Debating Intro

Warwick University
Debating Society
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What does the Society do?
• Offers training in all things debating related
• Competes at both national and international level
• Facilitates and Chairs debates amongst other
societies and special interest groups
• Runs tournaments throughout the year
• Provides a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere for
people to meet
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When does the society meet?
• Every Wednesday & Friday at 4 till 6 in Social
• We send people to tournaments run by other
institutions most weekends (Called “IVs”)
• We run around 3 or 4 major socials each term
• We host show debates on a semi-regular basis
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Fresher Schedule for Next few
Week 1 – Friday – Introductory Session
Week 2 – Wednesday – How to Debate in Full
- Friday – Training Session
Week 3 – Wednesday – Show Debate followed by Social
- Friday – Training Session
- Saturday – Nottingham Novice Cup
Week 4 – Wednesday – Publicised Show Debate
- Friday – Training Session
Week 5 – Wednesday – Training Session
- Friday – Normal Session followed by Social
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What happens in a session?
• In a standard session, we split off into groups
dependent on debating experience
• Each group then has a small training session,
followed by splitting off into smaller 8 person rooms
to debate
• After the debate, the judges provide feedback and
the issue can be discussed more casually
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What’s happening in THIS
• Starter Game
• Explanation of actual Debating
• Mini - Debates
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Starter Game
• Split into groups of 12
• Split into two lines of 6
• A judge then describes an
ethical dilemma, and assigns
a solution that each side
must argue for
• Each person has 20 seconds
to convince the judge their
side is right
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Ok, so what is a “debate”?
• In this society we follow a style of debating called “British
• In this sense, a debate is a game with set structures and rules.
• We debate in teams of two people, with each “debate”
comprising of 4 teams.
• Each team is assigned a specific position in the debate from
which they must argue the view point assigned to them and fulfil
certain positional roles.
• A motion (what we are debating) is then announced, and teams
have 15 minutes to prepare material to use during the debate.
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Ok, so what is a “debate”?
• Each individual within the debate then takes it in turns to
deliver a five minute speech in support of their side.
• During speeches the opposing team may offer points of
information (short points to take down any arguments they’re
• However, the person speaking has control of the floor during a
• The judges then decide what has been done well and what has
been done badly within the debate, and in competitions, rank
each team 1st to 4th.
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Table Diagram
1st Prop
1st Opp
2nd Prop
2nd Opp
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Five Minute Speeches!? 15
Minutes Prep Time!? Aaaaah!
• You’re all first timers – Don’t panic!
• Everyone here started out struggling, but it’s easy to pick up
• Fresher training takes place on Wednesdays and will cover
everything you need to know about debating
• If you miss a session, or want to go over anything, then the
resources used will be on the website
• Talk to us, we’re here to help!
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Mini - Debates
• Split into groups of 8 – which will then turn into 4
teams of two
• You will have 15 minutes to prepare material on the
topic – aim to think of two points each that you can
discuss in your speech
• Speeches will be UP TO 3 minutes in length – POI’s
may be offered for the middle 2 minutes
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The Motion
THW Legalise All Drugs
(The government will license people and shops to sell drugs to
those over 18 – in exactly the way that they do with alcohol)
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