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Encyclopedia > Competitive debating

Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and position representational argument. Rules governing debate allow groups and individuals to discuss and decide issues and differences. Debate is an aspect of argument which is distinct from logical argument, in that it encompasses aspects of human persuasion which attempts to appeal to the emotional responses of the audience Look up argument in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In logic, an argument is an attempt to demonstrate the truth of an assertion called a conclusion, based on the truth of a set of assertions called premises. ... Persuasion is a form of influence. ... Look up appeal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Informal debate is a common occurrence, but the quality and depth of a debate improves with knowledge and skill of its participants. Deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts often engage in debates. The outcome of a debate may be decided by voting, by judges, or by some combination of the two. Formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates and the U.S. presidential election debates, are common in democracies. A deliberative body (or deliberative assembly) is an organization which collectively makes decisions after debate and discussion. ... In jurisdictions which use the Westminster system of government or a similar system, leaders debates are often held, usually during a general election campaign. ... John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon debate in 1960 Every presidential election in the United States, the two main candidates (almost always the candidates of the two main parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party) engage in a debate. ...


Debate in education

Competitive Debate is commonly engaged in at the high school and college level. It is a rule-governed contest with two sides, usually presided by a number of judges. Each side is attempting to win the approval of a designated audience and the judges. An important aspect of the study of debate (ie. as a method or art) is the development for the facility to debate from any position, similar to how a lawyer must argue forcefully on behalf of their client, even if the facts are against them. A judge or justice is an official who presides over a court. ... The Bath, a painting by Mary Cassatt (1891-1892). ... English barrister 16th century painting of a civil law notary, by Flemish painter Quentin Massys. ...

Competitive Debate is a highly organised activity with teams competing at the local, national, and international level. It is popular in English-speaking universities and high schools around the world, most notably in South Africa, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. Many different styles of debate occur under a variety of organisations and rules. World map showing the location of Asia. ...

Parliamentary debate

Main article: Parliamentary Debate

Parliamentary debate (sometimes referred to as "parli" in the United States) is conducted under rules derived from British parliamentary procedure. It features the competition of individuals in a multi-person setting. It borrows terms such as "government" and "opposition" from the British parliament (although the term "proposition" is used rather than "government" when debating in the United Kingdom). To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A parliamentary procedure is the individual process used for decision making by a deliberative assembly. ...

Throughout the world, parliamentary debate is what most countries know as "debating", and is the primary style practiced in the United Kingdom, Australia, India and most other nations. The premier event in the world of parliamentary debate, the World Universities Debating Championship, is conducted in the British Parliamentary style. The World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) is the largest debating tournament, and one of the largest annual international student events in the world. ...

Even within the United Kingdom, however, 'British Parliamentary' style is not used exclusively; the English-Speaking Union runs the national championships for schools in a unique format, known as the 'Mace' format after the name of the competition, while simultaneously using British Parliamentary format for the national universities championships. The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. ...

In the U.S. the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) is the oldest national parliamentary debating organisation, based on the east coast and including all of the Ivy League, although the more recently founded National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) is now the largest collegiate sponsor. The National Parliamentary Debate League (NPDL) is the umbrella organisation for all parliamentary debating at the secondary school level in the United States. And in Canada, the Canadian Universities Society for Intercollegiate Debating (CUSID) is the umbrella organisation for all university-level debating. The American Parliamentary Debating Association (APDA) is one of two major intercollegiate parliamentary debating associations in the United States, the other being the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA). ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education located in the Northeastern United States. ... The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) is one of the two national intercollegiate parliamentary debate organizations in the United States. ... The Canadian University Society for Intercollegiate Debate (CUSID) is the national organization which governs and represents university debating in Canada. ...

Topics in parliamentary debate can either be set by the tournament or determined by the debaters as the "Government" side begin. In most forms of the activity, introduction of researched evidence is banned or discouraged, and rhetoric and style can play a significant role in determining the victor. Parliamentary debate is more closely related to theatre and the performance arts than logic or rhetoric. It has also been widely labelled as the most democratic form of educational debate.

