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How to Write a Debate Speech

Last Updated: May 10, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,500,616 times.

So, you've joined debate, and it's time to write a debate speech. There are some tried and true methods to writing an effective debate speech. If you understand them, and the components that make up a standard debate speech, you will increase your chances of success.

Sample Speeches

outline for debate speech

Preparing for the Debate Speech

Step 1 Understand how debates...

  • You may be asked to stand affirmative or negative. In LD (Lincoln-Douglas debate), the first affirmative speech will be at most 7 minutes long, and the first negative speech will be at most 6 minutes. [1] X Research source
  • The speakers then present arguments against the earlier affirmative or negative speech that was just read. Speakers must listen carefully and be able to counter arguments. There are two segments involving cross-examination (CX), in which the debaters are allowed to ask questions and openly debate the topic. This is most often called cross-examination, or cx for short, and occurs after the first affirmative speech, and the first negative speech.
  • The best thing you can do to better understand LD/PF/Policy debate is practice and research.

Step 2 Research...

  • Brainstorm the topic, and research it before you sit down to write. Write out a list of key components for both sides of the issue. If you are on a debate team, do this together. Each member could discuss the key component list, in order to figure out which issues you want to cover in each speech.
  • Spend some time at the library or on the Internet using credible sources to research the key reasons that seem strongest. Use books, scholarly journals, credible newspapers, and the like. Be very cautious about unverified information bandied about on the Internet.
  • You will also want prepare to deal with the strongest arguments your opponent(s) might make. Ignoring the other side’s best arguments can weaken your rhetorical appeal.

Step 3 Write an outline...

  • A basic debate outline should contain six parts: An attention-getter, your stated stance (aff or neg)/ restatement of the resolution, your definitions, your value, criterion, and contentions.
  • You can break each of those six parts into subcategories. It’s often a good idea to write the contentions last, focusing on the value and criterion to hold it up first.

Writing the Debate Speech

Step 1 Write an introduction...

  • You should address the jury or audience with formal salutations. For example, you could say something like, “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.” Debates are very formal in tone.
  • Making a good first impression with the judges is very important. This leads judges to assume the debater is persuasive. One technique to write a strong introduction is to contextualize the topic, especially in relation to real world events. [6] X Trustworthy Source American Bar Association Leading professional organization of lawyers and law students Go to source
  • Introductions can also focus on prominent examples, quotations, or on a personal anecdote that can help establish a rapport with the audience and judges. Be careful using humor; it involves risks and can lead to awkward silences if not done right. Find a relevant specific that illustrates the underlying point.

Step 2 Outline where you stand very clearly.

  • Don’t muddle your position. It needs to be extremely clear whether you affirm or negate the resolution, so don’t hem and haw and contradict yourself. The audience also should not have to wait until the end to find out. Make your stance very clear, and do it early on
  • For example, you could say, “my partner and I firmly negate (or affirm) the resolution which states that unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation.” [7] X Research source

Step 3 Make key points to back up your stance.

  • A good rule of thumb is to back up your position with 3-4 strong points of supporting argumentation. You definitely need to have more than 1 or 2 key points to back up the stance you have taken.
  • The body of the speech – the key points and their development – should be, by far, the longest part of the debate speech (perhaps 3 ½ minutes to 30 seconds for an opening and for a conclusion, depending on the rules of the debate you are doing).

Step 4 Develop your key points.

  • Focus on the causes of the problem, the effects of the problem, expert opinion, examples, statistics, and present a solution. Try to use visual images, not just generic terms – show don’t tell, and illustrate a point with details.
  • Appeal to the motives and emotions of the listener with a light touch. Appeal to their sense of fair play, desire to save, to be helpful, to care about community, etc. Ground examples in how people are affected.
  • Try using rhetorical questions, which make your opponents consider the validity of their point; irony, which undermines their point and makes you seem more mature and intelligent; simile, which gives them something to relate to; humor, which gets the audience on your side when done well; and repetition, which reinforces your point.

Step 5 Understand the art...

  • Aristotle believed that speakers were more persuasive if they combined elements of logos (persuasion by reasoning) with pathos (having an element of emotional appeal) and ethos (an appeal based on the character of the speaker) - for example, that they seem intelligent or of good will.
  • There are two ways to use logic – inductive (which makes the case with measurable evidence like statistics or a specific anecdote or example) and deductive (which makes the case by outlining a general principle that is related to the specific topic to infer a conclusion from it - as in, I oppose all wars except those involving imminent self defense; thus, I must oppose this one because it's a war that was not in imminent self defense, and here's why). Or the reverse.
  • You should use pathos sparingly. Emotional appeal on its own can be dangerous. Logos - the appeal to reason - should be at the core. However, logical appeal without any pathos at all can render a speech dry and dull. Consider what you are trying to make your audience feel. Explaining how a topic affects real people is one way to use pathos well.

Concluding the Debate Speech

Step 1 Write a strong...

  • One strong way to conclude a debate speech is to bookend the conclusion with the opening, by referring back to the introduction and tying the conclusion into the same theme.
  • Quotations can be a good way to end a speech. You can also end with a brief summation of the key arguments of the speech to ensure they remain fresh in judges’ minds.

Step 2 Work on your delivery from beginning to end.

  • Use a clear , loud voice, and be careful to watch pacing. You don’t want to speak too loud or too slowly. Remember that confidence goes a long way toward persuasion.

Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

Reader Videos

  • Never add new points in your speech because you still have time, as you might not present it in the best way. When you are nervous, you might even say an argument in favor of the other side and you don't want that. Thanks Helpful 31 Not Helpful 2
  • Never degrade your topic. Thanks Helpful 32 Not Helpful 3
  • Don't use all your points in your debate- in an actual debate, it is sometimes useful to have other information to cite if the argument starts going their way Thanks Helpful 29 Not Helpful 3

Tips from our Readers

  • You can make a sample opening and closing speech beforehand so you can focus more time on developing your arguments during the actual debate.
  • Make sure to include rebuttals in your speech, as they are just as important as your main arguments.
  • Practice as much as possible — it will make you more confident and help you maintain eye contact.
  • Imagine you're just practicing with a friend rather than performing in front of an audience.
  • Take deep breaths before starting to ease nerves.

outline for debate speech

  • Remember, just because you can write a debate speech, it doesn't mean you can say a debate speech effectively. Practice! Thanks Helpful 22 Not Helpful 5

You Might Also Like


  • ↑ http://www.learndebating.com/english/DEBATING.pdf
  • ↑ https://guides.lib.uw.edu/research/faq/reliable
  • ↑ Patrick Muñoz. Voice & Speech Coach. Expert Interview. 12 November 2019.
  • ↑ https://www.hamilton.edu/academics/centers/oralcommunication/guides/how-to-outline-a-speech
  • ↑ https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/resources/newsletters/trial-evidence/five-tips-engaging-opening-statements/
  • ↑ http://www.oxfordsd.org/Page/5582
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/argument/
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/persuasive-speaking
  • ↑ https://www.comm.pitt.edu/speech-anxiety

About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a debate speech, start by researching the topic thoroughly with credible and scholarly sources, and make an outline of your argument including an introduction, thesis argument, key points, and conclusion. Write the thesis argument and develop 3-4 strong points of argumentation. Be sure to clearly state your stance, and utilize expert opinions, statistics, and examples to support your opinion. To finish the speech, write an interesting introduction that incorporates your thesis and a brief conclusion that summarizes your main points. If you want to learn more, such as how to make your debate speech persuasive, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Debate Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to the world of debating, where ideas clash, arguments are made, and minds are changed. Whether you’re a seasoned debater or just starting out, having a solid outline is key to delivering a compelling and organized argument. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a debate outline, step by step.

Understanding the Basics of a Debate Outline

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of creating a debate outline, let’s first understand what a debate outline is and why it’s important. A debate outline is a roadmap for your argument, helping you structure your points and evidence in a logical and persuasive manner. It ensures that you cover all the necessary points and stay on track during the debate.

Step 1: Choose a Side

The first step in creating a debate outline is to choose a side on the topic at hand. Whether you’re assigned a side or given the freedom to choose, it’s important to clearly define your position before moving forward with your outline. Consider the arguments for both sides and decide which one you can best defend.

Step 2: Research the Topic

Once you’ve chosen a side, it’s time to gather evidence to support your argument. Research the topic thoroughly, looking for reputable sources and data that back up your claims. Make sure to consider counterarguments as well, as addressing them can strengthen your position.

Step 3: Craft Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the central argument of your debate, summarizing the main point you will be making. It should be clear, concise, and debatable. Take some time to refine your thesis statement, ensuring that it effectively captures the essence of your argument.

Step 4: Outline Your Arguments

Now that you have your thesis statement, it’s time to outline your arguments. Start by brainstorming the main points you want to make in support of your thesis. Organize these points in a logical order, with each point building upon the previous one. Remember to include evidence and examples to support each argument.

Step 5: Include Counterarguments

To anticipate and address potential counterarguments, it’s important to include them in your outline. Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and explain why they are not as strong as your own arguments. By addressing counterarguments, you can demonstrate your critical thinking skills and strengthen your overall argument.

Step 6: Organize Your Outline

Once you have all your arguments and counterarguments laid out, it’s time to organize your outline. Start by creating a clear introduction that introduces the topic and your thesis statement. Then, outline each of your main arguments, followed by your counterarguments. Finally, conclude with a strong closing statement that reinforces your thesis.

Step 7: Revise and Refine

After creating your initial outline, take some time to revise and refine it. Look for gaps in your argument, weak points that need strengthening, and areas where you can add more evidence or examples. Consider seeking feedback from peers or mentors to improve the quality of your outline.

Q: How long should a debate outline be?

A: There is no set length for a debate outline, as it will vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the depth of your arguments. However, a typical debate outline should be concise and focused, providing a clear roadmap for your argument.

Q: Can I use visuals in my debate outline?

A: While debate outlines are typically text-based, you can certainly use visuals such as charts, graphs, or diagrams to support your arguments. Just make sure that the visuals are relevant and enhance the overall clarity of your outline.

Q: How should I format my debate outline?

A: There is no strict format for a debate outline, but it’s important to use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to organize your arguments clearly. Make sure to use a consistent format throughout your outline for easy readability.

In this guide, we’ve covered the essential steps to creating a debate outline that will help you deliver a compelling and well-structured argument. By following these steps and incorporating your own unique style and voice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a skilled debater. Happy debating!

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Winning Debate Speech

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What is a Debate?

A classroom debate involves students delivering persuasive speeches to present and support their opinions on a given subject. This activity helps develop critical thinking and communication skills, enabling students to gain a more comprehensive grasp of various topics.

Debate speeches are written according to a set of rules so a moderator can assess their effectiveness and allow others to question or challenge their statements within a formal debate.

A classroom debate is not an unruly fight or pointless argument but a structured formal conversation on a chosen topic in which two teams argue for or against it to convince the neutral moderator that they hold the stronger position.

Debating is a form of persuasive communication, and while we will be sticking to the fundamentals of how to write a debating speech, we also have a great guide to persuasive essay writing that elaborates on specific persuasive techniques.

Complete Teaching Unit on Class Debating

debate speech,debating | class debating unit 1 | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech | literacyideas.com

This unit will guide your students to write excellent DEBATE SPEECHES and craft well-researched, constructed ARGU MENTS ready for critique from their classmates.

Furthermore, this EDITABLE UNIT will provide the TOOLS and STRATEGIES for running highly engaging CLASSROOM DEBATES.

How To Run A Classroom Debate

Before jumping in headfirst to write your debating speech, ensure you understand how a debate is run to maximise your strategy and impact when it counts.

Debates occur in many different contexts, such as public meetings, election campaigns, legislative assemblies, and as entertainment on television shows. These contexts determine the specific structure the debate will follow.

This guide provides a basic step-by-step debate structure we can comfortably run with students in a classroom. By familiarizing students with this structure, they will effortlessly transition to other debate frameworks.

Running a classroom debate can be an engaging and educational activity that helps students develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to organize and facilitate a successful classroom debate:

1. Choose a Topic For Your Debate.

Also called a resolution or a motion , the topic is sometimes chosen to debate. This is usually the case in a school activity to practice debating skills. 

The resolution or motion is usually centered around a true or false statement or a proposal to change the current situation. Often, the motion starts, ”This House believes that….”

Select a topic relevant to your curriculum and the students’ interests. Ensure that it is debatable and has multiple perspectives. Further down this article, you can find a list of popular classroom debating topics.

2. Form Two Debating Teams

Two teams of three speakers each are formed. These are referred to as ‘ The House for the Motion ’ or the ‘ Affirmative ’ team and ‘The House Against the Motion ’ or the ‘ Negative ’ team.

Preparation is an essential aspect of debating. The speech and debate team members will need time to research their arguments, collaborate, and organize themselves and their respective roles in the upcoming debate.

They’ll also need time to write and rehearse their speeches. The better prepared and coordinated they are as a team, the greater their chances of success in the debate.

3. Assign Roles to Students.

Each team member should have a specific role, such as speaker, researcher , or rebuttal specialist . This encourages teamwork and ensures that each student is actively involved.

4. Research and Preparation:

  • Allocate time for teams to research and prepare their arguments. Encourage students to use multiple sources, including books, articles, and reputable websites. Make sure you read our complete guide to powerful student research strategies.

5. Set Debate Format:

  • Define the debate format, including the structure of each round. Common formats include opening statements, cross-examination, rebuttals, and closing statements.

6. Establish Rules:

  • Set ground rules for the debate, such as time limits for each speaker, etiquette, guidelines for respectful communication, and consequences for rule violations.

7. Conduct a Practice Debate:

  • Before the actual debate, conduct a practice round. This helps students become familiar with the format and allows you to provide feedback on their arguments and presentation skills.
  • On the day of the debate, set up the classroom to accommodate the format. Ensure that each round has a clear structure, and designate a timekeeper to keep the debate on schedule.

9. Facilitate Q&A Sessions:

  • After each team presents their arguments, allow time for questions and cross-examination. This encourages critical thinking and engagement among the students.

10. Evaluate and Debrief:

  • After the debate, provide constructive feedback to each team. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, presentation skills, and teamwork. Also, please encourage students to reflect on what they learned from the experience.
  • Have a class discussion about the debate, exploring different perspectives and opinions. This can deepen students’ understanding of the topic and enhance their critical thinking skills.

Consider integrating the debate topic into future lessons or assignments. This reinforces the learning experience and allows students to delve deeper into the subject matter.

Remember to create a supportive and respectful environment throughout the debate, emphasizing the importance of listening to opposing views and engaging in constructive dialogue.

Each speaker takes a turn making their speech, alternating between the House for the Motion, who goes first, and the House Against the Motion. Each speaker speaks for a pre-agreed amount of time.

Ensure your debate is held in front of an audience (in this case, the class), and occasionally, the audience is given time to ask questions after all the speeches have been made.

Finally, the debate is judged either by moderators or by an audience vote. 

debate speech,debating | debate Organizer Free | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech | literacyideas.com

Download our Debate Organizer

Stay fousssed with this handy template to keep all your ideas organized.

How To Write A Debate

How to start a debate speech.

In highly competitive speech and debate tournaments, students are only provided the topic on the day, and limited time is allowed for preparation, but this is not recommended for beginners.

Regardless of the stakes of your classroom debate, the speechwriting process always begins with research. Thorough research will provide students with both the arguments and the supporting evidence for their position on a topic and generate forward-thinking about what their opponents might use against them.

Writing Your Introduction

The purpose of the introduction in a debate speech is to achieve several things:

  • Grab the attention of the audience,
  • Introduce the topic
  • Provide a thesis statement
  • Preview some of the main arguments.

Grab The Attention Of Your Audience With Strong Hooks

Securing the audience’s attention is crucial, and failure to do this will have a strong, negative impact on how the team’s efforts will be scored as a whole. Let’s explore three proven strategies to hook your audience and align their thinking to yours.

Introduce Your Topic With Efficiency and Effectiveness

Once the audience’s attention has been firmly grasped, it’s time to introduce the topic or the motion. This should be done straightforwardly and transparently to ensure the audience understands the topic of the debate and the position you are approaching it from.

For example, if the topic of the debate was school uniforms, the topic may be introduced with:

Provide Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a concise declaration summarizing the points and arguments of your debating speech.

  • It presents a clear stance on a topic and guides the reader on what to expect in the content.
  • A good thesis statement is debatable and allows for opposing viewpoints and discussion.
  • It serves as a roadmap for the writer, ensuring coherence and focus in the piece.
  • It helps the audience understand the purpose and direction of the work from the beginning.

The thesis statement should express the student’s or the team’s position on the motion. Clearly explaining the speaker’s side of the debate. An example can be seen here.

Provide A Preview Of Your Arguments

The final part of the introduction section of a debate speech involves previewing the main points of the speech for the audience.

There is no need to go into detail with each argument here; that’s what the body of the speech is for. It is enough to provide a general thesis statement for each argument or ‘claims’ – (more on this to follow).

Previewing the arguments in a speech is especially important as the audience and judges only get one listen to a speech – unlike a text, which can be reread as frequently as the reader likes.

debate introduction examples for students

Attention grabbers task.

After explaining the different types of attention grabbers and the format for the rest of the introduction to your students, challenge them to write an example of each type of opening for a specific debate topic. 

When they’ve finished writing these speech openings, discuss with the students which one best fits their chosen topic. Then, they can continue by completing the rest of the introduction for their speech using the format described above.

You might like to try a simple topic like “Homework should be banned.” you can choose from our collection further in this article.

Writing T he Body of the Speech

The body paragraphs are the real meat of the speech. They contain the in-depth arguments that make up the substance of the debate, and How well these arguments are made will determine how the judges will assess each speaker’s performance, so it’s essential to get the structure of these arguments just right.

Let’s take a look at how to do that.

How to structure an Argument

With the introduction out of the way, it’s time for the student to get down to the nitty-gritty of the debate – that is, making compelling arguments to support their case.

There are three main aspects to an argument in a debate speech. They are:

  • The Warrant

Following this structure carefully enables our students to build coherent and robust arguments. Ttake a look at these elements in action in the example below.

Brainstorming Arguments

Present your students with a topic and, as a class, brainstorm some arguments for and against the motion.

Then, ask students to choose one argument and, using the Claim-Warrant-Impact format, take a few moments to write down a well-structured argument that’s up to debate standard.

Students can then present their arguments to the class. 

Or, you could also divide the class along pro/con lines and host a mini-debate!

Concluding a Debate Speech

The conclusion of a speech or a debate is the final chance for the speaker to convey their message to the audience. In a formal debate that has a set time limit, the conclusion is crucial as it demonstrates the speaker’s ability to cover all their material within the given time frame.

Avoid introducing new information and focus on reinforcing the strength of your position for a compelling and memorable conclusion.

A good conclusion should refer back to the introduction and restate the main position of the speaker, followed by a summary of the key arguments presented. Finally, the speaker should end the speech with a powerful image that will leave a lasting impression on the audience and judges.

debate speech,debating | classroom debating | How to Write a Winning Debate Speech | literacyideas.com

Examples of strong debate Conclusions

The Burden of the Rejoinder

In formal debates, the burden of the rejoinder means that any time an opponent makes a point for their side, it’s incumbent upon the student/team to address that point directly.

Failing to do so will automatically be seen as accepting the truth of the point made by the opponent.

For example, if the opposing side argues that all grass is pink, despite how ridiculous that statement is, failing to refute that point directly means that, for the debate, all grass is pink.

Our students must understand the burden of the rejoinder and ensure that any points the opposing team makes are fully addressed during the debate.

The Devils Advocate

When preparing to write their speech, students should spend a significant proportion of their team collaborating as a team. 

One good way to practice the burden of the rejoinder concept is to use the concept of Devil’s Advocate, whereby one team member acts as a member of the opposing team, posing arguments from the other side for the speaker to counter, sharpening up their refutation skills in the process.

20 Great Debating Topics for Students

  • Should cell phones be allowed in schools?
  • Is climate change primarily caused by human activities?
  • Should the voting age be lowered to 16?
  • Is social media more harmful than beneficial to society?
  • Should genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be embraced or rejected?
  • Is the death penalty an effective crime deterrent?
  • Should schools implement mandatory drug testing for students?
  • Is animal testing necessary for scientific and medical advancements?
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory?
  • Is censorship justified in certain circumstances?
  • Should the use of performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports?
  • Is homeschooling more beneficial than traditional schooling?
  • Should the use of plastic bags be banned?
  • Is nuclear energy a viable solution to the world’s energy needs?
  • Should the government regulate the fast food industry?
  • Is social inequality a result of systemic factors or individual choices?
  • Should the consumption of meat be reduced for environmental reasons?
  • Is online learning more effective than traditional classroom learning?
  • Should the use of drones in warfare be banned?
  • Is the legalization of marijuana beneficial for society?

These topics cover a range of subjects and offer students the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking debates on relevant and impactful issues.


debate speech,debating | 1 STUDENts love to share their opinions | The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

debate speech,debating | PersuasiveWritingSkills | Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students | literacyideas.com

Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

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5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

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23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

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How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

Debating strategies for students.

Research and preparation are essential to ensure good performance in a debate. Students should spend as much time as possible drafting and redrafting their speeches to maximize their chances of winning. However, a debate is a dynamic activity, and victory cannot be assured by pre-writing alone.

Students must understand that the key to securing victory lies in also being able to think, write (often in the form of notes), and respond instantly amid the turmoil of the verbal battle. To do this, students must understand the following keys to victory.

When we think of winning a debate, we often think of blinding the enemy with the brilliance of our verbal eloquence. We think of impressing the audience and the judges alike with our outstanding oratory.

What we don’t often picture when we imagine what a debate winner looks like is a quiet figure sitting and listening intently. But being a good listener is one of our students’ most critical debating skills.

If students don’t listen to the other side, whether by researching opposing arguments or during the thrust of the actual debate, they won’t know the arguments the other side is making. Without this knowledge, they cannot effectively refute the opposition’s claims.

Read the Audience

In terms of the writing that happens before the debate takes place, this means knowing your audience. 

Students should learn that how they present their arguments may change according to the demographics of the audience and/or judges to whom they will be making their speech. 

An audience of retired school teachers and an audience of teen students may have very different responses to the same arguments.

This applies during the actual debate itself too. If the student making their speech reads resistance in the faces of the listeners, they should be prepared to adapt their approach accordingly in mid-speech.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The student must practice their speech before the debate. There’s no need to learn it entirely by heart. There isn’t usually an expectation to memorize a speech entirely, and doing so can lead to the speaker losing some of their spontaneity and power in their delivery. At the same time, students shouldn’t spend the whole speech bent over a sheet of paper reading word by word.

Ideally, students should familiarize themselves with the content and be prepared to deliver their speech using flashcards as prompts when necessary.

Another important element for students to focus on when practising their speech is making their body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures coherent with the verbal content of their speech. One excellent way to achieve this is for the student to practice delivering their speech in a mirror.

And Finally…

Debating is a lot of fun to teach and partake in, but it also offers students a valuable opportunity to pick up some powerful life skills.

It helps students develop a knack for distinguishing fact from opinion and an ability to assess whether a source is credible or not. It also helps to encourage them to think about the other side of the argument. 

Debating helps our students understand others, even when disagreeing with them. An important skill in these challenging times, without a doubt.

Debating Teaching Strategies

Clearly Define Debate Roles and Structure when running speech and debate events: Clearly define the roles of speakers, timekeepers, moderators, and audience members. Establish a structured format with specific time limits for speeches, rebuttals, and audience participation. This ensures a well-organized and engaging debate.

  • Provide Topic Selection and Preparation Time: Offer students a range of debate topics, allowing them to select a subject they are passionate about. Allocate ample time for research and preparation, encouraging students to gather evidence, develop strong arguments, and anticipate counterarguments.
  • Incorporate Scaffolded Debating Skills Practice: Before the actual debate, engage students in scaffolded activities that build their debating skills. This can include small group discussions, mock debates, or persuasive writing exercises. Provide feedback and guidance to help students refine their arguments and delivery.
  • Encourage Active Listening and Note-taking during speech and debate competitions: Emphasize the importance of active listening during the debate. Encourage students to take notes on key points, supporting evidence, and persuasive techniques used by speakers. This cultivates critical thinking skills and prepares them for thoughtful responses during rebuttals.
  • Facilitate Post-Debate Reflection and Discussion: After the debate, facilitate a reflection session where students can share their thoughts, lessons learned, and insights gained. Encourage them to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments and engage in constructive dialogue. This promotes metacognitive skills and encourages continuous improvement.

By following these tips, teachers can create a vibrant and educational debate experience for their students. Through structured preparation, active engagement, and reflective discussions, students develop valuable literacy and critical thinking skills that extend beyond the boundaries of the debate itself.


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Debate Speech

outline for debate speech

Debate. What would be the first thing that pops in our minds when we think of that? To some, it is an intellectual argument on about almost anything. From various concepts such as love and the reason of living in the first place to something serious such as political views of a person. Merriam-Webster defines debate as a contention by words or arguments. In terms of law or government, it is the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure. A debate can also serve as a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides.

  • Speech Templates
  • Welcome Speech

Although the concept of a debate is that it does not always have to be so formal and that the exchange of ideas can be casually done, there are occasions that it will have to be formal especially when representing your school for a inter-school competition or simply for a debate class. You may also see motovational speech .

Considering that the topic has already been assigned to you and your group mates, it is important that you begin preparing for your debate with the opposing party. Here are some examples listed down.

outline for debate speech

1.  Preparing for the Debate Speech

2. research the topic very thoroughly with credible information..

  • Brainstorm the topic and research before you sit down to write. Write out a pro and con list. If you are on a debate team, do this together. Each member could discuss the pro and con lists, and then strike the weaker reasons until you are left with three or four reasons that seem strongest in support or opposition.You may also see self introduction speech .
  • It also helps to spend time in the library since not every resource material can be found on the internet.
  • You and the team would also want to deal with the strongest arguments on the other side in your speech as ignoring the other side’s best arguments can weaken your rhetorical appeal.You may also see informative speech .

3. Write an outline of your speech.

  • A simple debate outline should at least contain these four parts: An introduction, your thesis argument, your key points to back your stance up, and a conclusion. For unknown terminologies, prepare a definition in advance so that you can have an answer when the judges ask you may also see presentation speech .
  • You can break each of those four part into subcategories. It’s often a good idea to write the introduction and conclusion last, focusing on the thesis argument and the evidence to back it up first.

outline for debate speech

Writing the Debate Speech

1. write an introduction that is catchy and interesting..

Who does not love a good and catchy introduction? But for these kinds of situations, it is best to stay mindful as the whole point of this debate lies in the formality sense which is something to be taken seriously.

  • For instance, a simple good morning to all parties involved and witnessing the said debate will suffice. There is no need for extra remarks or commentaries if not asked.You may also see orientation speech
  • its critical to always make a good impression, especially to the judges as this will make them think that the debater is persuasive speech. In order to achieve this, one technique in writing a strong introduction is to contextualize the topic, especially when the topic depicts a present situation.
  • Some introduction speech can also focus on prominent examples, quotations, or on a personal anecdote that can help establish a rapport with the audience and judges. Be mindful when using humor though as it involves risks that can eventually lead to awkward silences if not done right. Find a relevant specific that illustrates the underlying point.

2. Outline where you stand very clearly.

Make sure that you point out which stance your team belongs to. Since this is a debate, being part of the positive or negative stance does not serve as an advantage for as long as you are able make your points get through the judges and the audience, then it is enough.You may also see speech examples for students .

  • Don’t muddle on your assigned stance. It needs to be extremely clear whether you affirm or negate the resolution, so don’t try to confuse and eventually contradict yourself in the middle of the debate. The audience also should not have to wait until the end to find out. Make your stance very clear, and do it early on. You may also see declamation speech .

3. Make key points to back up your stance.

As early as possible, you have to identify the main key points found in your speech.

  • One good way to do this is to back up your position with three to four strong points of supporting argumentation. More than one to two key points are required to back up your stance.
  • In every speech, the body or the “meat” of the speech is always the most important part . But keep in mind that you will only be given a short span of time for you to say your piece before time runs out (perhaps 3 ½ minutes to 30 seconds for an opening and for a conclusion, depending on the given rules of the debate).

4. Develop your key points.

Even as you deliver your key points in the said debate, it still cannot be without substance. Back every single one of your key points up with examples, statistics and other resources that can be found during your research.

Focus on the causes of the problem, the effects of the problem, expert opinion, examples, and statistics. Then after that, present a solution. In a debate, you are not given the opportunity to use a PowerPoint Presentation, so as you continue discussing the points of your stance, allow your audience to visualize on what you are saying. You may also see debate speech. You may also see graduation speech .

Do not only attempt to appeal to the motives and emotions of the listener, but also to their sense of fair play, desire to save, to be helpful, to care about the community, and others with a light touch.Try using rhetorical questions which make your opponents consider the validity of their point. Consider irony which undermines their point and makes you seem more mature and intelligent, simile  which gives them something to relate to, humor which gets the audience on your side when done well, and repetition which reinforces your point. You may also see inspirational speech .

5. Understand the art of persuasion.

Finally, what is a debate with persuasion? Ancient philosophers such as Aristotle studied the art of persuasion, and by understanding their techniques will further help your debate speech. You may also tribute speech .

Aristotle believed that speakers are more persuasive writing if they combined elements of logos (persuasion by reasoning) with pathos (having an element of emotional appeal) and ethos (an appeal based on the character of the speaker) – for example, that they seem intelligent or of good will.

There are two ways to use logic – inductive (the premises are viewed as supplying strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion) and deductive (if all premises are true, the terms are clear, and the rules of deductive logic are followed, then the conclusion is necessarily true). You may also see wedding speech .

We hope you enjoyed browsing through our debate speech examples. Debating is both an entertaining an serious activity especially when tackling issues on humanity and the natural environment. Despite what topics you choose, there is a standard forma. You may also see youth speech .


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How to Write a Debate Speech in English | Format, and Examples

Every student has to write a debate at some point in school, college, or university and if you don’t know about the methods and steps to write a debate speech, you won’t write an effective debate speech to increase your chance of success. Following a proper structure and format in debate writing is essential for a good debate to convenience the audience. There are some tips and methods to write an effective debate speech and by setting a tone and correct words choice and sentences, you can grab the judge’s and the audience’s attention. So, are you searching for pro tips on how to write a debate speech in English? Let’s dive into this article and get complete knowledge about debate writing.

Before diving into the steps of debate writing, it’s necessary to understand debate speech definition and debate speech format.

Debate Speech Definition

A debate speech is a formal discussion on a specific topic between two opposing sides or groups. One side discusses in a favor of the given topic or title, while the other side speaks against it or disagrees with the first side. The main purpose of a debate speech is to convince the judges and audience that your opinion is right. In debate speech, you need to express your views in a specific format and make your opponents impress by good debate writing skills.

Debate Speech Format

You can follow the following pattern for a debate speech.

Opening Statements and Explanation

This section consists of the opening sentences by using three arguments with explaining questions.

  • Pro Tema – Up to 5 minutes
  • Con Team – Up to 2 minutes
  • Con Team – Up to 5 minutes
  • Pro Team – Up to 2 minutes

Rebuttals (No new Arguments Here)

In this section, the debaters repeat the deponent arguments and evaluate what is wrong with his/her position.

  • Pro Team – Up to 3 minutes
  • Con Team – Up to 3 minutes

Debate Summary

In the summary, debates summarize their positions after detailed arguments and discussions with the opponents. In addition, the debaters also say why their position is the best.

Finally, each group will be assumed to answer the questions up to 20 minutes long session. For instance, you can look at the following debate speech template to get an idea of the debate speech structure.

Debate Speech Format PDF

How to Write a Debate (6 Steps)

Structuring and writing your debate correctly will increase your chance of success. By following the 6 easy steps below will help you win the debate competition. Without further ado let’s dive into the following steps.

  • Begin With a Strong Opening Lines
  • Define the Topic
  • Signposting

Step #1: Begin With a Strong Opening Lines

Every good speech and discussion starts with a strong sentence. Remember the first impression is the last impression, hence start your debate with a strong opening line that can help you impress the audience and the judge immediately. For example, you can start your debate by asking an open-ended question, tell a story, state an amazing fact or say a powerful quotation.

Step #2: Define the Topic

When you started your debate with a strong sentence and catch the audience’s attention, in the next step you need to make the subject clear to your listeners. You need to state the topic and your group’s position on the topic to help the audience comprehend the side you are going to argue about.

For Example:

“Ladies and gentlemen, today I would like to talk to you about the education system. The education system that we have followed in our country has been reformed many times. Computer literacy at the age of 13 can help in the child’s future studies. Here, I will argue that the problem is the pandemic, besides being stressful, are indecisive in assessing student learning.”

Step #3: Signposting

Signposting may seem irritating and avoidable. If you are word-addict it can even seem like it’s confusing the flow of your otherwise clear and lyrical speech. However, it’s totally important in the format of a good debate speech. You might think that you write a good debate speech, but remember the audience isn’t you to judge. They don’t how much idea about the topic as you have and they might get bored for a few moments in your introduction and then get completely lost. This is why signposting is necessary for debate.

This is a good way to remind your audience of what you are discussing and where you are up to in your speech. Hence, after your introduction add a few points that tell the audience that how many points you are going to deliver and in what order you are delivering them.

Also Read : Essential Transition Words and Phrases for Writing

Step #4: Rebuttal

Have you heard that sometimes the best offense is a good defense? In a professional debate, the most compelling part is usually when one side takes one of the arguments of the opponent and then cuts it to pieces. Indeed, it’s the most difficult part of any debate speech to finish correctly. In a debate speech Rebutting arguments forces you to think thoroughly on the spot. You have a little time like 30 to 40 seconds to take arguments that your opponent has spent a lot of time researching and edging and convincingly oppose it.

