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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.

How to Make an Introduction Paragraph for a Debate

Oubria tronshaw, 21 aug 2018.

The introduction is one of the most important parts of debate.

Debates provide a forum for individuals to logically examine opposing sides of an argument. During a debate, one person takes the affirmative or is in agreement with the issue. Another person takes the negative side and offers a solid disagreement with the issue. The introduction paragraph to a debate is crucial. It's your first opportunity to grab the audience's attention and help them see the issue from your point of view whether that is positive or negative viewpoint. Formulate your intro so that even if the audience doesn't hear another word, they'll know where you stand.

Explore this article

1 Researching Debate Speech Topic

After choosing your debate speech topic and the side of the issue you will take, the next step is to research it thoroughly. When researching use everything at your disposal including the Internet, library books and periodicals, media footage and personal interviews. While you are researching, take notes on your research findings. Think about your topic in present-day terms and find a way to connect to the subject in a way that means something to you personally.

2 Investigating The Debate Speech Argument

After conducting your research, next investigate both sides of the argument. While you may only have a strong feeling on one side, looking at both arguments helps make your debate speech presentation stronger. Search for holes in both theories so you'll be prepared to take either the affirmative or the negative. You'll want to use logical and not emotional arguments to support your case.

3 Writing the Introduction

Next, begin the debate paragraph introduction with what you consider to be the most solid fact that supports your case. Great ways to start a speech can include this strong research. For example, if you're arguing that condoms should be issued in middle school health classes and your research revealed 30 percent of teen pregnancies occur in middle school, start there. Grab the audience's attention by stating the most compelling part of your research right away in the opening paragraph. That strong opener is a great way to start a speech but especially a debate speech.

4 Researching Supporting Facts

After you begin writing the introduction, consider additional facts from your research to explain to the audience what will happen if your argument is not heeded. For example, if you're arguing for stricter parole requirements for child molesters, statistics the number of child molesters released on early parole that go on to be repeat offenders would be a compelling fact to include. Read your introduction paragraph, but pretend you're on the other side of the argument. Strengthen any weaknesses in your reasoning.

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. Consider their suggestions and revise your introduction accordingly.

6 Giving the Debate Introduction

When it comes time to present the debate speech, make sure you also consider how you present the information. Other debate strategies include speaking clearly when delivering your introduction to the audience. Another strong strategy to keep in mind is to make eye contact. This shows your audience that you're speaking from your convictions, rather than simply reading something you wrote.

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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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.

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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 make debate introduction for a

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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Debate introduction examples for students.

Here are some of the debate introduction examples for students. These are merely a guide on how to draft your own debate introduction and greetings

Debate introduction examples

3 Debate Introduction Examples For Students


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How To Write An Opening Statement For A Debate?

Writing a debate does not need to be a complicated task. A debate is a forum where a structured discussion is held on a particular subject matter. Here, speakers have the opportunity to make their arguments in support or otherwise of the issue at hand.

The problem is how to write an opening statement for a debate

In a debate, the opening statement is one of the essential parts of the debate. Thus in answering the question, how to write an opening statement for a debate, it should be noted that one requires significant effort to write it. It would be best if you also considered writing the opening statement in a manner that captures the attention of your audience. You can start by stating an interesting fact, a profound statistics, a quote, or any statement that has the power of stirring the curiosity and interest of the audience in your direction for the rest of your speech. Read on to learn more techniques to adopt in writing a debate.

Techniques And Styles For Writing An Opening Statement

One pattern of writing an opening statement is to start your debate by giving your audience a road map into the rest of the discourse. Using the opening statement as a strategy to achieve this requires that you have a holistic overview of what you intend to say. With this technique, you present an opening that draws the audience to the direction you want. You also have to get them curious enough to follow you through to the end of the discussion.

Another technique is to employ the weapon of storytelling. Starting with a well-scripted story that plays out real-life scenarios in the mind’s eye of your audience is necessary to get your audience interested in what you intend to say. A good story should be a perfect blend of emotions and meaning. It must be a short story that relates to the theme of the debate. A long story will be unnecessary and would take up space and time you could have used to talk about your other points and bolster your arguments.

Starting with shocking statistics is a way of getting your audience to sit upright and pay closer attention to what you have to say. It explains why statistics are often introduced into the opening statement by great speakers. The statistics should be one that is at the core of the subject matter for discussion. The other points to be discussed could focus on querying the statistics and what one should do about it. Different dimensions to the statistics used could also be extensively discussed in the debate.

One can also use a famous quote, a proven statement of fact, or a new development in the topic area of your discussion to start your speech. However, the hallmark is to secure the attention of your audience. It would be best if you got the audience to stay with you until the end of your speech.

What Do You Seek To Achieve In An Opening Statement?

There is a saying that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. Thus, it is essential to understand what you intend to achieve with your opening statement. An opening statement could serve several purposes. The question is, what should be its purpose, or what do you seek to achieve with your opening statement?

An opening statement serves to capture the attention of the audience for the rest of your speech. You use an opening statement as a means to show the reason your audience should listen to you. Otherwise, the persons could be seated in the room, but their attention would be somewhere else. Any of the above techniques, when used effectively, will help you achieve this.

You can use an opening statement to persuade your audience on your point of view while you go ahead to bolster your position in the body of the debate. In an opening statement, you give the audience a clue on how you intend to prove a seemingly outrageous statement that you just made. It is the earliest opportunity for you to present to your audience what to expect.

Another purpose of an opening statement is to prepare the mind of the members of the audience. They need to be ready for the information with which you have to feed them. If you center your speech on a controversial subject matter, then the opening statement should seek first to tackle the possible objections in their minds that that does not favor your point of view. That way, their objections are eradicated or at least weakened to make them better disposed to hear your views. In trying to achieve this purpose through your opening statement, the emphasis will be on locating loopholes in their opinions. The gaps can be easily exploited in favor of your perspective and make them more responsive as you introduce your view to them in the course of the discussion.

The Relationship Between The Opening Statement And Other Parts Of A Debate

Apart from an opening statement, there are other parts to a debate. These additional parts are as important as an opening statement because an opening statement cannot serve its purpose in isolation from the others.

The opening statement introduces the subject matter of the discussion and sets the pace for the body of the debate, where the speaker extensively discusses his views. The opening statement serves as a background for the audience to have a better understanding of the discussion.

Different types of debate

There are different types of debate. The model determines how you should write the opening statement. The different types of debates often have different structures; it is why the manner of writing an opening statement might be different for each.

Some debates are moderated by the host or another person designated for that. In this kind of debate, the speakers receive enough time to give their opening statements before the moderator starts asking them questions.

There are also town hall debates, club debates, school debates, and other variants.

General rules for a debate

There are general rules that apply to the coordination of a debate. These rules are essential for the effective coordination of the debate. It has to be observed by all the participants of the debate, including the organizers. Where participants to a debate breach a rule, it could lead to the disqualification of the participants from the debate. Thus, it is essential to bear these rules in mind as you write the speech for your debate to avoid elimination and other penalties.

All participants of a debate are required to be fair to each other in the course of the debate. Unruly behaviors and talks that seek to attack the person of other participants are not allowed. All attacks should be directed at the arguments of the adverse party.

It is a known principle that he who asserts must prove. Going by this principle, it becomes imperative for you to verify the assertions and facts you use to support your views. The application of this rule enriches the credibility and honesty of your arguments. That way, the audience is likely to be swayed in your favor.

Every debate, whether it is a social or political debate, has a formal structure that must be followed. It might also have preliminary activities that each participant has to engage in before they can participate in it. In these circumstances, a participant must comply with these requirements. He must also carry out these activities as a precondition to being a part of the debate.

Usually, in a debate, the participants are allotted time to present their views and are expected to give their speech within the specified timeframe. The essence is to introduce fairness into the debate by ensuring that the participants have the same opportunity to present their arguments. Thus, they are expected to be straightforward in their delivery to maximize the use of their time. The issue of timing should be born in mind when writing the speech. Otherwise, the speaker will end up not completing his speech before the time runs out.

It violates the rules of debating for a participant to interrupt another participant in the course of his speech. All the speakers at the debate are given their speaking slots; thus, one speaker cannot stop another halfway through his speech.

Some debates require participants to turn in their papers before time. Where this is the case, the writing of the debate paper has to be concluded earlier enough for it to be reviewed adequately before turning it in.

It is believed that the points contained here will be beneficial as you write your speech for a debate. The things you need to take note of how to write an opening statement for debate has been exposed to help you write an opening statement that achieves the right purpose.

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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:


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How to Write an Essay Introduction | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on February 4, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022.

A good introduction paragraph is an essential part of any academic essay . It sets up your argument and tells the reader what to expect.

The main goals of an introduction are to:

This introduction example is taken from our interactive essay example on the history of Braille.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Table of contents

Step 1: hook your reader, step 2: give background information, step 3: present your thesis statement, step 4: map your essay’s structure, step 5: check and revise, more examples of essay introductions, frequently asked questions about the essay introduction.

Your first sentence sets the tone for the whole essay, so spend some time on writing an effective hook.

Avoid long, dense sentences—start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

The hook should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of the topic you’re writing about and why it’s interesting. Avoid overly broad claims or plain statements of fact.

Examples: Writing a good hook

Take a look at these examples of weak hooks and learn how to improve them.

The first sentence is a dry fact; the second sentence is more interesting, making a bold claim about exactly  why the topic is important.

Avoid using a dictionary definition as your hook, especially if it’s an obvious term that everyone knows. The improved example here is still broad, but it gives us a much clearer sense of what the essay will be about.

Instead of just stating a fact that the reader already knows, the improved hook here tells us about the mainstream interpretation of the book, implying that this essay will offer a different interpretation.

Next, give your reader the context they need to understand your topic and argument. Depending on the subject of your essay, this might include:

The information here should be broad but clearly focused and relevant to your argument. Don’t give too much detail—you can mention points that you will return to later, but save your evidence and interpretation for the main body of the essay.

How much space you need for background depends on your topic and the scope of your essay. In our Braille example, we take a few sentences to introduce the topic and sketch the social context that the essay will address:

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Now it’s time to narrow your focus and show exactly what you want to say about the topic. This is your thesis statement —a sentence or two that sums up your overall argument.

This is the most important part of your introduction. A  good thesis isn’t just a statement of fact, but a claim that requires evidence and explanation.

The goal is to clearly convey your own position in a debate or your central point about a topic.

Particularly in longer essays, it’s helpful to end the introduction by signposting what will be covered in each part. Keep it concise and give your reader a clear sense of the direction your argument will take.

As you research and write, your argument might change focus or direction as you learn more.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to wait until later in the writing process before you write the introduction paragraph—it can even be the very last thing you write.

When you’ve finished writing the essay body and conclusion , you should return to the introduction and check that it matches the content of the essay.

It’s especially important to make sure your thesis statement accurately represents what you do in the essay. If your argument has gone in a different direction than planned, tweak your thesis statement to match what you actually say.

You can use the checklist below to make sure your introduction does everything it’s supposed to.

Checklist: Essay introduction

My first sentence is engaging and relevant.

I have introduced the topic with necessary background information.

I have defined any important terms.

My thesis statement clearly presents my main point or argument.

Everything in the introduction is relevant to the main body of the essay.

You have a strong introduction - now make sure the rest of your essay is just as good.

This introduction to an argumentative essay sets up the debate about the internet and education, and then clearly states the position the essay will argue for.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

This introduction to a short expository essay leads into the topic (the invention of the printing press) and states the main point the essay will explain (the effect of this invention on European society).

In many ways, the invention of the printing press marked the end of the Middle Ages. The medieval period in Europe is often remembered as a time of intellectual and political stagnation. Prior to the Renaissance, the average person had very limited access to books and was unlikely to be literate. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.

