Winning Debates: A Guide to Debating in the Style of the World Universities Debating Championships

Winning Debates: A Guide to Debating in the Style of the World Universities Debating Championships

Winning Debates: A Guide to Debating in the Style of the World Universities Debating Championships

Winning Debates: A Guide to Debating in the Style of the World Universities Debating Championships

Synopsis

The format of debating used at the World Universities Debating Championships (also known as British Parliamentary or Worlds-style debating) is the international standard for academic debating. Winning Debates is both an introduction to the format and an advanced consideration of strategies and tactics proven to be effective techniques for successful debating. The text combines a review of the basics of argument theory with an application of those theories to the four-team style of debate. Also addressed are the special strategic and tactical considerations for debates in the Worlds style. Chapters include: On Winning, Arguments Argumentation, Stasis and Structure, Basic Strategy and Tactics. The Speakers and their Speeches, Decision Making and Strategy, Paradoxes of Debate, Advanced Tactics, Adjudicating Debates.

Excerpt

I’m frequently asked what it takes to win debates. the answer is deceptively simple: winning debates requires merely that you persuade your audience that you’ve won.

The good news is that we are well practiced in persuading others. Nearly every day (and some scholars would say with every word we utter—more on this later) we try to change what someone else thinks or does. When we ask someone to go to lunch with us, when we offer our opinion on some issue of the day, when we try to convince a teacher to reconsider a grade on an assignment, and in hundreds of other small examples we are engaged in persuasion. You have been persuading people all your life.

The bad news is that debating focuses a bright light on these persuasive efforts and subjects them to the scrutiny of critique and adjudication. Rather than simply measuring the success of your efforts to persuade by whether or not the person with whom you’re speaking goes to lunch with you, in debating you are pitted against others whose exclusive goal is to prevent you from getting what you want. Moreover, someone listens to your persuasive efforts and ranks them relative to those with whom you’re engaged. You have limited time to persuade those making the decision—no longer, for example, can you wear someone down with continued requests (a tactic favored by children in their efforts to persuade parents). and you must persuade on a topic that someone else gave you—you don’t necessarily get to choose which side of an issue you defend.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.