There are some approaches that you can use while rebutting in a debate speech and make the challenge a little less dismay. These include the following:

  • Pre-research thoroughly
  • What’s the point
  • Economic Challanges
  • Say your own arguments

Step #5: Arguments

The argument is the most significant part of a debate speech. To make it clear for you, we have divided this down into four simple subtopics.

1. Decide what to argue:

If you have researched the topics and have good information, then a lot of arguments will come to your mind. It always requires good research to come up with talking points. Consider the issue. You can research online, read books and novels for good ideas. When you have good knowledge of the topic then the right arguments will come to your mind no matter how strong your position is.

2. The Layout :

Writing an argument is the same as writing a body paragraph for an essay. You can start each argument by signposting for instance, “Initially, I want to argue….” and then follow up with a sentence shortly. After this, you need to talk in detail about the topic by giving some facts and statics to constitute what you are saying, and then at the end link neatly back to the title of the debate to make clear to the audience that you are not only giving a passionate rant but instead making a carefully calculated point that related in with a general thesis statement.

3. Find Evidence:

Embedding the right evidence into your debate speech makes you more conceivable, but using the wrong and irrelevant evidence from a wrong source leaves you vulnerable to be attacked by the opposition. Hence, it’s necessary to search beforehand and find the right evidence.

4. Persuasive Strategies:

Remember you can be as persuasive and colorful in debate as you write a persuasive piece. Don’t use harsh words or insult your opponents and don’t use the sense of humor where it’s not important, but other than the obvious limitation you can use as many persuasive strategies as you can.

Step #6: How to Conclude

The conclusion is the result of your writing and is one of the most important parts of a debate speech. It should sum the points you have written in the whole parts of your writing, and by delivering the conclusion of your debate the listeners or readers should feel as if they have gained the result of whatever you have written in the body.

Writing a conclusion for a debate speech is the same as writing a conclusion for an essay. In the link below you can read more about how to conclude a debate.

  • How to Write the Best Concluding Paragraph

Debate Speech Sample in English

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outline for debate speech

How to Write an Effective Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • The Speaker Lab
  • March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

Mastering the art of speaking starts with crafting a stellar speech outline. A well-structured outline not only clarifies your message but also keeps your audience locked in.

In this article, you’ll learn how to mold outlines for various speech types, weaving in research that resonates and transitions that keep listeners on track. We’ll also show you ways to spotlight crucial points and manage the clock so every second counts. When it’s time for final prep, we’ve got smart tips for fine-tuning your work before stepping into the spotlight.

Understanding the Structure of a Speech Outline

An effective speech outline is like a map for your journey as a speaker, guiding you from start to finish. Think of it as the blueprint that gives shape to your message and ensures you hit all the right notes along the way.

Tailoring Your Outline for Different Speech Types

Different speeches have different goals: some aim to persuade, others inform or celebrate. Each type demands its own structure in an outline. For instance, a persuasive speech might highlight compelling evidence while an informative one focuses on clear explanations. Crafting your outline with precision means adapting it to fit these distinct objectives.

Incorporating Research and Supporting Data

Your credibility hinges on solid research and data that back up your claims. When writing your outline, mark the places where you’ll incorporate certain pieces of research or data. Every stat you choose should serve a purpose in supporting your narrative arc. And remember to balance others’ research with your own unique insights. After all, you want your work to stand out, not sound like someone else’s.

The Role of Transitions in Speech Flow

Slick transitions are what turn choppy ideas into smooth storytelling—think about how bridges connect disparate land masses seamlessly. They’re not just filler; they carry listeners from one thought to another while maintaining momentum.

Incorporate transitions that feel natural yet keep people hooked. To keep things smooth, outline these transitions ahead of time so nothing feels left up to chance during delivery.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Outline

To make certain points pop off the page—and stage—you’ll need strategies beyond bolding text or speaking louder. Use repetition wisely or pause strategically after delivering something significant. Rather than go impromptu, plan out what points you want to emphasize before you hit the stage.

Timing Your Speech Through Your Outline

A watchful eye on timing ensures you don’t overstay—or undercut—your moment under the spotlight. The rhythm set by pacing can be pre-determined through practice runs timed against sections marked clearly in outlines. Practice will help ensure that your grand finale isn’t cut short by surprise.

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Depending on the type of speech you’re giving, your speech outline will vary. The key ingredients—introduction, body, and conclusion—are always there, but nuances like tone or message will change with each speaking occasion.

Persuasive Speeches: Convincing With Clarity

When outlining a persuasive speech, arrange your arguments from strong to strongest. The primacy effect works wonders here, so make sure to start off with a strong point. And just when they think they’ve heard it all, hit them with an emotional story that clinches the deal.

You might start by sharing startling statistics about plastic pollution before pivoting to how individuals can make a difference. Back this up with data on successful recycling programs which demonstrate tangible impact, a technique that turns facts into fuel for action.

Informative Speeches: Educating Without Overwhelming

An informative speech shouldn’t feel like drinking from a fire hose of facts and figures. Instead, lay out clear subtopics in your outline and tie them together with succinct explanations—not unlike stepping stones across a stream of knowledge.

If you’re talking about breakthroughs in renewable energy technology, use bullet points to highlight different innovations then expand upon their potential implications one at a time so the audience can follow along without getting lost in technical jargon or complexity.

Ceremonial Speeches: Creating Moments That Matter

In a ceremonial speech you want to capture emotion. Accordingly, your outline should feature personal anecdotes and quotes that resonate on an emotional level. However, make sure to maintain brevity because sometimes less really is more when celebrating milestones or honoring achievements.

Instead of just going through a hero’s whole life story, share the powerful tales of how they stepped up in tough times. This approach hits home for listeners, letting them feel the impact these heroes have had on their communities and sparking an emotional bond.

Incorporating Research in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting a speech, the backbone of your credibility lies in solid research and data. But remember, it’s not just about piling on the facts. It’s how you weave them into your narrative that makes listeners sit up and take notice.

Selecting Credible Sources

Finding trustworthy sources is like going on a treasure hunt where not all that glitters is gold. To strike real gold, aim for academic journals or publications known for their rigorous standards. Google Scholar or industry-specific databases are great places to start your search. Be picky. Your audience can tell when you’ve done your homework versus when you’ve settled for less-than-stellar intel.

You want to arm yourself with evidence so compelling that even skeptics start nodding along. A well-chosen statistic from a reputable study does more than decorate your point—it gives it an ironclad suit of armor.

Organizing Information Effectively

Your outline isn’t just a roadmap; think of it as scaffolding that holds up your argument piece by piece. Start strong with an eye-opening factoid to hook your audience right off the bat because first impressions matter—even in speeches.

To keep things digestible, group related ideas together under clear subheadings within your outline. Stick to presenting data that backs up each key idea without wandering down tangential paths. That way, everyone stays on track.

Making Data Relatable

Sure, numbers don’t lie but they can be hard to connect to. If you plan on using stats in your speech, make them meaningful by connecting them to relatable scenarios or outcomes people care about deeply. For instance, if you’re talking health statistics, relate them back to someone’s loved ones or local hospitals. By making the personal connection for your audience, you’ll get their attention.

The trick is using these nuggets strategically throughout your talk, not dumping them all at once but rather placing each one carefully where its impact will be greatest.

Imagine your speech as a road trip. Without smooth roads and clear signs, the journey gets bumpy, and passengers might miss the scenery along the way. That’s where transitions come in. They’re like your speech’s traffic signals guiding listeners from one point to another.

Crafting Seamless Bridges Between Ideas

Transitions are more than just linguistic filler. They’re strategic connectors that carry an audience smoothly through your narrative. Start by using phrases like “on top of this” or “let’s consider,” which help you pivot naturally between points without losing momentum.

To weave these seamlessly into your outline, map out each major turn beforehand to ensure no idea is left stranded on a tangent.

Making Use of Transitional Phrases Wisely

Be cautious: overusing transitional phrases can clutter up your speech faster than rush hour traffic. Striking a balance is key—think about how often you’d want to see signposts on a highway. Enough to keep you confident but not so many that it feels overwhelming.

Pick pivotal moments for transitions when shifting gears from one major topic to another or introducing contrasting information. A little direction at critical junctures keeps everyone onboard and attentive.

Leveraging Pauses as Transition Tools

Sometimes silence speaks louder than words, and pauses are powerful tools for transitioning thoughts. A well-timed pause lets ideas resonate and gives audiences time to digest complex information before moving forward again.

This approach also allows speakers some breathing room themselves—the chance to regroup mentally before diving into their next point with renewed vigor.

Connecting Emotional Threads Throughout Your Speech

Last but not least, don’t forget emotional continuity, that intangible thread pulling heartstrings from start-to-finish. Even if topics shift drastically, maintaining an underlying emotional connection ensures everything flows together cohesively within the larger tapestry of your message.

Techniques for Emphasizing Key Points in Your Speech Outline

When you’re crafting your speech outline, shine a spotlight on what matters most so that your audience doesn’t miss your key points.

Bold and Italicize for Impact

You wouldn’t whisper your punchline in a crowded room. Similarly, why let your main ideas get lost in a sea of text? Use bold or italics to give those lines extra weight. This visual cue signals importance, so when you glance at your notes during delivery, you’ll know to emphasize those main ideas.

Analogies That Stick

A good analogy is like super glue—it makes anything stick. Weave them into your outline and watch as complex concepts become crystal clear. But remember: choose analogies that resonate with your target audience’s experiences or interests. The closer home it hits, the longer it lingers.

The Power of Repetition

If something’s important say it again. And maybe even once more after that—with flair. Repetition can feel redundant on paper, but audiences often need to hear critical messages several times before they take root.

Keep these strategies in mind when you’re ready to dive into your outline. You’ll transform those core ideas into memorable insights before you know it.

Picture this: you’re delivering a speech, and just as you’re about to reach the end, your time’s up. Ouch! Let’s make sure that never happens. Crafting an outline is not only about what to say but also how long to say it.

Finding Balance in Section Lengths

An outline isn’t just bullet points; it’s a roadmap for pacing. When outlining your speech, make sure to decide how much time you’d like to give each of your main points. You might even consider setting specific timers during rehearsals to get a real feel for each part’s duration. Generally speaking, you should allot a fairly equal amount of time for each to keep things balanced.

The Magic of Mini Milestones

To stay on track, a savvy speaker will mark time stamps or “mini milestones” on their outline. These time stamps give the speaker an idea of where should be in their speech by the time, say, 15 minutes has passed. If by checkpoint three you should be 15 minutes deep and instead you’re hitting 20 minutes, it’s time to pick up the pace or trim some fat from earlier sections. This approach helps you stay on track without having to glance at the clock after every sentence.

Utilizing Visual Aids and Multimedia in Your Outline

Pictures speak louder than words, especially when you’re on stage. Think about it: How many times have you sat through a presentation that felt like an eternity of endless bullet points? Now imagine if instead, there was a vibrant image or a short video clip to break up the monotony—it’s game-changing. That’s why integrating visual aids and multimedia into your speech outline isn’t just smart. It’s crucial for keeping your audience locked in.

Choosing Effective Visuals

Selecting the right visuals is not about flooding your slides with random images but finding those that truly amplify your message. Say you’re talking about climate change. In this case, a graph showing rising global temperatures can hit hard and illustrate your chosen statistic clearly. Remember, simplicity reigns supreme; one powerful image will always trump a cluttered collage.

Multimedia Magic

Videos are another ace up your sleeve. They can deliver testimonials more powerfully than quotes or transport viewers to places mere descriptions cannot reach. But be warned—timing is everything. Keep clips short and sweet because no one came to watch a movie—they came to hear you . You might highlight innovations using short video snippets, ensuring these moments serve as compelling punctuations rather than pauses in your narrative.

The Power of Sound

We often forget audio when we think multimedia, yet sound can evoke emotions and set tones subtly yet effectively. Think striking chords for dramatic effect or nature sounds for storytelling depth during environmental talks.

Audiences crave experiences they’ll remember long after they leave their seats. With well-chosen visuals and gripping multimedia elements woven thoughtfully into every section of your speech outline, you’ll give them exactly that.

Rehearsing with Your Speech Outline

When you’re gearing up to take the stage, your speech outline is a great tool to practice with. With a little preparation, you’ll give a performance that feels both natural and engaging.

Familiarizing Yourself with Content

To start off strong, get cozy with your outline’s content. Read through your outline aloud multiple times until the flow of words feels smooth. This will help make sure that when showtime comes around, you can deliver those lines without tripping over tough transitions or complex concepts.

Beyond mere memorization, understanding the heart behind each point allows you to speak from a place of confidence. You know this stuff—you wrote it. Now let’s bring that knowledge front and center in an authentic way.

Mimicking Presentation Conditions

Rehearsing under conditions similar to those expected during the actual presentation pays off big time. Are you going to stand or roam about? Will there be a podium? Think about these details and simulate them during rehearsal because comfort breeds confidence—and we’re all about boosting confidence.

If technology plays its part in your talk, don’t leave them out of rehearsals either. The last thing anyone needs is tech trouble during their talk.

Perfecting Pace Through Practice

Pacing matters big time when speaking. Use timed rehearsals to nail down timing. Adjust speed as needed but remember: clarity trumps velocity every single time.

You want people hanging onto every word, which is hard to do if you’re talking so fast they can barely make out what you’re saying. During rehearsals, find balance between pacing and comprehension; they should go hand-in-hand.

Finalizing Your Speech Outline for Presentation

You’ve poured hours into crafting your speech, shaping each word and idea with precision. Now, it’s time to tighten the nuts and bolts. Finalizing your outline isn’t just about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. It’s about making sure your message sticks like a perfectly thrown dart.

Reviewing Your Content for Clarity

Your first task is to strip away any fluff that might cloud your core message. Read through every point in your outline with a critical eye. Think of yourself as an editor on a mission to cut out anything that doesn’t serve a purpose. Ask yourself if you can explain each concept clearly without needing extra words or complex jargon. If not, simplify.

Strengthening Your Argument

The meat of any good presentation lies in its argument, the why behind what you’re saying. Strengthen yours by ensuring every claim has iron-clad backing—a stat here, an expert quote there. Let this be more than just facts tossed at an audience; weave them into stories they’ll remember long after they leave their seats.

Crafting Memorable Takeaways

Audiences may forget details but never how you made them feel—or think. Embed memorable takeaways throughout your outline so when folks step out into fresh air post-talk, they carry bits of wisdom with them.

This could mean distilling complex ideas down to pithy phrases or ending sections with punchy lines that resonate. It’s these golden nuggets people will mine for later reflection.

FAQs on Speech Outlines

How do you write a speech outline.

To craft an outline, jot down your main ideas, arrange them logically, and add supporting points beneath each.

What are the 3 main parts of a speech outline?

An effective speech has three core parts: an engaging introduction, a content-rich body, and a memorable conclusion.

What are the three features of a good speech outline?

A strong outline is clear, concise, and structured in logical sequence to maximize impact on listeners.

What is a working outline for a speech?

A working outline serves as your blueprint while preparing. It’s detailed but flexible enough to adjust as needed.

Crafting a speech outline is like drawing your map before the journey. It starts with structure and flows into customization for different types of talks. Remember, research and evidence are your compass—they guide you to credibility. Transitions act as bridges, connecting one idea to another smoothly. Key points? They’re landmarks so make them shine.

When delivering your speech, keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself so that every word counts.

Multimedia turns a good talk into a great show. Rehearsing polishes that gem of a presentation until it sparkles.

Last up: fine-tuning your speech outline means you step out confident, ready to deliver something memorable because this isn’t just any roadmap—it’s yours.

  • Last Updated: March 5, 2024

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Debate Writing

Cathy A.

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

14 min read

debate writing

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Advanced Debating Techniques for Students

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words when it comes to articulating your thoughts in a debate?

The inability to formulate your thoughts in a debate can be a significant obstacle, hindering your ability to express yourself effectively. But don’t worry!

If you’re someone who’s wandering around trying to find the secrets to craft an outstanding debate speech, we’ve got your back.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to debate writing, types, format, some tips, and debate examples, so you can understand how to pen down the perfect debate.

Let’s get going!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is Debate Writing?
  • 2. Types of Debate
  • 3. Debate Writing Format
  • 4. How to Write a Debate?
  • 5. How to End the Debate?
  • 6. Debate Writing Tips and Tricks
  • 7. Advanced Techniques for Debate Writing 
  • 8. Debate Writing Examples
  • 9. Debate Writing Topics for Students 

What is Debate Writing?

A debate is a formal contest of argumentation where two opposing teams defend and attack a given resolution. Similarly, it is also a persuasive manner of speaking to convert one’s opinion into your viewpoint.

Here, the speaker either speaks for or against a particular topic being discussed. Moreover, it is the process of preparing and writing the debate before its formal presentation.

