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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 writing

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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Debate Writing

Cathy A.

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

Published on: Jan 17, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 18, 2022

debate writing

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

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

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

What is Debate Writing?

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

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

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

Types of Debate

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

The following is a detailed description of these debate types.

Debate Writing Format

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

Opening Statements and Clarification

It includes opening sentences with three arguments and clarifying questions.

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

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

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

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

Debate Template

How to Start a Debate?

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

speech examples

How to Write a Debate?

The following are the steps to write a debate speech.

1. Understand the Debate

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

2. Research the Topic Thoroughly

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

3. Develop a Debate Outline

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

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

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

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

4. Writing the Debate

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

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

How to End the Debate?

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

Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

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

Debating Techniques

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

Bad Debating Techniques

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

Debate Writing Examples

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

Debate Example for Ks2

Debate Example for Class 7

Debate Example for Class 8

Debate Example for Class 9

Debate Example for Class 11

Debate Example for Class 12

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

Debate Writing Topics

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

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

Hire Professional Writers for Your Debate Writing

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

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

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

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

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

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

People also read

Interesting Debate Topics and Ideas for Students

Debate Speech - Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

Types of Debate - A Complete Overview & Examples

Free Debate Examples for All Academic Levels

Best Debate Tips for Students - An Easy Guide

Advanced Debating Techniques for Students

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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.

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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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