Example Of Debate

Example Of Debate
Shot of a young doctor using a digital tablet in a hospital

A debate about the rights and responsibilities of a doctor and a patient in a modern healthcare system (legal and ethical issues) was initiated in September 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Bioethics Committee of the Republic of Belarus, with participation of the Republican Bioethics Center.

Examples of public debate

A debate about the rights and responsibilities of a doctor and a patient in a modern healthcare system (legal and ethical issues) was initiated in September 2018 by the Ministry of Health and Bioethics Committee of the Republic of Belarus, with participation of the Republican Bioethics Center.

Cyprus – Awareness week (2018)

An Awareness Week is organised in Cyprus on an annual basis. In 2018, the theme was the Bioethical Dimensions of Ageing, the launch of which was accompanied by a press conference, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Cyprus Minister of Health, and the Cyprus Minister.

Denmark – Public Debate in Denmark on the future of the healthcare system (2008)

The Danish health care system was under political and public pressure for more, better and faster treatments but was lacking the needed financing.

Finland – Citizen’s initiative to the Parliament (2012)

From March 2012, the Constitution of Finland made it possible to allow for a citizens’ initiative to the Parliament of Finland. If supported by a minimum of 50,000 citizens, an initiative will issue an action by Parliament.

France – Public debate on the law on bioethics (2018)

France has had specific legislation on bioethics issues since 1988, and since 2009 it has involved the public in public debates. Since 2011, the French law on bioethics stipulates that the National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) organises public debates and consultations within the scope of.

Germany – Public discourse on genome editing (2019)

The project Genomchirurgie im gesellschaftlichen Diskurs (genome editing in societal discourse) aimed to stimulate public discussion regarding the ethical, legal and social aspects of new methods in genetic technology. The project is a cooperation between Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) and the.

Ireland – Public debate concerning abortion and the repeal of the eighth amendment to the constitution (2016)

In May 2016, the Programme for a Partnership Government committed the Irish Government to the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly with a mandate to look at a limited number of key issues over an extended time period. One of these issues was to consider whether to repeal or replace the Eighth.

Poland – Constitutional week to inform and dialogue with citizens (2018)

The initiator of the Constitutional Week, the Association Pro Memoriam Zbigniew Hołda, was founded by a group of legal specialists aiming to commemorate the scientific and social activity of professor Hołda through, among other things, delivering legal education in an open and creative way.

Portugal – Public debate on the end of life (2017)

The National Council of Ethics for the Life Sciences (CNECV) launched a national debate on end of life issues which included, in addition to euthanasia, several ethical questions related to end of life care. The initiative started in Lisbon in May 2017, followed by a series of public debates.

Russian Federation – Public debate and its impact on the law on transplantation of human organs and tissues (2016)

The Russian Federation has a long-standing practice of consultations on draft laws at the level of state authorities as well as public discussions. Public discussions takes place at various venues and with interested representatives of professional communities and public organizations, including.

United Kingdom – Public engagement on brain science, addiction and drugs (2007)

In 2006, the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) launched an independent inquiry into the societal, health, safety and environmental issues that had been identified in an earlier report, DrugsFutures 2025?, published in 2005. The drugsfutures public engagement activities ran from January to April.

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Example Of Debate


How to Debate

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List of 100+ Debate Topics


Debate is an extracurricular activity that you’ve probably heard of from your or your child’s high school roster of clubs or teams. But debate is far more than that. It’s also an intellectually demanding form of learning and a structured way of making decisions. Tracing back to the legendary public speakers and rhetoricians of ancient Greece, debate helps its participants to compare and contrast opposing viewpoints.

In school, the word ‘debate’ often takes on several meanings. Debate (usually with a capital D, and often described in a specific style or format, like Worlds Schools, Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, or Policy) is a widely popular competitive activity, not only partaken in by students across the United States, but also on a global scale.

Then there is debate (with a lowercase d), a common educational activity, especially in social studies classes. Even more informally, there is the debate we engage in all the time with friends, family, and even strangers, which is often synonymous with arguments or disagreements.