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

  • Informative -  A good debate must provide complete information and facts. It is supposed to inform and educate people with the help of logical reasoning.
  • Well-reasoned - The arguments discussed in a debate must be logical, relevant, competent, and well-explained.
  • Persuasive -  A debate must emphasize strong arguments to convince the people.
  • Orderly -  A debate must present the facts in a structured and organized form. It should also follow a specific format.
  • Dynamic -  In a debate, two teams present opposing arguments. Similarly, all the important points must be questioned and answered by each team member.

Types of Debate

The following is a detailed description of common debating types that are practiced on various occasions. 

  • Team Policy Debate -  It consists of two teams, each with two debaters. The main aim is to present a huge amount of data coherently.
  • Cross-examination Debate -  It is considered a period between speeches. Here, the opponents ask each other to clarify and understand the points based on evidence.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate - It is a one-on-one and an open-style debate. Here, the debaters focus on arguing for or against a topic persuasively and logically.
  • Spontaneous Argumentation - Includes two teams that argue on a specific idea, but it does not require much research work. Similarly, this debate focuses more on presentation than content.
  • Public Forum Debate -  It includes arguments on controversial topics. Moreover, these are used to test the argumentation, cross-examination, and refutation skills of the debaters.
  • Parliamentary Debate - It consists of two teams, one called the government and the other called the opposition team. The Government team proposes a motion, and the Opposition team argues against it.

If you want to learn more about the different debating types, head to over comprehensive blog on types of debates.

Debate Writing Format

The debate writing for middle or high school follows the same format structure. Here, we have mentioned a detailed format for you to get an idea of the parts of a debate.

Check out the given debate writing template to get help with structuring your debate.

Debate Writing Template

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How to Start a Debate?

When starting the debate writing process, the question “ How to write a debate introduction?… ” could come off as a daunting one, but don’t worry.

Here are some easy steps for you to write a compelling debate introduction.

speech examples

1. Impressive greeting and strong opening sentence:

Greet your audience with enthusiasm, capturing their attention with a compelling opening statement that sets the tone for your debate.

2. Tell a personal story:

Connect emotionally by sharing a relevant personal anecdote that humanizes the topic, making it relatable and engaging.

3. State an amazing Fact:

Introduce a surprising or impressive fact related to your debate topic to pique interest and establish credibility.

4. Use a powerful quotation:

Incorporate a thought-provoking quote that aligns with your argument, adding depth and authority to your speech.

5. Ask a rhetorical question:

Pose a rhetorical question to stimulate critical thinking among your audience, encouraging them to ponder the issue at hand.

6. State a problem:

Clearly articulate the problem or challenge associated with your debate topic, highlighting its significance and relevance.

7. Share your opinion about the topic:

Express your stance on the matter, providing a concise preview of your argument and setting the stage for the forthcoming points in your debate speech.

How to Write a Debate?

Following are the steps you can stick to for writing a debate speech that lets you stand out from the competition:  

1. Understand the Debate

The first of many steps in debate writing is understanding its nature. Here, both teams will be given a topic, and they will choose an affirmative or negative stance.

2. Research the Topic Thoroughly

Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the debate. Make a list of critical points and use credible sources to cover them in your key arguments.

3. Develop a Debate Outline

Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail.

It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber. Introduce your topic and present the context with the help of a  thesis statement . Also, provide a brief overview of the students’ arguments to understand the direction of the debate.

It is the main section of the debate that discusses the key arguments in detail. Moreover, it further includes logical reasoning and evidence to support the thesis.

The conclusion is the last chance to demonstrate significant ideas. It summarizes the main body by adding emotion and drama to the words and includes a strong closing sentence.

4. Writing the Debate

Start writing the final draft of your debate. Mention the crucial elements of persuasion, which are ethos, pathos, and logos. These are used to explain the effects of the resolution in the real world.

Also, use transition words to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs. Lastly, edit and proofread your work to avoid plagiarism, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Here is a great example of a well-written debate introduction:

If you’re thinking, “ How to write a debate greeting? ”, take a thorough look at the detailed steps below: 

If you have the question, “ How to write a debate against the motion? ” in mind, look at this step-by-step procedure below:

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How to End the Debate?

End the debate by making sure that you have included the following elements. It will help you assess the credibility of your debate.

  • Does your debate start with an interesting greeting?
  • Does it provide original content, personal experience, and a call to action?
  • Does the debate follow a proper format structure?
  • Does it include the correct sentence structure?
  • Does it maintain logical transitions to flow ideas from one paragraph to another?
  • Have you proofread or revised it for common mistakes such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
  • Does the debate mention your opinion about the given topic?
  • Does the debate end with a powerful conclusion sentence to leave a lasting impact on the audience?

Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some amazing debate tips and tricks for you to write a perfect debate:

  • It is better to know and prepare for a debate before starting it
  • Conduct thorough research work to collect relevant data and draft creative arguments about the topic
  • A writer should think relatively to identify the validity of significant claims
  • Try to understand the formal debate through a variety of personal experiences
  • Support the arguments with examples and evidence to make them more credible and authentic
  • Also, consider the perspective of the judges and audience while making a critical argument
  • Always structure your speech while keeping the time limits in mind
  • Do not always disagree with the opponent’s arguments. Instead, you should take notes and think logically
  • Build your case by keeping in mind all the possible objections that others can raise
  • Never make the mistake of introducing new arguments in your closing section

Advanced Techniques for Debate Writing 

Below are some easy  debating techniques  to write a primary and high school debate.

  • Introduce the topic at the beginning of the debate and form an opinion about it.
  • Know your audience to adjust your argument according to them.
  • Assign the two sides as affirmatives and negatives.
  • Take enough time to research the case and the vocabulary used for it.
  • Organize your opinion and present supporting facts to persuade the audience.
  • Follow a basic debate structure that includes the following period.
  • Get an idea about the opponent’s arguments and advance your research by weakening them.
  • Make a judgment based on the audience’s votes and your opinion about the arguments.
  • Connect to the audience emotionally by presenting examples, evidence, and personal experiences.
  • Incorporate simple, well-timed humor to engage and emphasize your argument effectively

Debate Writing Examples

Check out the following examples of debate writing to get a better idea of the concept.

Debate Example for Ks2

Debate Writing Class 6

Debate Writing Class 7

Debate Writing Class 8

Debate Writing Class 9

Debate Writing Class 11 PDF

Debate Writing Class 12

Debate Writing Example on Online Classes

If you want inspiration from more examples on various debate topics, visit our comprehensive debate examples blog!

Debate Writing Topics for Students 

The following are some impressive debate writing prompts for students to get started.

  • All schools should conduct compulsory drug testing on their students
  • Middle and high schools must ban sex education
  • Is it ethical to move in before getting married?
  • Academic institutes should ban smoking on college premises
  • Peer pressure is harmful to students
  • High schools should provide daycare services to students who have children
  • The government should develop nuclear energy for commercial use
  • Celebrities can get away with crime more easily than non-celebrities
  • Cell phones should not be used in classrooms
  • Money motivates people more than any other factor in the workplace

Head over to our list of debate topics to choose from a wide range of unique debate writing ideas.

To sum it up,  This comprehensive guide to debate writing will help you write a perfect one for your high school or college. We’ve covered all the essential details one would need to craft a winning debate.

However, if you think that you could use a helping hand to perfect your debate writing game, we’ve got you covered. 

You can get help from our speech writing service to solve your debate writing worries. Our writing experts will deliver you comprehensive and well-composed debates at rates that won’t break the bank. 

Simply place your " write my essay for me " request and we’ll take care of all your writing-related problems. 

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Cathy A.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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20+ Debate Speech Outline Examples

The debate speech outline examples below will help you to know how to write a debate speech. Are you a teacher handling English Composition or Essay Writing? You will find these debate speech outlines very useful.

Note that the majority of the outlines show you what the first speaker should say in a debate speech. This is because most high school level debate speech questions ask the candidate to write the principal speaker or main speaker’s debate speech.

Each debate speech outline or plan you will see here shows you how to write a complete debate essay with regard to the following.

  • What to say first as the principal speaker in a debate speech
  • How to introduce yourself in a debate
  • The kind of points you should be using to either support a debate speech motion or to speak against the motion. So each debate speech outline gives you a good number of points for both the pros and cons side. It is left to you to make your own choice.

These are debate speech outlines

They are templates or plans that must guide any candidate who desires to write a debate speech in a class test or external examination like WASSCE and NECO/SSCE. With these examples of a debate speech outline, my hope is that you will learn how to plan your debate speech before you begin the actual writing.

And on the happy occasion that you are faced with a debate speech question which is exactly the same as any one of the debate essay questions here, you will have an easier task planning and writing your awesome debate speech.

Should you need further explanation on how to write a great debate speech or argumentative essay, simply click the link below.


It’s time to get down to why you’re here. Find the examples of the debate speech outline for specific essay questions below.

Please, don’t forget:

  • Each debate speech outline is only the bare bones of the real essay. The points are therefore very brief. But you shouldn’t find it difficult developing them into complete, acceptable paragraphs.
  • You can only speak either FOR or AGAINST the motion. So do not take the points for both pros and cons at the same time.

You are the main speaker in an inter-school debate on the topic: The Media is to blame for the upsurge in crime in our society . Write your speech for or against the motion.


  • Vocatives (Make sure to always keep this simple and appropriate to the question.)

Example: Mr. Chairman, Panel of Judges, Headmasters, Members of Staff of both Schools, Guests, Fellow Students, Ladies and Gentlemen.

2. Opening remarks,  your stance (FOR or AGAINST) and briefly why

3. Pros with evidence (That is, when you support the motion)

  • Violent films (armed robbery, domestic violence, drug abuse)
  • Pornography (pedophiles, rape, defilement, prostitution etc.)
  • Dubious means of making money – Promotion of materialism, dishonesty corruption etc.

4. Cons with evidence (This is when you’re speaking AGAINST the motion)

  • –    Crime detection and prevention ie.The media help in crime detection and  prevention.
  • There are more serious culprits – broken homes, peer pressure etc.
  • Economic factors are to blame: unemployment, poverty etc.

5. Conclusion/Closing Remarks.

SEE ALSO: How to Write a Report Essay (with example)

As the prinicipal speaker in a debate, write your speech for or against the motion: School days are the happiest days of one’s life

2. Opening remarks, your STANCE AND WHY

3. Pros with evidence e.g.

  • Events /friendship / socialization / social life etc. (Primary to Univ.)
  • Academic work – knowledge acquisition. competition etc. – exciting
  • Graduation :run-up to the event, the occasion – happy and most fulfilling moments

4. POINTS AGAINST: Cons. with evidence

  • Painful punishment & discipline
  •  Exam fever and failures
  •  High school fees and other financial burdens  
  •  initiation/bullying by seniors


You are the main speaker in a public debate on the motion, The country should not waste money on sending diplomatic representatives abroad. Write the speech you would deliver for or against the motion.

2. Opening remarks, your STANCE and why

3. POINTS AGAINST Cons with evidence (Not waste of Money BECAUSE):

  • Public Relations (P.R.) important in today’s international relations – positive image of country and government.
  • Attraction of foreign economic aid and investment
  • Protection of Welfare of nationals living abroad
  • Friendly ties with others for goodwill and security

4. POINTS FOR: Pros with evidence

  • Expenses could be used for more pressing domestic needs – lazy ambassadors.
  • Abuse of diplomatic immunity – country’s image rather tarnished e.g. drug related crimes by envoys
  • Suffering, imprisonment and death of nationals abroad in spite of ambassadors and high commissioners

5. Conclusion/closing remarks

As the principal speaker in an inter-school debate, write your speech for or against the motion: Money is the root of all evil.

3. POINTS AGAINST: CONS with evidence;

  • It is rather “lack of money (poverty)” that causes crime, quarrels etc.
  • Philanthropy, religious work etc. cannot be carried out without money
  • All holy books extol virtues of wealth creation eg. The Parable of the Talents in the Christian bible.
  • National Development is only possible when hard foreign currency is available.


  • Crime is committed for money
  • Replacement of the worship of God with worship of money these days
  • Broken relationships/marriages due to money disputes.

5. Conclusion/closing remarks.

You are the first speaker in an inter-school debate on the topic: Initiation ceremonies in schools should be abolished . Write your speech for or against the motion.

  • Opening remarks, your STANCE and why

3. POINTS FOR: Pros with evidence

  • Violent initiation practices – injuries etc.
  • Occultism – dangerous trend – LEADS TO crime etc.
  • Not well organized – waste of precious time
  • Create antagonism/ enmity and strained student interpersonal relationships

4. POINTS AGAINST: Cons with evidence

  • Needed for orientation – formal school orientation is desirable
  • Socialization – creates fellow-feeling and friendships
  • Entertainment: a source of fun and release of tension

As the principal speaker in a debate organized by the Youth Association in your community, write your speech for or agaisnt the motion, Females should be made to enjoy exactly the same opportunities as their male counterparts .


3. POINTS FOR: PROS with Evidence

  • To become better better mothers and character trainers of character
  • To contribute to the economy. They are naturally better at handling money and business. They can help in the home and contribute to national devt.
  • Leadership: to promote efficiency, honesty loyalty and peace in national life.
  • It is a question of human rights and equality under the UN declaration of human rights

4. POINTS AGAINST: Cons with Evidence

  • Biblical reference. – women are weaker vessels
  • Traditional place of woman is in the kitchen
  • Emotionally weak – can’t be strong,courageous leaders
  • Women become arrogant when given too many opportunities

You are the main speaker in an inter-school debate under the topic, The media has failed society . Write your speech for or against the motion.

3. POINTS AGAINST: CONS with Evidence;

  • Promotion of tenets of democracy.
  • Information and knowledge dissemination
  • Entertainment
  • Promotion of business, employment etc.

4. POINTS FOR or PROS to refute:

  • Promotion of immorality and crime
  • Promotion of national disunity – fanning ethnicity in politics
  • Defamation, sensationalism and character assassination
  • Adverts – dangerous drugs, alcohol

You are one of the speakers of your school in a debate on the motion, “ Girls are to blame for teenage pregnancy in our country ”. Write your contribution either for or against the motion.


3. POINTS AGAINST: CONS with Evidence (other factors bear greater responsibility)

  •  Parents – uncaring, irresponsible, lustful, immoral influence
  • Boys and older men – lustful, irresponsible
  • Media – indecent language use, pornography
  • Society – condones deviant behaviour, no sanctions, improper socialization, high poverty levels

4. POINTS FOR Pros with Evidence

  • Indecent dressing among girls
  • Disrespect for authority and disregard for discipline
  • Crave for material things and ostentatious lifestyle
  • Premature experimentation with sex

You are the main speaker in a debate on the topic, “ women can never be equal to men ”. Write your speech  for or against  the motion

SPEECH OUTLINE: Refer to Question 6 above.

Question 10

There is an inter-school debate on the motion, “ The prefect should always be on the side of the school authorities ”. As the main speaker for your school, write your speech for  or against the motion.

2 . Opening remarks, your STANCE and why

3. POINTS AGAINST: CONS with Evidence:

  • Can’t work in the interest of his/her fellow students – will become a yes-man to obnoxious policies
  • Prefect is elected by students, NOT authorities, to protect their interest.
  • This could lead to autocratic and paternalistic leadership from authorities
  • In the interest of democratic practices – as an elected representative, he/she must advance students’ views
  • It could lead to violent demonstrations

4. POINTS FOR: Pros to refute:

  • Students are immature and inexperienced
  • Students’ duty is to study and obey rules and not to meddle in or oppose school administration.
  • Two heads are better than one and there is strength in unity – iit’ll bring effective administration and school development

Question 11

You are the principal speaker in a debate on the motion, “ The participation of women is essential in nation building ”. Write your contribution for or against the motion.

QUESTION/PLAN: Refer to points under Qs. 9 and 6

Question 12

As one of the main speakers in a debate, write your speech for or against the motion. “ Scientific advancement is a curse to mankind ”.

3. POINTS FOR: PROS with evidence

  • Wars causing unnecessary deaths and destruction due to manufacture of deadly weapons
  • Accidents in factories, on roads, in the air etc
  • Invention of harmful drugs and dangerous medical developments – Thalidomide drugs in the 60s, cloning, genetically modified foods
  • Climate change and global warming due to rapid industrialization
  • Cyber crime and immorality in the media

4. POINTS AGAINST; CONS with Evidence

  • Turning the world into a global village – easy, convenient communication
  • Improved standard of living – more free time for leisure, entertainment etc.
  • Easy access to education – distance learning etc
  • Economic development: impressive infrastructural development – roads, bridges, dams, electricity etc,

Question 13

You are a speaker in a debate on the topic: “ Drivers are to blame for the accidents on our roads”  Write your speech for or against the motion.

