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How to be a good debater (Part I)

PeriodicPatriot
Posts: 140
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2/1/2014 10:23:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Are you trying to be a good debater? Or win a lot of debates? Read this to find out:

1.

Know the basics of the debate. There is a fundamental structure to persuasive argument. An argument begins with an assertion, or your stance on the issue. This is followed by reasoning, or why you believe you have the correct point of view. The entire argument is supported by evidence, or outside research that boosts the validity of your argument.

2

Research before the debate. The evidence portion of a debate is an opportunity to present credible information in support of your argument, and one fact may be enough to sway an audience. Use credible sources, such as academic studies or published experts.

3.

Use debate tactics that disarm your opponent. These tactics are persuasive, but not aggressive. For example, employ a tactic called "strategic agreement" to agree with key points in your opponents argument and use them to support your own. This will breakdown the defenses of your opponent and make him more willing to engage with you on the issue.

4.

Use reason and logic in your arguments. Reasonable arguments are strengthened by strong research. With enough of a knowledge base, you need never resort to heated debate or insults. An audience will perceive a reasonable argument as pragmatic and strong.

5.

Avoid false logic, which is seemingly logical tricks that have no sound reason, such as a red herring. When a debater tries to counter an opponent on an issue by pointing out the opponent's position on a unrelated issue, it is a red herring, or distraction. Other logic fallacies are over-the-top statements that exaggerate the consequences of a problem, or playing with an audience's emotions without presenting real facts.
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Ragnar
Posts: 1,658
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2/1/2014 12:00:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I once used number three very effectively in a Ninja v. Pirates debate. I conceded all ninjas are Asian points my opponent brought up, so that I could inevitably call No True Ninja when my opponent showed a picture of a Scotsman named Snake-Eyes from JI Joe.
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2-D
Posts: 226
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2/1/2014 1:44:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 10:23:15 AM, PeriodicPatriot wrote:
Are you trying to be a good debater? Or win a lot of debates? Read this to find out:

1.

Know the basics of the debate. There is a fundamental structure to persuasive argument. An argument begins with an assertion, or your stance on the issue. This is followed by reasoning, or why you believe you have the correct point of view. The entire argument is supported by evidence, or outside research that boosts the validity of your argument.

2

Research before the debate. The evidence portion of a debate is an opportunity to present credible information in support of your argument, and one fact may be enough to sway an audience. Use credible sources, such as academic studies or published experts.


3.

Use debate tactics that disarm your opponent. These tactics are persuasive, but not aggressive. For example, employ a tactic called "strategic agreement" to agree with key points in your opponents argument and use them to support your own. This will breakdown the defenses of your opponent and make him more willing to engage with you on the issue.

4.

Use reason and logic in your arguments. Reasonable arguments are strengthened by strong research. With enough of a knowledge base, you need never resort to heated debate or insults. An audience will perceive a reasonable argument as pragmatic and strong.

5.

Avoid false logic, which is seemingly logical tricks that have no sound reason, such as a red herring. When a debater tries to counter an opponent on an issue by pointing out the opponent's position on a unrelated issue, it is a red herring, or distraction. Other logic fallacies are over-the-top statements that exaggerate the consequences of a problem, or playing with an audience's emotions without presenting real facts.

Thanks, this is a helpful topic. I enjoy arguing but I have never been in any formal debate setting. I am trying to keep my arguments more focused on specific categories rather than address each point I want to make or disagree with separately. I enjoy the research but I am trying to keep my debates more organized.

I also would like to challenge myself more rather than win a lot of debates. I'm interested to hear what other members have learned since joining. I am also curious to hear from anyone who has been in a formal debate setting. What advice would you have for someone who is just learning as they go?