Introduction to Debate

INTRODUCTION TO DEBATE

In the "university-style debate," two persons form a team and argue either the affirmative or negative side of the proposition.

The affirmative team’s job is to prove the proposition is true and should be adopted, while the negative team tries to show that (a) the proposition is flawed, (b) the status quo works adequately and should be continued, or (c) that the affirmative simply haven’t proved their case.

The affirmative begins the debate by presenting a constructive speech which makes part of their case for the proposition. The negative then has a chance to ask specific questions about the affirmative’s argument. Once the negative side has a chance to present their argument, the affirmative side will have a chance for cross-examination. After a brief pause, each team will offer a rebuttal, in which the speaker attacks their opponents’ arguments but may not introduce any new constructive arguments. After a brief pause, each term will present their closing argument, with the affirmative team having the last word.


Sequence and Time Allotted


Affirmative Team
First constructive speech..................6 minutes
Cross-examination..........................4 minutes

Negative Team
First constructive speech..................6 minutes
Cross-examination..........................4 minutes

Affirmative Team
Rebuttal…....................................5 minutes

Negative Team
Rebuttal......................................5 minutes

Negative Team
Closing Argument……......................4 minutes

Affirmative Team
Closing Argument……...............……….4 minutes


Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM