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San Beda Debate Society

Debate Manual
SY. 2015- 2016

What is debate? Purpose of Debating?

Debate 101 / Technicalities

British Parliament
Speaker Roles
Prep Time

Case Building



Debate jargons

What is debate? Why the hell are we doing this?

Basically its just a bunch of people shouting at each other because they dont
agree on a certain issue. Haha just kidding! Its more than that. Debate has different
meaning to different people. For the Dictionary it is . For some they consider debating a
game and a sport where they compete to become the best. It may also be theatre or a
form of poetry for other people because they see it as art. Some consider it a hobby or
an extracurricular activity. But whatever the definition, debating is an important aspect
of everyones lives because debate is everywhere. Your neighbors are arguing about the
recent Vhong Navarro Case. Your mom is arguing with your dad about not helping with
household work. You see on television politicians arguing about different laws like the
Cyber Crime Law and the Reproductive Health Law. And these things affect everyone
including you. Should people really be focusing on a private case rather than focusing on
national issues like the Pork Barrel Scam? At home, should it be that only women do the
house stuff and stay at home while men by default be the breadwinners of the family?
Are these policies just? Are they infringing our rights? There are a lot of issues today
that are being tackled, where will you side with? And this is where debating comes into
play. It invites intellectual discourse. Debating is a platform for ideas to be presented in
order for us to gain more knowledge. And as we gain more knowledge the more we
know what the best thing to do is. And as you guys join us in this journey we hope that
you too find meaning and purpose in debating.

Debate 101 / Technicalities

Every debate has a topic. For example, THW ban marijuana. You wont be able to
choose which side you are going to defend. Its random. For British Parliamentary
there will be one motion only. In an Asian Parliamentary format (we will discuss in
more detail later) there will be three motions. You will rank the motions

British parliament
In this format there are for teams in the house/room. Opening
Government (OG) , Closing Government (CG), Opening Opposition (OO), and
lastly Closing Opposition (CO).The government teams are the affirmative side
or for the motion while the opposition teams are against the motion. There is
a 15 minute allotted prep time for this format.

The first speaker would be the Prime Minister (PM). Second is the Leader of
the Opposition (LO), Third is the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM). (Deputy
Leader of Opposition (LO) is the fourth. Member of Government (MG) is the
fifth to speak. Member of the Opposition (MO) is the sixth. Last speaker for
government would be the Government Whip (GW). And the last speaker of the
debate would be the Opposition whip. They each have roles in the debate.
Lets learn em !

Opening Government
You guys have the advantage of setting up the debate.

Prime Minister
The first affirmative, therefore, has the following duties:
A formal introduction;
The definition, and any other definitional clarifications;
The affirmative teams case approach;
The arguments;
A summary of arguments;
A conclusion

Deputy Prime Minister

Opening Opposition
You guys have the duty of clashing with the OG.

Leader of opposition

Deputy Leader of Opposition

Closing government

Member of Government
Government Whip

Closing opposition

Member of Opposition
Opposition Whip

The Asians Format is a little different to BP. In the house there are only three debaters
in each team. There are only two teams(Affirmative and Negative) in Asians unlike BP which
has four. There are no Members in this format, only first, second, and third speakers are
present. After the OWs speech, the Opposition Reply would be the next speaker followed by
the Government Reply speaker. The Reply speaker cannot be the whip, it may only be either
the first or second speaker. There is an allotted 30 minute prep time for this format.


Prep Time

This time should be sacred. It is important because this is time when your
team talks about how to win the debate, what strategy will you do, what
argument you guys are going to run. It is therefore important to use this time

Questions to answer in Prep

Has his ever been done somewhere?

Who is the house? The State? Society?
Who are the stakeholders? What are their interests? How does one team fulfill or fail them?
What is the ideal world? Goal What do we want to achieve?
What are the principles and burdens of the other side?

It is also better if your team has Prep roles. For example one may think of arguments while
the other is thinking of the stakeholders while the third person may be thinking of the
possible arguments of the other side. This is just an example, you may create your own
prep duties or roles with you team.

Case Building

It is impossible to debate without first understanding what the topic means. Therefore,
both teams need to decide what they think the topic means for the purposes of the debate. This
is known as the definition.
Not many debating topics involve complicated words. Therefore, the purpose of the
definition is not to tell your audience, adjudicator and opposition what a word means in
general. Instead, the purpose of the definition is to explain what a word means for your debate.
We will examine the best ways of achieving this purpose shortly. In all cases, the affirmative
team must present a definition of the topic; a clear statement of what the team understands
the topic to mean. The first affirmative speaker presents this definition early in his or her

How To Define A Topic

Above all, both teams should try to be as clear and as simple as possible when defining the
topic. This involves a number of techniques :
Define terms in the topic, not every single word. There is nothing wrong with defining
individual words. However, you should choose the terms and words to define; dont just define
every word for the sake of it. There are two reasons for this:
1. Defining many words (such as a or the) is both confusing and a waste of time (for example
there is no need to say, we define the word a as an impersonal indefinite article that
precedes nouns commencing with consonants!)

Do not define metaphorical terms literally.

Remember, the definition is not an exercise for its own sake it is your chance to explain what
your team understands the topic to mean. Therefore, if you believe a topic is metaphorical, you
should define the topic with its metaphorical, not its literal, meaning. Lets return to the topic
THAT THE CARROT IS BETTER THAN THE STICK. Weve already seen that this topic is a

metaphor. It would make no sense, therefore, to define a carrot as (for example) an orange
vegetable. Instead, you would need to explain that carrot is a metaphor for incentive, and
stick a metaphor for punishment.

Do not make definitions too complicated.

This is sometimes expressed as a simple rule; do not give a dictionary definition. Firstly, this
creates a risk of defining words wrongly (for example, by defining metaphorical terms literally,
or defining groups of words one word at a time). More importantly, though, it removes
meaning from your definition. The adjudicator does not want to hear what a dictionary says
about a word the dictionary was not written with your topic in mind! Instead, you should
explain what you think the terms mean for the specific topic that you are debating. Of course,
you may refer to a dictionary to determine the meaning of a word in the topic. However, you
should then rephrase that definition as you want it to apply to your debate. Be prepared to give
examples to explain your definition. This is not necessary in most topics. However, in some
topics, even your definition wont really clarify the meaning of the words.

You cannot time and place set.


There are two types of debates

Manner is the way you present yourself and your speech
The most important rule is to be yourself.
Eye contact
Speed and Volume and Variation
Thinking like the stakeholder

Avoid complex vocabulary wherever possible. For example, there is no reason

to accuse your opposition of nave inductionism it is far simpler and hence
more effective to say, our opposition assumes that because [X] has occurred in
the past, it will continue to occur in the future.

Acronyms can cause great confusion to adjudicators or audience members

who dont understand them. Therefore, you should state what any acronym
stands for the first time you use it. For example, it is not enough to simply
refer to the WHO the first time that you do so, you should say something
like, the WHO the World Health Organisation.7

There can sometimes be value in using technical terms, but these need to be
explained. For example, it is never enough simply to refer to economies of
scale you need to explain the term as well (declining average costs as
production increases).


Debate jargons