3. POINTS AGAINST:CONS with Evidence:

  • Drivers apart, passengers and pedestrians must carry the greater blame
  • Corruption and complicity on the part of personnel of Law enforcement agencies – from ports to highways, roads, lorry parks – condone  overloading, unqualified drivers, vehicles which are not roadworthy etc
  •  Govt. Officials – nature of road, lack of maintenance, shoddy road construction due to corruption in the award of contracts etc.

4. POINTS FOR: PROS with evidence

  • Drink driving
  • Unqualified drivers
  • Dangerous Overtaking
  • Overloading,
  • Speeding and carelessness
  • Greed leading to insufficient rest etc.

5. Conclusion and closing remarks

Question 14

To commemorate your school’s 20 th  Anniversary, you have been invited to contribute to a debate on the motion; “ The national government should continue to borrow money for development”.  Write your speech for or against the motion.

  • Inadequate internally-generated funds.
  • Interdependent world and global village
  • Business-like approach to governance and national development is now the norm. –  need to borrow money
  • Most loans are long-term and interest rates are very low

4. POINTS AGAINST: CONS with evidence

  • Such monies only end up being embezzled and misappropriated
  • It is better to be self-reliant than to be a beggar
  • High interest rates
  • Unfavourable conditionalities e.g. removal of subsidies on agric inputs, use of expertise of expatriate consultants, importation of inappropriate technologies from  lender countries , imposition of unworkable policies

Question 15

You are a speaker in a school debate on the topic; “ Our elders may no longer be active but they are still very useful  to our society” . Write your contribution for  or against  the motion.


  • Opening remark; your stance and why.

2. POINTS FOR: PROS with Evidence

  • They have experience and can offer useful  advice – all areas of life.
  • Trainers of children as most active parents are away
  • Guards/security in homes in the absence of younger members of the family
  • Entertainment & transmission of cultural heritage – folklore – stories, proverbs, etc.

POINTS AGAINST: CONS with evidence

  • They are a burden – they nag a lot
  • Weak and unfit – high medical bills
  • They are of no economic value – they  don’t produce anything and are therefore worsening the dependency ratio
  • Witches and sources of confusion in homes

Question 16

Your school is organizing a debate on the motion; “The media has done the society more harm than good. ” As a principal speaker, write your contribution for  or against the motion.

OUTLINE: Please, refer to question 7 above.

Question 17

You are a speaker in a debate on the topic: official visits abroad by a Head of State are beneficial to the country . Write your speech for  or against  the motion.

2. Opening remarks, your STANCE and why i.e. “FOR”

3. POINTS FOR: PROS with Evidence:

  • It is a public relations exercise for the country’s positive image
  • “Travel and see” The president will replicate development. projects seen in foreign countries e.g. Malaysia, Singapore
  • A  means of attracting foreign aid – loans, grants
  • Attraction of foreign private investment
  • Visiting Ghanaian/ nationals outside – caring head of state
  • Risk of accidents, coups, assassination etc.
  • Waste of badly needed funds for development on per diem, transport, dinners etc.
  • Distraction or escape from pressing domestic problems

Question 18

As the principal speaker at an inter-school debate, write your contribution  for  or against  the motion. “ We do not need  the extended family in our changing society”

3. POINTS AGAINST/CONS with Evidence:

  • Proper upbringing of children calls for help from others
  • Pooling resources together for individual, family and social development
  • A caring, selfless and united society where each person is his brother’s keeper.

4. POINTS FOR/ PROS with evidence

  • High dependency ratio – burden on a few hardworking ones
  • Retrogressive attitudes eg. Backbiting, jealousy, and disunity is widespread in every extended family
  • Problem grandparents – nagging, behaving like children etc due to old age

5. Conclusion and closing remarks.

Question 19

As the principal speaker in a debate, write your contribution for  or against  the motion: “ The disabled can make a meaningful contribution to national development”.


3. POINTS FOR/ PROS with Evidence:

  • Sports – athletics, boxing eg. The Para-Olympics games
  • Educators eg. teachers etc.
  • Creative arts – music, art, writing, artefacts
  • Politics – leaders etc,


  • They are incapable of physical activity
  • Rather depend on others for guidance and survival
  • National resources spent on them
  • Mainly beggars

Question 20

As the principal speaker at an inter-school debate. Write your contribution  for  or against the motion: “ Money and possessions do not necessarily bring happiness”

2. Opening remarks, your STANCE and why,

  • Happiness has very little to do with money and possessions –there are other more important factors e.g. good health, time with family and friends
  • Money may bring more discomfort and unhappiness and soured relationships – fear of thieves, anxiety over inheritance etc,
  • More money and possessions create desire for more leading to greedy and criminal behavior:  embezzlement, etc. incarceration/ imprisonment and social stigma
  • Jealous and demanding relatives may bring more misery to the person with a lot of money and possessions
  • All what man needs to be contented is provided by money e.g. food, clothing, shelter, leisure, entertainment
  • A poor man is not respected in our society – money and possessions bring prestige, social recognition and high sense of fulfillment.
  • Money can help one help others i.e. charity and be loved.

5. Closing remarks/Conslusion

Question 21

.As the principal speaker at an inter-school debate, write your contribution for  or against  the motion: “ The youth of today have more opportunities than their predecessors” .

  •  There are better educational facilities and opportunities today
  • Scientific and technological development. has brought brighter job and career opportunities.
  • Now there are more open, free and democratic societies – freedom for creativity, self-determination and achievement.
  • It was a safer world in the past  – less dangerous times e.g. higher life expectancy
  • Better character training opportunities in the past for further achievement
  • Lower population in the past so no overcrowded schools etc.
  • Better job prospects, due to low turnout of school graduates

Conclusion and closing remarks.

Which debate speech outline are you working on currently? Do you have more questions to be answered on how to write a debate speech?

Would you like to share with us additional points for or against any of the motions above? You can write the inside the comment box below. Thank you!

Did you find this information helpful? Then share it on your favourite social media platform for the benefit of others you care about. Thank you!

outline for debate speech

Ralph Nyadzi

Ralph Nyadzi is the Director of Studies at Cegast Academy. He is a qualified English tutor with decades of experience behind him. Since 2001, he has successfully coached thousands of High School General Arts WASSCE candidates in English, Literature and related subjects. He combines his expertise with a passion for lifelong learning to guide learners from varying backgrounds to achieve their educational goals. Ralph shares lessons from his blogging journey on BloggingtotheMax . He lives with River, his pet cat, in the Central Region of Ghana.

  • Ralph Nyadzi https://www.cegastacademy.com/author/misteraf/ The Grieved Lands of Africa Quiz: Objective Test Questions and Answers
  • Ralph Nyadzi https://www.cegastacademy.com/author/misteraf/ Caged Bird Questions and Answers (Multiple Choice)
  • Ralph Nyadzi https://www.cegastacademy.com/author/misteraf/ Bat Poem Questions and Answers (D.H. Lawrence)
  • Ralph Nyadzi https://www.cegastacademy.com/author/misteraf/ Black Woman Questions and Answers: Objective Practice Test (Poetry)


outline for debate speech


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outline for debate speech

Instant Debate Speech Maker Online

Debates are an excellent opportunity to develop many personal skills, become a more open-minded person, and learn new information. Through this activity, students improve critical thinking, public speaking, teamwork skills, increase their self-esteem, and learn to disagree with others.

Preparing for a debate can take a lot of time, which is why our team has created this tool and guide for you. With our debate speech maker, you no longer have to sit for hours and think about how to formulate your argument correctly! Also, on this page you will learn many useful facts about debates and get tips for preparing for them.

  • 📢 Introduction to the Tool

🗣️ What Is a Debate?

👍 debate maker benefits, ✏️ how to write a debate speech, 🔗 references, 📢 debate script maker: an introduction.

If you’ve decided to participate in a debate, you probably know that this activity requires a lot of preparation. Sometimes, you may receive the topic of your debate in advance so that you have time to prepare thoroughly for it. But also, you may be given the subject on the day of the debate, and then you’ll have much less time to prepare. In either case, our debate maker will be an indispensable assistant!

When comparing AI vs human writers, artificial intelligence excels in the speed of content creation, although it loses in creativity. Unlike when using other AI chat bots, you don't have to bother with creating successful prompts. Using this tool is simple - to instantly make a speech, you’ll need to take these four steps:

  • Type in the topic of the debate.
  • State your position and audience.
  • Indicate whether you are replying to an opponent.
  • Click “Generate” and get your result!

A debate is a structured and formalized argumentative exchange between two or more opposing sides . While this practice is usually associated with the election season , it can also be often found in schools or colleges. Participants, categorized as either the “pro” or “con” side, systematically present and defend their perspectives on a given topic. They use evidence to back up their claims and. Each side takes turns articulating arguments and responding to their opponent's points.

The primary objective of a debate is persuasion - convincing the opposition and the audience. Although debates often lack a declared winner, they may conclude with a vote or judgment from adjudicators in formal settings. Informal debates can persist until one side concedes.

Debate Terminology Examples for Students

Here, you can become familiar with the basic terms. It’ll be beneficial for you to learn them to make it easier to grasp the debate structure further.

  • Adjudicator - An impartial observer who evaluates the debate. Such moderators provide feedback on the quality of arguments and overall performance. Also, they can contribute to determining the winner in formal debates.
  • An affirmative - A team or speaker supporting the motion in a debate. Affirmatives present arguments in favor of the proposition. They aim to convince the audience or adjudicators of the motion's validity.
  • Motion - The central topic, idea, or statement being debated. The motion frames the discussion and determines the stances of the affirmative and opposition sides. Debaters construct arguments either in support or against this subject.
  • Chairperson - The person responsible for moderating and overseeing the debate. Their goal is to maintain order and ensure adherence to the rules. The chairperson may introduce speakers and the motion.
  • Card - A card is a paragraph or several paragraphs taken from an authoritative journalistic or scholarly source that proves the validity of a particular argument. It should be a verbatim quotation without additions or paraphrasing. It is important to explain the quote and how it relates to the argument.
  • Floor - The general audience or participants who are not actively engaged in the debate but may have the opportunity to pose questions. They can make contributions during designated segments. The floor adds an interactive element to the discussion.
  • Opposition/a Negative - A team or speaker taking an opposing stance on the core topic. The opposition presents arguments countering the proposition. Such arguments should demonstrate flaws in the affirmative's position and persuade the audience that the motion is unsupported.
  • The first speaker - The initial speaker of a team. They introduce and establish the main arguments supporting or opposing the motion. Their speech should set the tone for the team's position and outline the critical points to be developed by subsequent speakers.
  • The second speaker - The second speaker introduces additional evidence and reinforces the team's position. They aim to strengthen their affirmative/opposing case and respond to the arguments from the other team.
  • The third speaker - The last speaker should summarize the team's key points. They may also respond to opposition’s reasons raised during the debate. The goal is to leave a lasting impression on the adjudicators before the discussion concludes.
  • Reply speeches - Reply speeches are the concluding words from both the affirmative and opposition sides. These speeches are often shorter, not more than three minutes. Such speeches are the last chance to influence the overall impression, so they should strongly support your ideas.

What Does the Maker of the Argument Do in a Debate?

In a debate, the first speaker, whether on the affirmative or opposition side, should:

  • Formulate a clear and concise stance on the motion.
  • Organize arguments logically, presenting a structured case.
  • Support points with relevant facts and examples.
  • Convince adjudicators and the audience of the credibility of their position.

The Structure of a Debate

Whether an academic debate or a parliamentary one, the structure and ground rules essentially remain the same.

In this section, we'll briefly explain how your proceedings are going to look like:

  • Gathering the sides . At this stage, you should determine the teams and their participants. They are divided into affirmative and negative sides. As a rule, the debates should include three speakers , who will take turns and, at each stage, strengthen their position. All participants should meet 15 minutes before the start to prepare materials .
  • Starting the debate . Participants should determine the debate’s time limit, as speeches cannot last nonstop. Usually, each speaker is given a maximum of 3 minutes for their presentation. At the beginning, the speakers should introduce themselves. The duration of the answer is regulated by the timekeeper , who should give a bell 30 seconds before the end of the speaker's time to start summarizing.
  • Debating the topic . The core of the debate involves a structured exchange between the sides. The first speaker for the affirmative introduces the motion, presenting key arguments. The opposition's first speaker responds, presenting counterarguments. This pattern continues with subsequent speakers building upon and responding to the points raised. The debate format could also include cross-examination or questioning segments.
  • Finishing the debate . Both sides deliver final counter-speeches summarizing key arguments. The adjudicators then assess the overall performance of each side. The persuasiveness of the arguments presented assists in the audience’s decision-making. Participants may engage in discussions and receive feedback . After the debate, each team is given the opportunity to thank everyone in attendance.

As you've probably already realized, getting ready for such a significant event will take a lot of time. You'll need to gather your thoughts, stay level-headed, and be assertive in your stance. This preparation process can be quite overwhelming. That's why our debate script maker is the perfect solution!

This debate writer has many advantages:

Our tool is a great way to save time and get that initial burst of inspiration for your debate. However, that is just the beginning. You will still need to edit and finalize this speech. Additionally, you may find it helpful to learn how to write one yourself.

The following steps will show you how to improve your speech and prepare you for your future debates:

  • Compelling beginning . The opening of your speech is of the utmost significance. Your task is to captivate the audience and create the overall atmosphere of the speech. We suggest using a hook at the very beginning. It can be a question or a fact intended to capture the attention of your opposition and the audience. You could also use a quote from a famous person, an interesting statistic, a rhetorical question, or even a relevant personal anecdote.
  • Presenting your arguments . This is the time to talk about your position on the topic. Be sure to formulate a concise thesis statement . After that, you should provide the arguments that support it. Explain each point clearly to avoid misunderstanding among the audience.
  • Explaining the position . Follow a structure where each of your arguments is followed by evidence and then justification. Proof builds credibility and engages the listeners. Ensure that you have data only from relevant and reliable sources.
  • Summarizing . In the concluding part of your persuasive speech, you should reiterate your thesis and essential arguments. Emphasize the value of your position. It’s your last opportunity to impress the judge and the listeners. Round it off by offering a provocative question, a recommendation, or talking about your predictions for the future of the subject.
  • Confidence and consistency . After writing your speech, you should refine its structure so that you have smooth transitions from one idea to the next. Use connecting words to tie your arguments together. Afterward, practice your speech and make sure it's clear . Your gestures, facial expressions, and intonation are ways to communicate with listeners. Be convincing but not pushy, and use a moderate pace.

We wish you good luck in your debates! And if you need to create a different kind of speech, try our informative speech generator .

Updated: Jan 26th, 2024

  • What is a debate? – Vanesa Velkova, European Commission
  • How debating works – Law Society of Scotland
  • Debating: A Brief Introduction for Beginners – Debating SA Incorporated
  • Debate Timing & Structure - Debating Matters
  • How do you structure your debate speech to capture the attention and interest of your audience? - LinkedIn
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Our debate speech maker tool is the perfect solution for those who wish to deliver the perfect response to their opponents. Easily generate a speech on any topic and wow the audience with your eloquence. Additionally, learn all about debates, their structure, and find useful tips.


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Complete Guide to Debating: How to Improve your Debating Skills

August 1, 2018 - Gini Beqiri

Debating can look intimidating from the sidelines, with speakers appearing confident, passionate and unwavering, but it consists of skills that anybody can learn. Debating may not be something that you encounter in your everyday work but these skills can be incredibly valuable. In this article we provide a guide to the basics of debating.

What is debating?

A debate is a structured contest over an issue or policy. There are two sides – one supporting, one opposing.

Benefits of debating include:

  • Allowing you to think about aspects and perspectives you may not have considered.
  • Encourages you to speak strategically.
  • Improving  public speaking skills .
  • Learning how to create a persuasive argument.
  • When you have to argue against your personal view you realise that there are two sides to the argument.

Debating examples

The U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, answers questions:

This example video shows Theresa May answering questions from MPs in the House of Commons. Notice her strong debating skills and how she answers difficult questions under pressure.

Watch the full video here:  Prime Minister’s Questions: 16 May 2018

Debate structure

There are multiple formats a debate can follow, this is a basic debate structure:

  • A topic is chosen for each debate – this is called a resolution or motion. It can be a statement, policy or idea. The motion is usually a policy which changes the current state of affairs or a statement which is either truth or false. The motion typically starts with “This House…”
  • The Affirmative team support the statement
  • The Negative team oppose the statement
  • Sometimes you will be asked to take a position in the debate but in other debates you will be allocated your position.
  • Teams are provided with time to prepare – usually one hour
  • Each speaker presents for a set amount of time
  • Speakers alternate between the teams, usually a speaker in the Affirmative team starts, followed by a Negative speaker, then the second Affirmative speaker presents, followed by the second Negative speaker etc.
  • The debate is then judged.
  • There may be an audience present but they are not involved in the debate

Once you have learned how to debate in one format you can easily switch to another.

Roles of the speakers

Each speaker must typically do the following:

First Affirmative

  • Contextualise the debate – clearly set out your team’s interpretation of the topic and the significant issues they disagree with.
  • Provide definitions if necessary.
  • Outline the team line and the team split – this is where you outline your team’s case and summarise the way your arguments have been divided between your speakers.
  • Provide 2-3 arguments supporting the motion.

