Debate Basics

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DEBATE
A
debate is a formal
argument in which two
opposing teams propose or
attack a given proposition
or motion in a series of
speeches.
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THE PROPOSITION,
MOTION OR RESOLUTION
This is the statement of
judgment that identifies the
central issue in controversy.
A
proposition may be one
of fact, value or policy.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE
PROPOSITION OF POLICY
Clearly
state the controversy;
Contain
only one central idea;
Be
stated in neutral language;
Propose
a change in the
existing state of things or
status quo
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EXAMPLE OF A
PROPOSITION OF POLICY
Resolved: that
government
should actively encourage the
advancement of research on
human cloning.
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THE BURDEN OF PROOF
This
is the obligation of the
advocates to prove their
case, i.e., to provide good
and sufficient reasons for
adopting the proposition.
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TAKE NOTE
It
is the Affirmative that
always carries the burden
of proof. One who asserts
must prove.
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BURDEN OF REBUTTAL OR
REFUTATION
This is the obligation to
counter or oppose
arguments that harm one’s
position.
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TAKE NOTE
While
the burden of proof
always stays with the
Affirmative, the burden of
rebuttal shifts between
the two sides as the
debate progresses.
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STOCK ISSUES
These
are standard claims
that are applicable to many
propositions.
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STOCK ISSUES
For
policy debates, the
stock issues are drawn from
three basic elements:
justification (necessity),
plan (practicability), and
advantages (beneficiality).
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JUSTIFICATION
(NECESSITY)
Looks into the need (or
lack of need) for the policy
change and discusses the
presence (or absence) of
an inherent flaw in the
status quo.
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PLAN (PRACTICABILITY)
Considers
the feasibility
(or lack of feasibility) of the
policy change and includes
matters of law and finance.
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ADVANTAGES
(BENEFICIALITY)
Discusses advantages (or
disadvantages) of adopting
the change and mentions
specific beneficiaries and
benefits.
+ DEBATE GROUPS
S.Y. 2013-2014
(A table of random numbers was
generated to determine the group
composition.)
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Group 1
18
25
15
13
24
10
37
17
38
35
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Group 2
16
34
23
28
1
39
27
3
9
22
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Group 3
21
14
6
12
11
30
20
33
32
5
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Group 4
4
8
36
31
26
40
29
2
7
19
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THE DEBATE TEAM
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Team Leader
She
will be responsible for
mobilizing the group.
She
will also be one of the
debaters/speakers.
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Two Other
Debaters/Speakers
They
will represent and give
voice to the team’s stand
during the class debate.
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Two Scribes
They
help prepare the team’s
stand. They take note of the
other team’s points and help
formulate responses or
counterarguments.
If
a speaker is absent or is
unavailable, one of the scribes
takes her place.
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Four to Five Researchers
They
supply the team with
matter, i.e., evidence to
support its stand.
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