How to Write a Winning Debate Speech
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.
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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.
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.
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:
- Homework should be banned
- National public service should be mandatory for every citizen
- The sale of human organs should be legalized
- Artificial intelligence is a threat to humanity
- Bottled water should be banned.
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.
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!
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.
OTHER GREAT ARTICLES RELATED TO DEBATING
The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers
Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students
5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers
23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students
How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps
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.
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.
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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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How to Make an Introduction Paragraph for a Debate
Oubria tronshaw, 21 aug 2018.
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
- Researching Debate Speech Topic
- Investigating The Debate Speech Argument
- Writing the Introduction
- Researching Supporting Facts
- Ask for Introduction Review
- Giving the Debate Introduction
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.
- 1 Seattle Pi: How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction
- 2 University of Maryland University College: Writing Arguments
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 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.
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:
- Context - It identifies the happenings in the area related to the topic.
- Spirit of the Motion - It tells how your debate is going to be.
It involves three basic elements given below.
- Logical consistency
- Factual accuracy
- Emotional appeal
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.
- Pro Team - 5 minutes
- Con Team - 2 minutes
- Con Team - 5 minutes
- Pro Team - 2 minutes
Rebuttals (No New Arguments)
Here, the debaters repeat the opponent’s arguments and analyze what is wrong with his position.
- Pro Team - 3 minutes
- Con Team - 3 minutes
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.
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.
“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.
- An Attention Grabber: It is an interesting first sentence to grab the audience’s attention. Examples may contain a fact, quote, question, or story.
- 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.
- Present the Context: Present the context of your debate speech with the help of a thesis statement . It will clearly explain your position on the topic and which side you are supporting. Furthermore, you can also discuss any real-life experiences that can relate to the topic.
- Provide an Overview of Your Arguments: Briefly state your arguments to help the audience understand the direction of your speech. However, do not explain the arguments in this section. Also, use transitions so that the major argument does not merge in the middle of a speech.
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:
- Logos (persuasion by reasoning)
- Pathos (emotional appeal)
- Ethos (appeal based on the character of a speaker)
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.
- Does your debate speech begin with an impressive greeting?
- Have you written the original content in your debate essay?
- Have you provided personal experiences and a call to action to impress the judges?
- Do your speech and debate follow a proper format structure?
- Have you stated your opinion about the topic?
- Does it specify the correct types of debate that you want to pursue?
- Have you referred to a well-known book or movie?
- Do your arguments follow a restricted time limit?
- Have you proofread and revise your speech for punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes?
- Have you used an impressive sentence structure?
- Have you maintained consistency and logical flow between the arguments?
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.
- Credit cards are more harmful than debit cards.
- We are becoming too dependent on technology.
- Marriage is an outdated concept.
- Homework is necessary with regard to the learning process.
- Being a college graduate in the United States is necessary for a successful career.
- It is a good idea to have laptops in classrooms.
- Facebook is a better social platform than Twitter.
- Cell phones can be used as educational tools.
- Junk food must be banned in high schools and colleges.
- The Prime minister of any state enjoys more power than the president.
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.
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Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide
Interesting Debate Topics and Ideas for Students
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Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay: 10 Do's and Don'ts
Table of contents
You’re staring at a blank document. The cursor is blinking. Your mind’s been blank for the last thirty minutes. You oscillate between writing and erasing. You look at the watch - your argumentative essay is due in the next 24 hours.
Several times, college students have written to us asking us to help them start their argumentative essays.
The most challenging part of writing an essay is starting it. Won’t you agree? When you get the introduction right, you’re more confident about writing the rest of the essay.
A lot is riding on introductions. After all, it’s the first thing people read, and it gives an indication of what the rest of your essay is going to be like.
So, to make this task slightly more manageable, we’ve put together critical do’s and don’ts that you must keep in mind while writing an introduction for an argumentative essay.
How to Start an Argumentative Essay on a Strong Note
An argumentative essay involves investigating a topic, doing comprehensive research, collating evidence, and presenting your argument. The first step is writing the introduction.
Let’s first understand the purpose of the introductory paragraph. The point of the introduction is to introduce the topic while drawing readers in and making them intrigued to know more.
