Your task is to research and understand the purpose and parts of a debate, and what makes a good argument.  You will demonstrate an understanding of debate by preparing an argument either for or against one of the following topics:

- School uniforms
- Homework 

- Televisionand video games for kids
- Cell phone ownership 


Image, Source: color film copy slide

You will debate another team to the best of your ability, according to the rubric outlined in the “Evaluation” section of this webquest.

And hopefully you will win!


Debate Terms
1.    Debate: a competition in which two opposing teams make statements to support their arguments and disagree with the point of view of the other team.  
2.    Resolution or Question: the opinion about which two teams argue.  Example: Should schools require students to wear uniforms?
3.    Proposition team: agrees with the question.  
4.    Opposition team: disagrees with the question.
5.    Rebuttal: explains why one team disagrees with the other team.

Check out this packet for a very complete guide to debate! Debate and Persuasive Writing



Debate Structure
There are different ways to conduct a debate.  For your first attempt, we will follow the structure outline below.  You might view alternate forms in examples you see.

Opening Statement - Each team gathers the main arguments in an opening statement.  No specific details yet.
1.    Affirmative Opening Statement (1 minute)
2.    Negative Opening Statement (1 minute)

Main Argument - Each team presents their main arguments and includes details, quotes, and statistics to support their arguments.
3.    Affirmative Argument (2 minutes)
4.    Negative Argument (2 minutes)

Rebuttal - A four minute break is given for teams to prepare their rebuttals.  Each team answers the arguments of the other team.  These presenters must take notes as the other team is presenting their arguments and respond to every argument, using specific information to disprove them.  
5.    Affirmative Rebuttal (1 minute)
6.    Negative Rebuttal (1 minute)

Audience Questions - Each team will field questions from the audience for a period of 2 minutes per team.

7.   Q/A (2 minutes)

Closing Statement - Each team presents their closing arguments.  Repeat the main ideas and provide a final persuasive plea. 
8.    Affirmative Closing Statement (1 minute)
9.    Negative Closing Statement (1 minute)


1.  If you don't want to debate a point, don't bring it up.
2.  Don't get mad—get even through use of logic.
3.  Control the floor when it's your turn.  Asking an open question helps your opponent.
4.  Negative body language (like rolling the eyes) does not give the judge/audience a positive impression of you.
5.  Use formal language.  Slang or name-calling makes you seem unintelligent/unprepared.
6.  Ham it up.  Speak with passion and intensity, but not melodrama.  
7.  Loud is not logic.  A quiet voice can command the most attention.
8.  Know the position of the other side as well as you know your own so you aren’t surprised.
9.  Save your best quote and strongest point for your final statement.