World Schools Style

This is a combination of the British Parliamentary and Australian formats, which results in a debate comprising six speeches delivered by two three-member teams (the Proposition and the Opposition). Each speaker delivers an eight-minute speech - the first two are substansive matter and the third a rebuttal speech; then both teams deliver a "reply speech" lasting four minutes, with the last word being reserved for the Proposition. In junior debates, these limits are changed to about 5 minutes, and in some local competitions, speeches are 7 minutes. World Schools Style debating (or WSS) is a combination of the British Parliamentary and Australia-Asian debating formats, designed to meet the needs of the World Schools Debating Championships tournament. ...

Between the end of the first and the beginning of the last minute of an eight-minute speech, the opposing party may offer "points of information". The speaker may refuse these, but should take at least one or two points during his or her speech. No points of order or privilege are used.

Topics can be supplied long in advance, or may be given 45 minutes or an hour before the debate begins. There is not much room for re-definition, and squirelling is strictly prohibited. The World Schools Debating Championships is attended by many countries, and is in this format. The World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) is a high profile annual English-language debating tournament for high school-level teams representing different countries. ...

Australia-Asia debating

In the past few years, this style of debating has increased in usage dramatically throughout both Australia and the Asian region, overtaking parliamentary debating in popularity in schools around Australia.

Australia-Asia style debates consist of two teams who debate over an issue, more commonly called a topic or proposition. The issue, by convention, is presented in the form of an affirmative statement beginning with "That", for example, "That cats are better than dogs." The subject of topics varies from region to region. Most topics however, are usually region specific to facilitate interest by both the participants and their audiences.

The two teams in Australia-Asia debating are called the "Affirmative Team" or "Proposition Team" and the "Negative Team" or "Opposition Team". The Affirmative Team agrees with the topic and presents arguments supported by evidence to demonstrate the truth of the topic. The Negative Team disagrees with the topic and presents arguments supported by evidence to disprove the truth of the topic. To rival their opposition, each team has the goal of convincing the adjudicator(s) (judge(s)) that their side of the topic is correct and that their opposition's is incorrect. Depending on the context in which a debate is being presented it may be appropriate for the audience to decide the winner of the debate. In formal debating, the adjudicator is responsible for deciding the winner of the debate. The criteria for suitable evidence in a debate varies according to the rules that both teams have agreed to debate under.

Each team is comprised of three members, each of whom is named according to their team and speaking position within his/her team. For instance the second speaker of the affirmative team to speak is called the "Second Affirmative Speaker" or "Second Proposition Speaker", depending on the terminology used. Each of the six speakers (three affirmative and three negative) speak in succession to each other beginning with the Affirmative Team. The speaking order is as follows: First Affirmative, First Negative, Second Affirmative, Second Negative, Third Affirmative, and finally Third Negative.

Each speaker has a set speaking time according to the rules agreed to by both teams. This is usually expressed as a two number time limit, for instance, 3-4 minutes. The first number indicates the time at which a warning bell will sound to warn a speaker that their total time to speak has nearly elapsed. The time warning is usually given about a minute or two before the final time, but again this depends on the rules that the debate is being conducted under. The second number in the time expression indicates the time at which a second final bell will sound indicating the alloted time for the debater to speak has elapsed. Sometimes a double bell will sound the second time to allow a distinction to be drawn between the first and second bells. Some rules of Australian schools' competitions specify that a speaker must complete his/her speech within the period between the warning bell and the final bell to avoid penalty. Other competiton rules specify that a speaker must complete his/her speech within 30 seconds either side of the final bell, the warning bell acting only as a warning and not as an indicator that a speaker may stop speaking. In formal debate contexts, such as school debating competitions in Australia, the speaking time is proportional to the school Year Level division that a team is competing in. For example, Year 6 debaters may have a speaking time of 3-4 minutes, while Year 11 and 12 debaters may have a speaking time of 8-10 minutes. Again the specific times and divisions vary according to the rules under which the debate is being conducted and there is no universally adopted speaking time.

The context in which the Australia-Asia style of debate is used varies, but in Australia is mostly used at the Primary and Secondary school level, ranging from small informal one-off intra-school debates to larger more formal inter-school competitions with several rounds and a finals series which occur over a year.