First Negative

  • Clearly state your definition
  • Provide your arguments as to why this is the superior definition
  • Rebut the Affirmative’s arguments supporting their definition
  • Outline a team line and team split.
  • Rebut the arguments made by the First Affirmative.
  • Deliver 2-3 arguments against the motion.

Second Affirmative

  • If needed, resolve any definitional issues.
  • Rebut the First Negative’s arguments.
  • Deliver 2-3 arguments supporting the motion.

Second Negative

  • Rebut the arguments made by the Affirmative team up to this point, with a focus on the Second Affirmative’s arguments.

Third Affirmative

  • Rebut specific issues raised by Second Negative and defend any other important attacks on your team’s case.
  • Conclude your speech with a brief summary (1-2 minutes) of your team’s case. You should include the key issues which you and the Negative team disagreed on during this.
  • You can introduce new material but this is interpreted as poor team planning.

Third Negative

  • This is the same structure as the Third Affirmative.

There are many variations of the three against three debate, a commonly known one is Points of Information. This is used a lot in  university debates . During a speech the opposition is allowed to ask a question or make a point.

They stand up and say “point of information” or “on that point” etc. The speaker can choose to accept or reject the point. If accepted, the point of information can last around 15 seconds and the speaker can ask for it to stop at any time.

Debate definitions

Younger debaters tend to waste time defining terms so you must first decide whether you need to define a term. Ask yourself: will my speech be confusing if I don’t define this term? Could the opposition misinterpret what I mean without a definition? For example, the motion could be “we should ban plastic straws”. It’s clear what “plastic straws” are but what does “ban” mean?

Two factors which determine the definition of the debate:

1. Context  – what is happening in the area that relates to this issue? For example, maybe the government of a country is debating banning smoking in public buildings and you decide to define the term “passive smoking” during the debate. If a significant event related to the topic has occurred then it should be the focus of the debate, for instance, a shocking report may have recently been revealed in the media showing the widespread effects of second-hand smoking.

2. Spirit of the motion  – topics are chosen for a reason so what sort of debate was imagined when the topic was chosen? Looking at the spirit of the motion will ensure that you pick a definition that will produce a well-balanced and important debate.

If the topic is vague then you will have more choice of definitions. You have a duty to pick a clear definition and one that will create a good debate. If not, this may cause a definitional challenge which will ruin the debate and frustrate the judges.

For example, the topic may be “we spend too much money on the stars”. Stars can refer to celebrities or astronomy so you need to choose a definition.

  • Look at the context and see if there has been a recent significant event related to either topics – the media is the best place to look.
  • Then apply second test – which definition will lead to the best debate, which will be more interesting and debatable?

If one answer passes both tests then that’s your definition. If they tie then either is a good definition.

When providing your definition explain the context used to form the definition. This is important because your understanding of the context may be different from others due to various factors, such as, religion, culture, gender etc.

Learn more about using  AI to practice your debating skills .

Basic argument structure

There are various ways of dividing up cases according to groups of arguments, such as, social/economic/political etc. You could assign each speaker to handle a group.

Place the most important arguments first, for example, “The media has more influence on self-esteem than anybody else. This is true for three reasons. Firstly (most important argument)… Secondly…, Thirdly (least important argument)…”

To structure an argument follow these steps:

  • Claim  – present your argument in a clear statement. This claim is one reason why you’re in favour of/against the motion.
  • Evidence  – the evidence supporting your claim, such as, statistics, references, quotes, analogies etc.
  • Impact  – explain the significance of the evidence – how does this support your claim?

Arguments are weakest at the evidence stage as it’s easy to argue against, for example, the evidence may consist of isolated examples or there may be counter evidence. But it’s not a good technique because the opposition can provide more evidence or rebut your criticisms.

It’s difficult to rebut claims because they are usually reasonable but if you can attack a claim then that speaker’s whole argument falls apart. So if you think a claim is vulnerable then rebut it but you will need a strong explanation to show why it doesn’t matter.

European human rights debating

European  human rights debating  for sixth form students from across London.

There are common flaws you can look for to form a rebuttal:

1. False dichotomy  – this is where the speaker is trying to falsely divide the debate into two sides even though there are more alternatives than they state. It’s likely the speaker is doing this on purpose but in some cases they do not understand the debate.

2. Assertion  – this is when a speaker presents a statement which isn’t actually an argument because there is no reason to believe that the statement is valid. It may just be an assumption. You can point out that there has not been enough examination to prove this validity and then give a reason why the assertion is (probably) not valid.

3. Morally flawed  – arguments can be morally flawed, for example, “All criminals given a prison sentence should be given the death penalty instead, this will save the country money and space.” What has been argued is true but it’s clearly morally flawed.

4. Correlation rather than causation  – a speaker may suggest a link between two events and suggest one led to the other. But the speaker may not explain how one caused the other event which can make an argument invalid.

5. Failure to deliver promises  – sometimes a speaker might fail to complete a task they promised to deliver. For instance, they may state that they will provide evidence supporting a certain claim but they may lose track of what they have said and not actually do this.

6. Straw man  – the opposing team introduces an argument and then rebuts it. They may use an extreme example of your proposal or perhaps they were hoping that you would make this argument.

7. Contradiction  – an argument the other team presents may contradict one of their previous arguments. You must point out that the arguments cannot be true simultaneously and then explain how this reduces their case’s credibility.

8. Compare the conclusion to reality  – think “what would happen if what they (the other team) are suggesting is implemented right now?” This usually shows that it’s more complicated than they have suggested and the changes can cause secondary problems.

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Judges generally score the speakers looking at this criteria:

  • Content / Matter  – What the debaters say, their arguments and evidence, the relevance of their arguments.
  • Style / Manner  – How the debaters speak, including the language and tone used.
  • Strategy / Method  – The structure of the speech, the clarity and responding to other’s arguments.

Debating event at the Oxford Union

Debating event at  the Oxford Union

Important skills for debating

To meet the judges criteria you will have to develop certain skills, consider the following:

  • You points must be relevant to the topic.
  • Provide evidence whenever you can and not your personal opinion.
  • You must put aside your personal views and remain objective when you debate so your argument remains logical. You can be passionate about a topic but interest can turn into aggression and passion can turn into upset.
  • Consider the audience’s attention span – make it interesting, for example, don’t just present lots of complicated statistics.
  • Ethos – the ethical appeal
  • Pathos – the emotional appeal
  • Logos – the logical appeal
  • Use notes but keep them brief and well organised. Use a different piece of paper for rebuttals.
  • Similar to looking at conclusions to create rebuttals, think comparatively by asking yourself “How does my plan compare to what’s happening now/what would happen in the world if the other team won?” You can win the debate if you can make comparative claims about why your arguments matter more than the other team.
  • Only tell jokes if you’re naturally good at it otherwise this can backfire.
  • Flexibility is important because you might get allocated the side of the argument you don’t agree with. You’ll have to work hard to overcome your views. Also use this insight to think of the potential arguments you might make and then plan for counter arguments.
  • Speak clearly and concisely.
  • You must talk fast enough to have the time to deliver your speech but slow enough so you can be understood.
  • Project your voice to the back of the room.
  • Incorporate dramatic pauses.
  • Emphasise important words and vary your tone appropriately.
  • Have a relaxed pose and posture.
  • Avoid filler words.
  • Know your material.
  • Emphasise using gestures and avoid nervous gestures.
  • Maintain eye contact with the audience.
  • Keep your language simple to avoid confusion.
  • Refer to the opposite side as: “My opponent”.
  • When making a rebuttal say: “My opponent said…, however…”
  • Don’t exaggerate – avoid the words “never” or “always” etc.
  • Avoid saying that a speaker “is wrong”, instead say that “your idea is mistaken”.

What to avoid

  • Falsifying, making up or altering evidence.
  • Publicly disagreeing with the judges’ decision.
  • Attacking a speaker rather than an idea.
  • Acting aggressively or offensively towards debaters, judges, audience etc.
  • Interrupting other debaters as this can suggest that your argument isn’t very strong.
  • Disagreeing with facts or obvious truths.

British Parliamentary debating

British Parliamentary debating  is a popular form of debating so we will briefly explain it: There are four teams made up of two speakers each. Two teams are on the government’s side and the other two teams are the opposition but all the teams are trying to win rather than one side. The motion is given 15 minutes before the debate begins and teams are assigned to positions randomly. They alternate their speeches, with the government’s side starting. Speeches are usually 5-7 minutes.

The first two speakers on the government side are called the “opening government” and the first two speakers on the opposition’s side are called the “opening opposition”. The last two speakers on the government’s and opposition’s side are called the “closing government” and “closing opposition” correspondingly.

British MPs debate a petition seeking to ban Donald Trump from entering the U.K.

The speakers’ roles in the opening half of the debate are similar to the roles of the first and second speakers in the three against three debate described previously. The only difference is that the second opening government and second opening opposition speakers include summaries at the end of their speeches – this is because they will also be competing with the teams in the closing half of the debate.

The closing government and closing opposition aim to move the debate on but not contradict their side’s opening team. As well as rebuttal, the majority of the third speaker’s time consists of presenting either: new material, new arguments, a new analysis from a different perspective or extending previously presented arguments. This is called an “extension” which must be something that sets their team apart and makes them unique.

The last two speeches of the closing teams are summary speeches – they summarise the debate and disagreements between the team. Their most important goal is to explain why their side has won the debate. They are not allowed to present new arguments but they can present new evidence and rebuttal.

During the speeches points of information are offered regularly. Speakers should only accept a maximum of two points of information. The first and last minute is protected time where points of information cannot be offered.

Rather than a side trying to win, all the teams are trying to win – this allows different perspectives to be explored. The teams are then ranked 1st to 4th in the debate.

Debate topics

Almost anything can be debated, here are some popular topics – these have been written as questions but they can be easily adapted into statements:

  • Is animal experimentation justified?
  • Should we legalise the possession of cannabis for medicinal use?
  • Should we recognise Bitcoin as a legal currency?
  • Is torture acceptable when used for national security?
  • Should mobile phones be banned until a certain age?
  • Does technology make us more lonely?
  • Should guns be banned in the U.S.?
  • Should we make internet companies liable for illegal content shared on their platforms?
  • Will posting students’ grades publicly motivate them to perform better?
  • Should animals be used for scientific testing?
  • Do violent video games make people more violent?
  • Should the death penalty be stopped completely?
  • Should smoking in public places be completely banned?
  • Should doping be allowed in professional sports?
  • Should all zoos be closed?
  • Should consumers must take responsibility for the plastic waste crisis?
  • Is euthanasia justified?
  • Is the boarding school system beneficial to children?

Debate topics for children

If you’re trying to think of debate topics for a classroom, consider the following:

  • Should mobile phones be allowed at school?
  • Is global warming a problem?
  • Should violent video games be banned?
  • Is school detention beneficial?
  • Are celebrities good role models?
  • Does social networking have a beneficial effect on society?
  • Are single sex schools more effective than co-ed schools?
  • Do celebrities get away with more crime than non-celebrities?
  • Is cloning animals ethical?
  • Are humans to blame for certain animal extinctions?

Debating societies

If you’re interested in debating consider searching for a society or debating events near you:

  • Most universities have a debating society and their webpages usually contain lots of useful information and tips.
  • Toastmasters
  • Use Meetup to find debates close to you

Specific to the UK:

  • Sylvans Debating Club
  • The Association of Speakers Clubs

Storyboard That

  • My Storyboards

Debate Worksheet Templates

Customize debate worksheet templates.

Debate Worksheet Color Portrait 1

If you're assigning this to your students, copy the worksheet to your account and save. When creating an assignment, just select it as a template!

Debate Worksheet Templates | Debate Templates

What is a Debate?

Debating is a valuable skill that can help students develop higher-level thinking and argumentation skills. By participating in debates, students can learn to organize their thoughts, research topics, and present their arguments in a clear and convincing manner. However, preparing for a debate can be challenging, especially for young learners. To help students prepare for debates, teachers can use a variety of resources such as graphic organizers, templates, and task cards.

What is a Debate Worksheet?

A debate worksheet is a planning document for a debate. Most debate preparations use evidence cards, flow sheets, and constructive speech templates but teachers have the option to create their own type of debate preparation worksheet.

Debate Graphic Organizers

One way to help students organize their thoughts and arguments is by using debate graphic organizers. These organizers can help students map out their arguments and counter-arguments, as well as identify evidence to support their claims. Some examples of debate graphic organizers include:

  • T-Chart: These types of debate worksheet templates allow students to compare and contrast two opposing viewpoints, with one viewpoint on each side of the chart.
  • Venn Diagram: This organizer helps students identify similarities and differences between two opposing viewpoints.
  • Spider Map: This organizer allows students to brainstorm ideas and arguments related to a particular debate topic.

Debate Templates for Students

Another useful resource for preparing students for debates is debate templates. These templates provide students with a structured format for organizing their arguments and notes. Some examples of debate templates include:

  • Debate Prep Worksheet: This template guides students through the process of researching and preparing for a debate.
  • Debate Notes Template: This template provides students with a space to take notes on their research and arguments.
  • Debate Preparation Worksheet: This template helps students organize their arguments and counter-arguments before the actual debate.
  • Debate Planning Sheet: To help students prepare for the actual debate, teachers can provide them with a debate planning sheet. This sheet includes the debate format, rules, and guidelines, as well as the debate topics and argument assignments. Students can use this sheet to plan their arguments and prepare their speaking notes.

Using these templates in actual debate scenarios is very helpful. During the actual debate, students can use their notes and outlines to present their arguments and respond to their opponents' arguments. By participating in actual debates in the classroom, students can practice their debating skills, higher level thinking capabilities and improve their overall ability to articulate their opinions.

Why Are Debate Sheets Important and How Are They Best Used?

Debates are an important way to share ideas and to critically analyze information. Debates challenge speakers to carefully research both sides of a topic or question, and come up with solid evidence to support their chosen side, while at the same time anticipating problems and providing solutions. Students may find these skills will also help them in persuasive writing and research papers. Debates also encourage public speaking skills and careful listening skills.

There are many resources available online that teachers can use to help students prepare for debates. These resources include different types of debate worksheets, graphic organizers, templates, task cards, and planning sheets. By providing students with these resources, teachers can help students organize their thoughts, research topics, and present their arguments in a clear and convincing manner. Debating is a valuable skill that can help students develop higher-level thinking and argumentation skills, and these resources can help young learners develop these skills.

Planning: A Debate Outline Example

Knowing how to write an outline for a debate may not come naturally but by following these steps, you can create a strong debate outline example template that will help you to deliver a convincing argument. Remember to keep your arguments organized and supported by evidence, anticipate the opposing side's arguments, and use transition words to ensure a smooth flow of ideas.

  • Choose a Debate Topic: The first step in making a debate outline is to choose a topic. Make sure the topic is debatable and has clear arguments on both sides.
  • Research the Topic: Conduct thorough research on the topic to understand the different viewpoints and arguments. Gather evidence and data to support your position.
  • Identify Key Arguments: Identify the key arguments for your side of the debate. These arguments should be supported by evidence and should be able to counter the opposing side's arguments.
  • Organize the Arguments: Organize the arguments in a logical order. Start with the strongest argument, followed by the next strongest, and so on. Ensure that each argument flows smoothly into the next.
  • Include Rebuttals: Anticipate the opposing side's arguments and include rebuttals for each of them. Address each point the opposing side is likely to make and refute them with strong evidence.
  • Add Transitions: Use transition words and phrases to help your speech flow smoothly from one argument to the next. Examples of transition words include "furthermore," "in addition," and "however."
  • Include an Introduction and Conclusion: Begin your outline with a strong introduction that captures the audience's attention and presents your stance. End with a powerful conclusion that restates your main arguments and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.
  • Practice: Practice delivering your speech using the outline. Ensure that you stick to the time limit and that your arguments are clear and concise.

How to Make a Debate Worksheet

Choose one of the debate outline templates.

We have lots of templates to choose from. Take a look at our example for inspiration!

Click on "Copy Template"

Once you do this, you will be directed to the storyboard creator.

Give Your Worksheet a Name!

Be sure to call it something related to the topic so that you can easily find it in the future.

Edit Your Worksheet

This is where you will include directions, specific questions and images, and make any aesthetic changes that you would like. The options are endless!

Click "Save and Exit"

When you are finished with your worksheet, click this button in the lower right hand corner to exit your storyboard.

From here you can print, download as a PDF, attach it to an assignment and use it digitally, and more!

Even More Storyboard That Resources and Free Printables

  • Cornell Notes Template
  • Discussion Worksheets
  • Critical Analysis Essay Outlines
  • First Day of School Worksheet
  • Blank Worksheet Template
  • Lesson Plan Templates

Happy Creating!

Frequently Asked Questions About Debate Worksheets

How can debate worksheets and storyboards be integrated into different subjects.

