Advanced Debating Techniques for Students
A debate is an essential academic task assigned to most primary and high school students. Debating is the ability to see a single idea from different perspectives. Also, debate writing has many benefits, as it involves critical thinking, listening, and speaking.
Apart from this, a good debate has five essential elements that include:
- Solid evidence and reasoning
- Expression and delivery
However, there are specific tips that you need to follow for writing a convincing debate. If you are in search of the best debating techniques, then this blog is definitely for you. Read on to get a comprehensive understanding of how to debate effectively.
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Debate Techniques Definition
Debate techniques are essential tips and tricks that each student must follow while writing a debate. These are used to persuade the audience why a specific argument or point of view is better than the other.
Similarly, good debating persuasive techniques also allow the students to explore and understand alternative viewpoints. The following are some practical questions that you should keep in mind while choosing a debate technique.
- Would this technique work best in your module?
- Does this technique make the debate a learning experience or create confusion?
- Which tools are best suited to support your claim?
- How much technology should be involved?
- Will the students be able to defend their position by using the techniques?
Debating Techniques for Primary School
The debating techniques for primary schools are given below.
Introduce the Topic
Every debate begins with a topic or resolution. It is considered a proposed course of action that will be argued for and against by both teams. Therefore, always choose a topic with a practical application to which your students or audience can relate.
You can choose serious or fun debate topics by referring to our blog. However, make sure that the students understand the concept completely.
Forming an Opinion
After choosing a debate topic, students should form an opinion about it. However, most people already have opinions on some particular issues.
Keep in mind, topics such as current political events may not be appropriate for the primary students. Instead, simple topics like fast food can involve students’ preferences and opinions.
Assign the Affirmative and The Negative
Each debate has two sides where one side will argue, and the other will argue against the topic. However, it is better to group the students of primary school into teams to research and discuss.
This way, one student will not be expected to handle all the pressure to perform and work alone. Instead, all the students will work collectively to form debating strategies.
Ideally, divide the class into four groups with three students each. Assign two groups with each of these resolutions. The affirmative side will present the issue, whereas the negative side will argue against it.
Moreover, the other groups will serve as judges and decide which side has presented a stronger case to be a winner.
Take Enough Time to Research
Give yourself enough time to research the issue and the vocabulary used for it. Similarly, each group should be encouraged to form a strategy. It explains who will present which argument.
Furthermore, discuss the rebuttals made by the opposing team and decide how to refute them.
Organize and Support Facts
A student must organize his opinions and present supporting facts to draft a compelling debate. This technique requires a lot of research work, preparation, public speaking, and debating skills.
Moreover, facts and figures are used to persuade the audience that your opinion is correct. However, make sure to use credible sources like newspapers, journals, and magazines to collect them.
Follow a Simple Structure
Primary students should follow a simple debate structure that includes the following period.
- The affirmative group presents its case - 2 minutes.
- The negative group presents their argument - 2 minutes.
- The affirmative group prepares the rebuttal and summary - 2 minutes.
- The negative group prepares the rebuttal and summary - 2 minutes.
Furthermore, other structures can also be followed once the students get familiar with the strategy.
Make a Judgment
You can make a judgment based on the below-given elements.
- Votes by the audience
- Your own opinion of who communicated clearly
The combination of these will help you identify the winner. However, a primary school grading process does not require a winner or loser. Instead, the students will get good grades if they have communicated clearly and use perfect grammar and punctuation.
Have a look at the given document to get a better idea.
Debating Techniques for High School
The following are the debating techniques for high school.
Understanding Your Audience
The first and foremost technique of a successful debate is to know your audience. They may include your fellows, teachers, or parents. It depends on them if they prefer an aggressive or straightforward approach or just an emotionally driven argument.
Thus, while preparing a debate, think about how the audience will receive your arguments and adjust accordingly. It will help you to present your point.
Know the Major Arguments
Use different techniques to know and memorize your arguments. Make a list of the main points or rehearse them in a mirror several times. You can also read or learn them without having a look at the computer.
Moreover, discuss your arguments with a trusted advisor who can give you feedback. It will help you make sense by backing them with supporting facts.