This introduction to a literary analysis essay , about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , starts by describing a simplistic popular view of the story, and then states how the author will give a more complex analysis of the text’s literary devices.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale. Arguably the first science fiction novel, its plot can be read as a warning about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, and in popular culture representations of the character as a “mad scientist”, Victor Frankenstein represents the callous, arrogant ambition of modern science. However, far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to gradually transform our impression of Frankenstein, portraying him in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

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How To Make A Debate Introduction

How To Make A Debate Introduction . Wake up the people in the back of the room. Introduction needs to be peppy so that it grabs the audience’s attention and garners interest in the topic.

Debate opening speech sample

Beginning a debate the right way gives you. Web the introduction is made up of: Web you should be aiming to make your audience and your adjudicator sit up a little straighter in their chairs.

Web Here Is How To Write A Debate Essay Step By Step And Get Your Point Through In A Convincing Manner:

This depends on the debate, but one rule of thumb i've always followed when trying to write a good few opening sentences is: It also adds weight and a reputation behind your argument. Grab the attention of the audience,.

Web Hence, Debate Greetings Comprise Much More Than A Simple Introductions Of Yourself And The Topic You Are Debating On.

Defining the topic after your opening, you need to make the. Begin your debate introduction with a hook that introduces the topic and holds the. Web the debate introduction as with many types of text, the purpose of the introduction in a debate speech is to do several things:

Web Moreover, A Captivating Intro Will Make The Listener Pay Attention And Stay Engaged For As Long As Possible.

Web there are a number of things that you can do in preparation for a debate. Web go back to all the outstanding issues at the end of the debate and try to look at them from a different angle. And second, order more essays to become a part of the.

Make Sure It Is A Controversial Topic That Can Have A.

Web use a quotation using the words of others can be the most succinct way to summarise a topic or idea. Introduction needs to be peppy so that it grabs the audience’s attention and garners interest in the topic. Web you should be aiming to make your audience and your adjudicator sit up a little straighter in their chairs.

Web Second Video In The Series Of Six, Detailing A Proper Introduction To A Speech.

• assign speaker roles to your members • meet with your team members as. Web frequently asked questions about the essay introduction step 1: Web here are five strategies to help you create positive debates amongst students.

Post a Comment for "How To Make A Debate Introduction"


Share an amazing fact

Grabbing your audience’s attention is a great tactic too. During a debate, you can greatly improve your side’s position by giving facts, data, and statistics to bolster your points. If the facts are in your favour then you ought to argue the facts.

How to debate. Share an amazing fact.

Use a quotation

Using the words of others can be the most succinct way to summarise a topic or idea. It also adds weight and a reputation behind your argument.

How to start a debate. Use a quotation.

Ask a question

Starting with a question engages your audience and gets them to think in a particular frame of mind. Winning debates is sometimes down to the perspective you are able to offer your audience.

how to begin a debate. ask a rhetorical question.

State a problem

Giving a clear idea of the

how to start a debate. state a problem

Using these five ways can really help you make a difference in your debating style and with some luck persuade your audience. let us know in the comments below how your debate went.

80 ESL Debate Topics About Travel and Tourism

80 debating topics on the environment, healthcare is a human right and should be free for everyone, the minimum wage should be increased every year, should we boycott fast fashion brands, leave a reply cancel reply.

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Most popular, 60 controversial discussion topics with teaching ideas, 30 debates on women and gender equality, 56 debating topics on religion and faith.

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Debate Writing

Debate Speech

Cathy A.

Debate Speech - Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

19 min read

Published on: Jan 25, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 18, 2022

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A debate speech is a structured argument about a particular topic. It is conducted according to the set of rules designed to give each team a fair chance. Therefore, following a proper structure in  debate writing  is essential for the debater and the audience.

Similarly, there are also some other methods to write an effective debate. By understanding them, you will increase the chances of your success. Moreover, setting a tone and correct word choice is also essential to grab the audience’s and judges’ attention.

We have drafted this detailed guide to help students with their debate speeches. Continue reading to get an idea about the complete format and template.

Debate Speech Definition

A debate speech is a formal discussion on a particular topic between two opposing sides. One side speaks in favor of the given topic, while the other one speaks against it. The main aim of a debate speech is to convince the audience that your opinion is right.

Also, the two main factors that determine the definition of a debate speech are:

It involves three basic elements given below.

Similarly, debate speech allows us to think about different perspectives and improves public speaking skills. It can further make you learn the basics of creating a persuasive argument.

Debate Speech Format

A debate speech format follows the below pattern.

Opening Statements and Clarification

This section includes the opening sentences by using three arguments along with clarifying questions.

Rebuttals (No New Arguments)

Here, the debaters repeat the opponent’s arguments and analyze what is wrong with his position.

It allows the debaters to summarize their positions after detailed arguments with the opponents. Moreover, they will also explain why their position is the best.

Lastly, each team will be expected to answer the questions in a 20-minute long session.

Have a look at the below document to get an idea of the debate speech structure.

Debate Writing Speech Template

How to Start a Debate Speech?

Starting your debate in the right way will make your audience more interested. Thus, take enough time to prepare a solid opening that will help you win the debate.

Follow the below prewriting steps to start a debate speech.

how to start a debate speech

Below given is a detailed description of these steps.

Begin with an Impressive Greeting

The first and foremost step is to start your debate speech with an amazing greeting. It is much more than a simple introduction of a topic and gives an idea of the main argument.

Similarly, it also alerts the audience on whether the debate speech is going to be interesting or not. Remember, a compelling greeting will help you gain maximum attention from the listeners.

An example of the greeting is stated below.

“A very cheerful good morning to all. Honorable juries/adjudicators, respected teachers, and my fellow competitors. Today I would like to light my views supporting (if you are in favor) /opposing (if you are against) the motion/topic (say your topic).”

Tell a Personal Story

You can also tell a personal story from your experiences. It will help you connect with the audience emotionally. Moreover, being authentic and genuine will also make your debate stand out.

For Example:

“When I was a child growing up in rural England, I came to accept how clean and unpolluted it was. It was when I moved to the city where I enrolled in a University. Little did I realize that air pollution and excessive waste was a big problem…”

State an Amazing Fact

Stating the facts and statistical data will also grab the audience’s attention. Similarly, it can also improve your position by strengthening the arguments.

“The economy does not work for everyone. The average person in the UK only has 12 weeks’ worth of their income saved in the bank…”

Use a Powerful Quotation

You can also summarize a topic or idea by using the words of other people. It is a great way to add weight and reputation to your argument.

“Over the last 20 years, the number of people who are keenly changing their diet is steadily on the rise. Ellen DeGeneres notably became a vegan, as she said in her own words after seeing “footage of what goes on in the slaughterhouses and on the dairy farm.” The notion that eating meat is becoming less important…”

Ask a Rhetorical Question

Starting a debate speech with a question will engage people and make them think in a specific mind frame.

“Have you ever wondered how important the ocean is in our lives? The oceans provide half the oxygen we breathe and feed more than 2 billion people each day…”

State a Problem

A debater can give a clear picture of the main argument by stating a problem.

“The internet is a danger to society. It’s clear that our global civilization is coming of age. We are communicating faster, doing business quicker, and learning volumes.

Even the trade in black market goods and services is not diminishing. What we choose to do with the internet can change the world.”

Share Your Opinion About the Topic

Lastly, a debater must share his opinion on the topic while starting a debate speech. It will help the audience to comprehend the side we are going to argue about.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to talk to you today about exams. The exam system that we have followed is the British system has been reformed many times. A big exam at the age of eleven determined a child’s whole future.

Here, I will argue that the problem is that exams, besides being stressful, are ineffective in assessing student learning.”

Refer to the example to learn more about how to start a debate speech 1st speaker.

Debate Speech Example for 1st Speaker

How to Write a Debate Speech?

Follow the steps given below to write a debate speech.

Understand the Debate Speech

Understanding the debate speech and its nature is the first step in the writing process. Here, both the opposing teams will be given a topic. Choose the stance, either affirmative or negative, to the resolution.

Sometimes you will be given a stance, and other times you will be asked to take a position. Also, select the  types of debate  that you want to pursue. It can be a team policy debate, cross-examination, or parliamentary debating.

Research the Topic Thoroughly

The next step is to brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly. It will help you understand all the aspects of the resolution to write a perfect speech.

Make a list of the key points on both sides of the topic. Try to cover each in your debate speech. However, make sure to use credible sources such as newspapers, books, and scholarly journals.

Also, do not ignore the counter-arguments as they can weaken your debate.

Develop a Debate Speech Outline

Develop an outline for your debate speech to organize your main ideas. A basic speech outline consists of three main sections, i.e., introduction, body, and conclusion.

A detailed explanation of these sections is given below.

Debate Speech Introduction:  It is the first section of a debate outline. Below are the four main parts that must be included in a debate speech introduction.

The example of a debate speech introduction is given below.

Debate Speech Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs are the main section of your debate speech. Here the judges will take notes of your significant arguments to compare them with the opponents at the end.

Each paragraph must include a statement to discuss the ideas that you want to make. Also, add a reason to support your thesis and explain more about the argument. However, do not forget to add evidence from credible sources to strengthen your argument.

Finally, explain the significance of your argument. It should discuss why the argument is important to the debaters and the judges. Moreover, it must also provide logical reasoning for the audience to choose your side.

Below is an example of a debate speech body paragraph.

Debate Speech Conclusion

The conclusion of your debate speech is the last chance to demonstrate the major arguments. It includes an attention-grabbing sentence and a thesis statement that connects the entire speech. Also, summarize the main body by adding emotion and drama to our words.

It is good to conclude your speech & debate with a message or quote that clarifies your position and arguments to the judges. Finally, add a closing sentence similar to the attention grabber to leave a lasting impression on the audience.

The following is an example of a good debate speech conclusion.

Structure for Debate Speech

Writing the Debate Speech

After deciding on the outline format, start writing the final draft of your debate. It is better to combine the elements of persuasion to explain the effects of the topic in real life. These are:

Furthermore, use  transition words  to maintain a logical flow between arguments. Never make the mistake of copying information from any other source. It is the best tip to avoid plagiarism.

Lastly, edit and proofread your work to identify any common errors. It may include grammatical, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

You can also hire a professional proofreader or ask your friends or colleagues to proofread it. This is how you will be able to produce an amazing debate speech.

How to End a Debate Speech?

It is better to end your debate speech by identifying whether you have incorporated all the elements. Here is a checklist for you to access your speech with the help of the following questions.

Follow these  debating techniques  to write a perfect one in no time. Check the example for a detailed understanding of the concept.

Examples to End a Debate Speech

Debate Speech Examples

The following are some debate speech samples and examples for you to get a better idea.

Sample for Debate Speech

Example for Debate Speech

Debate Speech Text Example

Debate Speech Example - Second Speaker

Debate Speech Example - Last Speaker

Get more  debate examples  by going through our blog.

Debate Speech Topics

Here are some unique topic ideas for you to write a debate on.

If you are looking for more ideas, here is a list of interesting  debate topics .

The Key to Winning a Debate

To do well in a debate, you need to research and prepare. This means spending a lot of time writing and rewriting your speeches.

However, you can't just prewrite everything and expect to win. You also need to be able to think on your feet, write quickly, and respond promptly if you want to win.

To do this, you need to understand the keys to victory.

Always Listen to the Opponent Carefully

Being a good listener is one of the most important debating skills our students can have. When we think of winning a debate, we often think of dazzling the audience with our brilliance. But, being quiet and listening to others is often more important.

If students do not listen to the other side, they will not know what the other side is saying. They will not be able to refute the claims of the opposition effectively if they do not know what those claims are.

Understand the Audience

Before giving a speech, it is important to know who your audience is. Students should learn that the way they present their arguments may be different depending on the demographics of the audience and/or the judges they will be speaking to.

