In a debate, you do not necessarily have to believe the side for which you will be arguing. The goal is to be more persuasive than your opponents. Provide enough supporting evidence for your case, and speak with confidence and coherence. The objective is to explore and understand the topic and the different sides of the issue.

Guide to speaking and listening: This is an introductory guide to the basic rules and techniques needed for effective speaking and listening, based on  materials used in the Middle School Public Debate Program.

Various Debate Strategies


HOW TO PREPARE–steps to keep in mind

Terms and Definitions to Know

1. Opinions vs. Reasonswhat makes strong reasoning vs. weak?

A. Developing Reasoning

B. Topic suggestions: Values Debate topics:

  1.  Values Debate Topic Suggestions

VALUES  DEBATE/ Lincoln Douglas Debate: a debate about justice, issues of value, ethics and morality

Partner topics for mini-values debate#1

  1. Do we control technology or does technology control us?
  2. Is it your duty to give to charity?
  3. Should you ever tell a lie?
  4. Should you be rewarded for your efforts in school?
  5. Should you let little things bother you?
  6. Violence: Are there times when you should be violent?
  7. Will having fun make you happier than studying?


  1.  LD debate format: structure for the debate and the timings
  2. LD Debate for groups: group structure for the debate and the timings
  3. LD Preparation sheet for groups
  4. Outline form to help you build your argument for LD Debate
  5. Values and Criterion
  6. Debate Roles Chart
  7. Cross examination guide.
  8. How to do Rebuttal
  9. Rebuttal practice
  10. Sentence Frames for Argumentation
  11. LINCOLN DOUGLAS DEBATE overview and tips for citations
  12. Flow Chart for Debate Round and video for how to flow

Resources for LD Debate

  1. LD vocab & abbreviations
  2. Important Terms in LD Debate
  3. Lincoln Douglas Debate principles
  4. An example LD Debate on video
  5. Timings for regular LD Debate
  6. Great Debate LD Student Packet
  7. LD Debate
  8. Types of Values-2.doc
  9. Tips for how to conduct the debate and win


Example policy debate #:1 US should concentrate on building new nuclear power plants #2, gun control, #3, the US should abolish the death penalty

How to argue in debate: video describing arguing your case

Topic suggestions, Policy Debate topics

Essential Documents:

  1. Basic Structure
  2. Debate Ballot
  3. Note sheet document to prepare for debate
  4. Debate Outline Preparation Document
  5. Debate Timing and Structure for Debate with Cross Examination
  6. Speaking.Listening.handout
  7. Timings & Format Structure without cross examination
  8. CX Debate Outline
  9. Flow Chart for Debate Round
  10. Debate roles and timings brief overview
  11. Four Step Rebuttal Structure

Preparation Skills:

Watch one of the Online Debate Videos from Debate Central.

10. Mock Trial

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