After reading your introduction, people need to want to read the rest of the argumentative essay - that’s the impact your introduction should have.
So, here are five tips to keep in mind while writing an introduction for an argumentative essay and beginning on a strong note.
1. Hook your readers
The first one or two sentences of your essay are known as the essay hook and are meant to generate interest in readers and grab their attention. Writing a catchy hook is likely to increase your chances of scoring well.
From telling a joke and stating a shocking fact to sharing an anecdote and asking a rhetorical question - there are various ways to start your argumentative essay with a bang. The ideal hooks for argumentative essays are those that intrigue the reader and reel them in.
2. Introduce the topic
After writing an enticing hook, you need to go on to introduce your topic, which includes what you’re going to be writing about.
For example, if you’re writing an argumentative essay on whether smoking needs to be banned in public places - here’s where you need to introduce it first to set the foundation for everything that’s coming next.
3. State the importance of your topic
Merely introducing the topic is not enough. You need to tell readers why it’s important, the purpose behind choosing, and most importantly, why should they bother reading it.
Are you touching upon an underlying issue, problem or phenomenon? What is the objective of the essay? By the end of this portion, readers need to be convinced about the significance of your topic.
4. Give background information
So you’ve introduced them to the topic and stated its importance. Before you take a stand and make your arguments, it’s important to establish context and give background information.
Establishing context involves the following aspects:
- Physical or Geographical
Look at this step to get your readers on the same page. When you do that, they’re in a better place to understand your arguments.
Here’s an interesting video by Erica Towe on how to write the background information in the introduction
5. Present your thesis
Coming to the final and most important part of the introduction - the thesis statement.
The argumentative essay’s thesis statement should be a crisp and clear explanation of the main argument of your essay.
It cannot be a general statement - it needs to be debatable such that people can agree or disagree with it. At the same time, it needs to be focussed on a specific topic as opposed to being vague or broad.
Your thesis statement will give your argumentative essay structure and direction, as the rest of the paper will be devoted to presenting the stand you’re taking and justifying it.
Remember - a thesis statement is meant to be succinct, so don’t go beyond two sentences.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing an Introduction for an Argumentative Essay
Writing a shabby introduction or making silly mistakes while writing the introductory paragraph is a huge blow. It creates a poor impression and unless you really improve your game by the conclusion paragraph , there’s no way you can get the scores you want.
1. No planning
Planning is key to writing an effective essay. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to just start writing without creating a rough outline.
Regardless of how confident you are, when you create a plan and establish the structure of the introduction, you’re likely to do a better job.
So, while outlining the entire essay, make sure you get specific and make a note of how your introduction will flow. You can also state the pointers you intend to include in bullet points.
Doing this ensures you’ve covered all points and your ideas flow logically.
2. Presenting your arguments
The introductory paragraph is NOT meant for presenting your arguments. You’re just supposed to state the main idea behind your argument in the thesis statement, nothing more.
You have to present your arguments, justifications, evidence, and examples in the corresponding body paragraphs. Every paragraph can be devoted to a single argument or claim.
Don’t make the mistake of presenting your arguments in the introduction because not only is it misplaced, but it won’t give your readers any reason to read further.
3. Weak thesis statement
The thesis statement is not only the most important sentence of the introduction but the entire essay. One look at it should convey the main idea of your argumentative essay.
A weak thesis statement is one that’s broad, not reasonable, and undebatable. It fails to tell the reader the stand you’re taking. Moreover, it shouldn’t be your opinion, it needs to state the position you’re taking.
So, spend additional time to assess the strength of your thesis statement and ask yourself if it’s:
Writing the thesis statement can be time-consuming, so an excellent hack to not waste time would be to start with a working thesis statement and write the rest of the essay. You can then come back to the statement and refine it for submission.
4. Lengthy introduction
Students often get swayed while writing introductions without realizing that the main portion of the essay is yet to come.
By doing this, you waste precious word count on not-so-important aspects of the paper which could have been used to justify your arguments/claims with supporting evidence and examples.
Introduction and conclusion paragraphs are not meant to be more than 10% of the essay. So, if you’re writing a five-page argumentative essay, you can devote half a page to the introduction.