People who have retired from teaching and people who are still in school might have different reactions to the same arguments. This is also true during a debate.

If the person giving the speech sees that the listeners are not reacting well, they should change their approach during the speech.

Practice is the Key to Success

The students should practice their speech before the debate. There is no need to learn it by heart entirely.

Usually, there is no expectation to memorize a speech entirely. Doing so can lead to the speaker losing some of their spontaneity and power in their delivery. However, students should not spend the whole speech reading off a piece of paper word by word.

Students should be familiar with the content of their speech and use flashcards as prompts if necessary.

They should also focus on making their body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures coherent with the verbal content of their speech. One way to do this is to practice delivering their speech in front of a mirror.

The above guide will help you understand the writing process of a debate speech. But, despite that, not everyone can draft perfect content. Therefore, many students end up taking writing help online.

However, due to a lack of resources, they often get stuck with unprofessional services. Most of them offer low-quality content at cheap prices.

If you are tired of these online scams, go for our legit  essay writing service .  MyPerfectWords.com  guarantees the best service and top-quality debates at budget-friendly rates.

Similarly, the expert writers have years of experience to deliver the work within the given deadline. They will also help you to choose engaging speech and debate topics.

Avail of reliable debate writing help by placing your  order  now.

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.

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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 make debate introduction for a

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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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 Write a Winning Debate Speech

how to make debate introduction for a

What Is a Debate?

A debate is a formal discussion on a specific topic. Two sides argue for and against a specific proposal or resolution in a debate.

Debates have set conventions and rules that both sides or teams agree to abide by. A neutral moderator or judge is often appointed to help regulate the discussion between the opposing sides.

Debating is a form of persuasive communication. We complete a complete guide to persuasive writing, which will form the backbone of your debating speech that can be accessed here.

Visual Writing Prompts


Debate Speech,debating | class debating unit 1 | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech | literacyideas.com

This unit will guide your students to write excellent DEBATE SPEECHES and craft ARGUMENTS that are well-researched, constructed and ready for critique from their classmates.

Furthermore, this EDITABLE UNIT will provide you with the TOOLS and STRATEGIES for running highly engaging CLASSROOM DEBATES.

How Is a Debate Structured?

Debates occur in many different contexts, and these contexts can determine the specific structure the debate will follow.

Some contexts where debates will occur include legislative assemblies, public meetings, election campaigns, academic institutions, and TV shows.

While structures can differ, below is a basic step-by-step debate structure we can look at with our students. If students can debate to this structure, they will find adapting to other debate structures simple.

1. Choose a Topic

Also called a resolution or a motion, the topic is sometimes chosen for each side. This is usually the case in a school activity to practice debating skills. 

Alternatively, as in the case of a political debate, two sides emerge naturally around contesting beliefs or values on a particular issue. 

We’ll assume the debate is a school exercise for the rest of this article.

The resolution or the motion is usually centered around a true or false statement or a proposal to make some change in the current state of affairs. Often the motion will start, ”This House believes that….”

2. Form Two Teams

Two teams of three speakers each are formed. These are referred to as ‘The House for the Motion’ or the ‘Affirmative’ team and ‘The House Against the Motion’ or the ‘Negative’ team.

Preparation is an essential aspect of debating. The speech and debate team members will need time to research their arguments, collaborate, and organize themselves and their respective roles in the upcoming debate.

They’ll also need time to write and rehearse their speeches too. The better prepared and coordinated they are as a team, the more chance they have of success in the debate.

Each speaker takes a turn making their speech, alternating between the House for the Motion, who goes first, and the House Against the Motion. Each speaker speaks for a pre-agreed amount of time.

The debate is held in front of an audience (in this case, the class), and sometimes, the audience is given time to ask questions after all the speeches have been made.

Finally, the debate is judged either by moderators or by an audience vote. 

The aim of the teams in a debate should be to convince a neutral third party that they hold the stronger position.

How to Write a Debate Speech

In some speech contest formats, students are only given the debate topic on the day, and limited time is allowed for preparation. Outside of this context, the speech writing process always begins with research.

Thorough research will help provide the student with both the arguments and the supporting evidence for those arguments.

Knowing how to research well is a skill that is too complex to cover in detail here. Fortunately, this site also has a detailed article on Top Research Strategies to help.

There are slight variations in the structure of debate speeches depending on when the speech is scheduled in the debate order. But, the structure and strategies outlined below are broadly applicable and will help students to write and deliver powerfully persuasive debate speeches.

The Debate Introduction

As with many types of text , the purpose of the introduction in a debate speech is to do several things: grab the attention of the audience, introduce the topic, provide a thesis statement, and preview some of the main arguments.

1. The Attention Grabber

Securing the attention of the audience is crucial. Failure to do this will have a strong, negative impact on how the team’s efforts will be scored as a whole.

There are several tried and tested methods of doing this. Three of the main attention grabbers that work well are:

a.) Quotation From a Well-Known Person

Using a quotation from a well-known person is a great way to draw eyeballs and ears in the speaker’s direction. People love celebrities, even if that celebrity is relatively minor. 

Using a quotation to open a speech lends authority to what is being said. As well as that, usually, the quotation chosen will be worded concisely and interestingly, making it all the more memorable and impactful for the audience.

b.) Statistics

Numbers can be very convincing. There’s just something about quantifiable things that persuades people. Perhaps it’s because numbers help us to pin down abstract ideas and arguments.

The challenge here is for the speaker to successfully extract meaning from the data in such a way as to bolster the force of their argument.

c.) The Anecdote

Anecdotes can be a valuable way to ease the audience into a complex topic. Anecdotes are essentially stories and can be used to make complicated moral or ethical dilemmas more relatable for an audience.

Anecdotes are also an effective way for the speaker to build a rapport with the audience, which, in turn, makes the task of persuading them an easier one.

2. Introduce the Topic

Once the audience’s attention has been firmly grasped, it’s time to introduce the topic or the motion. This should be done in a very straightforward and transparent manner to ensure the audience understands the topic of the debate.

For example, if the topic of the debate was school uniforms, the topic may be introduced with:

“Today, we will debate whether school uniforms should be compulsory for all high school students.”

3. Provide the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement should express the student’s or the team’s position on the motion. That is, the thesis statement explains which side of the debate the speaker is on.

This statement can come directly after introducing the topic, for example:

“Today, we will debate whether school uniforms should be compulsory for all high school students. This house believes (or, I believe …) that school uniforms should not be compulsory for high school students.”

4. Preview the Arguments

The final part of the introduction section of a debate speech involves previewing the main points of the speech for the audience.

There is no need to go into detail with each argument here; that’s what the body of the speech is for. It is enough to provide a general thesis statement for each argument or ‘claims’ – (more on this to follow).

Previewing the arguments in a speech is especially important as the audience and judges only get one listen to a speech – unlike a text which can be reread as frequently as the reader likes.

  Practice Activity

After explaining the different types of attention grabbers and the format for the rest of the introduction to your students, challenge them to write an example of each type of opening for a specific debate topic. 

When they’ve finished writing these speech openings, discuss with the students which of these openings works best with their chosen topic. They can then continue by completing the rest of the introduction for their speech using the format as described above.

Some suggested debate topics you might like to use with your class include:

The Body of the Speech

The body paragraphs are the real meat of the speech. They contain the in-depth arguments that make up the substance of the debate. 

How well these arguments are made will determine how the judges will assess each speaker’s performance, so it’s essential to get the structure of these arguments just right.

Let’s take a look at how to do that.

The Structure of an Argument

With the introduction out of the way, it’s time for the student to get down to the nitty-gritty of the debate – that is, making compelling arguments to support their case.

There are three main aspects to an argument in a debate speech. They are:

1. The Claim

2. The Warrant

3. The Impact

The first part of an argument is referred to as the claim. This is the assertion that the argument is attempting to prove. 

The warrant is the evidence or reasoning used to verify or support that claim.

Finally, the impact describes why the claim is significant. It’s the part of the argument that deals with why it matters in the first place and what further conclusions we can draw from the fact that the claim is true.

Following this structure carefully enables our students to build coherent and robust arguments.

Practice Activity

Present your students with a topic and, as a class, brainstorm some arguments for and against the motion.

Then, ask students to choose one argument and, using the Claim-Warrant-Impact format, take a few moments to write down a well-structured argument that’s up to debate standard.

Students can then present their arguments to the class. 

Or, you could also divide the class along pro/con lines and host a mini-debate!

The Conclusion

This speech section provides the speaker with one last opportunity to deliver their message.

In a timed formal debate, the conclusion also allows the speaker to show the judges that they can speak within the set time while still covering all their material.

As with conclusions in general, the conclusion of a debate speech provides an opportunity to refer back to the introduction and restate the central position. 

At this point, it can be a good idea to summarize the arguments before ending with a powerful image that leaves a lasting impression on the audience and judges.

The Burden of the Rejoinder

In formal debates, the burden of the rejoinder means that any time an opponent makes a point for their side, it’s incumbent upon the student/team to address that point directly.

Failing to do so will automatically be seen as accepting the truth of the point made by the opponent.

For example, if the opposing side argues that all grass is pink, despite how ridiculous that statement is, failing to refute that point directly means that, for the debate, all grass is pink.

Our students must understand the burden of the rejoinder and ensure that any points the opposing team makes are fully addressed during the debate.

When preparing to write their speech, students should spend a significant proportion of their team collaborating as a team. 

One good way to practice the burden of the rejoinder concept is to use the concept of Devil’s Advocate, whereby one team member acts as a member of the opposing team, posing arguments from the other side for the speaker to counter, sharpening up their refutation skills in the process.


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Debate: the keys to victory.

Research and preparation are essential to ensure good performance in a debate. Students should spend as much time as possible drafting and redrafting their speeches to maximize their chances of winning. However, a debate is a dynamic activity, and victory cannot be assured by pre-writing alone.

Students must understand that the key to securing victory lies in also being able to think, write (often in the form of notes), and respond instantly amid the turmoil of the verbal battle. To do this, students must understand the following keys to victory.

When we think of winning a debate, we often think of blinding the enemy with the brilliance of our verbal eloquence. We think of impressing the audience and the judges alike with our outstanding oratory.

What we don’t often picture when we imagine what a debate winner looks like is a quiet figure sitting and listening intently. But being a good listener is one of our students’ most critical debating skills.

If students don’t listen to the other side, whether by researching opposing arguments or during the thrust of the actual debate, they won’t know the arguments the other side is making. Without this knowledge, they cannot effectively refute the opposition’s claims.

Read the Audience

In terms of the writing that happens before the debate takes place, this means knowing your audience. 

Students should learn that how they present their arguments may change according to the demographics of the audience and/or judges to whom they will be making their speech. 

An audience of retired school teachers and an audience of teen students may have very different responses to the same arguments.

This applies during the actual debate itself too. If the student making their speech reads resistance in the faces of the listeners, they should be prepared to adapt their approach accordingly in mid-speech.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The student must practice their speech before the debate. There’s no need to learn it entirely by heart. There isn’t usually an expectation to memorize a speech entirely, and doing so can lead to the speaker losing some of their spontaneity and power in their delivery. At the same time, students shouldn’t spend the whole speech bent over a sheet of paper reading word by word.

Ideally, students should familiarize themselves with the content and be prepared to deliver their speech using flashcards as prompts when necessary.

Another important element for students to focus on when practising their speech is making their body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures coherent with the verbal content of their speech. One excellent way to achieve this is for the student to practice delivering their speech in a mirror.

And Finally…

Debating is a lot of fun to teach and partake in, but it also offers students a valuable opportunity to pick up some powerful life skills.

It helps students develop a knack for distinguishing fact from opinion and an ability to assess whether a source is credible or not. It also helps to encourage them to think about the other side of the argument. 

Debating helps our students understand others, even when disagreeing with them. An important skill in these challenging times without a doubt.


