Prepare for a Debate

Edited by Jonathan, Lynn, Graeme, Eng and 3 others

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Debate is an oral/verbal argument that needs a lot of written preparation. It is an activity wherein one would be dealing with in school especially for students in the Political Science or Philosophy department or in Law school.

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In order to prepare for a debate, a great deal of research is needed. Debaters these days are just too lucky for they have the internet to help them out.

In a debate, you need to point out something to persuade and convince with a well-prepared debate material.

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Steps in Preparing Your Debate Materials

  1. 1
    Make use of the library and internet materials.
    Research well on your proposition. You could have a lot of knowledge in mind but new things happen every now and then. Being equipped with fresh new knowledge will help you make a rebuttal and point out good facts. It pays to know the good and bad sides of the proposition in order to prepare yourself for the cross examination.
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  2. 2
    Make a systematized outline.
    This will help you take a quick glance when you already are in the debate. Be proactive. Think of all the possible arguments that your opponent may throw at you.
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  3. 3
    Time your speech.
    The usual format is that each member of the debating team is limited to 4 minutes 30 seconds each including the team captain's summation. So when you rehearse, make sure that your speech is below 4 minutes and 15 seconds to give allowance to the time limit. If, upon numerous practices, you are within the time limit and you have already taken up your major points, this means you have done excellent preparation.
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  4. 4
    Your speech could be prepared three ways.
    It could be spoken word for word while reading the speech. Second, you could outline your major points, and then you discuss each point. Third, you could memorize the whole speech. It depends on your character and your style, as long as you get your arguments across.
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During the Debate

  1. 1
    Listen to your opponents arguments.
    Take note of things that you may use to for rebuttal. Be concise and direct when it is your turn to present.
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  2. 2
    Limit your major points to three or four well researched and well planned ones.
    The adjudicators do not want to hear so many points that do not flow freely with each other, and cannot anyway be explained elaborately because of the time limit. Remember that points are given for clarity and logical thought. Do not harass the adjudicators with jumbled ideas.
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  3. 3
    Try to make intelligent guesses of what the opposing team will be saying.
    Make a list of probable important points that the other team will be presenting to defend their stand on the issue. Then rehearse your rebuttal on what you expect them to say. Back up your arguments with solid statistics, then state where you got them (sources).
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  4. 4
    Preparation, research, practice, and teamwork are the keys to winning a debate.
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Recent edits by: Maria Sharon Ubando, Anonymous, Eng

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