However, if your essay is 1,000 words, don’t spend more than four or five paragraphs on the introduction.
5. Boring and uninteresting
Instructors read several essays in a day. Don’t make it difficult for them by writing a tepid and uninteresting introduction that just makes them yawn.
Imagine if the first paragraph of your essay itself makes them yawn; how will they get to the end of it?
So, think of ways to write a solid and engaging introductory paragraph - one that keeps them invested in what you have to say. Don’t spend time repeating the assignment specifications or writing definitions, as none of these are necessary.
Keep it short, clear, and to the point. Write the introduction in the end if you have to but do a good job at it.
“First impression is the last impression,” they say, and rightly so, which is why writing an introduction for an argumentative essay is so critical.
While this might be stress-inducing , with these essential, do’s and don’ts in mind, we’re sure you’ll be able to write better and stronger introductions that leave a positive impression.
In spite of this, if you are stuck or unable to begin your argumentative essay, you can reach out to us at Writers Per Hour. Our essay-writing experts will help you put together an impactful introduction that will set a strong foundation for the argumentative essay.
So, the next time you’re struggling to begin your argumentative (or any other kind of) essay, write to us with your requirements, and we’ll get our professional writers to deliver high-quality, 100% original argumentative essays right on time.
1. How to Write a Strong Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
2. What are Good Argumentative Essay Topics: 5 Tips to Make the Right Choice
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How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay Introduction
- College & Higher Education
What does it mean to have an objective tone in an essay, how to write an explanation essay, the importance of writing an effective thesis statement.
- What Are the Four Tips for Writing a Good Thesis Statement for an Expository Essay?
- How to Write a Five-Sentence Paragraph in Middle School
A good introduction in an argumentative essay acts like a good opening statement in a trial. Just like a lawyer, a writer must present the issue at hand, give background, and put forth the main argument -- all in a logical, intellectual and persuasive way.
Start With a Hook
Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic. To pique the reader's interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal story, a surprising statistic or an interesting question. For example, if you are arguing that smoking should be banned from all public places, you can start your introduction by referencing a statistic from a verified source: "Tobacco use kills more than five million people every year -- more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, according to the World Health Organization." This strategy grabs the reader's attention while introducing the topic of the essay.
Providing readers with background on the topic allows them to better understand the issue being presented. This information provides context and history that can be crucial to explaining and arguing your point. For example, if you are arguing that there should never be a military draft in the United States, your introduction can include information about the history of the U.S. draft and the events that led to it being abolished.
State Your Thesis
The thesis is the essence of an argumentative essay. In a single, clear sentence, it sums up what point you are trying to make. The thesis statement should assert a position on a particular issue -- one that a reader can potentially argue against. Therefore, the thesis cannot be a fact. For example, if a professor assigns the general topic of war, you can formulate the following thesis statement: "The United Nations must be redesigned because it is currently incapable of preventing wars." The rest of your essay serves to explain and provide evidence in support of your thesis statement.
What to Leave Out
A good introduction should not be describing arguments or providing analysis that belong in the body paragraphs. Your introduction should introduce and set up your point, rather than lay out evidence to support it. Also, while your intro is a road map for the rest of the essay, you shouldn't explicitly announce what and how you will be arguing: "I am going to prove to you that ..." This type of set up does not add any pertinent information and only serves as filler.
- Utah State University Writing Guide: Introduction and Conclusion
- Purdue University: Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper
Soheila Battaglia is a published and award-winning author and filmmaker. She holds an MA in literary cultures from New York University and a BA in ethnic studies from UC Berkeley. She is a college professor of literature and composition.
How to Write a College Expository Essay
How to write a persuasive essay, teacher tips: how to write thesis statements for high school papers, how to develop and write a paragraph, how to write a higher level essay introduction, how to write an essay for the ged test, how to write a pros & cons essay, important elements in writing argument essays, rhetorical essay format, most popular.