Debate Speech,debating | opinion writing unit 1 | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech | literacyideas.com



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The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

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Engage students through fun, interactive activities while learning to make arguments and avoid logical fallacies. Students will learn what makes a good argument as well as definitions and examples of logical fallacies. Students will do a logical fallacies worksheet in either self-grading google or paper format. They will also play a logical fallacies quiz game to practice recognizing logical fallacies in arguments. Finally, students will participate in a group debate activity where they will work in teams to create an argument to present to the class as well as respond to the arguments of other students.

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✎ 10 Logical Fallacies with Definitions and Examples

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How to perfect your prompt writing for ChatGPT, Midjourney and other AI generators

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Lecturer in Business Analytics, University of Sydney

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Marcel Scharth does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Generative AI is having a moment. ChatGPT and art generators such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney have proven their potential, and now millions are wracking their brains over how to get their outputs to look something like the vision in their head.

This is the goal of prompt engineering: the skill of crafting an input to deliver a desired result from generative AI.

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Despite being trained on more data and computational resources than ever before, generative AI models have limitations . For instance, they’re not trained to produce content aligned with goals such as truth, insight, reliability and originality.

They also lack common sense and a fundamental understanding of the world, which means they can generate flawed (and even nonsensical) content.

As such, prompt engineering is essential for unlocking generative AI’s capabilities. And luckily it isn’t a technical skill. It’s mostly about trial and error, and keeping a few things in mind.

Read more: AI art is everywhere right now. Even experts don't know what it will mean

First, let’s use ChatGPT to illustrate how prompt engineering can be used for text outputs. If it’s used effectively, ChatGPT can generate essays , computer code , business plans , cover letters , poetry , jokes , and more.

Since it’s a chatbot, you may be inclined to engage with it conversationally. But this isn’t the best approach if you want tailored results. Instead, adopt the mindset that you’re programming the machine to perform a writing task for you.

Create a content brief similar to what you might give a hired professional writer. The key is to provide as much context as possible and use specific and detailed language. You can include information about:

If you want a longer piece, you can generate it in steps. Start with the first few paragraphs and ask ChatGPT to continue in the next prompt. If you’re unsatisfied with a specific portion, you can ask for it to be rewritten according to new instructions.

But remember: no matter how much you tinker with your prompts, ChatGPT is subject to inaccuracies and making things up . So don’t take anything at face value. In the example below, the output mentions a “report” that doesn’t exist. It probably included this because my prompt asked it to use only reliable sources .

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Art generators

Midjourney is one of the most popular tools for art generation, and one of the easiest for beginners . So let’s use it for our next example.

Unlike for text generation, elaborate prompts aren’t necessarily better for image generation. The following example shows how a basic prompt combined with a style keyword is enough to create a variety of interesting images. Your style keyword may refer to a genre, art movement, technique, artist or specific work.

The following images were based on the prompt leopard on tree followed by different style keywords. These were (from the top left clockwise) synthwave , hyperrealist , expressionist and in the style of Zena Holloway . Holloway is a British photographer known for capturing her subjects in ethereal and somewhat surreal scenes, most often underwater.

Midjourney generations for _leopard on tree_.

You can also add keywords relating to:

With Midjourney, you can even use certain specific commands for different features, including ––ar or ––aspect to set the aspect ratio , ––no to omit certain objects, and ––c to produce more “unusual” results. This command accepts values between 0-100 after it, where the default is 0 and 100 leads to the most unusual result.

You can also use ––s or ––stylize to generate more artistic images (at the expense of following the prompt less closely).

The following example applies some of these ideas to create a fantasy image with a dreamlike and futuristic look. The prompt used here was dreamy futuristic cityscape, beautiful, clouds, interesting colors, cinematic lighting, 8k, 4k ––ar 7:4 ––c 25 ––no windows.

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Midjourney accepts multiple prompts for one image if you use a double colon. This can lead to results such as the image below, where I provided separate prompts for the owl and plants. The full prompt was oil painting of an ethereal owl :: flowers, colors :: abstract :: wisdom ––ar 7:4 .

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A more advanced type of prompting is to include an image as part of the prompt. Midjourney will then take the style of that image into account when generating a new one.

A good way to find inspiration and ideas is to explore the Midjourney gallery and style libraries .

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A career of the future?

As generative AI models enter everyday life, prompting skills are likely to become more in-demand , especially from employers looking to get results using AI generators.

Some commentators are asking if becoming a “prompt engineer” may be a way for professionals such as designers, software engineers and content writers to save their jobs from automation, by integrating generative AI into their work. Others have suggested prompt engineering will itself be a career.

It’s hard to predict what role prompt engineering will play as AI models advance.

But it’s almost a given that more sophisticated generators will be able to handle more complex requests, inviting users to stretch their creativity. They will likely also have a better grasp of our preferences, reducing the need for tinkering.

Read more: No, the Lensa AI app technically isn’t stealing artists' work – but it will majorly shake up the art world

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The Debt Ceiling in 2023: An In-Depth Analysis of Government Debt

by  Andrew Lautz February 27, 2023

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Congress is fast approaching the need to take action on the nation’s statutory debt limit, often referred to as the debt ceiling. First created in 1917 when the U.S. was entering World War I, the debt ceiling has been raised by Congress (and occasionally the president, when authorized to do so by Congress) dozens of times since then. It was most recently raised to $31.4 trillion in December 2021. The debt ceiling has become a major political football in 2023, with Democrats insisting on a “clean” debt ceiling increase or suspension – in other words, legislation that only increases the debt ceiling by a certain amount or suspends the ceiling for a certain amount of time, without any fiscal, budgetary, or other policy provisions attached – and Republicans claiming a “clean” increase or suspension is the only policy they won’t support. Instead, Republicans want Democrats in Congress and President Biden to agree to cut spending in exchange for a debt ceiling increase or suspension.

The current political fight amounts to a high-stakes game of chicken with enormous consequences for the domestic and global economy. The U.S. is the most important nation in the global economy. U.S. debt – issued in the form of U.S. Treasury securities – is considered among the safest investments in the entire world because the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt and is able to issue its own currency, which is the world’s reserve currency. Failing to increase or suspend the debt ceiling could lead to the U.S. government defaulting on its debts for the first time, which could shock the global economy and permanently call into question the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Interest rates would likely rise, increasing borrowing costs for U.S. consumers, businesses, and taxpayers, who would pay more to service current and future debt. U.S. stock indices could crash, gutting retirement and other long-term savings for millions of Americans and causing businesses to shed jobs. And the U.S. government would, at least temporarily, not be able to issue more debt. Given the federal government is projected to operate at an around $1 trillion deficit this fiscal year, all sorts of government programs and services could be threatened. Even the most basic of tasks for the federal government, such as issuing tax refunds to millions of taxpayers, could be impacted.

In short, no one in America wins if the federal government defaults on its debt. Consumers, businesses, and taxpayers in the U.S. – and around the world – lose. Default is not an option.

Policymakers frustrated with the nation’s spending and fiscal trajectory do raise important points, though. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that under current law, the federal government will add more than $19 trillion to debt held by the public over the next decade alone, an 80-percent increase from current debt levels. Spending in the next 10 years will average 23.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), (above the 50-year historical average of 21 percent), while revenues will average 18.0 percent of GDP (above the 50-year historical average of 17.4 percent). And the trust funds for the nation’s two largest spending programs, Social Security and Medicare Part A, are projected to be insolvent in 2035 and 2028 , respectively.

While Congress should not threaten the full faith and credit of the U.S. government nor risk the economic and financial consequences of waiting to increase or suspend the debt ceiling until it’s too late, there is also a long, bipartisan history of attaching debt ceiling increases or suspensions to legislation that includes other fiscal, spending, or policy reforms. By our count at NTU, this has been done at least 32 times since 1979, including six times when Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House. A debt limit increase under unified Democratic government in 2010 even included the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, a fiscally responsible piece of legislation serving as a backstop to deficit increases caused by Congress that, unfortunately, has never been allowed to go into effect.

Default is not an option. The consequences for American families, businesses, and taxpayers are too great. However, there are also significant negative consequences for American families, businesses, and taxpayers in allowing America to continue on its unsustainable fiscal trajectory.

A Brief History of the Debt

Federal policymakers cannot allow the U.S. to default on its debt, and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have recognized this in the early 2023 debate.

What this argument is ultimately about is not the debt ceiling and whether it needs to be raised. What the argument is about instead is U.S. debt levels and whether or not they are sustainable.

Some Members of Congress – primarily Republicans and some Democrats – argue that the nation’s fiscal and spending trajectories are unhealthy and unsustainable, and that Congress needs to cut spending. NTU agrees.

It is also important to acknowledge that both parties in Congress are responsible for the run-up in the nation’s debt over the past 15 years . The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. response to the Great Recession, and the multi-trillion dollar U.S. response to COVID-19 were all major contributors to the debt, and many of the fiscal policies therein had the support of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the White House. Democrats and Republicans also passed discretionary spending increases, on the defense and non-defense sides of the ledger, and tax cuts, both partisan and bipartisan, that added to the debt.

Both parties are therefore responsible for solutions to our nation’s unhealthy debt and deficit levels. And for those who would argue that current debt and deficit trajectories are not only satisfactory but desirable , we counter:

Rising U.S. debt raises interest rates and net interest costs for servicing our debt, meaning a larger and larger portion of U.S. revenues in the future will be devoted to just paying the interest on the federal debt;

Rising U.S. debt crowds out private investment in the U.S. economy, making businesses less innovative and agile and making it harder for the U.S. to perform well in the global economy going forward;

Rising U.S. debt makes the federal government less flexible to address future crises, like another pandemic or a major national security incident; and

Rising U.S. debt may eventually cause purchasers of that debt to doubt the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, with S&P’s downgrade serving as the primary example of such doubts.

And the new budget baseline released by CBO underscores the fiscal peril the nation is in.

Compared to its May baseline, deficits are projected to be a whopping $3.1 trillion (19.5 percent) larger over the next 10 years (fiscal years 2023-32), $18.9 trillion instead of $15.8 trillion.

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Spending is projected to be $4 trillion (5.5 percent) higher from FYs 23-32 than it was just nine months ago, a product of legislation passed by Congress and changes to economic projections over that time. Revenue will only be $0.9 trillion (1.6 percent) higher than projected in May, adding to deficits in the 10-year window (see chart above).

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Legislation to increase federal spending has been a primary (but not the only) driver of higher projected deficits now as compared to nine months ago. The largest single legislative contributors to 10-year deficits in the past nine months were the PACT Act and higher discretionary defense spending .

Another primary driver of increasing deficits, compared to nine months ago, is rising interest costs to service the federal government’s existing debt – one of several negative consequences to historically high inflation. Interest rates on U.S. Treasuries are projected to be much higher in the next few years than CBO projected in May 2022:

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This raises net interest costs a whopping $1.6 trillion (19.7 percent) over the next decade compared to May 2022 projections. The federal government will pay a total of $9.7 trillion in interest in the next 10 years, per CBO’s latest projections, nearly 17 percent of projected federal revenue. This means almost one in every five dollars collected by the federal government is being diverted to paying interest on existing debt, which funded past consumption and investment. If Congress enacted more sustainable fiscal practices, and debt and net interest costs were to fall, a higher proportion of revenue could be devoted to more productive purposes.

