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What is a Debate?

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What is a Debate?

Post by ChubbyFace on Thu May 15, 2008 6:49 am

Although many students in Vietnam have had an idea what a debate is but there are still outsiders, thus I posts this article from about.com to let us get the general idea what a debate is.

What Is a Debate?

By Grace Fleming, About.com
Debating competitions used to be populated by nerds in white-starched shirts and ties. Those days are over! In schools across the world, and especially in urban schools, debate teams are becoming quite popular again.

What Is a Debate?

Basically, a debate is an argument with rules.

Debating rules will vary from one competition to another, and there are several formats for debates. Debates can involve single-member teams or teams that include several students.

Typically in a debate two teams are presented a resolution or topic that they will debate, and each team is given a set period of time to prepare an argument.

Students typicallcy don't know their debate subjects ahead of time. The goal is to come up with a good argument in a short amount of time. Students are encouraged to read about current events and controversial issues to prepare for debates.

Sometimes school teams will encourage individual team members to choose special topics and focus on them. This can give a team special strengths in certain topics.

At a debate, one team will argue in favor (pro) and the other will argue in opposition (con). Sometimes each team member speaks, and sometimes the team selects one member to speak for the entire team.

A judge or a panel of judges will assign points based on the strength of the arguments and the professionalism of the teams. One team is usually declared the winner and that team will advance to a new round.

A typical debate includes:

1. Students hear the topic and take positions (pro and con)
2. Teams discuss their topics and come up with statements
3. Teams deliver their statements and offer main points
4. Students discuss the opposition's argument and come up with rebuttals
5. Rebuttals delivered
6. Closing statements made

Each of these sessions is timed. For instance, teams may have only 3 minutes to come up with their rebuttal.

Debate Facts

By participating on a debate team, students learn the art of persuasion.

Research has shown that participation in debates increases students' academic performance and increases their chances of earning a college degree.

Urban debate teams are making a strong comeback.

A school team will prepare to compete in local, regional, and national tournaments.

Many colleges offer summer programs that teach debating skills.

Students benefit from preparing for debates by honing their research skills.

Students also benefit from the experience of speaking in public.

Students can start a debate team in their own schools. If you are interested, you should do some research to find out how to start a club in your school.
Source: http://homeworktips.about.com/od/speechclass/a/debate.htm
I suggest that we should start our Debate Thread by the small topic to get used to it and to encourage people who are shy to be more attentive to our club activities. I've been discussed with Lan that we should hold our Debate on Skype so people will get to speak, not only type because as I know, speaking is one of the most important skill to help you succeed in Debate. This is just my opinion so feel free to comment your ideas below and persuade us how your ideas can help to improve our Debate Thread cheers (persuasion is the main point of Debate, guys lol! ). Cool Cool

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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by Lilynp on Thu May 15, 2008 5:35 pm

Good idea. Besides writing, speaking is the skill that I am very bad at and I always want to improve. Some of you have the same problem, right? Thus if we hold a debate each week, we can develop our speaking skill, not to mention other skills such as persuasion, teamwork or reasoning. Who knows after these debates, someone in our club will become great rhetoricians in the future and earn a lot of $$$ when you say just stuffs lol!

By holding a debate about a particular topic each week or every two weeks, we will not only have an excellent chance to pratice skills but also practice regularly and on schedule. But I am wonder who is the judge? Can we offer someone who has some experiences with debating to help?
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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by lifedesigner on Tue May 27, 2008 4:37 am

Good idea! Good idea! I've been waiting for so long. Guys, we need to do this! It'll be so much fun! (Personally, Lan still owe me a debate. Hey, Tough-Head! Don't you forget about this!!!)
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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by ChubbyFace on Wed May 28, 2008 11:46 pm

I've been discussing with Lan about Debate but it seems like not much people want to do it Sad . However, I am still working on it and I hope a lot of people will want to join us.

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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by Thachnh on Fri May 30, 2008 12:23 pm

Looking forward to good news. cheers
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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by batdoi on Sat May 31, 2008 3:09 am

I have just talked with Lan about debating, and I'm sorry I'm not able to do this because my schedule is full right now.

Hope our debates will go successfully, and hope this activity will soon attract more participants. If I get more free time in the near future I would join you guys.

Good luck!

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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by anhchau on Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:15 pm

I have been debating for my high school since the beginning of this year. As it's formal debates, the rules and the structures are very inflexible, and honestly I don't really know any other types of debating. We are organized into team of three, 2 teams, affirmative and negative. The first speaker of Aff team gets to define the topic, and present the main points of the team. The 1st speaker of negative team then alter the definition if necessary and presents main point. The last person of each team mainly does rebuttals and summaries. Anyway, I'm no experts, just suggesting (and asking) if there's a chance for 'writing' debate beside 'skype' debate?

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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by Orchidee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:37 pm

We use different format here :D

Last time : one-to-one : 4 parts ( pro - con - rebuttal - questions from the audience )

This week : team-working. I really don't know how we are going to do it because I haven't received anything from Ngọc. In my experience, from the debate I have joined in VA Club, it was :

- 1st pro and 1st con : give out opinions
- Rebuttal between the 1st in 2 teams
- 2nd ( pro ) attacks con team based on con team's first speech ( and the same to 2nd con )
- Rebuttal between the 2nd in 2 teams
- 2 teams give out summary
- Rebuttal ( 4 people )


Huhm I don't know, it all depends on Ngọc


Well, "writing debate", well, I have thought about it ;-D I'm just afaird that no one will join ( I mean, they are too lazy that they don't do typical writing in weeks , how come they do another "debating writing" ). Moreover, we are gonna do "Complement Readings" - which requires writing too . So, ... uhm, maybe I'll consider it as an extra activity, they can join if they like :D
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Re: What is a Debate?

Post by anhchau on Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:03 pm

have not participated in that one but still sounds very interesting. my last one was a week ago, a very informal practicing one just between school members. The topic was 'Should violence be legitimate in pursuing goals of environmental activists', its still a very good topic.

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Re: What is a Debate?

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