- 1 How to Write a College Expository Essay
- 2 How to Write a Persuasive Essay
- 3 Teacher Tips: How to Write Thesis Statements for High School Papers
- 4 How to Develop and Write a Paragraph
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How to Begin a Debate
Last Updated: September 16, 2022 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Lynn Kirkham . Lynn Kirkham is a Professional Public Speaker and Founder of Yes You Can Speak, a San Francisco Bay Area-based public speaking educational business empowering thousands of professionals to take command of whatever stage they've been given - from job interviews, boardroom talks to TEDx and large conference platforms. Lynn was chosen as the official TEDx Berkeley speaker coach for the last four years and has worked with executives at Google, Facebook, Intuit, Genentech, Intel, VMware, and others. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 51 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 848,420 times.
Opening a debate the right way will make your audience more interested and help you win your argument. Before your debate , take the time to prepare a solid opening that will win people over.
Grabbing the Audience's Attention
- Your story should capture the essence of your debate . It could explore, for example, the challenges you have faced in relation to the topic, how you overcame these challenges, and the lessons you learned.
- For example, "As a person who suffers from seizures, medical marijuana was a saving grace. My family and I had to move across to the country in order for me to get treated, but it was worth the risk. My seizures decreased from five seizures a day to only one seizure per week."
- Make sure that the story comes from your heart rather than your head. If you're just regurgitating a story from memory, it's not going to land with the audience.
- You can ask, for example, “Would you like to see a loved one suffer for no reason at all?”
- You can say, for example, “A billion tons of plastic are floating in the ocean right now. That is enough plastic to make an island the size of Hawaii.” Then, proceed to talk about the issue and explain to your audience why your resolution is the best one.
- For example, imagine you are giving a speech on why you think higher education is unnecessary for succeeding in life. You could open with, “Mark Twain once said, ‘Don’t let school interfere with your education.’”
- Make sure that quote comes from your heart and feels authentic. It must speak to you and your audience while also making a point.
- For example, if you are arguing that climate change is real, show a before and after picture of a glacier that has been affected by excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Beginning the Debate
- Identify the key terms in your argument and look up their definitions in a range of dictionaries. Choose the most appropriate definition for each word. You want to pick a definition that is neutral and conventional.
- Your definitions can be literal, as well as contextualized. Contextualized definitions add examples of how the concept applies to the real world. For example, a contextualized definition of money would show that money is used to buy services, such as food and gas.
- For example, “My team and I will show you the need, practicality, and benefits of medicinal marijuana. Together we will show that thousands of patients, including young children, who suffer from seizures, find relief in medicinal marijuana. Studies show that medicinal marijuana reduces instances of seizures by 80%. Furthermore, the side effects of medicinal marijuana are not as severe as the side effects that come with conventional forms of medication used to treat seizures, particularly for children. We will show that medicinal marijuana is a practical, safe, and cost-effective solution for patients and their families.”
- In order to demonstrate that your team's policy will work, use policies that have already been enacted as the basis of your policy. For example, you can highlight that a ban on using cellphones while driving is similar to the ban on drinking while driving.
- Try to focus on three important reasons for why the policy is needed or needs to change.  X Research source
Presenting the Debate
- Greet your audience by saying, “Good morning faculty and staff. The topic of today’s debate is student parking,” or “Good morning teachers and students. Thank you for taking the time to come to this debate. Today, the topic is student parking.”
- State what your side is arguing by saying, “We believe enrolled students should not have to pay for a parking pass to park on campus,” or “We believe enrolled students should pay for a parking pass to park on campus.”
- Explain the speakers' roles by saying, “As the first speaker, I will be defining key terms and outlining our main argument. Our second speaker will explain the supporting reasons for our argument, and our third speaker will summarize our argument.”
- Remember to maintain eye contact with an audience at the end of a sentence.
- Hold eye contact with an individual for only three to five seconds, then move on to someone else.
- Practice holding eye contact with someone you know for a minute or two. Repeat the exercise 5 or 6 times—that will really help a lot.
- Also, remember to take pauses. Pauses allow you to catch your breath and plan what you will say next. They also allow your audience to process what you have just said.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Give yourself a pep talk by looking at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself that you're awesome, that you're a great speaker, that you believe in yourself, and that you appreciate yourself. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 12 Not Helpful 4
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://business.financialpost.com/business-insider/7-excellent-ways-to-start-a-presentation-and-capture-your-audiences-attention
- ↑ http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/speech-quotes/
- ↑ http://debatesociety.tripod.com/mcds10.html
- ↑ http://debatesociety.tripod.com/mcds10.html#procedure
- ↑ http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/delivery/tips-eye-contact/
- ↑ http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/delivery/dont-slow-down-effective-presenter/
About This Article
The best way to start a debate is to open with a bold rhetorical question, a touching personal story that’s relevant to your argument, or a shocking statistic. Once you have your audience’s attention, define the key terms you’ll be using in your debate and summarize your case. For tips on presenting your argument, like how long to maintain eye contact with audience members, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to start a debate greeting | examples.
