Total Posts:19|Showing Posts:1-19
Jump to topic:

On The Skill of Debate

Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?

Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?

Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?

Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?

Any special tips you might have for a beginner?

Thanks :)
WAKE UP AND READ THIS: http://www.debate.org...
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/30/2011 10:57:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm hardly a master debater but:

At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?
I don't really think it matters, but I wouldn't put it in the middle.
Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?
Usually not.
Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?
I think either is fine, but if you can attribute the direct fallacy it's a little stronger because it differentiates itself from just an objection. Be careful, though, because when you do this the debate often becomes a little less civil and your opponent could start ramping things up. There are different ways to handle it depending on the nature of the debate.
Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?
Don't put up straw men. You should be prepared to go all the way with your points.
Any special tips you might have for a beginner?
Eh, everyone has their own style. I like going line for line, but definitely cite sources and be thorough. Be organized, separate your points.

Thanks :)
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/30/2011 11:06:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?

Never ever start a new argument, or post a new point at the end of the debate, particularly if you have the last post of the last round, that's considered really bad form, and rude. This would blow a conduct point for anyone who knows debates and are judging.
Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?

Unfortunately no. Make the claim from personal experience, but back it up with facts.
Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?
It's not important to name the fallacy in my opinion, and i find it a little pedantic, but for some it might be a short cut toward clarity.

Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?

Better off leaving it out, and if your opponent brings it up, be prepared to address it.
Any special tips you might have for a beginner?

Start reading debates and voting on them, and read the RFDs, and read the tutorial thread above.

Thanks :)
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/30/2011 11:08:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Never ever start a new argument, or post a new point at the end of the debate, particularly if you have the last post of the last round, that's considered really bad form, and rude. This would blow a conduct point for anyone who knows debates and are judging.

This. I thought you meant in the first post. List all your arguments in the first post, never the last round.
Lickdafoot
Posts: 5,599
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/30/2011 11:46:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
thanks for the fast responses :)

I meant posting the strongest point in the beginning or end of a post, not in the last round.

OMGjustin, so are you saying people potentially get offended for being called out on their fallacies? but getting offended and attacking would hurt them more so it wouldn't be so bad?

innomen, i've been reading lots of debates here the past few days. i can vote after i'm finished with my current debate.. i'll def. check the tutorial out.

i'll probably have more questions as time goes on. maybe some other newbies have some questions too?
WAKE UP AND READ THIS: http://www.debate.org...
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 12:36:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?

You can always summarize your strongest point/s at the end of a round if you want, even if you have already mentioned them. There is no law against it.

Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?


Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?

Logical fallacy's by name are only what, 2 or 3 words ? why not name it to go with the explanation of it.

Some one made the point that if you point out some ones fallacy things could get heated. If you are really concerned about thisyou can be quite clear that you are attacking the argument not the person such as....the argument presented where it argues that from x to y to z commits the logical fallacy known as "appeal to consequences".


Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?

I guess the question is, are you prepared to defend it if challenged. If the point is going to get utterly destroyed then don't bother. If it could be the turning point in the debate and you at least think you can hold your ground then you can consider using it.

Any special tips you might have for a beginner?

Your going to get your a$$ kicked and if your not, then you need better opponents. The question is whether you are learning after each debate and getting better or not.


Thanks :)
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 1:18:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
In a speech, integrate sources into your speech "According to a study by Harvard..." in a text debate, put them at the end.

Save better arguments for last.

Be confident.

always address the judge/ voters. Not the opposing team/ debater.

Get your facts straight.

Always refute a refutation.

Use reliable sources (Not blogs. Wikipedia is OK as long as it has a source listed under references).
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 3:14:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?

If you mean throughout the debate, never save points. Make your case in the beginning and stick to it, or it will come back to bite you. If you mean in a round, I'd say put the most important point first. That will open up the readers mind in anticipation of what you will say next. Always summarize your points at the end so the reader is left remembering the important points.

Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?

Any claim you make must be supported by facts. Anybody can say they have experience in something. Even if you do have experience, using it as your argument is not debating.

Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?

Naming fallacies is ok but novice debaters may not understand. I prefer to explain it so there is no confusion.

Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?