In formal debating contexts speakers are scored according to three categories: Matter, Manner and Method. Matter is the category that assesses the content of a speaker's speech which includes the arguments and evidence that they present to support his/her team's side of the topic. Manner is the category that assesses the way in which a speaker presents his/her material and usually includes factors such as eye contact, gesturing and voice projection. Method is category that assesses the way in which a speaker structures his/her speech and includes factors such as dynamics (the way that a speaker responds to their opposition's strategy) and rebuttal. The specific assessment criteria of Matter, Manner and Method depends on the rules under which the debate is conducted. The score ranges that are used to score Matter, Manner and Method, again vary. Generally speaking the entire speech is scored out of a total of 100 points, with 40 points allocated to Matter and Manner respectively and 20 points allocated to Method. To allow consistency in scoring some programmes have adopted another system derived from the 100 point system. This other system reduces the range of scores. Both Matter and Manner are reduced from 40 points to 32 points, with a minimum score of 28 points respectively. Method is reduced from 20 points to 16 points, with a minimum of 14 points. Thus the score range is 70 points to 80 points with an average of 75 points. Since there are three speakers on each team the team's score can range from 210 points to 240 points with an average of 225 points. The team that is victorious in a debate has a higher team score than their opposition.

In the event that there are several rounds, teams generally are given a preparation time ranging from several weeks to half an hour. Debates where teams have less than a day to prepare are called Short Preparation or Impromptu debates. In these particular formats teams are usually restricted in the material that they have access to. In the event of restricted materials the speaking times may be shortened. Short Preparation debates are used in some programmes as several debates are held on the same day, while others where rounds are held on different days over a longer period of time have Short Preparation debates in one or more of the rounds to compliment the prepared debates. Some programmes call the day on which several debating rounds are held "Gala Day".

There are a number of other variations to the Australia-Asia style of debating. One variation is that there are four members on each team, the fourth member acting as an adviser to the other three. Another variation is that one of the three speakers in each team speaks an additional time after the Third Negative speaker. This is known as the Reply-Speaker format of debate. The order in which the additional speakers speak is dependent on the specific rules that the Affirmative and Negative Teams have agreed to debate under. Another variation used by The Australasian Intervarsity Debating Association is the Affirmative Action requirement, whereby the top three teams from each university must have at least three female members and one third of the entire contigent must be female.

Links to information regarding the specific rules and conventions used by different debating programmes can be found in the List of Debate Associations

Policy debate

Main article: Policy debate

Policy Debate is a style of debating where two teams of two debaters advocate or oppose a plan derived from a resolution that usually calls for a change in policy by a government. Teams normally alternate going "affirmative" or "negative". In most forms of the activity, there is a fixed topic for an entire year or another set period. In comparison to parliamentary debate, policy debate relies more on researched evidence and tends to have a larger sphere of what is considered legitimate argument, including counterplans, critical theory, and debate about the theoretical standards of the activity itself. While rhetoric is important and reflected in the "speaker points" given to each debater, each round is usually decided based on who has "won" the argument according to the evidence and logic presented. Sometimes decisions can take a substantial amount of time with judges reviewing the textual evidence. Additionally, in certain segments of the activity, debaters may speak very rapidly, called "spreading," in order to present as much evidence and information as possible and counter the other side. If the opposing side is not able to respond to their arguments quickly enough, then they are said to have "lost" the argument. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A counterplan, or counter-proposal, (abbreviated as a CP) is a component of argumentation theory commonly exploited in the activity of policy debate. ... In the humanities and social sciences, critical theory has two quite different meanings with different origins and histories, one originating in social theory and the other in literary criticism. ...

Policy Debate is mostly practiced in the United States (where it is often referred to as Cross-Examination, or CX debate), although it has been attempted in Europe and Japan and has certainly influenced other forms of debate. Its evolution toward what some see as a more esoteric, albeit sophisticated, style has arguably challenged its domestic dominance and its international acceptance.

Classical debate

Main article: Classic debate

Classical debate is a relatively new debate format, first created and primarily practiced in the state of Minnesota. It was formed as an alternative to Policy debating. Certain judges and coaches felt that the development of Policy had led it to become an extremely specialized form of debate with heavy reliance on near-incomprehensible speed in speaking and less emphasis on real-world arguments in favor of "strategic" arguments that often bordered on the near-absurd. With a structure similar to that of Policy, Classical debate emphasizes logic and real-world discussion. For this reason, it is often nicknamed "Policy Lite". This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ...

As opposed to Policy, where each Affirmative proposes a new plan. Classical debate is simpler: a resolution, decided at the beginning of the season, is the de facto topic for each debate, where the Affirmative affirms and Negative negates it. The emphasis on depth instead of breadth provided by the restriction can make for interesting rounds that often come down to arguments that might otherwise pale in other formats.