Before considering the best ways on how to start a debate greeting, let's have a short preview about the concept of debate. Debate Greeting Examples.
Debate Greeting Examples
What is debate.
How To Start A Debate Greeting (Examples)
- A debate greeting to each group of persons present at the debate scene
- An expression of thanks
- Your stand: whether you are for or against the topic of debate
- Good morning to all of you present here. I am [name] from house [name] to speak on the topic of [title]
- Good morning respected jury members, teachers and my dear friends. Today i code number ____ feel highly privileged to radiate forth my views in the favour/against the motion 'xyz'.
- ‘ Good evening respected judges, my worthy opponents, faculty members and audience , I (NAME) hereby humbly express my thanks for your interest in the (SUBJECT ). As previously stated I am hereby standing FOR/AGAINST the motion and if I have your permission I would like to begin by saying that……’
- “Good afternoon, honourable adjudicators, members of the opposing team, chairlady and audience. I'm the Captain of the affirmative side. Today, our motion is ______________.”
How To Start A Debate Greeting In School
Steps on how to start a debate greeting, things to note when considering how to start a debate greeting/ how to start an introduction for a debate.
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Six Easy Steps to Write a Debate
- Author: K S Lane
This article explores how to write a debate in six easy steps.
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:
- Should you lead by appealing to your audience's emotions or cut straight to the chase with some cold hard facts?
- How many arguments should you include in your debate?
- Do you need to add a conclusion?
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.
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.
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:
- Pre-research: If you've got your debate topic before the day of the debate then the best asset that you have is time. Use it . After you've crafted your own arguments put yourself in your opponent's shoes and try to anticipate what the arguments that they're going to use are. Once you have a good list write out a rebuttal for each of them. This way when you're in the actual debate and hear an argument from your opponent that you'd already anticipated you can whip out a pre-prepared rebuttal complete with facts and figures to boost your credibility, rather than having to come up with something completely on the spot.
- "What's the point?" If your opposition is arguing for a change to be made there’s a key idea you can focus on when you’re rebutting them. If your opponent is advocating for some elaborate change of a government policy or social ideology but they've neglected to explain what the benefits of the said change are, then that's your opportunity to swoop: "My opponent has explained their proposed change in extreme detail. However, they've failed to explain what the point of the change is." If your interlocutor has explained the benefits of the change, but not very well, then you can use the same approach but soften it a little: "My opponent has stated that his/her proposed changes will have the benefit of X. However, given the amount of effort that would be required to make the changes X simply isn't worth it."
- Economic Challenges: Bringing up economic challenges is so useful because it works with virtually every debate topic imaginable. Any topic on social justice, a current issue, a governmental policy or something completely left-field will have an economic link. If your opponent says that your country should be letting in more refugees rebut them by explaining the burden on the economy that it would create to relocate so many more people. If they argue that your country should stop letting in refugees, rebut them by talking about the potential that skilled refugees have to benefit the economy. It's an incredibly durable argument which is why it makes for a great on-the-spot rebuttal.
- Use your own arguments: Twisting your own arguments to rebut an opponent's point is a simple but effective way to mount a defence against your own case. Of course, going overboard and rattling out your entire pre-prepared argument is a huge mistake (what will you talk about later?!) but you can distill the body of your speech into distinct points that you can use to rebut your opposition. For example, if you're debating about tolerance towards refugees and your opponent brings up the idea that refugees can cause societal unrest you can reshape one of your planned arguments, that refugees contribute to multiculturalism and allow the best bits of different cultures to be merged, and say that, "Rather than causing societal unrest refugees actually contribute greatly to society through helping to encourage multiculturalism, which I'll elaborate on in my own arguments later." In one sentence you've rebutted your opponent's argument and also set things up nicely to introduce your own argument when the time comes.
