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Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

A debate is a structured argument where the two sides speak for and against a specific topic. It is an excellent way to improve public speaking skills. Moreover, it also enhances our ability to develop a convincing argument. However, debate writing requires a proper format structure.

The main purpose is to persuade the audience and judge that your opinion is right. Similarly, writing a winning debate is dependent on the research work and the ability to cite the facts correctly.

Most students consider it a challenging task because they do not have a clear idea of the template and debate types. Look at this blog to get a detailed understanding of drafting a perfect debate in no time.

What is Debate Writing?

A debate is a formal contest of argumentation where two opposing teams defend and attack a given resolution. Similarly, it is also a persuasive manner of speaking to convert one’s opinion into your viewpoint.

Here, the speaker either speaks for or against a particular topic being discussed. Moreover, it is the process of preparing and writing the debate before its formal presentation.

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

  • Informative - A good debate must provide complete information and facts. It is supposed to inform and educate the people with the help of logical reasoning.
  • Well-reasoned - The arguments discussed in a debate must be logical, relevant, competent, and well explained.
  • Persuasive - A debate must emphasize strong arguments to convince the people.
  • Orderly - A debate must present the facts in a structured and organized form. It should also follow a specific format.
  • Dynamic - In a debate, two teams present opposing arguments. Similarly, all the important points must be questioned and answered by each team member.

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Types of Debate

Below are the different types of debate to help you get started.

types of debate

The following is a detailed description of these debate types.

  • Team Policy Debate - It consists of two teams, each with two debaters. The main aim is to present a huge amount of data coherently.
  • Cross-examination Debate - It is considered as a period between speeches. Here, the opponents ask each other to clarify and understand the points based on evidence.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate - It is a one on one and an open style debate. Here, the debaters focus on arguing for or against a topic persuasively and logically.
  • Spontaneous Argumentation - It includes two teams that argue on a specific idea, but it does not require research work. Similarly, this debate focuses more on presentation than content.
  • Public Forum Debate - It includes arguments on controversial topics. Moreover, these are used to test the argumentation, cross-examination, and refutation skills of the debaters.
  • Parliamentary Debate - Such debates are used in parliaments and assemblies and are based on logic and persuasiveness.

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Debate Writing Format

The debate writing for middle or high school follows the same format structure. Here, we have mentioned a detailed format for you to get an idea of the parts of a debate.

Opening Statements and Clarification

It includes opening sentences with three arguments and clarifying questions.

  • Pro Team - 5 minutes
  • Con Team - 2 minutes
  • Con Team - 5 minutes
  • Pro Team - 2 minutes


In this section, the debaters repeat and analyze the opponent’s arguments and position.

  • Pro Team - 3 minutes
  • Con Team - 3 minutes


Here, the debaters will summarize their positions after detailed arguments with the opposing team. Similarly, it also allows them to explain why their opinion is best.

  • Pro Team - 3 minutes
  • Con Team - 3 minutes

After a detailed discussion, each team must answer the questions in a 20 minutes long session.

Check out the given debate writing template to get a better understanding.

Debate Writing Template

How to Start a Debate?

Follow the below-given steps to start a debate speech.

  1. Begin with an impressive greeting
  2. Tell a personal story
  3. State an amazing fact
  4. Use a powerful quotation
  5. Ask a rhetorical question
  6. State a problem
  7. Share your opinion about the topic

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How to Write a Debate?

The following are the steps to write a debate speech.

Understand the Debate

The first step to write a debate is by understanding its nature. Here, both the teams will be given a topic, and they will choose a stance, either affirmative or negative.

Research the Topic Thoroughly

Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the debate. Make a list of critical points and use credible sources to cover them in your arguments.

Develop a Debate Outline

Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail.

  1. 1. Debate Introduction

    It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber. Introduce your topic and present the context with the help of a thesis statement. Also, provide a brief overview of the students’ arguments to understand the direction of the debate.

