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Debating Terminology

Resolution A controversial statement beginning with the word that. It is stated in positive
terms to enable one team to support it and the other to attack it.
Affirmative The team that supports the resolution.
Negative The team that opposes the resolution.
Argument Idea, opinion, fact supported by evidence to attack or defend their resolution.
Rebuttal Speakers from each team have a chance to rebut or disprove the opposing teams
argument. Rebuttals should address the words and the argument and should not be a personal
attack about the speakers.
Point of Order Any team member may question that correct procedure is being followed. The
chairperson makes a ruling.
Adjudicator The person who is the chief judge of the debate. They will have a score sheet and
must be objective.
Chairperson This person introduces the topic and the debaters to the audience. They are
addressed to as Madame Chair or Mister Chair.

Delivering a Debate Preparatory Work


1. Using statistics to back up the argument.
2. Using an anecdote to back up the argument.
3. Using the dictionary to help define the resolution.
4. Using humour to gain the audiences attention.
5. Using a rhetorical question to make the audience think more carefully about the topic.
6. Using repetition to emphasize a point.
7. Introducing a teams argument.
8. Attacking a member of the team rather than the argument.
9. Using factual information to support the argument.
10. Using personal pronouns to include your audience.
11. Using a list to add weight to the argument.
Examples
a. Well you can see from the previous speakers argument that she could do with being in
school longer every day.
b. We have taken the word extended to mean to enlarge or expand and to quote the
Chambers Dictionary to be continued into space or time.
c. I will introduce the idea that when we increase the time spent in school we can increase
our overall academic standards. My second speaker, Judy, will explain the benefits of
offering a more holistic approach to education when given more time and our.
d. In many Asian countries, China, Thailand, Malaysia to mention just a few, the school
hours are significantly longer than those in North America.
e. Who here wants to be stuck in school any longer than they have to be?
f. 46 per cent of parents surveyed agreed that the school hours should be extended by an
hour or more each day.
g. You all know, whether you want to admit it or not, that your results improve the more
time you spend revising.
h. To support my argument I will read to you a segment form The Education Gazette
i. I remember, when I was a kid, my mother telling me she had to go to school at seven in
the morning and she was always tired.
j. Is five hours a day enough? Is five hours of science, five hours of math, five hours of
English enough?
k. My dad is always telling me how lucky I am. When he went to school he had to walk for
miles without shoes backwards through snow and he used to live in a paper bag. Yours
too!?
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(Achievement English 2003)

Effective Delivery
Appearance
The debaters should dress appropriately. Judges may be forming an impression based on
appearance.
Poise
Debaters should stand straight and give the appearance of confidence.
Gestures
Debaters should use gestures to emphasize their key statements. Appropriate body language can
play a major role in convincing the audience of your main arguments.
Eye Contact
The debaters should maintain good eye contact with the audience and the judges. This helps hold
their attention and suggests confidence in the debaters
Voice
The debaters should vary the level and tone of their voices. They should speak loudly, clearly,
and slowly so that everyone can easily hear them, pauses, used strategically emphasize key
points and allow time for thought.
Speaking Time
Traditional Debate
First Affirmative Arguments

3 minutes

First Negative Arguments

3 minutes

Second Affirmative Arguments

3 minutes

Second Negative Arguments

3 minutes

Recess Two Minutes


First Negative Rebuttal

2 minutes

First Affirmative Rebuttal

2 minutes

Defining the Resolution


The first step to a debate is to define the
resolution. To do this you must use a dictionary
definition where possible and explain what you
think the resolution is about.
For example:
That people are judged by their clothes not their
personality.
By people we mean all human beings.
Judged means valued or criticised. Clothes
are what people wear including any fashion
accessories, such as, bags and watches.
Personality means character: what a person is
like.
1. That text messaging lowers writing standards.
2. That Olympics are more commercial than
sporting.
3. That media is too pervasive in our culture.

Organization of Speeches - First Speaker


1) Introduces the Resolution: __________________________________________
2) Defines the resolution (the terms important to the resolution):
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________
3) Introduces the team members and explains each team members arguments:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
______________________________
4) Gives the first argument and explains it:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
5) Gives the second argument and explains it:
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
__________________

Competency #1 Uses talk to communicate and learn


KF Establishes resources for communicating and learning in specific contexts
KF Participates in the social practices of the classroom in specific contexts
KF Interacts with peers and teacher in specific contexts
Criteria

This Means

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Examines the
affordances of
genre
(evaluated
at
presentation)

When
conducting a
debate you
adjust your
tone and
volume.

Very little
inflection.
Sometimes
enunciates
inappropriately.
Often speaks
unclearly and
infrequent
adjustment of
volume and
pitch.

Sometimes uses
inflection.
Enunciates.
Speaks clearly
and sometimes
adjust volume
and pitch.

Uses inflection to
convey
importance of
main points.
Enunciates
appropriately.
Speaks audibly
and adjusts
volume and
pitch.

Uses convincing
inflection to convey
importance of main
points.
Enunciates
effectively. Speaks
audibly and adjusts
volume and pitch
effectively.

Examines the
affordances of
genre
(evaluated
at
presentation)

The quality of
the body
language
used during
the debate.

Almost no
inflection.
Enunciates
inappropriate
.
Mostly
speaks
unclearly and
infrequent
adjustment of
volume and
pitch.
Mostly does
not address
audience.
Little eyecontact.
Ignores body
posture.

Sporadically
addresses
audience.
Inconsistent
eye-contact.
Partial
awareness of
body posture.
Uses simple
vocabulary.
Uses incorrect
grammar.
Language is
somewhat
unclear.

Sometimes
addresses
audience. Some
eye-contact.
Maintains body
posture.

Addresses
audience. Makes
eye-contact.
Uses body
posture
appropriately.

Addresses entire
audience.
Consistently
makes eyecontact.
Uses body posture
convincingly.

Uses varied and


thoughtful
vocabulary.
Mostly uses
correct grammar.
Uses clear
language.

Uses diverse
and convincing
vocabulary.
Uses correct
grammar.
Uses clear
language for
effect.

Uses rich and


effective
vocabulary.
Consistently uses
correct grammar.
Uses clear, precise
language for effect
and impact.

Minimal
requirements
of the debate
assignment
included and
minimal
explanation of
ideas

Some
requirements of
the debate
assignment
present and
basic
explanation of
ideas

Most of debate
assignment
requirements
present and
good explanation
of ideas

All debate
assignment
requirements
present and
excellent
explanation of
ideas

Minimal
contribution to
group through
ideas, answers
and feedback

Satisfactory
contribution to
group through
ideas, answers,
and feedback

Good
contribution to
group through
ideas, answers,
and feedback.

Excellent
contribution to
group through
ideas, answers and
feedback

Examines the
affordances of
genre
(evaluated
at
presentation)

Applies
procedural and
meaning
making
strategies to
achieve a
purpose
Contributes to
team efforts as
an interactive
and critical
listener
(evaluated
when you are
working with
your group)

The quality of
the language
used during
your debate.

You followed
the
requirements
of the debate
assignment
and
convincingly
explain your
ideas
You
contribute to
your group by
helping
supply ideas,
answers and
offer
feedback to
your group
members

Mostly does
not use
appropriate
vocabulary.
Frequently
uses
incorrect
grammar.
Language
unclear.
Most
requirements
of the debate
assignment
missing and
almost no
explanation
of ideas
Very little
contribution
to group
through
ideas,
answers and
feedback