College Life Debates

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Debates are about doing the research understanding both sides of the argument, accepting both views in order to be able to present a winning argument.

For some of us an opportunity to debate is accelerating and for others, it’s a moment of complete exhaustion. Either way there is a certain amount of preparation that needs to be done for a worthy debate. Debates are about doing the research understanding both sides of the argument, accepting both views in order to be able to present a winning argument.

Always be sure that the research information is from a reliable resource to validate the argument. Dig deep for relevant facts that others may overlook or simply fail to locate. A knowledgeable debate audience knows the basics so uncovering facts that are not commonly known can sway the opposition building confidence to your argument. Always be prepared for a rebuttal, be ready to respectfully respond with trustworthy information.

Debaters have social mannerisms, which require a demonstration of respect for the other debater, followed by imposed rules and delivering reliable information. Once you’ve delivered your side of the debate, allow the other person to complete theirs without interruption. Whether the debate is formal or informal, remember to be confident and be aware to manage tempers. Above all be well-informed about the topic of discussion and respectful of the opposing party.


Gathering information that legitimizes and supports the facts to persuade the audience is one of the most important steps. Understand that debates are not about opinion but about facts, their application and reliability. It’s important to know both sides for preparation of the rebuttal. Be ready to cite not only references but resources to validate the statements. Use the validations in the introduction to create the focus points of the argument and in the  conclusion to summarize the statements.

Take the time to find out the rules of the argument, if the rules include timed out segments be prepared to restate the information keeping the audience in the sequence of the discussion.


The opening statement should include an introduction, the viewpoint and the intended outcome for the debate. This is where the explanation that support the facts, convince the audience. Stay within the time assigned and make the points for the discussion remembering that the mission is to educate the audience with facts and information, so they can evaluate quickly to make a decision. This is where the research pays off.


The rebuttal is the opportunity to use the research information that addresses the opposing argument. As in the previous steps, just as much preparation for this response needs to be done. The difference here is that positive points of view can quickly be confirmed, identifying the points of conflict need to be quantified to move the audience to your side.


Most debates allow questions, depending on the rule, either party may respond to questions be prepared since hte audience may comment and the evaluating board may also ask questions. Here’s another opportunity to restate, further clarify and the final opportunity to interact.


The closing statements are the final phase intended to provide closure with a summary of the viewpoints and the ability to concur agreements from the evaluators or audience.