  2. 2. Debate Body

    It is the main section of the debate that discusses the major arguments in detail. Moreover, it further includes logical reasoning and evidence to support the thesis.

  3. 3. Debate Conclusion

    The conclusion of the debate is the last chance to demonstrate significant ideas. It summarizes the main body by adding emotion and drama to the words. However, do not forget to add a closing sentence that leaves a lasting impression.

Writing the Debate

Start writing the final draft of your debate. Mention the crucial elements of persuasion that are logos, pathos, and ethos. These are used to explain the effects of the resolution in the real world.

Also, use transition words to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs. Lastly, edit and proofread your work to avoid plagiarism, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

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How to End the Debate?

End the debate by making sure that you have included the following elements. It will help you access the credibility of your debate.

  • Does your debate start with an interesting greeting?
  • Does it provide original content, personal experience, and a call to action?
  • Does the debate follow a proper format structure?
  • Does it include the correct sentence structure?
  • Does it maintain logical transitions to flow ideas from one paragraph to another?
  • Have you proofread or revised it for common mistakes such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
  • Does the debate mention your opinion about the given topic?

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Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some amazing debate tips and tricks for you to write a perfect one.

  • It is better to know and prepare for a debate before starting it.
  • Conduct thorough research work to collect relevant data and draft creative arguments about the topic.
  • Brainstorm reasons to support your position.
  • A writer should think relatively to identify the validity of significant claims.
  • Try to understand the formal debate through a variety of personal experiences.
  • Support the arguments with examples and evidence to make it more credible and authentic.
  • Also, consider the perspective of the judges and audience while making a critical argument.
  • Create tag lines and titles for your case.
  • Do not always disagree with the opponent’s arguments. Instead, you should take notes and think logically.
  • Build your case by keeping in mind all the possible objections that can be raised by others.
  • Never make the mistake of introducing new arguments in your closing section.

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Debating Techniques

Below are some easy debating techniques to write a primary and high school debate.

  • Introduce the topic at the beginning of the debate and form an opinion about it.
  • Know your audience to adjust your argument according to them.
  • Assign the two sides as affirmatives and negatives.
  • Take enough time to research the case and the vocabulary used for it.
  • Organize your opinion and present supporting facts to persuade the audience.
  • Follow a basic debate structure that includes the following period.
  • Get an idea about the opponent’s arguments and advance your research by weakening them.
  • Make a judgment based on the audience’s votes and your opinion about the arguments.
  • Connect to the audience emotionally by presenting examples, evidence, and personal experiences.

Bad Debating Techniques

Here are some bad techniques that should be avoided while writing a debate paper.

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Strawman argument
  • Appeal to ignorance
  • False dilemma
  • Circular argument
  • Hasty reasoning
  • Red herring fallacy
  • Tu quoque fallacy
  • Appeal to authority
  • Uncertainty
  • Bandwagon fallacy

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Debate Writing Examples

Check out the following debate writing sample to get a better idea of the concept.

Debate Writing Ks2

Debate Writing for Class 7

Debate Writing for Class 8

Debate Writing for Class 9

Debate Writing Class 11

Debate Writing Class 12

If you need some samples to learn speech and debate writing, refer to our debate examples.

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Debate Writing Topics

The following are some impressive debate writing prompts for you to get an idea.

  • All the schools should conduct compulsory drug testing on their students.
  • Middle and high schools must ban sex education.
  • Is it ethical to move in before getting married?
  • Academic institutes should ban smoking at college premises.
  • Peer pressure is harmful to students.
  • High schools should provide daycare services to students having children.
  • The government should develop nuclear energy for commercial use.
  • Celebrities can get away with crime more easily than non-celebrities.
  • Cell phones should not be used in classrooms.
  • Money motivates people more than any other factor in the workplace.

Have a look at our list of debate topics to get more unique ideas.

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Hire Professional Writers for Your Debate Writing

This comprehensive guide to debate writing will help you write a perfect one for your high school or college. However, we know that having high-quality debates are important to you.

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