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And as a result of new legislation, changes to economic projections, and higher net interest costs, CBO now projects the U.S. will hit $40 trillion in debt held by the public sooner than it did nine months ago:

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Debt growth continues to outpace economic growth (as measured by gross domestic product or GDP), reaching 100 percent of GDP next fiscal year (2024, which starts in October 2023) and reaching a record 118 percent of GDP by the end of the decade:

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While the fiscal picture is increasingly grim in the years ahead, it’s worth putting these numbers in perspective. Mandatory spending as a percentage of GDP has been running higher than the 50-year historical average (1973-2022) since the onset of the Great Recession, and is projected to continue running well above the historical average in the 10 years to come. Discretionary spending will continue to decline as a percentage of GDP and remain below 50-year historical averages, though if past is prologue, Congress will likely raise both defense and non-defense discretionary spending relative to current CBO projections if there are no fiscal controls in place to stop them from doing so. And as discussed above, net interest costs will continue to rise in the next decade, well above 50-year historical averages.

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Payroll tax and corporate tax revenues will continue their downward trajectory as a percentage of GDP over the next decade and will be below 50-year historical averages, per CBO. Individual income tax revenue as a percentage of GDP will be elevated relative to 50-year historical averages, but will decline if lawmakers extend individual tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) without revenue offsets; many of these provisions expire in 2025.

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With the exception of a few years during the Obama administration (and when Republicans held one or both chambers of Congress), deficits have generally been higher than 50-year historical averages (as a percentage of GDP) since the Great Recession of 2007-08, and CBO projects they will increase further in the decade ahead.

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All of the above graphs, which utilize data from CBO’s February 2023 budget baseline, do not reflect a number of potential policy choices that could increase deficits, debt, and/or net interest costs even further in the decade to come:

Lawmakers could extend significant portions of the 2017 TCJA, which significantly cut individual taxes, without providing spending or revenue offsets;

Congress could repeal tax increases in the recently-enacted Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that prove unpopular or difficult to implement, such as the corporate book minimum tax or stock buyback tax, without also repealing the increased spending that the IRA’s tax increases offset;

Lawmakers could increase both defense and non-defense discretionary spending relative to CBO projections, since CBO rules require the agency to assume discretionary spending is held constant (with an adjustment for inflation) rather than increasing by several percentage points each year as Congress has enacted in recent years;

Congress could enact new legislation that increases mandatory spending beyond CBO projections, as it did with the Honoring Our PACT Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and more in the 117th session;

The Biden administration or future presidential administrations could introduce or finalize regulations that would significantly increase federal spending, such as the changes to income-driven repayment on student loans that are likely to increase federal spending, but that CBO has not yet accounted for in its baseline;

The Federal Reserve could raise interest rates further than CBO projects, which would put upward pressure on the interest rates paid on U.S. debt and our net interest costs going forward;

A recession could increase spending through automatic stabilizers in the federal budget, increase spending through emergency legislation passed by Congress, or reduce taxes through emergency legislation passed by Congress, as what occurred during the Great Recession and the (briefer) COVID-19 recession; and

Natural disasters, national or international security incidents, and public health emergencies could lead to additional emergency spending by Congress not already accounted for in CBO’s baseline.

This is not an exhaustive list of items that could push deficits up even further. Whatever debt ceiling deadline Congress is dealing with now, the next deadline after this one will likely come sooner than lawmakers think.

A Brief History of the Debt Ceiling

The statutory debt limit (alternatively referred to as the debt ceiling) has been around since 1917, established by Congress during World War I. Its purpose was to make it easier for the government to accrue debt to support the war effort. As PBS NewsHour’s Steven Pressman summarizes :

“Before 1917, Congress would authorize the government to borrow a fixed sum of money for a specified term. When loans were repaid, the government could not borrow again without asking Congress for approval.

The Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917, which created the debt ceiling, changed this. It allowed a continual rollover of debt without congressional approval.”

This law both moved Congress away from authorizing borrowing for specific purposes – allowing the federal government to borrow more generally , subject to limits – and established the precedent of Congress raising the debt ceiling.

Raising the debt ceiling was a rather regular and perfunctory part of Congressional business for decades to follow, though throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and first decade of the 21st century, debt limit increases were occasionally accompanied by attempted fiscal and spending reforms:

Public Law (PL) 96-5 , enacted in April 1979, increased the debt ceiling by $430 billion through September 1979 and required the Budget Committees in Congress to report budgets for fiscal years 1981 and 1982 that were in balance;

PL 99-177 , enacted in December 1985, increased the debt ceiling to above $2 trillion but also “ created statutory deficit limits and a statutory mechanism to enforce the limits ” with an aim of balancing the budget over six years;

PL 105-33 , enacted in August 1997, increased the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion but also achieved “$127 billion in net deficit reduction over the 1998-2002 period,” according to CBO ; and

PL 111-139 , enacted in February 2010, increased the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion and included the Statutory PAYGO Act as mentioned above, which attempted to enforce budget discipline on Congress by requiring a mandatory spending sequester (across-the-board cut) if Congress increased the deficit.

Notably, three of the four measures above (1979, 1997, and 2010) were enacted into law under Democratic presidents, two of four (1979 and 2010) were enacted when Democrats held the presidency and both chambers of Congress, and two of four (1985 and 1997) were enacted under divided government.


The 2011 debt ceiling episode forever changed how Congresses and presidents handle the debt ceiling, given it was the most contentious debt ceiling standoff in U.S. history to date and led to the first-ever credit downgrade for the U.S. government.

The debt ceiling reached its limit, previously established by PL 111-139 (which included the Statutory PAYGO Act, see above), in May 2011. The Treasury Department, under the leadership of Secretary Tim Geithner, began so-called “ extraordinary measures ;” temporary financial maneuvers Congress has allowed the Treasury to make that effectively delay the date of a debt default.

From early 2011, the Republican negotiating position on the debt ceiling was that they would not raise it unless they extracted spending cuts from Democrats and the Obama administration – a position very similar to the House Republican negotiating position in 2023 with the Biden administration. President Obama and Senate Democrats insisted as late as a month out from the likely default date that a debt ceiling increase should be “clean” – the President Biden and Senate Democratic position in 2023 – but President Obama eventually indicated a willingness to negotiate with Republicans on deficit reduction. He tasked a familiar face to negotiate with Republicans – then-Vice President Biden.

What emerged from these negotiations was the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, both the most significant deficit reduction legislation of the 21st century to date and, in retrospect, a policy disappointment that held down spending increases but failed to meaningfully reduce debt and deficit levels. The BCA included 10 years of discretionary defense and non-defense spending caps (which Congress routinely cheated in subsequent years), a sequester (across-the-board cut) for mandatory spending, and a bipartisan super-committee in Congress tasked with identifying hundreds of billions of dollars in deficit reduction for the subsequent 10 years. (The super-committee failed.)

Despite the enactment of the BCA on August 2, 2011, one of the three major credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), gave the U.S. government its first ever credit downgrade on August 5, 2011. S&P criticized the political bickering over the debt ceiling:

"The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed."

The agency also criticized the BCA itself:

"The downgrade reflects our opinion that the ... plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics.”

The stock market reacted by dropping 6.66 percent on the next day of trading.

Subsequent debates over the debt ceiling have been politically charged but not nearly as dramatic as the 2011 episode. The debt ceiling has been increased or suspended eight times since 2011: three times under President Obama (twice in 2013, and once in 2015), three times under President Trump (2017, 2018, and 2019), and twice under President Biden (both in 2021). No major spending or fiscal reforms have been attached to these eight debt ceiling increases or suspensions, and in fact several of them have been attached to bipartisan bills that increase spending, including the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 .

A novelty introduced in 2013, what the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service calls a “procedural innovation,” was the suspension of the debt ceiling. This involved Congress suspending the debt ceiling until a specified date, which it did six times from 2013 through 2019.

Potential Solutions to Our Unsustainable Fiscal Trajectory

The ideal solution, in our view, is an increase in the debt ceiling paired with significant spending, fiscal, and budget reforms. The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, while far from a perfect piece of legislation, represents a good floor for what policymakers could pair with a debt ceiling increase or suspension.

Given the balance of power in Washington, these reforms would need to both win bipartisan support and be realistic enough for lawmakers to stick with in the years ahead. Proposals to balance the federal budget within 10 years may be exciting to some lawmakers and budget policy organizations, but the consistent political sacrifices required to achieve balance in such a short time render such proposals unworkable in practice.

The 2011 Budget Control Act Model

The BCA is a more realistic framework for what would represent a comprehensive spending reform and debt ceiling compromise, and such a compromise could include:

Multiple years of discretionary spending caps, ideally at least a decade’s worth;

The creation of a special committee to propose deficit reduction options for consideration in Congress; and

The use of a sequester (across-the-board spending cut) as a backstop for lawmakers’ failure to agree to bipartisan deficit reduction.

Another round of discretionary spending caps may not strike some readers as a proposal with bipartisan potential, but many forget that the Budget Control Act’s caps had widespread bipartisan support. The BCA passed Congress on a 269-161 vote in the House and a 74-26 vote in the Senate. In the House, 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for the BCA. In the Senate, 28 Republicans and 46 Democrats voted for the BCA. The Obama administration “strongly support[ed] enactment of the Budget Control Act” and praised its “significant down payment on deficit reduction and … means to reduce the deficit further through a balanced approach that allows both for cutting spending and for addressing revenues by eliminating tax subsidies or through comprehensive tax reform.” The administration also later specifically praised the caps in communications on President Obama’s record on fiscal responsibility.

House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-TX) introduced legislation in the 117th Congress that would reinstall discretionary spending caps. That bill did not earn Democratic cosponsors, but if Republicans approach discretionary spending caps from a perspective of shared sacrifice on the defense and non-defense sides of the discretionary ledger, they could find support from across the aisle.

how to make debate introduction for a

However, merely mapping the BCA of 2011 onto a 2023 compromise bill is not enough to get the nation’s spending and fiscal trajectories under control. The BCA failed in many respects, as the special committee on deficit reduction failed to reach a compromise, and lawmakers voted several times on a bipartisan basis to cheat the law’s spending caps in the subsequent decade.

A new and improved version of the BCA could incorporate several ideas from NTU’s 2021 paper , “The Budget Control Act of 2021: A Roadmap for Congress,” including but not limited to:

Tighter restrictions on emergency spending and overseas military spending that restrict lawmakers’ efforts to circumvent discretionary spending caps by putting non-urgent funding in emergency accounts (more on that below);

A broader sequester , which would increase lawmakers’ incentives to reach a special committee agreement on deficit reduction and enact that package into law; and

Legislation that would limit government spending growth in future years to a “primary balance factor” that is based in large part on the nation’s annual GDP growth rate, modeled after the highly effective Swiss constitution “debt brake,” as included in the Responsible Budget Targets Act from Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).

If a special committee were to have the chance to work on deficit reduction, NTU would stand ready to supply the committee with meaningful reforms that have won support across the ideological spectrum. In 2020, NTU Foundation released a report with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund, “Toward Common Ground,” that outlines around $800 billion in deficit reduction proposals that can win the support of both parties in Congress.

Outside of the BCA Framework

There are numerous additional proposals that have received, are currently receiving, or could reasonably be expected to receive bipartisan backing in the context of broader fiscal reform. Those options include, but are not limited to:

Emergency spending reform and/or the creation of a national “rainy day fund”: Congress needs to rein in emergency spending, or at least put guardrails on abuse or misuse of what constitutes an “emergency.” Lawmakers appropriated tens of billions of dollars for emergencies in the last session, and though many spending items were for legitimate, widely bipartisan purposes such as disaster relief, there should also be bipartisan agreement in Congress that policymakers need to better prepare and budget for inevitable emergency needs. In 2010, the widely bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission called for “establish[ing] a disaster fund to budget honestly for catastrophes.” The commission recommended “explicitly set[ting] aside funds for disaster relief and establish[ing] stricter parameters for the use of these funds.” They also recommended enhancing transparency and public reporting on the use of emergency funds throughout the federal government. NTU stands ready to work with lawmakers in both parties on turning this recommendation, even more relevant now than it was 13 years ago, into action.