Extemporaneous debate

Extemporaneous debate is a style involving no planning in advance, and two teams with a first and second speaker. It begins with an affirmative first-speaker constructive speech, followed by a negative; then an affirmative and negative second-speaker constructive speech respectively. Each of these speeches are six minutes in length, and are follwed by two minutes of cross examination. There is then an affirmative and negative first-speaker rebuttal, and a negative and affirmative second-speaker rebuttal, respectively. These speaches are each four minutes long. No new points can be brought into the debate during the rebuttals.

This style of debate generally centers around three main contentions, although a team can occasionally use two or four. In order for the affirmative to win, all of the negative contentions must be defeated, and all of the affirmative contentions must be left standing. Most of the information presented in the debate must be tied into support one of these contentions, or "sign posted". Much of extemporaneous debate is similar to policy debate; one main difference, however, is that extemporaneous debate focuses less on the implementation of the resolution. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Lincoln-Douglas debate

Lincoln-Douglas debate, a form of United States high school debate named after the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, has two participants who compete against each other over a set resolution focused on philosophical values. Most cases are centered on a core value and a value criterion, with the value representing the highest concept that can be achieved under a given resolution and the criterion being the best way to achieve or measure who better achieves the value. Template:Otheeruses4 Lincoln-Douglas Debate, sometimes called Lincoln-Douglas, LD debate, or simply, LD, is a style of debate practiced in National Forensic League competitions, and widely used in related debate leagues such as the National Catholic Forensic League, National Educational Debate Association, the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association... The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas for an Illinois seat in the United States Senate. ...

Karl Popper Debate

Karl Popper debate, named after the famed philosopher Karl Popper, is a format that is widely used in high school debate in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Originally created by Open Society Institute, as a more flexible team debate format, Karl Popper debate has risen greatly in popularity as the first format that many high school students learn. It focuses on relevant and often deeply divisive propositions, emphasizing the development of critical thinking skills, and tolerance for differing viewpoints. To facilitate these goals, debaters work together in teams of three, and must research both sides of each issue. Similarly constructed to the Lincoln-Douglas debate format, each side is given the opportunity to offer arguments and direct questions to the opposing side. The first speakers of each side have 6 minutes to present their constructive cases, on in the negative's case a rebuttal case. The other 4 speakers each have 5 minutes to deliver a speech supporting their team's main arguments. There is also an allotted 3 minutes after each of the first 4 speeches for cross-examination, during which the opposing team has a chance to clarify what was stated in the preceding speech. Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH, MA, Ph. ...

Each year, the International Debate Education Association hosts an annual Youth Forum, during which the Karl Popper World Championships are held. Nations from all around the world attend this Forum for the tournament, as well as the 2 week debate training camp. The International Debate Education Association (IDEA) is an association that develops, organizes and promotes debate and debate-related activities in communities throughout the world. ...

Simulated legislature

High school debate events such as Student Congress, Model United Nations, European Youth Parliament, Junior State of America and the American Legion's Boys State and Girls State events are activities which are based on the premise of the contestants acting as representatives in a mock legislative body. Student Congress (also known as Congressional Debate) is a form of high school debate in the United States. ... Model United Nations (also known as Model UN or simply MUN) is an educational simulation that focuses on civics, communications, and multilateral diplomacy. ... EYP (The European Youth Parliament, Parlement Européen des Jeunes) is a non-profit, politically unaffiliated organization, which encourages European youth to participate in European politics. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The American Legion is an organization of veterans of the United States armed forces who served in wartime. ... Boys State and Girls State are summertime programs geared towards leadership and citizenship training sponsored by the American Legion for High School students between their junior and senior years. ... Boys State and Girls State are summertime programs geared towards leadership and citizenship training sponsored by the American Legion for High School students between their junior and senior years. ...

Moot court

Moot court (simulating appellate advocacy) and Mock trial (usually simulating criminal trials) competitions for law school, undergraduate, and (in some regions) high school students are held throughout the United States and Australia. In the United Kingdom the national mooting championships are run by the English-Speaking Union. Moot court (sometimes synonymous with mock trial) is an extracurricular activity in many law schools. ... A mock trial (sometimes synonymous with moot court, although the activities are often different) is a contrived or imitation trial. ... The English-Speaking Union is an international educational charity founded in 1918 to promote international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language. ...

