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Need debate advice

Fanath
Posts: 830
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8/5/2014 1:50:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm going into high school and plan on joining debate club, so if anybody could give me their advice on debating that'd help me a lot. It'd be nice if I could go into it as someone who knows what he's doing.

Thanks.
Dude... Stop...
whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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8/5/2014 1:52:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What kind of advice are you looking for? This is a relatively broad subject, and the advice you're looking for could cover everything from speaking style and organization to where to spend your time doing research. And it also depends heavily on what type of debate you're planning on doing.
Seido
Posts: 77
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8/5/2014 1:53:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Be logical, call out your opponent on any logical fallacies that they use, and make sure to bend the facts to your advantage. Don't fabricate any evidence or lie, but make sure that you can bend the facts to fit your assigned argument.If you want to learn more about doing that sort of thing, watch a bit of Fox News. They're masters at it.
PotBelliedGeek
Posts: 4,298
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8/5/2014 2:01:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 1:50:38 PM, Fanath wrote:
I'm going into high school and plan on joining debate club, so if anybody could give me their advice on debating that'd help me a lot. It'd be nice if I could go into it as someone who knows what he's doing.

Thanks.

Talk to bsh1. He is an excellent debater and he coaches HS debate.
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thett3
Posts: 14,371
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8/5/2014 2:05:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What event?
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Fanath
Posts: 830
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8/5/2014 2:11:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 1:52:47 PM, whiteflame wrote:
What kind of advice are you looking for? This is a relatively broad subject, and the advice you're looking for could cover everything from speaking style

Can you elaborate on what speaking style means? I thought you were just supposed to speak clearly and loudly enough so that your voice can be heard by everyone, keep eye contact with the audience, use body language etc... General stuff. Are their different styles of speaking that are more or less effective in a debate?

to where to spend your time doing research.

are there certain sites I should look on? I usually run a google search to read about the subject and find sources that support my arguments.

And it also depends heavily on what type of debate you're planning on doing.

I don't know which types there are.
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whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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8/5/2014 2:25:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 2:11:25 PM, Fanath wrote:
At 8/5/2014 1:52:47 PM, whiteflame wrote:
What kind of advice are you looking for? This is a relatively broad subject, and the advice you're looking for could cover everything from speaking style

Can you elaborate on what speaking style means? I thought you were just supposed to speak clearly and loudly enough so that your voice can be heard by everyone, keep eye contact with the audience, use body language etc... General stuff. Are their different styles of speaking that are more or less effective in a debate?

Those are the basics of speaking in general, but they're really only a foundation. People have different speaking styles that can each work well if used effectively, you just have to find the right one for you. It also partially depends on the event, since there are certain ones where you'll be doing a substantial amount of reading from a computer or cards, often talking and interacting with your opponents, whereas others require more off the cuff argumentation, something that generally requires more engagement with the judge rather than your opponents.

to where to spend your time doing research.

are there certain sites I should look on? I usually run a google search to read about the subject and find sources that support my arguments.

Google is fine in part, but again, it's really dependent on the style. If you're going to do Parli, you're not always going to be allowed access to the Internet, and you get a new topic each round, so you're going to have to bring written materials to tournaments. If you're doing LD or Policy, you're going to have a case built before you enter the round and a lot of materials on hand for when you're in it. In either case, a single search isn't going to cut it.

And it also depends heavily on what type of debate you're planning on doing.

I don't know which types there are.

This is really something you should look into and get an appreciation for. There's Parliamentary, Student Congress, Public Forum, Policy, and Lincoln-Douglass, and they're all very different in terms of their various foci and structures. And that's not to mention the several other formats that become available when you get to college. I'd suggest you do some research on these and figure out what style of debate interests you most.
Blade-of-Truth
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8/5/2014 2:30:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 2:05:56 PM, thett3 wrote:
What event?

^^ What thett said, because the advice really should be catered to whatever event you choose to pursue. Once you join the debate team you will see that there are several different paths you can follow. For instance, alot of members here enjoy LD debate, whereas I personally was in student congress, and others do policy.
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whiteflame
Posts: 1,378
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8/5/2014 3:10:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 2:59:18 PM, Raisor wrote:
Don't date your debate partner

I'll add onto this: don't choose a family member as your partner. My first experience in debate was with my twin brother as my partner, and that was a mistake.
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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8/5/2014 3:24:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 8/5/2014 1:50:38 PM, Fanath wrote:
I'm going into high school and plan on joining debate club, so if anybody could give me their advice on debating that'd help me a lot. It'd be nice if I could go into it as someone who knows what he's doing.

Thanks.

The problem with asking for advice in this way is that debate involves a lot of discrete skills and you're gonna need specific feedback from someone (a coach) in order to grow. That said, here is some very broad advice to follow:

(1) Imitate those who are good. They are doing things that work. Figure out what that is. Better evidence than you? Better speaking? What is it about what they do? Talk slower? Pause? Give brief and simple intros? Summarize evidence instead of reading it word for word?

(2) Work hard. You only get as much out of debate as you put into it. The harder you work, I promise, the more you'll get out of it -- both in terms of rewards and trophies. There are setbacks -- you'll do really well at one tournament and then potentially really badly at the next one. But don't give up. The effort you put in will pay off eventually, as long as you treat every debate round as a learning experience.

(3) Do the basics. Write cases. Research. Do practice cross-examinations and practice debates. Learn to flow. No one ever does well by ignoring the basics.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)