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How to Vote

September 4, 2008
by Nate Simmons

As we all know, voting is one of the most important features of Debate.org. Version 3.0 introduced an amazing new voting system and here are some tips to use it more effectively. The first two questions you see are opinion based questions. There are no points given for these questions and you can answer them however you want. The next four questions break down a debaters score by looking at the four most important aspects of the debate. These questions are where the points come from. Remember, voting on Debate.org is based on fact and NOT on Opinion.

  1. Who did you agree with before the debate?(0 Points)
    • Which of the two sides (Pro or Con) did you agree with before you read the debate?
  2. Who did you agree with after the debate?(0 Points)
    • Which of the two sides (Pro or Con) did you agree with after you read the debate? This question and the previous question are used to calculate how many voters changed their opinion on the topic at hand.
  3. Who had better conduct?(1 Point)
    • Which debater, on balance, was more composed, and used fewer or no personal attacks against their opponent? Improper conduct includes personal insults, profanities, and bad sportsmanlike behavior.
  4. Who had better spelling and grammar?(1 Point)
    • Which debater, on balance, took the time to insure their writing was easy to read with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
  5. Who made more convincing arguments?(3 Points)
    • Analysis - Which debater, on balance, did a better job of clearly explaining their arguments and of exposing the weakness of their opponent's arguments?
    • Refutation - Which debater critically analyzed their opponents' arguments the best and developed clear, appropriate, and understandable responses?
    • Organization - Which debater organized their arguments the best, creating an easily understood and readable path to follow?
  6. Who used the most reliable sources?(2 Points)
    • Which debater, on balance, proved their argument with sufficient quantity and appropriate interpretation of evidence? Was the evidence easy to read? Did it support the correct argument or was it just a link tossed in to try and fool the unsuspecting?

Remember, the basis for decision should NOT include:

  • Opinions held you, but not mentioned by the debaters.
  • Conversation with any persons during or after the debate round.
  • Comments made by other members of the site.