer on April 21, 2020:

Wow! This really helped me

CeCe on March 11, 2020:

Thanks very much I will be debating soon and you have really helped me

Pulinda Kasun on December 06, 2019:

Thanks very much for the advice..This's the first time I'm going to participate a debate.

This article helps me a lot to polish my debating skills..

Michael James on July 17, 2019:

Thanks for your ideas, they really work

Jenny on June 18, 2019:

How should you conclude ONE of your arguments before going on to the next one?

hi on June 10, 2019:


How to Start a Debate: Learn to Introduce Yourself and Greet

how to start a debate by introducing yourself and greeting

How To Start a Debate : Debate is a formally organized argument or discussion involving two or more persons of two opposing sides, whereby the sides express opposing views towards the subject of discourse. Simply put, debate is the discussion of opposing views.

The importance of knowing how best to start a debate cannot be overemphasized. The default of a speaker as regards protocols and procedures in a debate is in fact detrimental to the entirety of the presentation.

how to start a debate by introducing yourself and greeting

how to start a debate by introducing yourself and greeting

Recommended: Features of an informal letter

Features of a Debate

For an activity or occasion to be considered a debate, the following must be present in the scene:

1. Team:  this is the group of people involved in the debate activity.  Debates usually involve two team namely affirmative team and negative team. Each team is constituted by two or three speakers.

Affirmative team is the “ yes ” team. They are the group which are for and not against the given topic. They are in support of the given topic and are to establish that the given position is true.

Negative team argues against the given topic. Negative team is also known as the opposing team. They are to establish that the given topic is false.

2. The Judge : the Judge presides over the debate, observes, records and decides the winner of the debate exercise. There is usually more than one judges officiating a debate. After the exercise, their records will be evaluated and be presented as the final decision.

How to greet and introduce yourself in a debate

How to greet and introduce yourself in a debate

3. Audience: these are the listeners who are present in the debate arena. There is no debate without an audience.

4. Time Keeper: this is a person assigned to record time and regulate the timing available for the presenters and the debate activity as a whole.

5. Moderator: this is the official whose duty is to anchor the debate. He or she enforces the regulations of the debate.

Also see: How to become a successful lawyer

Features of a Quality Presentation

1. Persuasive: the arguments of the presenter must be sound enough to convince the audience. To be persuasive, the language and tone need to be confident, positive and authoritative. The points made must be valid and relevant.

2. Logical: the presentation must be rational, explicit and articulate.

3. Informative: the presentation must be knowledgeable and educative.

4. Well Structured: the information contained in a good debate must be presented in an orderly manner.

The purpose of a debate is to convince and persuade the audience and the judge that your view should be considered and preferred.

Also see: Boarding v Day School, Which is Better

Types of Debate

1. Team Policy Debate: in this type of debate, the affirmative team proposes a plan while the negative or opposing team opposes the proposed plan. It usually involve two sides. While one side advocate for the given topic, the other side advocate against it.

2. Cross Examination : Shortly called cross – ex. In this type of debate, the opponents are allowed in the middle of the presentation to ask questions to each other for the purpose of ascertaining or understanding a point made.

3. Lincoln Douglas Debate : This is a debate had in 1958 between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party candidate of the United States senate from Illinois, and Senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic Party Candidate.

4. Spontaneous Argumentation (SPAR): for this type of debate, the students debate on a different topic in each round. Here there is usually a limited time for preparation.

5. Public Forum Debate: for this type, students debate on current rising issues. It also allow for rebuttals and cross-examination.

6. Parliamentary Debate : this is an academic debate usually in higher institutions based on British model of government. It involves two sides, one known as the government and the other known as the negative team or opposition team.

Starting A Debate

Starting a debate begins with preparation. Preparation here demands meticulous and extensive research on the topic of the debate. The research here involves sourcing for logical, statistical and verifiable points to justify one’s stance. It is important and advisable to extend your research to understanding the stance of the opposing team. This gives a foresight on the possible line of argument and defense of the opposing team and renders them predictable.

steps to start a debate greeting

steps to start a debate greeting

By so, you are already guided on how to prepare your own line of argument, counterargument and rebuttals. The benefit of understanding your opponent’s stance is that you have heavier point of defense against them and you are visited with less surprises during presentation.

Steps On Presenting A Sound Debate

Step 1. Understanding the Topic: The first step is to understand your topic. Understanding your topic gives you confidence and certainty. There is no other means other than by conducting extensive and defensive research. As stated earlier, research should focus on both sides of the debate topic.