Other forms of debate

Online debating

With the increasing popularity and availability of the Internet to people, different opinions arise frequently. This paved the way for more formal debating websites, typically in the form of online forums or bulletin boards. The debate style is interesting, as research and well thought out points and counterpoints are possible because of the obvious lack of time restraints (although practical time restraints usually are in effect, e.g., no more than 5 days between posts, etc.). Many people use this to strengthen their points, or drop their weaker opinions on things, many times for debate in formal debates (such as the ones listed above) or for fun arguments with friends. The ease-of-use and friendly environments make new debaters welcome to share their opinions in many communities. For examples, see the List of web-based debate associations. This article is a list of debate associations. ...

U.S. presidential debates

The 1976 Ford-Carter Presidential election debate
The 1976 Ford-Carter Presidential election debate

Since the 1976 general election, debates between presidential candidates have been a part of U.S. presidential campaigns. Unlike debates sponsored at the high school or collegiate level, the participants, format, and rules are not independently defined. Nevertheless, in a campaign season heavily dominated by television advertisements, talk radio, sound bites, and spin, they still offer a rare opportunity for citizens to see and hear the two major candidates side-by-side. The format of the presidential debates, though defined differently in every election, is typically more restrictive than many traditional formats, forbidding participants to ask each other questions and restricting discussion of particular topics to short time frames. Download high resolution version (1216x656, 275 KB)http://teachpol. ... Download high resolution version (1216x656, 275 KB)http://teachpol. ... John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon debate in 1960 Every presidential election in the United States, the two main candidates (almost always the candidates of the two main parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party) engage in a debate. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Senator John F. Kennedy debates Vice President Richard M. Nixon in the first televised debates, 1960. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Talk radio is a radio format which features discussion of topical issues. ... In film and broadcasting, a soundbite is a very short piece of footage taken from a longer speech or an interview in which someone with authority or the average man on the street says something which is considered by those who edit the speech or interview to be a most... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ...

The presidential debates were initially moderated in 1976, 1980, 1984 by the League of Women Voters, but The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 by the Republicans and Democrats to "ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners." Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organisation, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004." However, in announcing its withdrawal from sponsoring the debates, the League of Women Voters stated that it was withdrawing "because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter." In 2004, the Citizens' Debate Commission was formed in the hope of establishing an independent sponsor for presidential debates, with a more voter-centric role in the definition of the participants, format, and rules. The League of Women Voters is a United States non-partisan political organization founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt during a meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. ... The Commission on Presidential Debates was created by the Democratic and Republican parties in 1987 to moderate the U.S. presidential election debates. ... The Citizens Debate Commission (CDC) is a nonpartisan organization, formed in 2004, that was established to sponsor future general election presidential debates. ...

Comedy Debate

Main article: Comedy debate

With the growing popularity of debate among the general public, comedy debates have developed as a form of entertainment with an often educational twist. While comedy debates are not generally mainstream events, they have gained significant popular support at occasions such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and are often popular fixtures among experienced debaters. Comedy debate, is an organised debate event held purely for the entertainment of the audience, as opposed to more formal styles. ... Comedy debate, is an organised debate event held purely for the entertainment of the audience, as opposed to more formal styles. ... The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) is held each April in a number of venues across Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ...

Debate and argumentation theory

All forms of debate, whether consciously or not, make certain assumptions about argumentation theory. The core concept of argumentation theory is the notion of advocacy. In most cases, at least one side in a debate needs to maintain the truth of some proposition or advocate some sort of personal or political change or action. A debate could also potentially be between two or more competing propositions or actions. Or debate could also be a purely performative exercise of charisma and emotion with no assumption of fixed advocacy, but it would possibly lose much of its coherence and educational tour. Argumentation theory, or argumentation, studies the arts and sciences of effective civil debate or dialogue and the effective propagation thereof, using rules of inference and logic, as applied in the real world setting. ... Advocacy is an umbrella term for organized activism related to a particular set of issues. ... Common dictionary definitions of truth mention some form of accord with fact or reality. ...

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
Debate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2552 words)
Debate is a common process in deliberative bodies such as parliaments, legislative assemblies, and meetings of all sorts.
Competitive Debate is a highly organized activity with teams such as the Oxford Union at the local, national, and international level.
Competitive debate is popular in English-speaking universities and high schools around the world, most notably in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
  More results at FactBites »



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