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Researching for a

Debate

What is a debate?
A debate is, simply put, an argument.
But rather than being a shouting match between
two sides, a debate has strict rules of conduct,
utilizing sophisticated techniques.
You may be put in a position where you must
argue the opposite of what you believe in. This
is an important part of the art of debating.

Exploring the Topic


Define the topic

Be aware of the scope of the debate

What is included, what is not included


Get a clear understanding of your position (Pro
vs. Con)

Coming up with Keywords


Children

Parents
Families
Society
Kids

Google Hint:
define: Discipline will search for
definitions and links

Punish

Discipline
Spank
Time-Out
Guidance

Brainstorming
Brainstorm ALL possible arguments for &
against the topic
Come up with as many arguments as
possible to support your claim
Think about possible rebuttal arguments
Use a concept map
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resource
s/interactives/persuasion_map/

Importance of Research
Arguments will be based on evidence, facts and
statistics.
Debater will become familiar with the topic,
which allows for better flow of ideas and better
preparation for rebuttal arguments.
Over-research.
Use multiple, diverse sources.

Looking for Information


Check the library for:
Books
Periodicals
Government documents
Newspapers
Videos/DVDs
Human expertise

Looking for Information


Check the Internet for:
Online databases
Current information (online newspapers,
articles, studies. . .)
Blogs, Wikis, and websites of concerned
organizations and societies.

Searching tips
Use debate language
Versus, for against, argument
Be clear & specific
Correct spelling is important
Phrase searching
social promotion
Leave out and, the, a , of . . .
Use the * wildcard (e.g. child* for child, children ;
punish* for punish, punishing, punishment etc.

Going Beyond Google

UEES has licensed several databases that provide


access to full text articles and current information:
(accessible from home as well)

Evaluate your sources

Think critically about the information


you find. Remember that your opponent
will be as well.
Ask yourself some of these questions

Accuracy
Does the source seem correct? Do you
need to cross check the information
with a second source?
Is it peer-reviewed?

Is this source up to date? How old is too


old?

Currency

Objectivity
Is this source opinion or fact? Is it
unnecessarily biased?

Purpose
What is the purpose of this source? Is
it trying to inform, to sell, to
promote?

Authority
Who is the author / publisher of this
source?
Is she/he a well-known researcher in the
field? Is the journal accepted as
authoritative by researchers?

Get Organized to Debate


Take lots of notes
Use index cards or paper that can easily be
reorganized
Keep the notes short
Add personal comments
Include facts and statistics
Acknowledge your
sources for credibility
http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/notes.shtml

Get Organized to Debate


Develop a statement to guide your
debate
Formulate a plan for an introduction,
presentation of evidence and
conclusion

Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is the basic argument
advanced by a speaker or writer who then
attempts to prove it; the subject or major
argument of a speech or composition
A thesis statement:
states the topic / main idea of the debate
shows the purpose of the debate
shows the direction of your argument
is captivating

Thesis examples
It is better to spank children.
weak example

Studies have shown that spanking children is


an effective means of behavioral modification
and that if used properly, leads to a better
disciplined and more socially productive adult.
stronger example

Introduction
Your point must have a basic, clear
introduction.
You can open with a general thought or
anecdote, but directly connect the intro to
your statement.
Start by being strong and confident.

Evidence
Gather at least three pieces of evidence to
support your claim.
Have information on each sub topic
prepared ahead of time.

Conclusion
Conclude your debate by disproving the
opponents point.
Reaffirm your position by repeating the
highlights of your evidence.
Restate your thesis.

Rebuttal
Do your research to be well-prepared for contra
arguments.
Take notes of the points to rebut.
Concentrate on the important points and use
logic to show why the other side is wrong.
Attack each argument that the opposition
presents in turn.

Debate Tips
Search the web for debating videos.
Have notes prepared, but do not let your debate
become an oral presentation of a written essay.
Practice speaking aloud in front of a mirror or
other people.
Understand both sides of the debate so that you
are prepared to contradict the other side.
Be ready to let go of small points. Concentrate
on debating the main topics and prepared
evidence.

The Roles of The Speakers


In a debating team each speaker has
specified roles that they must fulfill to
play their part in the team.

The Roles of The Speakers


1st Affirmative must:
Define the topic.
Present the affirmative's team line.
Outline briefly what each speaker in their
team will talk about.
Present the first half of the affirmative
case.

The Roles of The Speakers


1st negative must:
Accept or reject the definition. If you don't do this it is
assumed that you accept the definition.
Present the negative team line.
Outline briefly what each of the negative speakers will say.
Rebut a few of the main points of the first affirmative
speaker.
The 1st negative should spend about one quarter of their
time rebutting.
Present the first half of the negative team's case.

The Roles of The Speakers


2nd affirmative must:
Reaffirm the affirmative's team line.
Rebut the main points presented by the
1st negative.
The 2nd affirmative should spend about
one third of their time rebutting.
Present the second half of the
affirmative's case.

The Roles of The Speakers


2nd negative must:
Reaffirm the negative's team line.
Rebut some of the main points of the
affirmative's case.
The 2nd negative should spend about
one third of their time rebutting.
Present the second half of the negative's
case.

The Roles of The Speakers


3rd affirmative must:
Reaffirm the affirmative's team line.
Rebut all the remaining points of the negative's
case.
The 3rd affirmative should spend about two
thirds to three quarters of their time
rebutting.
Present a summary of the affirmative's case.
Round off the debate for the affirmative.

The Roles of The Speakers


3rd negative must:
Reaffirm the negative's team line.
Rebut all the remaining points of the
affirmative's case.
The 3rd negative should spend about two thirds
to three quarters of their time rebutting.
Present a summary of the negative's case.
Round off the debate for the negative.

Rebuttal
In debating each team will present points in favor
of their case. They will also spend some time
criticizing the arguments presented by the
other team. This is called rebuttal. There are a
few things to remember about rebuttal:
1. Logic - to say that the other side is wrong is not
enough.
2. Pick the important points - try to rebut the most
important points of the other side's case.
3. `Play the ball' - do not criticizes the individual
speakers, criticize what they say.

example
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l9FcWM
JQ-M