Debate preparation templates and storyboards can be integrated into many different subjects, such as English, social studies, and science. For example, in an English class, students can debate the literary merits of a particular novel or play. In a social studies class, students can debate different historical events or political issues. In a science class, students can debate the pros and cons of a particular scientific theory or practice. Debate topics can be pulled from any subject and explored within context.

How can teachers assess students' use of debate worksheets and storyboards?

Teachers can assess students' use of debate worksheets and storyboards by evaluating the quality of their arguments, their use of evidence to support their arguments, their ability to communicate their ideas effectively, and their ability to respond to opposing arguments. Additionally, teachers can provide feedback and constructive criticism to help students improve their debating skills over time.

How can debate worksheets and storyboards benefit students?

Debate worksheet templates and storyboards can benefit students in many ways. They help students organize their thoughts, develop logical arguments, and communicate their ideas effectively. They also encourage students to research and gather evidence to support their arguments, which helps them build their critical thinking skills. Finally, using such visual aids can help students feel more confident and prepared when presenting their arguments.

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Should India take from the rich, give the poor? A new election flashpoint

As India enters the second half of its giant election, wealth distribution has emerged as a central campaign faultline — and a battering ram for PM Modi to target the opposition.

outline for debate speech

New Delhi, India — As the world’s largest — and one of its most unequal — democracies votes in a mammoth national election, a new debate has gripped the campaigns of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress party.

At the heart of this latest political slugfest is the idea of a potential redistribution of wealth. But while the Congress party has alluded to the need for some resources to be reallocated to traditional marginalised economic and caste-based communities, Modi and the BJP have accused the opposition of plotting to hand over wealth from Hindu households to Muslims.

Keep reading

This indian historian fights the far-right, one makeup video at a time, india’s top court grants bail to opposition leader arvind kejriwal, ‘we have no option’: an election protest brews in indian coffee capital, ‘my vote snatched’: how to win india’s election without a single vote.

So what’s the controversy about and what do economists say about the proposals for a relook at India’s wealth distribution?

What is the controversy about?

In April, Rahul Gandhi, a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, said if voted to office, his Congress party would conduct a caste census along with an economic and institutional survey to determine who owns what and earns how much. Following this, a portion of the 16 trillion rupees ($192bn) of benefits given to 22 big businessmen by the Modi government would be transferred to 90 percent of the country’s people, as a starting point for delivering social justice, he said.

Gandhi described the caste census as an “X-ray” into Indian society. “This is not a political issue for me, this is my life mission,” Gandhi said. “You can write down; no force can stop the caste census.’’

The Congress party manifesto doesn’t talk directly about redistribution of wealth.  It says, “We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies.’’  On the caste-based census, it says, “Congress will conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions. Based on the data, we will strengthen the agenda for affirmative action.”

Yet, responding to Gandhi’s speech, Modi has been repeating in election rallies that the Congress party has hatched a “deep conspiracy’’ to snatch the wealth of people and gold of Hindu women to distribute it among Muslims, whom he described as “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”.

The opposition has accused Modi of resorting to “lies” and “hate speech” to distract people from high unemployment and rising prices, and has complained to the election commission.

Whose wealth and how much?

India is the fastest-growing major economy in the world, but also suffers from deepening inequality. Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of India’s brisk growth have been unevenly distributed.

A new study by researchers at the World Inequality Lab shows that income and wealth inequality in India today is, in many ways, worse than it was even under British colonial rule. India’s richest 1 percent control 22.6 percent of national income and more than 40 percent of the country’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent control less than 10 percent of national wealth.

Inequality was worsened over the past decade of Modi’s rule. India has 271 dollar billionaires, third behind only China and the US — and world’s highest number of poor at 228.9 million, according to Oxfam India .

The Congress party has accused the Modi government of ‘crony capitalism’ and favouring certain businesses in government contracts. The government has denied the accusations saying it has not favoured companies and has instead invested in welfare programmes to improve the lives of the poor.

Experts say India’s inequality is the result of the prevailing economic and political system. Even as both governments of the BJP and the Congress have launched reforms and pushed for economic growth over the past three decades, they have failed to generate enough employment, check inflation, and move the workforce from low-income farming to well-paying non-farm jobs, resulting in high inequality of wealth and income.

Will wealth redistribution help?

There is no one view among economists. Those against the idea say redistribution will be counterproductive by taking capital from wealth generators thereby handicapping and disincentivising them to contribute to the economy.

But others argue that redistribution is required not only in wealth but also in opportunities like education, healthcare, access to financial resources, water and energy, which will boost poor people’s capacity to generate income and reduce inequality in the long run.

Redistribution of income and wealth is a very good idea in contemporary India, said Deepankar Basu, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“The high and rising level of economic inequality suggests that the economic system does not work equally for all. The wealth and income being generated by the system is predominantly being cornered by the rich,” said Basu. “Not only does this have economic implications, but it also distorts the democratic process — extreme wealth inequality allows the super-wealthy to disproportionately influence the political process through various channels like campaign contributions and donations to political parties. This erodes the democratic system of governance.’’

Devashish Mitra, professor of economics, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, New York, agreed that some wealth distribution “might not be a bad idea”.

“But it is a politically contentious issue, and there might be political problems in enacting any kind of means to redistribute wealth,’’ Mitra acknowledged.

One solution, Mitra said, might be to combine wealth redistribution with “some reduction in income taxes”. That would partially compensate for the wealth redistribution. “Then, we will have a combination of wealth taxes and income taxes that could lead to both greater equity and greater efficiency than in the current situation,’’ he said.

What’s the politics around it?

The Congress is arguing that data from a caste-based census will help with the implementation of welfare and social security schemes. The party has promised to raise a Supreme Court-mandated cap on reservations in higher education and government jobs for underprivileged groups called Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

If successful, this political pitch could in theory help the Congress break the BJP’s growing stranglehold over the Hindu vote across castes and sub-communities. Modi, in turn, has responded by alleging that the Congress wants to give Muslims benefits that are meant to be allocated on caste — not religious — lines. He has cited a 2006 speech by then Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh where he said disadvantaged communities and religious minorities, including Muslims, should have the first claim on national resources.

The Congress has insisted that it has no wealth redistribution plan, and that Singh’s 2006 comments had been misinterpreted.

What about inheritance tax?

In an April 24 television interview, Sam Pitroda, an adviser to the Nehru-Gandhi family and head of the overseas wing of the Congress party, added another twist to the debate by arguing that India should debate whether an inheritance tax might help reduce wealth inequality.

Modi has responded by accusing the Congress of plotting a wealth and inheritance tax that would snatch away people’s wealth accumulated through hard work. The Congress, he said, aims to loot people “zindagi ke saath bhi aur zindagi ke baad bhi” (in life, and after death), echoing the popular tagline of the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation.

अब कांग्रेस का कहना है कि वो Inheritance Tax लगाएगी, माता-पिता से मिलने वाली विरासत पर भी टैक्स लगाएगी। आप जो अपनी मेहनत से संपत्ति जुटाते हैं, वो आपके बच्चों को नहीं मिलेगी। कांग्रेस का पंजा वो भी आपसे लूट लेगा। कांग्रेस का मंत्र है- कांग्रेस की लूट… जिंदगी के साथ भी,… pic.twitter.com/1EMrEYMUeQ — BJP (@BJP4India) April 24, 2024

The Congress party distanced itself from Pitroda comments by saying his view does not reflect the position of the party. Jairam Ramesh, a spokesman of the Congress party, referred to past comments by BJP ministers in favour of an inheritance tax. Modi has clarified that the BJP has no intention to bring such a tax.

What is an inheritance tax?

An inheritance tax, also known as estate tax or death duty in some countries, is a levy imposed on the total value of money and property of a deceased person before it is passed on to their heirs. Generally, this tax is determined by assessing the value of the assets remaining after certain exemptions or deductions. Essentially, the government collects a share of the wealth transferred from the deceased to their beneficiaries.

Globally, inheritance taxes are widespread in nations including the UK, Japan, France, and Finland. The United States does not impose an inheritance tax at the federal level, though it has an estate tax. However, six states independently retain inheritance tax regimes.

There is no estate duty or inheritance tax payable in India. Estate duty on property that is passed on to the legal heirs on the death of a person was removed in 1985 by the then Congress government of Rajiv Gandhi — Rahul’s father — citing the need to simplify the tax system and promote investment and saving. However, other taxes such as capital gains tax, wealth tax, and gift tax are applied to inheritances depending on the circumstances.

Before the removal, estate duty was payable on a slab basis ranging approximately from 7.5 percent to 40 percent of the principal value of the estate. This estate tax was introduced in 1953 in a bid to reduce economic inequality.

In recent years, worldwide, there has been a trend towards scrapping estate or inheritance tax. Five European countries have abolished their estate or inheritance taxes since 2000. On the other hand, US President Joe Biden has been supporting higher taxes on inherited wealth.

Is an inheritance tax a good idea?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said inheritance tax could nullify India’s decade of progress. Raghuram Rajan, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India has said that while inclusive growth will aid in the expansion of the economy, taxing the rich more is not the way to do that.

Other economists back an inheritance tax. “An inheritance tax will make the whole economic system fairer by redistributing some of the accumulated wealth away from the children of wealthy people,’’ said Basu. “These tax revenues can then be used to finance public education, provide public healthcare and affordable housing, and support mitigation efforts related to the negative effects of climate change, which disproportionately impacts the poor.’’

Syracuse University’s Mitra said that while an inheritance tax might make some economic sense, he sees “enormous scope for corruption, stemming from the subjectivity in the valuation of inheritances and the unlimited scope in misreporting the actual value of inheritances”.

What is the way forward?

Progressive taxation and greater social spending could be other solutions to boost economic equality . A greater emphasis on wealth taxes such as capital income taxation, net wealth taxation, and transfer taxation would generate tax revenue that could allow greater investment in health, education and infrastructure.

“There are many policies that can be adopted to address rising economic inequality in India,’’ said Basu. “These include increasing the tax rate for the top 1 percent of income earners, increasing the corporate tax rate on relatively large firms, improving educational opportunities and making them accessible for the poor.’’

Politics latest: Keir Starmer accused of 'rank hypocrisy' by Rishi Sunak after setting out what he'll do to tackle small boat crossings

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer lays out his party's plans to try and tackle small boat crossings if it wins power. Listen to the latest episode of the Electoral Dysfunction podcast as you scroll.

Friday 10 May 2024 18:30, UK

  • Starmer says small boat crossings 'one of the greatest challenges we face'
  • Explained: What's in Labour's plan to try and tackle problem
  • Darren McCaffrey: Will Labour's plan cut it with voters?
  • Starmer says no flights to Rwanda will take off under Labour
  • Sunak accuses Starmer of 'rank hypocrisy'
  • Electoral Dysfunction:  Jess Phillips says Elphicke defection like 'being punched in gut'
  • UK exits recession | Economy 'returning to full health'
  • Faultlines:   Can British farming survive?
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker

Across the UK, anger is brewing amongst some farmers.  

Protests have already been held in London, Dover and Cardiff, with more planned - mirroring similar tensions seen across Europe in the last six months.     

They say they’re annoyed about cheap foreign imports and changes to subsidies forcing them to give up land in favour of environmental schemes.    

But what does this mean for the food on our table - and does British produce risk becoming a luxury product for the wealthy only?    

On the Sky News Daily , Niall Paterson is joined by West of England and Wales correspondent Dan Whitehead to find out why farmers are so concerned, and speaks to Liz Webster, the founder of Save British Farming, about why she believes eating British isn't just good for our farmers - it's good for the nation's health, too.   

In response to our report, Farming Minister Mark Spencer, said: "We firmly back our farmers. British farming is at the heart of British trade, and we put agriculture at the forefront of any deals we negotiate, prioritising new export opportunities, protecting UK food standards and removing market access barriers. 

"We've maintained the £2.4bn annual farming budget and recently set out the biggest ever package of grants which supports farmers to produce food profitably and sustainably."

The Welsh government said: "A successful future for Welsh farming should combine the best of our traditional farming alongside cutting-edge innovation and diversification. 

"It will produce the very best of Welsh food to the highest standards, while safeguarding our precious environment and addressing the urgent call of the climate and nature emergencies."

👉  Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts   👈

Following the defection of the Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke to Labour, Beth, Ruth and Jess discuss the surprise move and whether it could have been handled differently by Sir Keir Starmer.

They also talk about Beth's interview with the former immigration minister Robert Jenrick and his warnings about Reform UK.

Plus, how significant was the defeat of former Conservative mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street? Beth and Jess were both there to tell the story.

And they answer a question on Labour and the Muslim vote, and what the party can do to restore confidence and trust.

Email Beth, Jess, and Ruth at [email protected] , post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.     

👉 Listen above then tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

In January 2023, Rishi Sunak made five promises.

Since then, he and his ministers have rarely missed an opportunity to list them. In case you haven't heard, he promised to:

• Halve inflation • Grow the economy • Reduce debt • Cut NHS waiting lists and times • Stop the boats

See below how he is doing on these goals:

The Sky News live poll tracker - collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team - aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about the different political parties.

With the local elections complete, Labour is still sitting comfortably ahead, with the Tories trailing behind.

See the latest update below - and you can read more about the methodology behind the tracker  here .

Speaking to Sky political editor  Beth Rigby , Sir Keir Starmer has defended his decision to allow Tory MP Natalie Elphicke into Labour.

Ms Elphicke was on the right of the Conservative spectrum, and previously defended her sex-offender ex-husband, comments which she apologised for this week following her defection.

Addressing Tory voters, Sir Keir says he wants Labour to be a "place where they who have ambitions about their families, their communities, their country, can join and be part of what we are trying to build for their country".

Asked by Beth if he was ruthless, Sir Keir said: "Yes, I'm ruthless in trying to ensure we have a Labour government that can change this country for the better.

"Not ruthless for my own ambition, not ruthlessness particularly for the Labour Party - I'm ruthless for the country. 

"The only way we'll bring about a change in this country is if we're ruthless about winning that general election and putting in place a government of public service, that’ll be a major change.

"Politics, I believe, should be about public service, that's what I've been about all my life."

More now from political editor Beth Rigby's interview with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

She reminded him that he previously ruled out doing a deal with the SNP - but has not done so for the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Keir again ruled out a coalition with the SNP - adding that he is aiming for a "majority Labour government".

He says Labour needs "to keep working hard, keep disciplined and getting our message across, which is something fundamental to me".

Pushed on his lack of ruling out a possible agreement with the Lib Dems, Sir Keir says: "I'm going for a majority.

"That's the answer I gave you a year ago. It's the same answer I'm giving you now."

Sir Keir Starmer was earlier today pushed on whether Rwanda deportation flights will take off if he was prime minister - although it was not clear if he would cancel flights which had already been organised.

Sky News understood that previously booked deportation flights to Rwanda would still go ahead if Sir Keir entered Number 10. 

But the Labour leader has now gone further.

Speaking to political editor Beth Rigby , Sir Keir has ruled out any flights taking off.

"There will be no flights scheduled or taking off after general election if Labour wins that general election," he says.

He says: "Every flight that takes off carries with it a cheque to the Rwanda government. 

"So I want to scrap the scheme - so that means the flights won't be going."

Sir Keir says he would rather spend the money on his own measures to counter small boats.

"No flights, no Rwanda scheme. It's a gimmick," he says.

By Alix Culbertson , political reporter

Scotland's new first minister has told Sky News that the controversial gender recognition reforms "cannot be implemented."

John Swinney,  who became first minister this week , has faced questions over his stance on gender recognition after MSPs voted in 2022 to pass a bill to make it simpler for people to change their gender without having to obtain a medical diagnosis.

The UK government blocked the bill from being made into law and the Supreme Court rejected a request by the Scottish government for a judicial review.

Asked if he would be fighting to push the bill through, Mr Swinney told Sky News: "The reality of the situation we face is that the Supreme Court has said that we can't legislate in that area. We can't take forward that legislation."

The UK economy is no longer in recession, according to official figures.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a better-than-expected 0.6% between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Economists had predicted the figure would be 0.4%.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it showed the economy had "turned a corner".

He told Sky News's Ed Conway: "I am pleased that while there's more work to do, today's figures show that the economy now has real momentum, and I'm confident that with time, people will start to feel the benefits of that.

"We've had multiple months now where wages are rising, energy bills have fallen, mortgage rates are down and taxes are being cut... I'm pleased with the progress that we're making."

Mr Sunak added: "I am confident the economy is getting healthier every week."

You can read more here:

Rishi Sunak has criticised Sir Keir Starmer's position on Rwanda as "rank hypocrisy".

Speaking to broadcasters, the prime minister says the Labour leader has announced things the government is "already doing".

He gives the example of "punching through the backlog, having more law enforcement officers do more, that's all happening already".

"We've announced all of that more than a year ago," the prime minister adds.

"The question for Keir Starmer if he cares so much about that, why did he vote against the new laws that we passed to give our law enforcement officers new powers? 