Overseas Contingency Operations and/or emergency war funding reform : Perhaps the most prominent example of emergency funding misuse and abuse in recent years was the Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, account. The OCO account started as a means to fund emergency needs for America’s overseas military operations primarily in the Middle East. It morphed into a slush fund for military projects outside the overseas context that couldn’t fit into the base budget under the BCA’s defense caps. Congress has not funded the OCO account since FY 2021, but they must absolutely establish guardrails to prevent future misuse or abuse of OCO or some successor emergency war fund. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Mike Braun (R-IN) have legislation, the Restraining Emergency War Spending Act , that would accomplish these aims. This legislation was not bipartisan at the time of introduction, but NTU strongly believes preventing abuse of emergency war funding accounts would be a bipartisan cause should Congress take it up, given members of both parties criticized the OCO “slush fund” in prior years.

The Responsible Budgeting Act from Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Scott Peters (D-CA): This creative and bipartisan legislation would prevent debt ceiling standoffs in the future while still requiring Congress and the president to put forward fiscally responsible solutions to America’s unsustainable debt and fiscal trajectories. The bill provides two avenues for increasing the debt ceiling: one would automatically trigger a debt ceiling increase if Congress passes a budget resolution reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio by at least five percent over 10 years; another would allow the president to request a debt ceiling suspension if Congress doesn’t pass a budget resolution on time, though the president would also have to present Congress with proposed debt reduction legislation.

The Preventing Government Shutdowns Act from Sens. James Lankford (R-OK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) : This legislation would permanently prevent government shutdowns from happening by allowing discretionary spending to run on rolling, two-week continuing resolutions when Congress fails to pass spending bills on time. There are numerous incentives in the legislation for Congress to stay in Washington and complete action on spending bills, including a ban on taxpayer-funded travel and limitations on non-spending legislation or Congressional business lawmakers can do until a spending deal is reached.

The TRUST Act from Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Ed Case (D-HI): The TRUST Act would create bipartisan, bicameral rescue committees tasked with considering policy options that would prevent the inevitable default of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Contrary to the fear-mongering of some stakeholders , the TRUST Act would not put Social Security and Medicare benefits “on the chopping block.” Instead, the legislation would compel Republicans and Democrats to work together on long-term fixes to the programs that would prevent across-the-board cuts to Social Security benefits or Medicare payments in 2035 and 2028, respectively. Such across-the-board cuts would be catastrophic, and Congress needs to address the programs’ impending insolvency well before those dates.

The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act from the late Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), as introduced in the 116th Congress: This legislation from several years ago, championed by the late Senate Budget Chair Mike Enzi (R-WY) and current Senate Budget Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), would overhaul and improve the Congressional budget process . It would provide for biennial, rather than annual, budgeting, forcing Congress to think more long-term about spending and revenue targets. It would require the Budget Committees to establish goals for debt-to-GDP ratios, a key measure of the nation’s fiscal health. And it would provide a special reconciliation process dedicated to deficit reduction, sorely needed reform given recent reconciliation measures have been used to increase deficits.

The Preventing Improper Payments Act from Reps. Blake Moore (R-UT) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA): This bipartisan bill would automatically designate all federal programs making more than $100 million in payments per year as “susceptible to significant improper payments” in the program’s first three years, subjecting the program to enhanced reporting requirements that could better protect taxpayer dollars from being diverted to fraudulent or wasteful purposes.

The Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Gary Peters (D-MI), and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and former Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA): This legislation would require federal agencies to report on all projects that are $1 billion over budget, five years behind schedule, or both . This kind of transparency and straightforward reporting is essential for both lawmakers and taxpayers to figure out what federal projects are working and what projects are not.

The Fair-Value Accounting and Budget Act from Reps. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and Ed Case (D-HI): This legislation encourages transparency and accuracy in accounting to loan programs administered by the federal government. It would require the executive branch and Congress to use fair value accounting in calculating the cost of the federal credit programs, an important system utilized by the private sector. Adopting fair-value accounting principles provides a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of risk - a welcome change that benefits taxpayers.

The Streamline Pentagon Budgeting Act from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Mike Lee (R-UT): While many Republicans have claimed defense spending cuts should be off the table in budget talks, Republicans could still show their commitment to avoiding wasteful spending or inefficient processes in all parts of the federal budget, including defense. This bipartisan legislation would repeal statutory requirements for Department of Defense (DoD) branches and commands to provide Congress with unfunded priorities lists (or “wish lists”) each and every year. Wish lists distort the defense budget process, undermine civilian control of the military and the defense budget, and put upward pressure on the DoD budget. Congress should get rid of the wish list requirements.

The Audit the Pentagon Act from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT): The Pentagon has never passed an audit, despite Congress requiring over 30 years ago that all federal agencies conduct and pass audits concerning their management of taxpayer funds. Lawmakers have spent years providing “carrots,” or incentives, to DoD to improve their audit performance, to no avail. It is time for Congress to apply “sticks.” This bill from Sens. Grassley and Sanders would cut one percent of the Pentagon’s budget and send it to the Treasury Department for deficit reduction if DoD fails to pass an audit.

The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), former Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA): Some good-government efforts would provide only small savings to taxpayers but would represent Congress and the executive branch cleaning up its own house, sending an important signal to constituents across the country. The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act is one such example. The legislation would limit the pension a president could receive to $200,000 annually, with the amount being reduced dollar-for-dollar once a president earns over $400,000 per year. Taxpayers should not be funding generous pensions for former presidents , most of whom do quite well financially in retirement.

The No Budget, No Pay Act from Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Joe Manchin (D-WV): This bipartisan bill would make sure Members of Congress are not paid on the taxpayers’ dime when they have failed the most basic responsibility of governing: passing an annual budget. Like the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act above, this would not meaningfully reduce taxpayer costs but would send an important signal to constituents that Congress is not going to benefit from taxpayer-funded salaries when they are failing to effectively govern.

The Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution from former Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) : Finally, the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution is a widely supported measure that would require the Comptroller General of the United States to address Congress once per year on the nation’s budgetary and financial health . Such an address would put fiscal issues front and center in the halls of Congress at least once per year, and would hopefully interest more Americans in the nation’s fiscal health as well.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of proposals Congress should consider, and individual Members would surely have additional legislation to suggest be included on this list.

To reiterate: default should not be on the table. Recent reporting indicates that House Republicans may, in the short term, pursue a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling that aligns a new potential deadline with the end of fiscal year (FY) 2023 on September 30, to "create more pressure for a deal” that cuts spending. This could be a valid tactic for House Republicans, so long as it reduces the likelihood of a default and buys more time for negotiations.

However, if Republicans and Democrats do decide to reach across the aisle and work together on a comprehensive fiscal and budget reform package, the above collection of proposals – most of them strongly bipartisan – would be an excellent place to start.  

1 Trending: Why It Matters That I’m A Mother, Not A Generic ‘Parent’ Or ‘Grown-Up’

2 trending: biden admin pushes transgender medical ‘care’ while quietly bankrolling research showing its risks, 3 trending: meet the partisans who wove the censorship complex’s vast and tangled web, 4 trending: obama judge unleashes fbi on gop rep. scott perry’s phone records for more j6 hounding, questioning biden’s ukraine policy doesn’t make you an ‘isolationist’.

Biden meets with Zelensky in Kyiv, Ukraine

If the cause of Ukraine is righteous, there is no reason to chill debate.

Author David Harsanyi profile

It’s not exactly a sign of a healthy democratic discourse that it’s virtually impossible to ask a critical question about the United States’ role in the Ukraine-Russia conflict without being smeared as a Putin apologist or an “isolationist.”

We’ve been bombarded with bromides about a civilizational struggle that pits the forces of autocracy and liberalism against each other. “It’s not just about freedom in Ukraine,” Biden tells us . “It’s about freedom of democracy at large.”

Yet Ukraine — which, before the war, regularly slotted in somewhere beneath Burma, Mexico, and Hungary on those silly “democracy matrixes” left-wingers used to love — isn’t any kind of liberal democracy. Maybe one day it will be. Today Ukraine still shutters churches and restricts the free press. Maybe you believe those are justifiable actions during wartime, but under no definition are they liberal. Ukraine has never been a functioning “democracy.” Its people defend its borders and sovereignty in the face of a powerful expansionist aggressor. That’s good enough.

But a person is capable of rooting for Vladimir Putin to be embarrassed, beaten, and weakened, without accepting the historical revisionism and a highly idealized version of Ukraine. A person is fully capable of rooting for Putin to be embarrassed, beaten, and weakened, and also asking questions about where this is all headed.

Last week on “Fox and Friends,” probable presidential candidate Ron DeSantis answered a few queries about the war. Perhaps one day the governor will morph into the next Charles Lindbergh, but none of his answers were remotely “isolationist” — as Axios’ Josh Kraushaar, and many others, claimed . Unless, that is, anything short of automatic, lockstepping support for every foreign entanglement is considered “isolationist.”

DeSantis’ central criticism was that “Ukraine has a blank check policy with no clear strategic objective identified.” Is this contention even debatable? The administration has offered no identifiable endgame, other than “beating” Russia. Which is fantastic. But what does that entail? Does it mean we keep sending weapons and billions of dollars until Russia is ejected from the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine or until Zelensky takes back Crimea, as well — which would surely escalate the war into a new bloody phase? Or does beating Russia happen when Zelensky finally rides a jeep up to the Kremlin? That might take a while.

At The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin (weirdly) accused DeSantis of pandering to “pro-Russian apologists” by dismissing the country as “a third-rate military power.” The Biden administration apparently agrees that Russian tanks aren’t going to be rolling into Paris or Berlin or Poland any time soon. Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl told Congress this week, “Ukraine is not going to lose. There will be no loss in Ukraine. I think Vladimir Putin hoped that that would happen. It hasn’t happened. It’s not going to happen.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen didn’t like that DeSantis criticized his “own country’s president” — so much for dissent being patriotic — and that he suggested that “his own country deserves part of the blame for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” But that’s not what DeSantis suggested. He suggested Biden deserved part of the blame. And maybe he does.

History did not begin in 2015. CNN, for instance, points out that DeSantis has changed his tone on the issue of Ukraine aid since 2012. Fair enough. It is also true, and far more consequential, that Biden spearheaded “reset” efforts after eight years of purported Republican antagonism toward Russia. It was Biden who led the administration’s efforts to readmit Russia access to the World Trade Organization — one of “the most important item[s] on our agenda.” It was Biden who claimed Romney was “totally out of touch” on Russia. It was his boss Obama who told Medvedev that he’d have more flexibility after 2012. And it was Putin who likely saw all this as weakness and invaded Crimea. Obama didn’t arm that Ukrainian resistance back then, probably because he needed Russia to pursue the most important foreign policy agenda item: the Iran deal.

Perhaps history unfolds differently if the Obama administration hadn’t appeased Putin. Perhaps not. Whatever the case, a president with decades of foreign policy incompetence on his resume, only recently costing 13 American servicemen their lives in a botched Afghanistan withdrawal, should not be immune from debate or criticism.

And, no doubt, there are those on the right who are genuine isolationists. There are those who let politics cloud their assessment of Putin’s autocracy. Then, there are those on the left who have allowed conspiracy theories that were cooked up during the 2016 election to warp their understanding of Russian power. You get the sense that if Trump had been more bellicose toward Putin, left-wing columnists would be clamoring to send him tanks.

Regardless, if Ukraine’s cause is righteous, and our opaque but open-ended commitment is necessary to save Western democracy, there should be no reason to chill debate.

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How to Make Instructables Robot


Introduction: How to Make Instructables Robot

How to Make Instructables Robot

Hi readers, happy to see you here! In this instructables I will show you how to make instructables robot

It is a very proud project for me as iam building something for my favorite community.

This project makes use of Tinkercad codeblocks which I find very easy to use.

This project took quiet a while for me as I had to work on individual parts and get them working together.

