How to write a debate essay

How to write a debate essay

Margaret Heffernan once said, "For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." The statement tends to mean that, good ideas are sharpened and shared through debating- the ability to pull an audience towards your stance. It can be challenging to achieve this if you do not have the necessary skills on how to write a debate. No way can your argument make sense if you do not put it across persuasively, intelligently and chronologically. You, therefore, need to have correct information on how to write a debate so that you can present your argument well. Understanding that not everyone will have it easy, this article guides you on how to write a debate essay with ease. There are some valid and tried methods of writing a promising debate easy. If you understand these methods, they will increase your chances of coming up with a debate speech that is logical, intellectual and persuasive.

debating speech structure
format of debate writing
example of debate speech
best introduction speech

As a starting point, it is worth understanding what debate essay is, so that we can move along with everyone else. A debate essay is an argumentative narrative that seeks to state a position on a given issue. It proceeds to provide some reasons supporting them with shreds of evidence as to why one should agree with a specific indicated position. Debates are our day today style of interaction. We can see debates in parliaments, senates or in, and this may seem a little bit weird, conversations between friends and colleagues. Well, whether in the Senate, the parliament of anywhere, the rules of debate are essential for one to be understood. In debates, you are required to select a side either as a proposer or opponents and go all the way to convince the audience to agree with your position. That said, let us get back to the core business of the article, how to write a debate essay.

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Debate structure

The first step to being a good debate is to understand the structures of debates. There are a variety of models you can opt for if you want to produce an active debate. Classified as argument models, there are about three argument strategies you can use to be persuasive in your debate. Let us look at these strategies.

  1. Classical
  2. Rogerian
  3. Toulmin

If you are doing a debate paper, you can be sure to select one or combine two or all of them to produce an excellent piece.

Let us proceed to understand what each of them has as far as debate writing is concerned.

1. Classical debating strategy

debating speech structure
format of debate writing
example of debate speech
best introduction speech

In this model, one has a stronger feel and a better chance to convince the mass to agree with their stance. Understanding that your audience may not be informed or rather have no strong opinion about the topic, yours is to ensure that they are pulled to agree with your position. But what is the debate structure here?

The basic outline of a classical debating strategy is as follows

  • Introduction: In the introduction, you announce the subject, it is done in a manner to capture the readers’ or listeners’ attention and interest.
  • Narration: You give the context, background and define the problem
  • Partition: Provide the thesis and outline the debate
  • Argument: Build the argument around the thesis, provide the case and give evidence
  • Refutation: Indicate why those opposed to your stance are not correct
  • Conclusion: Give a summary of the argument and be sure to tie it to the introductory part of the debate.

2. Toulmin strategy

If you want to limit your debate to only the thing that can be agreed upon, then Toulmin strategy will control you on that. Instead of appealing for commonalities in a heated argument, deploy the following debate structure.

  • Data: Present the evidence. For example, Immorality on social media is terrible for kids.
  • Claim: Present the thesis you want to prove. Like for example, the government should cab immorality on social media.
  • Warrant: Present statement that explains how data backs up the claim. Example, the effort of government to regulate has worked in other instances.
  • Backing: Deploy additional reasoning logically about the claim:
  • Qualifier: This normally, is a short phrase which limits the scope of the argument. (This statement is prefixed with phrases such as usually, in most cases et cetera). For example, often the government should cab immorality on social media.
  • Exception: at this point, you can also limit the claim by stating situations you would exclude in the write-up or speech. A statement such as this one could be appropriate here: where kids are not involved in social media immorality, the regulation may not be so urgent.

3. Rogerian strategy

The strategy is suitable if you want to persuade by finding a common point of compromise and agreement. However, you must show seriousness on the will to compromise and change your point of view so that the reader or listener can take you seriously.

Well, here is an outline of this debate strategy

  • The author is reasonable: the other here is one opposed to your stance. Present yourself as one who understands and empathizes with your oppose.
  • Take a common ground: develop common grounds in values and beliefs you share
  • Show willingness to change: show a will to change your views and indicate where your position could be modified.
  • Compromise: channel, your argument towards a compromise or workable solution.

If you are doing a debate writing, the above three strategies will give you the best format of debate writing. However, in my opinion, I would advise that you select the one you are most comfortable with. You can also choose one of the three or combine either all or two to pass across your argument effectively.

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Debate writing

debating speech structure
format of debate writing
example of debate speech
best introduction speech

Imagine you have been selected to represent your team in a debate. If you understand some of the components that make up a good debate speech, then you will be good to go. If you do not, the article looks at some qualities that make up a standard debate speech.

Other than the three debating speech structure enumerated above, structures of debate papers tend to assume a typical outline.

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How to start a debate speech

The effectiveness of debate begins right at the top. So, if you want to make that great debate, you will need to go through these steps effectively.