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Anticipate the Opponent's Rebuttals
Having an idea about the opponent’s argument can strengthen your points. Follow the given tips for knowing the opposition points.
- Put yourself in the opponent’s position.
- Come up with strong ideas in favor of their side.
- Research the supporting facts and make a list of them.
- Focus on the strongest arguments.
- State the arguments in front of a trusted individual.
- Identify if they agree or disagree with the points and why.
Weaken the Opponent’s Arguments
Advance your research by weakening the opponent’s major points. For this, note down the mistakes that your opponent made while conducting research work. Also, state supporting details to strengthen your arguments.
On the other hand, the affirmative team must also acknowledge the effort of the opponent’s team.
Attack Your Opponent
While writing a high school debate, students should state an opening to target the core ideas of the opposition. However, this technique depends on the audience, whether they feel comfortable with a direct strategy.
You can undertake this task by highlighting the opponent’s arguments and negate them with supporting evidence. Also, make sure to mention significant points that are missed by the other team.
Connect to the Audience Emotionally
Connecting with the audience is the most effective strategy to win a debate. If the audience feels emotionally connected and agrees with the core arguments, you can confidently present them.
Furthermore, you can relate to the audience by stating the following points.
- Personal experiences
- Real-life examples
- A strong opening of your argument
- Give them something to think
Find the Right Strategy to Present
Adjust your techniques according to the types of debate. It will help find the right strategy by considering your audience and the emotional response you are aiming to receive.
Refer to these given techniques to write a perfect high school debate.
Poor Debating Techniques
Here are some poor techniques that must be avoided while writing a debate.
Ad Hominem Fallacy
Ad hominem fallacy involves the rejection of the opponent’s arguments based on personal characteristics. It includes background, physical appearance, and other features that are irrelevant to the issue.
This technique is also considered an insult because it verbally attacks people, speech, style, and eye contact.
The strawman argument is an easy way to make your argument stronger than it is. Here, the debaters will attack a position that opponents do not hold or intend to defend. Similarly, such techniques are considered unethical because they are done on purpose to deceive others.
Appeal to Ignorance
This technique presents proof that you are not aware of something. For example, no one has ever proved the existence of ghosts. It is because there is no such evidence that they either exist or not.
A debater chooses limited options in a false dilemma, even when more choices are to choose from. It is also used to convince the audience about one side by ignoring the other.
It involves the mistake of repeating an argument again and again without arriving at any new conclusion. Moreover, this technique is also known as circular reasoning. They usually begin at a point where to finish and finish where to start.
Hasty reasoning is a type of general statement that lacks sufficient evidence to support it. Moreover, this technique is made up of illogical conclusions, assumptions, overstatements, and exaggeration.
Red Herring Fallacy
It is a technique that involves distraction from the main arguments by using sentiments. They may seem to be relevant but are not really on the topic. Similarly, it is commonly used when the debater does not like the topic or wants to discuss something easier.
Tu Quoque Fallacy
The word “tu quoque” is a Latin word that means “the appeal to hypocrisy.” Here, the debater points out the hypocrisy in the opponent to:
- Distract from the argument
- Neutralize criticism
Appeal to Authority
This technique is unethical because it involves the misuse of authority. Here, the debaters make the common mistake of citing unauthentic or irrelevant authorities.
For example, referring to a lung doctor in a debate when you must prove something about psychiatry. Most students use such tricks purposely, but it affects the credibility of their content.
Words or phrases deliberately used to confuse or mislead the audience are called uncertainty in a debate. It refers to the two voices of a single word. Here, it may seem you are saying one thing, but you mean something different.
This technique assumes that an argument is valid because other people agree with it. However, you cannot justify a specific claim or action in a debate, even if it is widely accepted.
It is challenging to write an impressive debate. But by following these debate tips and tricks, you will be able to craft unique content.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is debating a good skill?
Debating is a great way to develop critical thinking skills that will be helpful in everyday life. Critical thinking entails the ability to make well-thought-out arguments with reasoning. Also, it questions evidence behind one's conclusion or stance on an issue at hand.