Then, it is important to outline your points accordingly starting from the introduction, the content of the argument and the conclusion.

Step 2. Greetings: Before introducing your topic, it is cultural to first of all acknowledge the presents of the audience, the judge, the time keeper, the moderator and any other personnel collectively. This usually comes by way of, “ Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Panel of Judges, Accurate Time Keeper, Moderator ” etc. The phrase “ Ladies and Gentlemen ” covers every other person not specifically mentioned.

Step 3. Introduction: After the greetings comes the introduction. This is a brief oral explanation of what constitute the basis of an issue. Here the presenter is expected to state the topic of the debate and then categorically state his or her stance in the debate, whether in support of the given topic (affirmative) or against it (negative). The introduction is expected to be very sharp, catchy, concise and explicit.

The tone of presenting your stance should be assertive and convincing that indeed, this is unequivocally your stance. Remember that the manner of introduction and how appealing it is arouses and sustains the interest of the judges and audience. So it is most advisable to begin it best.

Recommended: Advantages and Disadvantages of a written constitution

Step 4. Body of the Argument:  Now that your presentation has started, you should focus on the main substance of the debate which is the body of the argument. The presenter should firstly, win the curiosity and the attention of the audience by giving a captivating background.

This could be achieved by relaying a point through a story, by creating working instances and suitable scenarios, etc. the presenter is expected to establish unquestionable definitions preferably supported by notable authorities. Mastery of the art of persuasion is an addendum advantage for a debater.

The presenter can also achieve emphasis and arouse curiosity by the use of rhetorical questions. Logic and statistics can be employed too as long as it is favourable to the presenter’s stance and is relevant, valid and convincing. It is necessary to maintain eye contact because it showcases confidence and certainty.

These are the factors judges also look at while taking performance records. The presenter is advised not to read verbatim as this  makes the presentation unnatural. This does not in any way suggest that one should cram the argument. The presenter can instead highlight his or her points or outline them as stated earlier.

Tonality : Application of tonality is beautiful and admirable. It is the rising and falling of the pitch. This is the application of tonal emphasis where appropriate. This helps in making the voice and speech interesting, and of course catches and sustains the interest of the audience and the judges. This has a way of appealing to people’s emotion. The tone is expected to match the severity of the debate topic.

Time keeping: There is a reason why every debating activity has a time keeper. Time keeping is of essence in a debate. The presenter is expected to wrap up his or her point within the given time. Most times, every point made upon the exhaustion of the given time does not count. This does not suggest that the presenter should be too fast in speech.

Team: Debate team usually consist of two or three presenters for a team. The topic is usually shared for each team accordingly, from the first speaker to the last. It is necessary for each speaker to restate his or stance in the debate before proceeding.

Also see: How to read faster and understand easily

Step 5. Conclusion: The concluding points should be resounding, concise and precise. It may come by way of summarizing the points discussed earlier. The presenter may end by restating his or her stance in the topic.

This is where we are going to stop for now, however, I recommend that you watch the YouTube video below if you want to continue to learn more tips on how to start a debate. Trust me, you will enjoy watching. 

How to write a debate introduction

Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC , is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.

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  1. Debate Writing

    How to Write a Debate? 1. Understand the Debate. The first step to write a debate is by understanding its nature. Here, both teams will be... 2. Research the Topic Thoroughly. Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the... 3. Develop a Debate Outline. Develop a ...

  2. How to Write a Debate Speech: 10 Steps (with Pictures

    Write an introduction that is catchy and interesting. You want to introduce your topic very clearly and concisely right at the beginning of the debate speech. However, you should open with a colorful flourish that foreshadows the topic. You should address the jury or audience with formal salutations.

  3. How to Start an Introduction for a Debate

    It should include a statement of your purpose and view on the debate, as well as list broad, persuasive points. The language used should be appealing to your target audience, and your introduction should be as brief as possible, taking no more than 20-30 seconds to read aloud. Test your introduction on a target audience.

  4. Six Easy Steps to Write a Debate

    5 Ask for Introduction Review Before giving your debate speech, show your introduction paragraph to someone else like your debate coach, a peer, teacher, mentor or parent. After they've read that introduction paragraph and the supporting debate speech, ask for their opinions on the content.

  5. How to Start a Debate: Learn to Introduce Yourself and Greet

    Steps On Presenting A Sound Debate Step 1. Understanding the Topic: The first step is to understand your topic. Understanding your topic gives you... Step 2. Greetings: Before introducing your topic, it is cultural to first of all acknowledge the presents of the... Step 3. Introduction: After the ...