•    Introductions should precede the debate.
•    The debater should not offer emotional appeals. H/she should concentrate on the evidence.
•    The debater should never falsify, create or distort evidence.
•    The debater should never publicly disagree with the decision of the judge or the audience. Winners need to be congratulated by the opposition.
•    Debaters should not insult, offend, or disrespect other debaters and/or judges in any way.
•    Do not speak out of turn or interrupt an opponent.
•    Debaters should avoid swaying, shuffling, and pacing.

Debator’s Lingo

Refer to the opposite side as “my opponent”.
Use phrases like “There are three main points that prove the affirmative…”
In the rebuttal, say….”My opponent said…, however,… “

1.    Avoid the use of Never.
2.    Avoid the use of Always.
3.    Refrain from saying you are wrong.
4.    You can say your idea is mistaken.
5.    Don’t disagree with obvious truths.
6.    Attack the idea not the person.
7.    Avoid exaggeration.
8.    The use of often/generally allows for exceptions.
9.    If it is just an opinion, admit it.
10.    Do not present opinion as facts.
11.    Smile when disagreeing.
12.    Stress the positive.
13.    Avoid bickering, quarreling, and wrangling.
14.    Watch your tone of voice.
15.    Keep your perspective – You’re just debating.

Resolution: the main argument (your thesis)

Affirmative: argues the resolution – tries to prove it correct (Murder is acceptable)

Negative: argues against the resolution – tries to prove it incorrect (Murder is not acceptable)

Constructive Phase:
each side will have 2 chances to construct their arguments

Cross-examination: each side will have a chance to question the other side after each constructive argument has been made

Rebuttal Phase: each side will have 2 chances to rebut the statements made by the other side and clear up any confusion surrounding their own arguments

Two teams, each team selects four speakers:
1-Constructive #1
2-Constructive #2
3-Rebuttal #1
4-Rebuttal #2

Debate Timeline

Phase:Time Allowance:
Opening Statement and Affirmative Constructive #13 min.
Cross Examination1.5 min.
Opening Statement and Negative Constructive #13 min.
Cross Examination1.5 min.
Affirmative Constructive #23 min.
Cross Examination1.5 min.
Negative Constructive #23 min.
Cross Examination1.5 min.
Team Conference:


Structure Rebuttal Arguments

5 min.
Negative Rebuttal #13 min.
Affirmative Rebuttal #13 min.
Negative Rebuttal #2 and Closing Statement3 min.
Affirmative Rebuttal #2 and Closing Statement3 min
Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Debate Structure & Etiquette," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019, https://schoolworkhelper.net/debate-structure-etiquette/.

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Defon H.
Defon H.
11 months ago

very nice