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Types of debating

What types of debating are there ?

There are slightly different ways to do debating. Generally, you need a Chairperson, Proposer,
Opposer, Proposer and Opposers' Seconders and a time-keeper.
Oxford Debates
This is the classic style of debate. It is easily transformed into an activity within which
the entire class can participate.
Chairperson: Controls the debate and starting with the Proposer, calls alternate sides to
speak. The Chairperson has a script but as to maintain the formality of the contest.
Proposer: Speaks for the motion, defines it and shows that there is a need for change.
Opposer: Speaks against the motion, often defends the current system or asserts only
minor changes are needed.
Proposer's Seconder: Supports the Proposer's ideas and often presents a plan and its
Opposer's Seconder: Attacks the plans of the Proposer and Seconder and often suggests
minor changes to the present system.
Rebuttals: No new evidence can be introduced but arguments can be extended.
Parliamentary Debates
This is a debate pretending that we are in parliament.
Those for the motion (the "Bill") are called the Prime Minister and the Government
Minister and those against the "Bill" are the Leader of the Opposition and the Opposition
Member. The Speaker of the House plays the role of Chairperson. All debates start by
addressing Mr./Madame Speaker.
Points of Order are raised by a debater to the Speaker who decides whether the opponent
has broken a rule.
Points of Personal Privilege are raised by a debated about personal abuse,
misrepresentation or insult.

Questions: A debater can ask the Speaker if the member is willing to take a question on
an issue.
Heckles or brief, pertinent, witty interruptions are permitted.
Cross-Examination Debates
The First Affirmative speaker outlines the motion (the resolution) being debated and
presents evidence and a plan for change.
The Second Negative speaker questions the First Affirmative to expose flaws.
The First Negative then speaks in a constructive manner saying that there is no need for
change and the opposition's ideas are flawed.
The First Negative is cross-examined by the First Affirmative to force an admission that
the plan is worthwhile.
The Second Affirmative gives a constructive speech which attacks the negative claim's
The First Negative then cross-examines the Second Affirmative .
The Second Negative gives a constructive speech which attacks the plan and completes
the negative case.
The Second Negative is cross-examined by the Second Affirmative .
Rebuttal break. (sides confer).
Rebuttal by First Negative followed by a rebuttal by First Affirmative .
For more information on types or styles of debating see: An Introduction to Academic,
Parliamentary, and Cross-Examination Styles of
2015 LEARN - All Rights Reserved

The Kinds of Debate:

Formal debate in education:
-Parliamentary debate
Parliamentary Debate (sometimes referred to as "parli" in the United States) is conducted under
rules derived from British parliamentary procedure. It features the competition of individuals in a
multi-person setting.
-Mace Debate
This style of debate is arguably the most prominent in Britain, with the national schools
competition undoubtedly the most prestigious of its kind. Two teams of two debate an
affirmative motion (e.g "This house would give prisoners the right to vote,") which one team will
propose and the other will oppose. Each speaker will make a seven minute speech in the order;
1st Proposition, 1st Opposition, 2nd Proposition, 2nd Opposition.
-Public Debate
Public debate is a style of debate involving two teams of two. Each team is given their topic at
the beginning of a round, along with the side they are to take. The teams are given 15 minutes to
create an outline before they begin to debate. Because the topic of the debate is unknown to the
speakers until before the debate, it requires little planning and instead a wide knowledge of
different topics.
-Australasia debate
Australasia style debates consist of two teams who debate over an issue, more commonly called
a topic or proposition. The issue, by convention, is presented in the form of an affirmative
statement beginning with "That", for example, "That cats are better than dogs," or "This House",
for example, "This House would establish a world government." The subject of topics varies
from region to region. Most topics however, are usually region specific to facilitate interest by
both the participants and their audiences.
-Asian Universities Debating Championship
This is the biggest debating tournament in Asia; Asian debates are largely an adaptation of the
Australasian format. The only difference is that each speaker is given 7 minutes of speech time
and there will be points of information (POI) offered by the opposing team between the 2nd to
6th minutes of the speech. This means that the 1st and 7th minute is considered the 'protected'
period where no POI's can be offered to the speaker.
-Policy debate
Policy Debate is a style of debating where two teams of two debaters advocate or oppose a plan
derived from a resolution that usually calls for a change in policy by a government. Teams
normally alternate, and compete in rounds as either "affirmative" or "negative".
-Classical debate
Classical debate is simpler: a resolution, decided at the beginning of the season, is the de facto
topic for each debate, where the Affirmative affirms and Negative negates it. The emphasis on

depth instead of breadth provided by the restriction can make for interesting rounds that often
come down to arguments that might otherwise pale in other formats.
-Extemporaneous debate
Extemporaneous debate is a style involving no planning in advance, and two teams with a first
and second speaker.
-Lincoln-Douglas debate
Lincoln-Douglas debate, a form of United States high school debate named after the LincolnDouglas Debates of 1858, is a one-on-one event focused mainly on applying philosophical
theories to real world issues.
-Karl Popper debate
It focuses on relevant and often deeply divisive propositions, emphasizing the development of
critical thinking skills, and tolerance for differing viewpoints. To facilitate these goals, debaters
work together in teams of three, and must research both sides of each issue.
-Public Forum debate
Public forum debate was established in 2002 by the National Forensic League. It is designed to
teach students to debate in a manner that is accessible to ordinary people, rather than other
debaters. Public Forum combines aspects of both Policy debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate,
with shorter speech lengths and more frequent changes in resolution that serve to emphasize
brevity and eloquence over exhaustive research and technical debating.
Other Forms of Debate:
-Online debating
-U.S. presidential debates
-Comedy debates
Source(s): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate