Skip to main content


Jessie Ball duPont Library

Debate

Welcome

This guide is intended to direct you to fundamental resources to use when preparing for a debate. The resources here are by no means comprehensive, but are intended to help you achieve a sound start to your work.

  • The tabs above will lead you to specific kinds of resources.
  • Use my contact info on the right to get in touch for more help.

Please feel free to contact me if you have suggestions for additions or other ways to improve this guide.

How to Prepare for a Debate

A quick video explanation from the Toronto Debating Society

Four Basic Steps

1. Identify the dilemma.

  1. Identify, in detail, the position you intend to defend.
  2. Identify, in detail, the position you intend to oppose.
  3. Show how these positions are contradistinctive and mutually exclusive.

2. Identify the arguments in favor of your position.

  1. Identify the reasons and evidence that support your position.
  2. Explain how your reasons are bound to larger principles and are more important or stronger than those of your opposition.
  3. Explain how specific examples or cases support your position.

3. Identify the arguments in favor of your opposition’s position.

  1. Identify the reasons and evidence that support your opposition’s position.
  2. Explain how your reasons are more important or stronger than those of your opposition.
  3. Explain how your specific examples or cases do not support your opposition’s position.

4. Identify the objections to each position.

  1. Identify the objections you might make to your opposition’s position and their arguments.  Anticipate possible responses.
  2. Identify the objections the opposition might make to your position and arguments. How do you respond to these objections?

Credo Reference Search Box

 

 

Online Reference Collections

Other Helpful Skills

Polish some of the research skills that will be necessary for research, writing, and presentation across multiple academic disciplines.