If you’re reading this post, you might be interested in learning about how to debate in general, or researching whether or not joining a Debate team is right for you or your child. You might be a student on a hunt for good debate topics to discuss in a classroom or a parent hunting for ideas to bat around at the kitchen table with a gifted student.

Whatever your reason for investigating further into debate (and Debate), you can find both a broad and philosophical introduction to debate here along with guidance into topics and discussions of Debate as an extracurricular activity. We’ll cover debate tips and debate strategies. Consider this guide a comprehensive blueprint for learning how to debate, and how to win a debate. We’ll also get into topics—what makes a good debate topic, examples of controversial debate topics, and provide suggestions for debate topics for high school students and debate topics for college students.

How to Debate

Since debate can only happen when people make arguments, the first thing you must learn in order to debate is how to construct an argument in a clear, compelling, and persuasive manner.

An effective argument begins with a provable, debatable claim, similar to the thesis statement of a persuasive essay you might have been asked to write for class. In order for there to be a debate, two different and mutually exclusive positions need to be evaluated against each other.

Step 1: Write Your Case

Establish a Clear Position Statement

A helpful way to frame one’s position in a debate is to state which side of the debate one is on, and then list several key reasons why that side is better. These reasons can then be expanded on as sub-arguments, or contentions, to provide additional depth and information in support of the overarching claim.

Let’s say that you are debating about whether or not schools should require students to wear uniforms, and you are going to defend uniforms. That puts you on what might be known as the proposition, affirmative, or in-favor side. Your provable, debatable claim statement to establish your position could be:

“Schools should require students to wear uniforms because uniforms reduce bullying, save families money, and foster a stronger school culture.”

It is easy to discern from this statement that you are on the proposition (not opposition) side of this debate, because you said, “schools should require students to wear uniforms.” It is also easy to preview the sub-arguments, or contentions, you will make in this debate to support your claim, as you listed out the three reasons of “. reduce bullying, save families money, and foster a stronger school culture.”

Articulate a Framework

Before developing your contentions in support of your side further, though, it is helpful to articulate a framework for the debate. A framework, simply put, is a way of evaluating something and determining what we should care about when making a decision. The purpose of framework in debate is to tell the judge (or audience) how they should think about the debate as a whole, to convince them what should matter the most and what matters less.

In the debate about school uniforms, for example, the framework for the debate could be:

“We should evaluate all arguments about school uniforms in terms of how they ultimately impact students’ learning and educational outcomes. Since the essential purpose of school is to help students learn as much as possible, we should ultimately look to which side in this debate improves educational outcomes the most.”

There are many other ways this debate could be framed, too, which is why establishing a clear framework is so important. Someone could say, for example, that we should actually care about students’ mental wellness and happiness first and foremost. Or maybe we should care about reducing inequality and promoting fairness first and foremost.

High-quality debates almost always include arguments not only about specific points related to the topic, but also more big-picture, framework arguments about how we should think about and evaluate the topic.

Develop Contentions with a Claim, Warrant, Impact

Similar to the body paragraphs of a persuasive essay, contentions are unique arguments focused on specific reasons why the overall position is true, correct, or worthy of support. Contentions are the specific, detail-oriented section of a case, and where arguments over evidence, facts, and logical reasoning play out. Effective contentions tend to follow a specific structure in debate, focused around a claim, warrant, and impact.

The claim of the contention is akin to a topic sentence in an essay: it is a clear, direct, and provable statement which will be defended in the rest of contention. Returning to the example topic of school uniforms, for example, a contention could begin with the claim: “school uniforms strengthen student culture.” This is not the only claim one could make to support school uniforms, but it is a claim that can be defended with further evidence.

Next, a contention should include a warrant (or ideally a series of warrants) about why the claim is true. Simply put, warrants are a combination of evidence and logical reasoning that explain why the claim makes sense.

A debater might, for example, cite a study showing that students’ feelings of belonging and school spirit increased by 20% after a school instituted a uniform policy. Then, the debater might offer logical reasoning for why that result occurred. One reason why school uniforms strengthen student culture is that they remind students of being on a sports team or other activity where teamwork and collaboration are essential.

