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Student worksheet 11.1 - Preparation and adjudication sheet for the debate (conflict and team debating)

The essence of debating is effective communication and conflict of ideas and arguments. The two teams are called affirmative (supports the subject with factual arguments and examples) and negative (presents a valid case to disprove the subject and the affirmative team’s argument). Both teams must prove their own argument (line) and disprove the argument presented by the opposing team.

These elements are judged in three categories: Matter, Manner, Method. Scoring may be: 40, 40, 20 or 10, 5, 5.

Matter Refers to what is said in the debate
The definition Define key words or phrases (not necessarily every word). Look at the totality of the topic.
Issue of the debate Decide on the idea at the centre of the debate, ie what is the debate all about?
Team line The team line is the basis of an argument. It must offer a reason explaining why the subject is true or false. This common theme or team line becomes the basis of the entire argument.
Allocation This is the framework for the team’s matter. Matter is divided between the first and second speakers and is what the speakers are going to talk about.
Rebuttal Teams should always attack the line of argument of the opposition and then their examples in their order of importance.
Manner Refers to the way in which speakers deliver their speeches and use their personality to communicate their ideas
Visual presentation Use of hands and arms, notes and body language.
Vocal qualities Use of the face to express emotion. Eye contact is also important. Avoid reading notes. Keep the notes unobtrusive.
Verbal skills Speakers should focus on: speed of delivery, volume, pause, variety of tone and clear expression.
Method Correct use of grammar and the correct pronunciation of words.
Individual speech Have a good introduction. Address Chairperson. Develop the case. Present your rebuttal at the beginning of the speech. Have a conclusion.
Team case 1st speaker: introduce the topic/explain meaning/present the team line/present one important argument.
2nd: rebut the opposition argument/complete the argument for your side.
3rd: sum up your team’s argument/answer the arguments put forward by the other side.


Last update: 2nd October 2014