Neverthless it was all worth it at the end as I was finally able to make this robot move.

Why you should make instructables robot?

Each individual part of this robot has different shape and size.

Trying to replicate this needs a good observing skill.

It enables a thinking ability which leads to improvments in the thinking function that ultimately effects positively in some areas of life

What does this Codeblock do?

This codeblock creates instructable robot from tip to toe and finally moves the entire robot away from screen.

·        Tinkercad

·        Internet

·        Some time of yours

These are the only supplies that is needed to build this project.

Step 1: Making Head and Ears

Making Head and Ears

You can refer the code blocks that are shown in these steps

You can try to build this robot by following these code blocks.

To come up with this it took me lots of trial and errors as I had to first calculate the dimensions of the current instructables robot.

From the codeblocks used in head you can see that I made use of square that is hollow

For smoother sides I used edge dimension as 2

This square was later moved in the Z axis by distance of 100mm

Later I added paraboloid It was later rotated around x-axis by minus 90 degrees from the pivot like the square head block I moved this on the direction of Z Axis by a distance of 100 millimetre this complete one ear side of the robot.

For the other side I repeated same steps but the paraboloid was rotated around x axis by 9° and moved with 100 mm distance on Z axis

Now for the ear stick I used two cylinders both of radius 0.1 mm with 25 sides

first ear stick was rotate in x-axis by minus 88 degrees from pivot and was later moved on the direction of Z Axis by 100 mm and y Axis 17 mm

To make the second ear stick I rotated around x axis by 88 degrees and moveu up on the direction of Z Axis by 100 mm and Y Axis by minus 17 mm

This completes Head and ears part

Step 2: Making the Face

Making the Face

The robot has eyes with long eyebrows and a mouth.

I used the following codes to make those.

i have added image with the code steps and robot face that was being created.

The shapes that i used to make this were 2 torus that was added first later followed by 2 spheres

Then for eyebrows i added a cylinder horizontally

Mouth was made using torus then i finished the mouth using a piece of cylinder.

At the end of these codes you will have a face of robot.

Step 3: Robot Stomach and Chest

Robot Stomach and Chest

The body of robot is the main piece of highlight or i can say center of attraction!

Chest and Stomach part holds all other small parts together.

To code this i have used first a half sphere followed by adding box

For lower stomach where the legs will be attached i have used a box in the shape of rectangle

You can check for the same in the codeblock images on above steps

End result would be half completed robot

Step 4: Hands and Legs

Hands and Legs

For hands and legs i will be using cylinders, The size vary for hands and legs

Hands have fingers so this robot should too!

For the fingers i will be adding small cylinders at the end of big cylinder

Repeat same step for other hands too following the dimensions as given in the codes

For the legs cylinder of a shorter length compared to arm is added

For the feet or wheeled robot feet i made use of Torus, Repeat same step for other leg too

Step 5: Finishing


To finish this robot few buttons and a pouch in the stomach needs to be added

To make the buttons i used sphere, 3 same sized spheres were made and add to the stomach part

Pouch is made with the help of box that was stretched to make a rectangle

You can refer the dimensions used for this from the codes above

This completes the robot.

To make this robot move you can just use the code given in last image of this step

Step 6: Robot Working

Watch this video that shows working of this robot.

If you are willing to make few edits and have fun you can tinker my design :)

Here is the link for it https://www.tinkercad.com/codeblocks/edit?doc=502A9l8gHDg

Any doubts drop in the comments :)



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How to watch first SNP leadership husting as Yousaf, Forbes and Regan face off

Snp leadership hustings: how to watch cumbernauld debate.

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The three candidates seeking to replace Nicola Sturgeon will go head-to-head in the first of several planned hustings tonight. 

Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf will face off in Cumbernauld in the race to become SNP leader and first minister of Scotland . 

Here is everything you need to know about how you can watch the event. 

Where is the first hustings and what time does it start? 

Targeting central Scotland SNP members, the first hosting will take place in Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse. 

The venue can accommodate 272 people and the event will be chaired by national women's convener Julia Stachurska. 

It will start at 7pm and is due to finish by 9pm.

The event previously drew criticisms from the candidates themselves after all media were banned from attending but the party has since confirmed it is “working with media outlets” who have asked to view the proceedings.

READ MORE: SNP U-turns on decision to bar media from leadership hustings

How can I watch the hustings? 

The SNP have confirmed the head-to-head will be viewable on the party's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

If you cannot tune in but still want to follow what is happening, The Herald will be bringing live coverage on our website throughout the evening.

How many hustings are left and where are they? 

March 3: Glenrothes, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

March 4: Inverness, 1pm - 3pm

March 5: Online zoom event, 1pm - 3pm

March 6: Dumfries, 7pm - 9pm

March 8: Johnstone, 7pm - 9pm

March 10: Edinburgh, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

March 11: Glasgow, 1pm - 3pm

March 12: Aberdeen, 1pm - 3pm

Why are you making commenting on HeraldScotland only available to subscribers?

It should have been a safe space for informed debate, somewhere for readers to discuss issues around the biggest stories of the day, but all too often the below the line comments on most websites have become bogged down by off-topic discussions and abuse. 

heraldscotland.com is tackling this problem by allowing only subscribers to comment.

We are doing this to improve the experience for our loyal readers and we believe it will reduce the ability of trolls and troublemakers, who occasionally find their way onto our site, to abuse our journalists and readers. We also hope it will help the comments section fulfil its promise as a part of Scotland's conversation with itself.

We are lucky at The Herald. We are read by an informed, educated readership who can add their knowledge and insights to our stories. 

That is invaluable. 

We are making the subscriber-only change to support our valued readers, who tell us they don't want the site cluttered up with irrelevant comments, untruths and abuse.

In the past, the journalist’s job was to collect and distribute information to the audience. Technology means that readers can shape a discussion. We look forward to hearing from you on heraldscotland.com

Comments & Moderation

Readers’ comments: You are personally liable for the content of any comments you upload to this website, so please act responsibly. We do not pre-moderate or monitor readers’ comments appearing on our websites, but we do post-moderate in response to complaints we receive or otherwise when a potential problem comes to our attention. You can make a complaint by using the ‘report this post’ link . We may then apply our discretion under the user terms to amend or delete comments.

Post moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours.

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These adverts enable local businesses to get in front of their target audience – the local community .

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Reading and Writing CSV in Bash

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Comma-Separated Values (CSV) is a widely used file format for storing data in tabular form, where each row represents a record and each column represents a field within that record. The values are separated by a comma, which is why the format is called CSV. CSV is a popular data format for exchanging information between different platforms, programs, and applications, and typially adopts the form of:

Working with CSV files is a common task for many people who work in fields such as data analysis, software development, and system administration. Knowing how to read and write CSV files in a Bash environment is essential for automating tasks and processing large amounts of data efficiently.

In this article, we will look at various ways to read and write CSV files in Bash. We'll explore the different tools available and provide examples of how to use them. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced Bash user, this article will provide you with the information you need to effectively work with CSV files in your shell scripts.

Now, we'll take a look at how to extract data from a CSV file using tools available in a Bash environment.

Here's an example of how to use awk to read a CSV file and extract its data:

In this example, the while loop reads the CSV file line by line, with each line being separated into columns using the IFS variable, which is initially set to ",". The read command then reads the columns into the variables col1 , col2 , and col3 . Finally, we use echo to print out the values of each column.

Alternatively, one of the most commonly used tools for reading CSV files in Bash is awk . awk is a powerful text-processing tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, including reading and processing CSV files. Here's an example command that prints the first two columns of a CSV file:

In this command, the -F ',' option specifies that the field separator is a comma, and {print $1, $2} tells awk to print out the first two columns of the file filename.csv . We can modify the command to print other columns or apply conditions on the fields.

If the CSV file has a different delimiter, we can modify the -F option to match it. For instance, if the CSV file uses tabs as a separator, we can use -F '\t' to split fields based on tabs. If the CSV file has a header row, we can skip it by using the NR>1 pattern before the {print} statement.

In addition to awk , there are other tools available for reading CSV files in Bash, such as sed . sed is another text-processing tool that can be used to extract data from a CSV file.

While both awk and sed are powerful tools, they each have their own pros and cons. awk is often considered more flexible and easier to use, while sed is often considered faster and more efficient. The choice between these tools will depend on the specific requirements of your project.

One of the simplest ways to write CSV files in Bash is to use the echo command and redirect its output to a file instead of the standard output pipe. For example:

In this example, we use the echo command to write the header row to the output.csv file. The > operator is used to create a new file or overwrite an existing file, while the >> operator is used to append data to an existing file. In this case, we use >> to add additional rows to the output.csv file.

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Another option for writing CSV files in Bash is to use printf . The printf command provides more control over the output format and is often used when writing to a file. For example:

In this example, we use the printf command to write the header row and data rows to the output.csv file. The format string \n is used to add a newline character at the end of each row.

When working with large or complex CSV files in Bash, we need to follow some best practices to avoid common pitfalls and improve performance. Here are some tips:

In conclusion, working with CSV files in Bash can be simple and efficient, as long as we follow some best practices and use the right tools.

By using awk and echo commands, we can read and write CSV files without relying on external tools or libraries. However, we need to be careful when processing large or complex CSV files and avoid common pitfalls, such as reading or writing to files in a loop or ignoring data cleaning and formatting.

With the tips and tricks we've covered in this article, we hope you'll be able to handle CSV files in Bash with ease and confidence.

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researcher works in a lab at a pharmaceutical in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province

A Big Week for the “Lab Leak”: Making Sense of the Latest Twists in the COVID-19 Origins Debate

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By Katherine Eban

For those tracking the contentious debate over COVID-19’s origins, it’s been quite a few days.

On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray publicly acknowledged that the Bureau considers an accidental biohazard leak from a laboratory in China to be the likeliest cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. The assessment had been made in August 2021, as part of an intelligence review ordered by President Biden. In an interview  that aired on Fox News yesterday, Wray broke his silence on the matter, saying, “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.” He added, “Here you are talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab.”

Wray’s remarks came on the heels of  a report in Sunday’s  Wall Street Journal which revealed that the US Department of Energy had changed its position on the pandemic’s origins, based on new intelligence. The DoE now takes the view, albeit with “low confidence,” that COVID-19 “most likely arose” from a lab leak. The new assessment was noted in a classified intelligence report that was recently provided to the White House and certain members of Congress.  

This one-two punch of revelations immediately changed the optics, if not the ground-level reality, of the highly politicized and frequently toxic debate over COVID-19’s origins, which I first began reporting on in 2021 . To be sure, there is still no clear proof that the virus escaped from a laboratory. But for the first time in at least two years, the possibility of a lab leak is being taken seriously even by many who previously considered it to be a baseless conspiracy theory.

For months, Democrats in Congress have declined to pursue a bipartisan inquiry into COVID-19’s origins, and the Biden administration did not press to include a plan for a bipartisan commission that would have examined the question in the last spending bill. Their hesitation was perhaps understandable, given the vehemence with which Republicans have pursued an openly partisan campaign to lay the blame for the pandemic at the feet of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the recently retired head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice headquarters

By Bess Levin

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By Savannah Walsh

how to make debate introduction for a

There’s no guarantee that the events of the past few weeks will change Democrats’ calculus, but yesterday Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer appeared to acknowledge that the possibility of a so-called lab leak deserves to be taken seriously. “The bottom line is we’ve got to get to the bottom of this,” the  Journal quoted  Schumer as saying . “The Biden administration is committed to it. They have all kinds of people looking at it, and we’ll wait to see their results.” A Schumer spokesman would not say whether the senator now supports a bipartisan inquiry. 