Finally, a contention should end with an impact (or ideally a series of impacts) that show what would happen as a result of the claim being true. In other words, the impact shows the possible effects of the contention. It can be helpful to think of impacts in terms of “what would happen if?” questions.

So, what would happen if school uniforms do improve student culture? One possible impact might be that instances of bullying will go down, thereby leading to greater student happiness and feelings of being safe and welcomed at school. This impact could be stretched even further, for example, to say that as a result of students feeling safer and welcome, they will attend school more often and miss fewer classes and assignments.

Step 2: Present Your Case

Since debate is a communicative activity, a debater must convey an argument to persuade their audience. Though the substance and structure of your argument matters, everyone is susceptible to boredom! To get your point across, you must project confidence and speak in a way that holds your audience’s attention. This section explains the art of public speaking and breaks it down into components that can be practiced.

Let’s begin with a brief analogy. Musicians, when writing music, must choose notes, the tempo, the key signature, etc. That is, musicians must use the building blocks of music to create a song. This is like what debaters do: they take the building blocks of argumentation (claims, warrants, evidence, impacts, etc.) to craft a debate case.

Musicians add accent marks to notes, they give directions for when notes should be played loudly (forte) or softly (piano), they add in crescendos and decrescendos for dramatic effect.

Skilled debaters, similarly, vary the volume of their voices; pause and emphasize words; move their hands, change their posture, and vary their facial expressions. Both musicians and debaters understand the same principle: it is not just what we make, but how we present it, that leaves a lasting impression on our audience.

A good public speaker captures the attention of their audience and projects what is often called gravitas: a calm, serious, and poised demeanor. A public speaker appears neither too timid nor too confident, but rather calm and in control.

Additionally, they employ rhetorical devices, tailoring their words for their audience. This might sound intimidating to master, but great public speaking is in fact similar to stimulating conversation.

First, great presentation involves the careful and purposeful use of words. There are an infinite number of ways to express an idea, but public speakers use a variety of rhetorical tactics to make their words stick and have maximum impact.

  • Repetition: To solve poverty, to solve joblessness, to solve homelessness, we must reinvest in our communities.
  • Alliteration: These tired, tormented soldiers sacrificed so much; we owe them mental health care.
  • Contrast: The choice is clear: to protect the land of Native Americans or to destroy it.
  • Vivid Diction: What hideous, heinous advocacy from side opposition!

Second, debaters manipulate many variables related to their voice. Slowing down, speaking louder, and raising one’s voice often convey emphasis and importance, for example.

  • Volume (loud or soft)
  • Pace (fast or slow)
  • Pitch (high or low)
  • Tone (sarcastic, mocking, somber, serious, passionate, etc)
  • Cadence (pauses, accelerations)

Third, debaters also strategically use body language, since the posture, motion, and overall presentation of the body adds meaning to words.

  • Gestures (raising arms, shrugging, pointing)
  • Stance (off-center, spread, compact, etc.)
  • Facial expression (frowning, furrowed brow, raised brow, smile, etc.)
  • Movement (still to fluid)

Returning to our analogy, a musician reads the notes on the page and hears the music as they perform it. Your task as a debater is similar: to be simultaneously aware of what you are saying and aware of how you are saying it, and to work to make your delivery as best as it can be.

There is only one way to become a great public speaker: practice! There is nothing better than practicing in front of an audience but practicing in front of a mirror is a great alternative. Additionally, even pretending to give a speech while you’re walking around is great, too. The more you orate, the better you’ll be when you have to do it for real.

Here are 4 easy practice ideas to help you become a more engaging, dynamic public speaker.

1. Find a famous historical speech. Listen to it/watch it, and then present it yourself. Or present it to a friend, loved one, or even your pet and ask for feedback.

2. Find an empty room and read a poem or song aloud as if you were performing it.

3. Imagine various circumstances when you might have to give a speech, and then do it on the fly. Give a speech in the car, in the shower, or on a walk when you don’t have other distractions.

4. Record yourself on video giving a speech, and then watch and assess your words, voice, and body.

Step 3: Take Notes & Attack the Other Side

After presenting your own case, whether in a formal debate setting or a more casual atmosphere, your opponent will present their case. Hopefully, their case will present arguments that are at-odds with yours, such that something called clash is created in the debate.