Never assume your opponent won't rebut a point. Look for points you can stand by, and never abandon that gut feeling that tells you something is right. Your opponent may have a logical answer to it, but if you still have that gut feeling you just have to search for better words to make your point.

Any special tips you might have for a beginner?

Start with a plan of what you want to accomplish, then work your way into the details, and always finish with a summary. Doing it this way keeps you focused on what is important in the debate.

Thanks :)

You're welcome.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 3:23:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/31/2011 1:18:20 AM, Rockylightning wrote:
In a speech, integrate sources into your speech "According to a study by Harvard..." in a text debate, put them at the end.

Save better arguments for last.

Be confident.

always address the judge/ voters. Not the opposing team/ debater.

Get your facts straight.

Always refute a refutation.

Use reliable sources (Not blogs. Wikipedia is OK as long as it has a source listed under references).
Why do you address the voter instead of your opponent. I do this because I've seen others do it but I don't know why. I've been on DDO for about a week.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 9:18:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sadly, your level of skill means nothing when the majority of people who vote on the topics go in with the pretense of votebombing.

In a recent debate, my opponent harped one topic which was subjective (morality), and completely failed to address any other argument.

Many people don't even read the debates in detail, they just follow their ideological preference. How do I know? Please note that people voting on my debates picked my opponent as having better sources. His only sources were from the Dictionary!

http://www.debate.org...

I don't want to dissuade you from intelligently debating your position, but on more than one occasion you will be extremely disheartened when you invest so much time in a debate and it's votebombed over ideological biases.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
VocMusTcrMaloy
Posts: 189
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 9:35:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Recently, I wrote an opening argument and realized a weakness in my position. When I was writing I brought up the weakness and defended it; but, before I posted, I removed the paragraph on the weakness. I feel I did the right thing. My reasoning being there's no need to defend a weakness if it is not brought up.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 10:13:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 11:46:21 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
thanks for the fast responses :)

I meant posting the strongest point in the beginning or end of a post, not in the last round.

OMGjustin, so are you saying people potentially get offended for being called out on their fallacies? but getting offended and attacking would hurt them more so it wouldn't be so bad?

Yes, calling out a fallacy is much more likely to be taken personally than a simple rebuttal, especially if it is frequent. It depends on the nature of the debate, there are other ways to convey to the audience that your opponent erred, but if the debate is already pretty heated I would just go for it. I obviously cant read the minds of audience members but it would initially seem that labeling a proposition as a logical fallacy could be effective.
Man-is-good
Posts: 6,871
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 11:18:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
Put the strongest point first or save for last?
I do not think that it does not matter, as long as you are capable of adequately defending your contentions and justifying it with proper (and unbiased) evidence and line of reasoning.

Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?
No, personal experience is not as emphasized as facts [history, survey results, scientific facts] as personal experience can easily be manipulated to reflect one's resolution without any sort of justification or refutation from the opponent...

Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?
I do agree with Innomen in that 'naming the fallacy' adds a flair of pedantry, though it can be done in some situations....An explanation might suffice to clarify the fallacy itself.

Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?
You could post it as a part of your argument, but you must be forced to adequately defend it in case if the opponent rebuts it.

Any special tips you might have for a beginner?
Always remember the old, trite saying, 'Practice makes perfect', and perhaps 'Rome wasn't built in a day' for those who wish to strive to greater, and superior, heights.
"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto." --Terence

"I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality."--Thoreau
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 1:28:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/31/2011 3:23:26 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:

Why do you address the voter instead of your opponent. I do this because I've seen others do it but I don't know why. I've been on DDO for about a week.

It is more professional to address the voters so the debate does not sound like a bickering match. But more importantly, it puts you in the right frame of mind. To win a debate the voters must vote for you, so your goal should be to make the best possible case for them to understand. Addressing them directly helps to remind you who you are speaking to, which helps you stay on track with that goal rather then going off course.
Johnicle
Posts: 888
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 1:32:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I always like putting my best arguments at the end of a speech/post because it makes for a good climax and it's less likely that the opponent will respond to it (if they run out of time/characters, etc.)
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/31/2011 2:07:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yeah I'd put my best argument last. If you put it towards the beginning, voters are more likely to forget about it by the time they get to the end.
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/1/2011 1:14:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/31/2011 3:23:26 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 7/31/2011 1:18:20 AM, Rockylightning wrote:
In a speech, integrate sources into your speech "According to a study by Harvard..." in a text debate, put them at the end.

