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Debate teams

A photo of kaloolah kaloolah
Do any of you go to schools with succesful debating teams? My school only started one this year, and we're awful.

Does anyone have any general debating tricks that are worth mentioning?
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17 replies
 
A photo of Zion Zion
I wish my school had a debating team. Or, better yet, a debating course!
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I was going to join the debate team. They talked me out of it.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.
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A photo of NumberOne NumberOne

@Zion wrote
I wish my school had a debating team. Or, better yet, a debating course!



Same. I'd debate the sh.it outta anyone.
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A photo of leviaidan leviaidan

@littleroom wrote
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.


They failed to convince you to stay?
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A photo of jenniferbate jenniferbate
I was briefly on a debate team but soon quit because I felt that the topics were much too juvinial.
The best tip that I can give is you have to out smart the oponent. You have to embrasse what they have said and throw it back in their face. Sometimes what you had planned to say will be changed and a lot of debate, I personally have found, is improvosation. Don't get me wrong, you need to know the topic, but the goal is to beat the opposing argument by refuting their argument effectivly.
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A photo of moodeline moodeline
I've been part of one of the top high school debate teams in Canada for 6 years now, I've never advanced past top 20 at provincials so I'm not that good. Anyways, it's been such a good experience and I've gained a lot of experience and knowledge through it. My advice: practice, practice, practice. Really, ensure that you are versed in parliamentary, cross ex, and national style (those are the standard formats for BC, check for other provinces). Go to as many tournaments as you can, and get a coach who knows what they are doing to help you learn. Also, start early (grade 7) so you can build up a future for your club. PM me if you have any more questions or need any more help.
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A photo of Illuminar Illuminar

@littleroom wrote
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.



I kind of completely disagree. Good arguments are what win debates. You "out argue" by having better arguments. They're not looking for consensus, but being put on either pro or con makes you look at an issue from both perspectives. It's definitely not about what you necessarily believe in, but in making well reasoned points.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@Illuminar wrote

@littleroom wrote
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.



I kind of completely disagree. Good arguments are what win debates. You "out argue" by having better arguments. They're not looking for consensus, but being put on either pro or con makes you look at an issue from both perspectives. It's definitely not about what you necessarily believe in, but in making well reasoned points.



You "kind of completely disagree"? Anyway - that was not my experience in the debate team. They did not out-argue the other side with well reasoned arguments (most of the time), but with fallacies and demagoguery. If they were true to creating well reasoned arguments, they wouldn't repeat some of their points they knew weren't sound.

Being forced into a side you don't agree with makes you disingenuous in your debating, unless you suddenly have a change of heart moments before the debate ensues.

And notice, in a debate, no matter how good a point, the other side will not concede that. I know they're not looking for consensus and an actual change in viewpoint, but that's my entire criticism. I believe the whole point of debating should be to either learn where you've gone wrong in your thinking or to enlighten another person. Debate teams, however, just want to win. There are no higher principles to it, and it becomes cheap and political for that reason.
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A photo of kaloolah kaloolah

@littleroom wrote

@Illuminar wrote

@littleroom wrote
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.



I kind of completely disagree. Good arguments are what win debates. You "out argue" by having better arguments. They're not looking for consensus, but being put on either pro or con makes you look at an issue from both perspectives. It's definitely not about what you necessarily believe in, but in making well reasoned points.



You "kind of completely disagree"? Anyway - that was not my experience in the debate team. They did not out-argue the other side with well reasoned arguments (most of the time), but with fallacies and demagoguery. If they were true to creating well reasoned arguments, they wouldn't repeat some of their points they knew weren't sound.

Being forced into a side you don't agree with makes you disingenuous in your debating, unless you suddenly have a change of heart moments before the debate ensues.

And notice, in a debate, no matter how good a point, the other side will not concede that. I know they're not looking for consensus and an actual change in viewpoint, but that's my entire criticism. I believe the whole point of debating should be to either learn where you've gone wrong in your thinking or to enlighten another person. Debate teams, however, just want to win. There are no higher principles to it, and it becomes cheap and political for that reason.





I take it that you don't intend to pursue either law or politics? Ahaha :)
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A photo of littleroom littleroom

@kaloolah wrote

@littleroom wrote

@Illuminar wrote

@littleroom wrote
I joined the UofT debate team and then I realized that the goal of debate teams is to out argue the other team rather than actually make good arguments. What's even worse is that they decide whether your team is pro or con in the debate, which further shows that they don't really care about what the consensus is at the end of the day. So I quit.



I kind of completely disagree. Good arguments are what win debates. You "out argue" by having better arguments. They're not looking for consensus, but being put on either pro or con makes you look at an issue from both perspectives. It's definitely not about what you necessarily believe in, but in making well reasoned points.



You "kind of completely disagree"? Anyway - that was not my experience in the debate team. They did not out-argue the other side with well reasoned arguments (most of the time), but with fallacies and demagoguery. If they were true to creating well reasoned arguments, they wouldn't repeat some of their points they knew weren't sound.

Being forced into a side you don't agree with makes you disingenuous in your debating, unless you suddenly have a change of heart moments before the debate ensues.

And notice, in a debate, no matter how good a point, the other side will not concede that. I know they're not looking for consensus and an actual change in viewpoint, but that's my entire criticism. I believe the whole point of debating should be to either learn where you've gone wrong in your thinking or to enlighten another person. Debate teams, however, just want to win. There are no higher principles to it, and it becomes cheap and political for that reason.





I take it that you don't intend to pursue either law or politics? Ahaha :)



Hah, no, I'm going into the sciences, where truth is priority.
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A photo of mgmt mgmt
I joined debate in my freshmen year because I absolutely love law and politics. It was a good decision! There are different strategies for different formats of debate. Research is definitely important and preparing for counter-arguments. It all comes with practice. I placed 1st at the Junior Provincials this year and I'll be going to Nationals in March 2011. Debate is great! (Ooh, that rhymes)
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A photo of Qq Qq
I laugh at this thread
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A photo of VegaKrazmych VegaKrazmych
There isn't a debate team at my high school. I might get involved in university, but I doubt it.
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A photo of ctwinkie ctwinkie
haha ooh I love debate, but I understand that it's not for everyone :) I've seen a lot of fantastic public speakers/arguers quit debate just because the other people in it pissed them off so much, which I get. The debate circuit is filled with tons of cool people, but a good number of douches as well haha.


@mgmt wrote
I joined debate in my freshmen year because I absolutely love law and politics. It was a good decision! There are different strategies for different formats of debate. Research is definitely important and preparing for counter-arguments. It all comes with practice. I placed 1st at the Junior Provincials this year and I'll be going to Nationals in March 2011. Debate is great! (Ooh, that rhymes)



heyyy!! are you going to Nat Sems in the Northwest Territories?? I'm going too!!! I might see you there :) or... well I qualified, but my provincial coordinator dude has been kinda stingy on the details haha.
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A photo of Zion Zion

@ctwinkie wrote

heyyy!! are you going to Nat Sems in the Northwest Territories?? I'm going too!!! I might see you there :)



An SA romance, I dare say.
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A photo of sarahxmartel sarahxmartel
We don't have a debate team at my high school, but in our English course we sometimes have some just for fun. A good tip would be to not only know YOUR arguments, but figure out what the other team's arguments could be so that you can counter it. Also, you have to have confidence in your subject. If you are truly for or against what you are debating, you will have your heart in it and it's that stubborness that won't allow you to give up.
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