Step 1: Preparing for the debate speech

  • You will be required to understand how the debate works

During a debate, you will be given a topic to debate on. Teams are expected to pick on one stance, either as opposition or proposition.

  • Research the topic keenly with credible information

You need to research, brainstorm and understand how to deal with the strong arguments before getting into a debate. Ensure you have done this exhaustively because you will be asked to counter arguments of the other side.

  • Write an outline of your speech

Your writing of a debate speech would be better and more comfortable if you defined the framework. The outline will assist you when delivering it if you have not memorized your debate speech.

Create an outline in four parts. Introduction, your thesis arguments, your key points, and conclusion. Subdivide the four sections into subcategories.

Step 2: Writing the debate speech

  • Write an introduction that is interesting and catches the attention of the audience

Make sure that your introductory statement is catchy, clear and concise. This will portray a good impression to the judges. Use quotes, personal anecdotes, and prominent examples so that you can establish a rapport with the judges.

  • Outline clearly your stand

Ensure that the audience and the judges know where your stance is on the debate topic. Say it clearly and audibly. Do not hem and haw and contradict yourself.

  • Present vital points to back your argument up

For an effective speech, ensure your back your position up with about three to four supporting points. Key points and how they are developed usually make the longest part of a debate essay.

  • Develop the key points

Key points are what determines your pursuit to convince the judges and the audience. But what does it take to develop these key points?

Well, if you want to develop key points do the following

  • Pay attention of the cause of the problem, effects and expert opinion of the problem.
  • Appeal to the emotions and motives of the audience and judges. Portray the sense of fair play, care, and desire to be helpful and save.
  • Deploy rhetoric to maintain the attention of the audience
  • Understand the art of persuasion

The art of persuasion and their techniques will aid you in making your argument.

Step 3. Debate speech conclusion

  • Come up with a definite conclusion

A conclusion provides you a chance to reiterate your stance to cement your debate. There are various ways to make your conclusion strong.

  • Use quotations
  • Bookend the conclusion by referring the audience back to your introductory statement

Example of debate speech

There are many different examples of debate speech. With none as interesting as the other. The following is a great debate speech example.

It should, however, be understood that there are different debate speech for different speakers which contain a range of requirements. In this article, we shall limit ourselves to only the first speaker debate script.

First speaker debate script

The first speaker debate script should introduce the teams understanding of the topic and the case of the team. In this first speaker debate script, you must represent almost half of the team’s argument.

  • Let us, therefore, look at the duties of the first speaker debate script.
  • For the proposition side, the first speaker debate script carries the following.
  • It gives a formal introduction, about the debating topic
  • It gives definitions and any other definition clarifications
  • It affirms the team’s case approach, that is, the proposition
  • The split
  • Gives an argument outline
  • Proceeds to give arguments
  • A summary of the arguments and
  • A conclusion

For the opposition side, the first speaker debate script carries out the following duties

  • Gives an introduction briefly
  • Rebuttal
  • Presents the team's case approach, that is opposes
  • The split
  • Give the argument outline
  • Summaries the evidence and
  • Gives a conclusion

Essential points to note though.

The first negative you must deal with the affirmative team's definition. The teams through their first speaker script should indicate whether they are agreeing or disagreeing.

The best introduction speech

Introductions can be quite challenging. Tricky to say. However, if you understand elements which make the best introduction speech, then you are good to go. A good introduction speech should present abroad overview of you debate topic and thesis. By doing so, it will convince the readers or the listeners that it is worth the time. Thus will read or listen to it until the end. In a nutshell, the best introduction speech presents your audience with an overview of the topic and a brief explanation of the thesis.

Let us look at what you need to do for the best introduction speech

  • Make it broad but not too broad

An introduction should provide the audience with exactly what to expect in the debate. Start relatively broad but then narrow to the thesis.

  • Give relative background, but do not begin your true argument

Present a bit of context in your introduction but not too much.

  • Avoid clichés

Starting with a definition in the introduction can be tedious and could cause your audience to tune out.

  • Do not feel pressurized to write your introduction first

Sometimes starting your debate speech with an introductory part can be difficult. You do not need to start with the introduction when doing your debate writing; you might find it a little easier once you are more comfortable. To give the best introduction speech requires time and stability of mind.

  • Convince the audience that you debate speech is worth listening to and adopting

Once you finish your introduction, your audience should be thinking the debate has something to offer them. Provide information that will make them question or disagree.

Well, you have no reason why you should not present an outstanding debate script. This article has presented to you how to write a debate and make the speech move the audience. However, before I finish, I want to say that for beginners this may seem hard honestly, but with continued practice, debate writing will become very easy. For those who have been doing debate writing before, the information here avails alternative approaches that would make you debating skills even better.

READ ALSO: How to write a speech

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