Save better arguments for last.

Be confident.

always address the judge/ voters. Not the opposing team/ debater.

Get your facts straight.

Always refute a refutation.

Use reliable sources (Not blogs. Wikipedia is OK as long as it has a source listed under references).
Why do you address the voter instead of your opponent. I do this because I've seen others do it but I don't know why. I've been on DDO for about a week.

If you address the voter, they feel that you, the speaker, are trying to convince them, and not your opponent. Think of it as two guys trying to impress the same lady. You wouldnt talk to the other guy, you'd try to convince the lady.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/1/2011 10:02:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 10:47:10 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
This is a great place to learn! I'm still very new to debating and i think it would be a good idea to start a thread for questions that can be asked to the more experienced debaters.

Here are a few that i'd like opinions on:

Put the strongest point first or save for last?

Put all evidence first. If it seems like you are saving arguments and presenting them in later rounds, that can cost the conduct vote and potentially arguments (pending the voter), since you may not be giving your opponent a fair chance at attempting to refute them.

Of course, some evidence does come up later as a responce to refutations. That is okay, so long as it doesn't seem that you were intentionally holding them.


Is personal experience acceptable to use to support a claim?

To a degree, yes. You'll want something more solid, and can use personal experience to back it up, but personal on its own usually won't hold.


Is it necessary to name the fallacy someone uses or is the explanation of error sufficient on its own?

And explination is actually ideal (shows a better understanding of your opponent's arguments and why they are fallacious), however, if you're running low on character count, name only works fine.


Say you have a point that is slightly weak but could be a turning point if the opponent doesn't rebut it. put it up and take the chance or no?

This is another thing to look out for. You don't want to be flooding your arguments with so many that you opponent cannot address them all (because of character space). If it appears that you are tossing out arguments just so that you opponent cannot address them all, most voters will accept the minor arguments being dropped and even cost you the conduct.

This is, of course, completely subjective. If you put an argument in, make sure that you feel strong about that argument and could debate with it, as if it was your only.


Any special tips you might have for a beginner?

If you create a debate that you want to be a 3 round debate, make it 4 rounds, and have the opening round be for nothing but introductions and definitions (no arguments), this can help because if you present your arguments right off the bat, no one will accept unless they are sure they can beat those arguments, so any really good debates that you would have, no one will accept, and that can be depressing.

Feel free to take breaks from DDO every now and again. Sometimes, things can get a little serious and it helps to take a step back, take a breather, and remember that the internet is NOT serious business (despite what some de-motivational posters might say). Also, if people are making fun of someone or something, it is not personal, but just them trying to not take things seriously.


Thanks :)

no prob.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/1/2011 10:10:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/30/2011 11:46:21 AM, Lickdafoot wrote:
thanks for the fast responses :)

I meant posting the strongest point in the beginning or end of a post, not in the last round.

I missed that too. In a debate, whether you start with your strongest or end with your strongest really depends on the other arguments (I'd never put it in the middle, personally). You lead with your strongest, so that the rest seem more accurate (if people are convinced by the first, or highly swayed, they'll be more accepting of later arguments that might not be as strong). Or you can finish with your strongest to kind of sure everything up.

Personally, I lead with my strongest if I only have 1 really strong argument, and several kinda strong arguments. But if I have a lot of really strong arguments, I close with my strongest (of course, if you have a lot of really strong arguments, the order probably won't matter).


OMGjustin, so are you saying people potentially get offended for being called out on their fallacies? but getting offended and attacking would hurt them more so it wouldn't be so bad?

Some people don't like to be called out with just the fallacy name, without explaining why. Obviously, if they put the argument up, they don't believe it to be fallacious, so if you're going to claim that it is, you'll want to say why. Otherwise, they're just going to say "Not it's not."

As for the bickering hurting their arguments, it does, but it also hurts the quality of the debate in general, and so readers will be turned off to it, and may not vote at all.


innomen, i've been reading lots of debates here the past few days. i can vote after i'm finished with my current debate.. i'll def. check the tutorial out.

i'll probably have more questions as time goes on. maybe some other newbies have some questions too?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"