Clash is the idea that debate happens not when people say things that are different, but that are both different and contradictory, i.e. necessarily competitive. If you argue that schools should require students to wear uniforms, but your opponent argues that schools should not require students to wear shoes in class, you are having two different debates without clash!

To track the clash in a debate, competitive debaters use a specific method of taking notes on their opponents’ arguments called flowing. The reason it is called flowing is because the notes (“the flow”) are a record of how the arguments develop over the course of the debate (and also how you respond to them).

The easiest way to flow is to split a sheet of paper into a few columns and to record each speech in its own column. So, you could take down notes on your opponents’ arguments in the very first column, and then you jot down some ideas in the next column for points you might want to make in response.

Rather than take notes on every word that is said, debaters flow the key ideas (like the claims, warrants, and impacts) of each argument. Many debaters also take notes in shorthand, which means that they abbreviate words and even use symbols (like an up arrow to symbolize something increasing, growing, etc.). There is no right or wrong way to flow, as it is a matter of personal preference.

If you are a novice debater, you should try to experiment with a few different techniques to see what works best for you. One helpful tip for keeping your notes organized is to use two different colored pens (one color for everything your opponent says, the other color for everything you say/will say).

Notes don’t talk, though, so you must form cogent responses to your opponent’s case and present them in a structured, organized way.

Good debaters don’t just say, “that’s not true!” or “I disagree!” in response to their opponent. They offer multiple reasons why the argument is true, attacking it from many different angles. Here are a few different strategies you can use to attack an argument:

  • Think about unintended consequences, especially problems or harms, that could happen. Your opponent selectively presented the best, most desirable impacts in their case, most likely, but that doesn’t mean that the impacts they presented are the only impacts possible.

Example: School uniforms might increase feelings of student belonging, for instance, but an unintended consequence is that students might also feel less strong senses of self & individuality as they are prevented from expressing their identities in their fashion choices. That’s bad!

  • Think about reasons the warrants of the contention (the reasons why it is supposedly true) don’t make sense.

Example: In the school uniforms case, a debater might cite evidence such as quotations from an expert in a research study or statistics from a reliable, objective source. They might, however, be interpreting that evidence incorrectly or stretching it too far.

Just because students felt a greater sense of belonging after being required to wear uniforms doesn’t mean the uniforms caused the change. This is a classic example of correlation without causation, the idea that just because something after something else happens doesn’t mean it was caused by it.

  • Think about the trade-offs that happen when one thing is gained.

Example: Let’s say that school uniforms do increase feelings of belonging at school. If the purpose of school is to educate students as much as possible, then this particular method of increasing feelings of belonging actually hurts students’ education.

Fashion is closely related to culture and traditions, for example, so uniforms take away the valuable expression of cultural diversity that comes via clothing choices, such as a recently immigrated student wearing a traditional piece from their home country.

Additionally, clothing can be used to convey important political messages or express support for causes, such as a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt. So, even though students might feel a greater sense of belonging, this comes at the expense of opportunities for cultural exposure and education that happen through personal fashion.

  • Think about why the argument doesn’t matter or isn’t important. Or more specifically, think about why the argument matters less or is less important than your argument.
  • Think about the bigger goal or objective trying to be accomplished in the debate. Perhaps there are other ways of achieving that same goal or objective that have far fewer problems, risks, harms, etc.
  • Think about how points made by your opponent might be incomplete or in tension with other points. Pointing out claims without good warranting and reasoning to back them up, or arguments that contradict other arguments can help expose the flaws of your opponent’s case.

When responding to your opponent’s points, it is helpful to list out your responses and to clearly state which of your opponent’s points are relevant to your particular responses. You might say, for example, “in response to my opponent’s first contention, I have three points to make.”

Maddie Otto

By Maddie Otto

Maddie is a second-year medical student at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and one of Level Medicine’s workshop project managers. Prior to studying medicine, she worked and studied as a musician in Melbourne. She has a background in community arts, which combined her love for both the arts and disability support. She is an advocate for intersectional gender equity, and is passionate about accessibility and inclusive practice within the healthcare system.