"They've now used those to arrest almost 8,000 people connected with illegal migration, sentenced them to hundreds of years in prison.

"And if it was up to him, all those people would be out on our streets, so I think it's rank hypocrisy property of his position."

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Jewish families say anti-Israel messaging in Bay Area classrooms is making schools unsafe

Protesters hold flags bearing the Star of David.

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In the weeks after Hamas’ deadly cross-border attacks on Israeli towns and Israel’s ensuing bombardment of Gaza, a seventh-grade Jewish student at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco grew accustomed to seeing her classmates display their support for Palestinians.

Students wore shirts that read “Free Palestine” and “All eyes on Gaza.” But it was more of a background hum until spring, when things took a sharper turn.

During a school assembly, a classmate spoke out against the war, equating it to genocide. Then, one teacher asked students to create a “propaganda poster” that would “persuade your audience” on an issue important to them. Many students used the opportunity to create public service announcements for cleaner oceans or against food waste and texting while driving. A handful called for an end to the war in Gaza.

One poster, prominently displayed by the teacher, caught the seventh-grader’s attention. A student had drawn an image of a Star of David exuding thick chains shackling what appeared to be an outline of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Beneath the image, written in red and all capitals, was the phrase “from the river to the sea” — a slogan many Jewish people consider a call for the expulsion and genocide of Israeli Jews. Inside the star was the word “Zionism,” the student said.

“It felt really unsafe. I couldn’t be in there anymore, because there was hate against my religion up on the wall,” said the student, whose parents requested The Times not identify her by name because of concerns she would face retribution from classmates and teachers.

Her parents scheduled a meeting with school officials and said they came away startled at how little the administrators knew about the history of Israel and the region — and why Jewish families would consider the poster offensive. They said it took hours of discussion before school leaders agreed to ask the teacher to take it down.

“This is antisemitic propaganda,” the girl’s mother said. “This would not be acceptable for any other group.”

The family is hoping to transfer their daughter to a new school next year.

The incident is emblematic of what many Jewish families in Bay Area communities say is an undercurrent of antisemitism that has emerged unchecked in K-12 schools amid the divisive national debates spawned by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In San Francisco, Viviane Safrin is serving as a point person for Jewish families who want to report concerns about school lessons and activities they perceive as antisemitic.

“It often feels like I’m a triage nurse or ER doctor,” said Safrin, who sent two of her children to San Francisco public schools and overall had a positive experience. “My phone is dinging from the time I wake up until I go to bed with different photos from different things that have happened at school, or a lesson plan, or this and that was said to a student by peers.”

Disagreement over how the war in Gaza should be taught in K-12 schools has fractured a region that harbors some of the nation’s most progressive and antiwar communities. It’s also raised challenging questions about the line between free speech and hurtful bias, and what obligation public schools have to ensure all students feel welcome in their classrooms, regardless of their opinions on the conflict.

Many of the families who spoke with The Times have personal ties to Israel, whether through birth or because close family members live there. As Jewish Americans, all were raised to respect and embrace Israel as the Jewish homeland.

Some did not consider themselves overtly Zionist before the war — and disagree with some of Israel’s politics. But they believe without question that Israel has a right to exist as the world’s only Jewish state and because of that belief suddenly find themselves labeled as racists and genocide enablers.

Worse, for many parents, is watching as their children are somehow held accountable for a government on the other side of the world.

According to a 2020 survey by the Pew Research Center, 82% of Jewish people said caring about Israel was an important part of their Jewish identity . More than a quarter had lived in Israel or visited multiple times, and 45% had visited at least once.

The Bay Area is home to an estimated 350,000 Jewish people, according to a 2021 report led by the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. They encompass a diverse spectrum of opinions on Israel and its government, including pro-Palestinian Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, which was founded in the Bay Area in the 1990s.

Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation executive director of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at UC Berkeley, sent his three sons through Berkeley schools. Naftalin-Kelman, who said he was speaking as a Berkeley parent and not in his official capacity at the student center, said it’s incumbent on K-12 educators to consider all of the experiences of young students and their families when considering how lesson plans affect their sense of belonging.

“There’s a heaviness that exists since Oct. 7 for Jewish families, families that have a connection to Israel, Zionists, Israelis,” Naftalin-Kelman said. And many now have a thudding sense that some of their teachers, classmates and colleagues have “no understanding of who they are.”

“Unfortunately, what I think is happening now is we are stuck with simple slogans that put people in camps, that remove all nuance and complexity in what is one of the most complex conversations around religion, identity, politics and nationhood,” he said. “I think there are sometimes mistakes and administrators can do more. But it doesn’t mean there is mal-intent.”

Los Angeles, CA - April 29: Graffiti at the Powell Library on the UCLA campus where pro-Palestinian demonstrators erected an encampment on the on Monday, April 29, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

‘Are you a Zionist?’ Checkpoints at UCLA encampment provoked fear, debate among Jews

At UCLA, the legacy of the encampment remains an issue of much debate, particularly among Jewish students.

May 9, 2024

Jewish families across the Bay Area have raised a range of concerns about what they perceive as antisemitism in K-12 classrooms, including teachers displaying pro-Palestinian posters and adopting lesson plans that portray Israel as a white colonialist aggressor. Some said their children have been accused of supporting genocide because they won’t renounce Israel’s right to exist.

Some of the complaints have spawned federal investigations.

In February, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and the Anti-Defamation League filed a federal complaint with the Department of Education over “severe and persistent” harassment and discrimination against Jewish kids in Berkeley schools.

On Wednesday, Berkeley Supt. Enikia Ford Morthel was called before a Republican-led congressional subcommittee investigating allegations of “pervasive antisemitism” in K-12 schools. Ford Morthel forcefully rejected accusations that Berkeley schools had become a breeding ground for antisemitism, saying educators were working hard to ensure all students feel welcome.

“There have been incidents of antisemitism in Berkeley Unified School District,” she said. “And every single time that we are aware of such an incident, we take action and follow up.”

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: Enikia Ford Morthel, superintendent of the Berkeley Unified School District, listens during a hearing with subcommittee members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on May 08, 2024 in Washington, DC. Members of the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education subcommittee held the hearing to speak with education workers and a member of the ACLU to discuss cases of antisemitism in K-12 schools. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Berkeley schools chief grilled by Congress on claims of rampant antisemitism in K-12 classrooms

Supt. Enikia Ford Morthel rejected accusations that Berkeley schools have tolerated antisemitism, saying the district responds quickly to alleged incidents.

May 8, 2024

The teachers union in Oakland Unified endorsed an unsanctioned pro-Palestinian “teach-in” in December, prompting a civil rights probe by the Department of Education. The union also provided teachers with pro-Palestinian lessons to use in place of district-provided curriculum, drawing a stern warning from Oakland’s superintendent,

The division has pushed some parents, like Shira Avoth, to pull their kids out of Oakland schools .

Avoth, who was born in Tel Aviv and moved to the U.S. at age 11, said she has requested a “safety transfer” for her son, a seventh-grader, to a school in neighboring Piedmont.

Avoth said one of her son’s teachers put “End genocide now” posters up in the classroom and assigned homework that was “politically charged” even before Oct. 7. Eventually, she said, her son transferred out of that classroom. But he then spent a month working on assignments in a room by himself during that class period.

Several families spoke of a pervasive sense that pro-Israel voices are not welcome in classrooms.

A senior at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology in San Francisco, who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals, said he had an open mind, at first, to criticism of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. But he couldn’t understand why some of his friends wouldn’t condemn the Hamas attacks that prompted Israel’s retaliation.

“I felt so ostracized,” he said.

He said those feelings only deepened when a pro-Palestinian group was brought in to speak about the war in one of his classes, and when posters advertising meetings of the Jewish Student Union were torn down.

“I’ve been bullied, but the main issue is the classroom — the intrusion of this anti-Israel ideology into the classroom,” he said. “If you just say ‘Zionist,’ you can say anything against the Jews. It’s like politically correct.”

Julia David, an English teacher at George Washington High in San Francisco, said she also has felt more estranged in recent months. David has family in Israel and became the sponsor of her school’s Jewish Student Union this year. The club was started to create a community for students to safely discuss the Jewish-American experience and how they feel about the conflict.

David said the group will talk about what it feels like to hear “Free Palestine” in the hallway or when they see anti-Israel graffiti on bathroom walls.

“When I was teaching, I had never worn a Jewish Star of David necklace before. I do every day now,” David said. “And I wear it proudly, and I make sure it is seen.”

In a January letter to San Francisco families, Supt. Matt Wayne assured families the district would not tolerate bullying and harassment.

“We are aware of these allegations and take them very seriously,” a spokesperson wrote in an email to The Times. “Due to our obligation to protect student and staff privacy, we cannot share details of completed or ongoing investigations.”

The issue of how and whether to teach about the conflict has also divided Jewish families, most notably in Berkeley, where some residents reject claims of unchecked antisemitism and consider the federal complaint a bogus effort to keep Muslim and Arab voices silenced.

Soon after Berkeley’s superintendent finished testifying before Congress, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Council on American-Islamic Relations responded by filing a federal complaint alleging “severe and pervasive anti-Palestinian racism” in Berkeley schools.

“Some [teachers] have been teaching for decades; they have never been silenced on political speech,” said Sahar Habib Ghazi, the mother of a sixth-grader and a member of Berkeley Families For Collective Liberation. “We are a political city. ... People don’t move to Berkeley to be apolitical.”

Ghazi said the war isn’t just of global significance for many students but also of deeply personal importance for their families.

“They are very aware that the war is being funded by U.S. tax dollars, and that’s the same money that’s funding their schools,” Ghazi said. “They don’t see it as a global issue. They see it as a local issue.”

More to Read

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May 3, 2024

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outline for debate speech

Hannah Wiley covers the Bay Area and North Coast for the Los Angeles Times. She previously worked with The Times’ Sacramento bureau as a state politics reporter, covering the Legislature and pivotal policy issues including homelessness and housing, mental health, addiction, gun control and the state judicial system. Before coming to The Times, she covered state politics for the Sacramento Bee. Wiley has a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She is based in San Francisco.

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National Speech & Debate Association

Informative Speaking – Creating a Solid Foundation

Download the Informative Speaking - Creating a Solid Foundation handout. Use this resource to help students understand how to create a solid structure for an Informative Speaking speech.


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  1. How to Write a Debate Speech: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Understand how debates work. You will be given a debate topic - this is called a "resolution." Your team must take a stance either affirmative or negative to the resolution. Sometimes you will be given the stance, and sometimes you will be asked to take a position. You may be asked to stand affirmative or negative.

  2. PDF The Debating Cheat Sheet

    Manner is how you deliver your speech. It will include anything that enhances you presentation and makes it more engaging: the tone and volume of your voice, how quickly you speak, hand gestures, eye contact, your stance, and how you use your notes (always use palm cards - NEVER an A4 sheet of paper!). Method: How you organise it.

  3. How to Write a Debate Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Understanding the Basics of a Debate Outline. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of creating a debate outline, let's first understand what a debate outline is and why it's important. A debate outline is a roadmap for your argument, helping you structure your points and evidence in a logical and persuasive manner.

  4. How to Write a Debate Speech

    Here is a standard debate speech format for a 20-15 minutes long debate: Opening Statements. Affirming Side: 5 minutes. Opposing Side: 5 minutes. Rebuttals (No New Arguments) Affirming Side: 3 minutes. Opposing Side: 3 minutes. Cross-Examination. Affirming Side to Opposing Side: 3 minutes.

  5. 6 Easy Steps to Write a Debate Speech

    Step 3: Signposting. Signposting may seem annoying and unnecessary. If you're a word-enthusiast it can even seem like it's disrupting the flow of your otherwise smooth and lyrical speech. However, it's completely and totally necessary in the structure of a good debate. You may think that you've written the best and most easy-to-follow debate in ...

  6. How to Write a Winning Debate Speech

    1. Choose a Topic For Your Debate. Also called a resolution or a motion, the topic is sometimes chosen to debate. This is usually the case in a school activity to practice debating skills. The resolution or motion is usually centered around a true or false statement or a proposal to change the current situation.

  7. Debate Speech

    Here are some examples listed down. 1. Preparing for the Debate Speech. It is important to understand on how a debate works. The team will be given a topic which is called a "resolution" and your team will have to decide whether to take the affirmative or negative stance to the resolution. Whether you will be assigned to a certain stance or ...

  8. The Essential Guide to Structuring Your Debate Speech

    3. Main Arguments: The Heart of Your Speech. Main arguments are the star of your speech. They serve as the backbone of your speech, providing the content that supports your position. While ...

  9. How to Write a Debate Speech in English

    Debate Speech Format. You can follow the following pattern for a debate speech. Opening Statements and Explanation. This section consists of the opening sentences by using three arguments with explaining questions. Pro Tema - Up to 5 minutes. Con Team - Up to 2 minutes. Con Team - Up to 5 minutes. Pro Team - Up to 2 minutes.

  10. PDF Debate 101

    06 DEBATE 101: Everything You Need to Know about Policy Debate: You Learned Here NATIONAL SPEECH DEBATE ASSOCIATION I. ARGUMENTS. Arguments are the building blocks of debate. Learning about making arguments the right way is the essence of being well spoken in any walk of life, whether it is in the classroom, the workplace or at the kitchen table.

  11. How to Write an Effective Speech Outline: A Step-by-Step Guide

    When outlining your speech, make sure to decide how much time you'd like to give each of your main points. You might even consider setting specific timers during rehearsals to get a real feel for each part's duration. Generally speaking, you should allot a fairly equal amount of time for each to keep things balanced.


    NATIONAL SPEECH DEBATE ASSOCIATION LNCLN-DULAS DATE v ABOUT THIS TEXT T his text runs in tandem with a number of resources to teach you the ins and outs of Lincoln-Douglas debate as well as debate generally. We have created a classroom edition of this textbook to use as a modified format for in-class

  13. Debate Writing

    3. Develop a Debate Outline. Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail. Debate Introduction. It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber.

  14. 20+ Debate Speech Outline Examples

    Write your speech for or against the motion. OUTLINE/PLAN. Vocatives (Make sure to always keep this simple and appropriate to the question.) Example: Mr. Chairman, Panel of Judges, Headmasters, Members of Staff of both Schools, Guests, Fellow Students, Ladies and Gentlemen. 2.


    Here I will provide you with a very basic outline that you can use to construct your cases so that they are tournament ready. Casing Outline ... NATIONAL SPEECH & DEBATE ASSOCIATION • www.speechanddebate.org • BASIC CASE CONSTRUCTION IN LD | 2 I. Sub-point A: Your contention may have multiple justifications for its conclusion, so ...

  16. Debate Speech Maker

    Their speech should set the tone for the team's position and outline the critical points to be developed by subsequent speakers. ... Our debate speech maker tool is the perfect solution for those who wish to deliver the perfect response to their opponents. Easily generate a speech on any topic and wow the audience with your eloquence.

  17. Complete Guide to Debating: How to Improve your Debating Skills

    A debate is a structured contest over an issue or policy. There are two sides - one supporting, one opposing. Benefits of debating include: Allowing you to think about aspects and perspectives you may not have considered. Encourages you to speak strategically. Improving public speaking skills. Learning how to create a persuasive argument.

  18. Free Debate Speech Templates & Organizers

    Debate Notes Template: This template provides students with a space to take notes on their research and arguments. Debate Preparation Worksheet: This template helps students organize their arguments and counter-arguments before the actual debate. Debate Planning Sheet: To help students prepare for the actual debate, teachers can provide them ...

  19. PDF Debate Training Guide

    In this one-on-one format, students debate a topic provided by the National Speech & Debate Association. Topics range from individual freedom versus the collective good to economic development versus environmental protection. Students may consult evidence gathered prior to the debate but may not use the Internet in round.

  20. Should India take from the rich, give the poor? A new election

    New Delhi, India — As the world's largest — and one of its most unequal — democracies votes in a mammoth national election, a new debate has gripped the campaigns of both Prime Minister ...

  21. PDF Congress Outline Checklist

    C on gr e s s S p e e c h :O u tl i n e / C h e c k l i s t I n tr o: N o l onge r t ha n 2 5 s e c onds

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  23. Bay Area Jewish families say K-12 schools are fostering antisemitism

    Checkpoints at UCLA encampment provoked fear, debate among Jews. May 9, 2024. Jewish families across the Bay Area have raised a range of concerns about what they perceive as antisemitism in K-12 ...

  24. Resources

    The National Speech & Debate Association is proud to continue the National Educator of the Year award. This award is given at two levels—the state level and the national level. ... Lincoln-Douglas Debate Case Outline : Utilize this outline for writing your first LD case on the affirmative or the negative. This resource was created by Josh ...

  25. Informative Speaking

    Informative Speaking - Creating a Solid Foundation. Download: Download the Informative Speaking - Creating a Solid Foundation handout. Use this resource to help students understand how to create a solid structure for an Informative Speaking speech. Connect. Support.