For now, the outstanding questions far outnumber the answers. There is fragmentary and circumstantial evidence supporting two credible but dueling hypotheses: one, that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spilled over to humans from an infected animal at the wet market in Wuhan where the disease first exploded into view; or two, that the virus originated in a nearby laboratory in Wuhan. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was known to pursue risky coronavirus research, is roughly eight miles from the market. Even closer sits the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which also operates laboratories.

The World Health Organization, which has been largely stonewalled by China in its efforts to probe the pandemic’s origin, contends that both hypotheses remain on the table.

China has long denied that COVID-19 originated from a Wuhan laboratory, or even within its borders. On Monday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said at a press briefing, “The origin of the novel coronavirus is a scientific issue and should not be politicized.” 

As of last night, it was not clear what new intelligence led the Department of Energy to change its assessment. That information, which remains classified, was  reportedly shared with other intelligence agencies, which did not alter their assessments.

But the shift by the Department of Energy is notable, as it funds and oversees a network of 17 national laboratories, including the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which possesses  advanced national security capabilities .  Dr. Robert Redfield, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Trump, says that both the Energy Department and the FBI have a “huge scientific workforce,” making their assessments of a lab origin significant.

Others are reserving judgment until more details emerge. “It’s very difficult to say anything until we see what information drove this updated analysis,” says Stephen Goldstein, a post-doctoral research associate in evolutionary virology at the University of Utah who coauthored an influential research paper linking COVID-19’s origin to the wet market. The Energy Department “showed it to other agencies and they did not change their assessments, and it’s low confidence,” Goldstein adds. “If the data exists and is declassified and I can update my own analysis, wonderful.”

In May 2021, President Biden ordered the US intelligence community, including the FBI, CIA, and offices at the Departments of State and Energy, to conduct a 90-day review of the origins question. A  declassified account of their findings reflected broad consensus on several key points: that SARS-CoV-2 likely first appeared in Wuhan no later than November 2019, that it emerged without the foreknowledge of China’s government, and that it was not developed as a bioweapon. Most agencies also agreed that the virus “probably was not genetically engineered,” though two agencies believed they did not have enough evidence to make a determination. 

The agencies split, however, over the question of how the virus made the leap to humans. The National Intelligence Council and four other agencies favored a natural origin, albeit with “low confidence,” and three others remained undecided. One unnamed agency—which turned out to be the FBI—assessed with “moderate confidence” that the first human infection with SARS-CoV-2 most likely resulted from a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the summary stated.

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This sober-minded inquiry by intelligence professionals unfolded in stark contrast to the often bitter debate raging in the press and on social media. In the early days of the pandemic, the claim that COVID-19 leaked from a laboratory was part of a broader conspiratorial narrative pushed by fringe figures. Steve Bannon, a far-right adviser to President Trump, linked arms with a Hong Kong billionaire to  elevate wild and unsupported claims, such as the notion that the Chinese Communist Party had developed COVID-19 as a bioweapon.

In April 2020, after President Trump asserted, without offering evidence, from the White House podium that the virus had come from a Wuhan laboratory, the political battle lines hardened. The mere suggestion that a laboratory leak might have occurred became associated with xenophobic, anti-scientific, and often flatly untrue claims being driven from the right.

Even as more legitimate questions surfaced around the lab-leak hypothesis, most mainstream media continued to present the market origin as settled science, and one that enjoyed a consensus among scientists.  

One set of studies, in particular, led scientists and journalists to continue asserting  that the spillover theory was far likelier than the lab alternative. In July, a group of leading virologists published  two peer-reviewed papers that analyzed early cases of infected patients in Wuhan, using geospatial mapping. They concluded that SARS-CoV-2 “occurred through the live wildlife trade in China” and that the Wuhan market was the “epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

On Monday, Fauci told  The Boston Globe at a health and biotech conference that he believes that the mapping analysis “rather strongly suggests” that the virus emerged as a “natural occurrence.” Stephen Goldstein, one of the paper’s coauthors, says that although he believes the evidence points strongly to the market in Wuhan, “We acknowledge in the paper, there are still elements of this that are unknown.”

Over the last two years, however, a more complex picture has emerged, bit by bit, due to the work of Freedom of Information research groups, a small number of scientists and journalists, and a group of online sleuths calling themselves DRASTIC. 

It turned out that the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  had allowed a US scientific research nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance to provide subgrants of federal funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which were used to support risky coronavirus research. (The Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general  recently determined that the NIH had failed to appropriately oversee the central grant in question.) 

It also turned out that some of the earliest and most persuasive arguments against a possible laboratory origin came from scientists who initially suspected a lab origin was likely, as revealed in  emails obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

And it emerged that EcoHealth Alliance, in partnership with a University of North Carolina virologist and the WIV’s top coronavirus researcher, had in March 2018 sought a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As part of their grant application, they proposed to insert a feature known as a furin cleavage site into unidentified SARS-like bat coronaviruses to assess their ability to infect cells. This raised eyebrows given that one of the most notable features of SARS-CoV-2 is its unique furin cleavage site, not found  in any other known SARS-like virus . 

DARPA declined to fund the grant, determining that the proposal had failed to adequately assess the risks of the research. The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak,  has said that to his knowledge none of the collaborating partners on the grant continued the research, but it’s unclear whether it nevertheless went forward in some way. 

Lawrence Tabak, acting director of the NIH,  recently testified at a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the viruses the WIV studied using his agency’s funding could not have sparked the pandemic as they “bear no relationship to SARS-CoV-2; they are genetically distinct.” But the full picture of the work that was done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology remains shielded from public view. The WIV first took down its extensive database of virus sequences in September 2019, and it remains offline today.

With critical information still out of reach, scientists and sleuths have battled continually over the few available clues. The rancor, meanwhile, has ratcheted up to a point that scientists on both sides of the debate have received death threats. Virologists who early in the pandemic advised the government, particularly the NIH, find themselves facing hostile GOP congressional committees and the prospect of subpoenas.

Probing the virus’s origin is important, says Goldstein. But “some of the rhetoric of those [congressional] letters is so hostile from the jump that it alienates people from wanting to participate in those investigations.” He has not been personally targeted, but some of his coauthors have.

For those who have seriously studied the question of whether COVID-19 could have originated from a laboratory, it has been a difficult and lonely road. Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute in Boston, was one of the first scientists to argue that COVID-19 may have originated in a lab. She has argued her case on Twitter, and copublished a book,  Viral,  exploring the question with a British science writer, Matt Ridley. Throughout, she has been relentlessly assailed online by critics, including establishment scientists, who denounce her as a conspiracy theorist and grifter.

“Some powerful proponents of the natural spillover hypothesis have gone out of their way to degrade and intimidate those asking for a fair investigation of the lab-leak theory,” Chan told  Vanity Fair. “No matter how much abuse they heap on us, the lab leak has always been a plausible origin of the pandemic.”  

Amid the overheated debate, journalists investigating the possibility have also been targeted. In October, critics demanded that ProPublica and Vanity Fair retract  an investigative report on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, arguing that it relied in part on faulty translations of Chinese-language documents. An  extensive review by both publications affirmed that the reporting was “sound” and that the lab-leak hypothesis is an “essential avenue for exploration.”

Since the  Wall Street Journal ’s story on Sunday, even the comedian Jon Stewart has  expressed bewilderment at the attacks he faced after he joked to Stephen Colbert in June 2021 that it was obvious COVID-19 came from a Wuhan laboratory. As he noted on his Apple TV+ podcast Monday, “The larger problem with all of this is the inability to discuss things that are within the realm of possibility without falling into absolutes and litmus-testing each other for our political allegiances.”     

Without cooperation from China’s government, which virtually no one believes is forthcoming, it will be difficult if not impossible to say for sure how the pandemic began. But US efforts to shed light on the question—and prevent future pandemics—continue all the same. As the intelligence agencies weigh declassifying crucial information and GOP-led congressional committees continue to pursue hearings, the Biden administration appears poised to move forward with more stringent regulations of risky pathogen research, despite the opposition of many virologists. 

“The fact that it’s plausible that a lab accident could have caused a global pandemic is a wake-up call for all of us,” says Jaime Yassif, vice president of global biological policy and programs for the Nuclear Threat Initiative. “If we don’t take bold action now to guard against accidental or deliberate misuse of bioscience and biotechnology, we could face catastrophic consequences in the future, which could be as bad as COVID or worse.”  

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Katherine Eban

Contributing editor.

how to make debate introduction for a

By Kelly Rissman

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By Caleb Ecarma

how to make debate introduction for a


  1. Examples Of Debate Introduction Speech

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  1. Sales Presentation Experts explain the first Presidential Debate in 180 seconds!

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  1. How to Start an Introduction for a Debate

    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.

  2. How to Make an Introduction Paragraph for a Debate

    When it comes time to present the debate speech, make sure you also consider how you present the information. Other debate strategies include speaking clearly when delivering your introduction to the audience. Another strong strategy to keep in mind is to make eye contact.

  3. 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 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.

  4. Debate Introduction Examples For Students

    This provides a comprehensive information on how to begin a debate and some tips to follow as guides when presenting a debate. Example 1: "Good afternoon, honourable adjudicators, members of the opposing team, chairlady and audience. I'm the Captain of the affirmative side. Today, our motion is ______________." Example 2:

  5. 4 Ways to Begin a Debate

    How to Begin a Debate Download Article methods 1 Grabbing the Audience's Attention 2 Beginning the Debate 3 Presenting the Debate + Other Sections Video WATCH NOW Article Summary Co-authored by Lynn Kirkham Last Updated: September 16, 2022 References Approved

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    One pattern of writing an opening statement is to start your debate by giving your audience a road map into the rest of the discourse. Using the opening statement as a strategy to achieve this requires that you have a holistic overview of what you intend to say.

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    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.

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  12. PDF Examples of Debate Speech Introduction

    Examples of Debate Speech Introduction Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished delegates, It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 13th annual Global Symposium for Regulators, in Warsaw, the city where the famous composer Frederic Chopin and physicist Marie Curie spent their childhood. I

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    Begin your debate introduction with a hook that introduces the topic and holds the. Web the debate introduction as with many types of text, the purpose of the introduction in a debate speech is to do several things: Web Moreover, A Captivating Intro Will Make The Listener Pay Attention And Stay Engaged For As Long As Possible.

  14. 5 Clear Ways To Begin A Debate With Examples

    Using the words of others can be the most succinct way to summarise a topic or idea. It also adds weight and a reputation behind your argument. Examples: People should stop eating meat. Over the last 20 years, the number of people who are keenly changing their diet is steadily on the rise.

  15. How to Write a Debate Speech

    Open the Debate: Open your debate by introducing a topic and make a clear statement to identify your position. It can be in favor of or against the issue under discussion. Here, the debaters should also define and explain difficult debate terms that the audience needs to understand.

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    Before you start any debate you must keep three things besides: First and foremost - 'a confident smile". Second - Undoubtedly, your well prepared content "all set to deliver". Third - Now comes the format with which you should begin with! "Resp. jury and my teachers, my fellow mates, honorable guests and all my near and dear ones.

  17. 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.

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    For example, if the topic of the debate was school uniforms, the topic may be introduced with: "Today, we will debate whether school uniforms should be compulsory for all high school students.". 3. Provide the Thesis Statement. The thesis statement should express the student's or the team's position on the motion.

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    Products. $200.00 $218.00 Save $18.00. View Bundle. Rhetoric and Debate Bundle. A rhetoric and debate bundle for English classrooms. Engage students through engaging activities while learning to make arguments and avoid logical fallacies. Students will learn what makes a good argument, definitions and examples of logical fallacies, identifying ...

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  26. Reading and Writing CSV in Bash

    Introduction. Comma-Separated Values (CSV) is a widely used file format for storing data in tabular form, where each row represents a record and each column represents a field within that record. The values are separated by a comma, which is why the format is called CSV. CSV is a popular data format for exchanging information between different platforms, programs, and applications, and ...

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