What is Debating?

We hope you are starting to get more and more comfortable with the idea of arguing because debate is a structured argument! Civil discourse is a tool used in debate. Implementing civil discourse in a debate means you are approaching the debate with an intention to understand and respect the other side. In typical debates, there are two sides– one supporting, one opposing. A topic is chosen for the debaters, and your position is assigned. This offers the debaters an opportunity to prove their debate skills through the ability of arguing any side of the issue effectively, objectively, and persuasively.

The first debater taking the stage has an opportunity to contextualize the debate–clearly setting out their interpretation of the topic along with significant points within it that the debater agrees or disagrees with. The second debater then has an opportunity to re-contextualize if they choose to challenge the presented definition, but must prove that they have the most appropriate definition. Alternatively, the second debater can begin by refuting a point that the first debater made while accepting the context the debater presented.

Rebuttal can be intimidating since you are put on the spot with information you have just received and are required to take a differing position on it. Even if you agree with the point that has been made, there are ways to oppose it. Try deconstructing the point to understand what has led to that conclusion and examine whether it is logical. Sometimes, you might find holes in the argument that work in your favor as the opposer.

Do you feel ready to debate? If not, what’s stopping you? Join the debate on social media :).

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