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.
- Deciding what to argue : If you get lucky with your debate topic then twenty arguments for and against might immediately spring to mind. If it's more of a niche topic, however, it may require research to come up with talking points. Look into the background of the issue. Read news articles and opinion pieces and even try browsing some debating websites for ideas. Once you have a really good understanding of the topic the right arguments will jump out at you no matter how difficult your position is.
- The layout: Writing an argument for a debate is almost the same thing as writing a body paragraph for an essay. You should begin each argument by signposting, ie. "Firstly, I'm going to argue…" and then follow up with a one-sentence summary of your argument. After this, you need to elaborate on your point a little, give some facts and statistics to legitimise what you're saying, and then at the end link neatly back to the topic of the debate so it's clear to the audience that you're not just giving a passionate rant, but instead are making a carefully calculated point that ties in with a general thesis statement. Generally in a debate, the best way to keep your speech going for long enough is to have three arguments. This is the sweet spot between having enough time to flesh out your points and not having to ramble for too long on the same thing. In regards to what order you should put your arguments in, the general consensus is that you should lead with a strong argument and end with one too. If you have an obviously weaker argument try to sandwich it in between the two better ones.
- Finding evidence: If your topic is one that requires you to dredge up statistics and use experts at every turn then you need to make sure that you're doing it correctly. Inserting the right evidence into your debate makes you more credible, but using the wrong kind of evidence from the wrong kind of sources leaves you vulnerable to attack by the opposition. To find the right sort of evidence to cite the first step is to check the source. If it's a book, is it by a reputable author or published by a reputable house? If it's a website, is it an educational one? A government one? If it's a news article, who wrote it? Secondly, make sure that it's a recent fact or figure. If you're dredging up numbers from the 1980s and your opposition realises it then you're in real trouble. Thirdly, make sure that the evidence is backed up by at least three or more sources. Even if it's a convenient statistic that fits right into your argument it's going to do more harm than good unless you can verify it using other sources. Doing these three things takes time and makes evidence much harder to find, but in the long run, it's worth it. Your evidence is the backbone of your argument; if it's not strong enough then the whole thing is going to collapse.
- Persuasive strategies: In English class, most students learn about written persuasive strategies; the ways that journalists and authors try to sway their audience towards a certain position by using humour, metaphors, and appeals to logic. What a lot of people aren't taught is that spoken persuasive strategies are pretty much the same. You can be as colourful in a debate as you would be in a written persuasive piece. You can use similes and alliterations to your heart’s content. If you're debating at school then your English teacher will love you for it and if you're preparing your speech for a club or other external debating society you'll still be more well-regarded than people who don't have any 'spark' in their content. It goes without saying that you should keep things respectful- don't insult your opponents and don't use humour where it's not appropriate, but other than the obvious constraints you can (and should ) use as many persuasive strategies as you can manage.
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:
Composing a debate introduction depends on whether or not a person is the moderator, proposer or opposition. Opening statements for individuals who are not leading the debate usually include positive or negative marks.
Debate is important because it helps people develop skills that enable them to be more engaged citizens, discuss current political and global issues, understand opposing views, cooperate with others, make informed decisions and think critic...
To write an opening statement for a debate, use facts gained from research to support the team’s point of view. Demonstrate that the opposing argument is wrong while remaining polite.
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
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
Write your introduction. It should include a statement of your purpose and view on the debate, as well as list broad, persuasive points.
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
The introductory paragraph is NOT meant for presenting your arguments. You're just supposed to state the main idea behind your argument in the
Start your introduction with a sentence that gets the reader interested in the topic. To pique the reader's interest, you can begin with a quote, a personal
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.
The best way to start a debate is to open with a bold rhetorical question, a touching personal story that's relevant to your argument, or a shocking statistic.
This short video provides seven steps to assist when writing a debate. It is a follow up to the previous video 'How to run a debate'.
How To Start A Debate Greeting (Examples) · Good morning to all of you present here. · Good morning respected jury members, teachers and my dear
You should begin each argument by signposting, ie. "Firstly, I'm going to argue…" and then follow up with a one-sentence summary of your