• Debate is different from arguing in the sense that
you try to convince a third party who doesn’t
take part in it.
• Debates are based on a fixed topic or proposition.
• Arguments are the basic building blocks of
The Parliamentary Debate
Parliamentary Debate is a contest between two
teams where each team is on one side of the debate
The proposition team supports the motion
The opposition team argues against the motion
There are six speeches in the parliamentary debate:
the first four are constructive and the last two
The order and timing is as follows:
First Proposition Constructive Speech
First Opposition Constructive Speech
Second Proposition Constructive Speech
Second Opposition Constructive Speech
Points of Information & Heckling
Points of information: debaters might present
questions or statements during a speech. The debater
holding the floor can accept or reject them.
Heckling: is an interruption of a speaker to show
pleasure or displeasure with speaker’s argumentation
Arguments have 3 basic components:
ASSERTION: simply a statement
REASONING: the reason why the assertion is valid
EVIDENCE: proof of the reasoning
Eg.: A: We should ban junk food in the school cantine.
R: Eating junk food is bad for your health.
E: Junk food is high in fat and sugar. Too much fat and
sugar puts you at risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Almost all refutations follow a basic four-step method:
Step 1: “They say….”
Step 2: “But I disagree….”
Step 3: “Because ….”
Step 4: “Therefore….”
Speaker 1: Bananas are better than oranges because they contain more potassium.
Speaker 2: Speaker 1 says that bananas are better than oranges, but I disagree. Oranges are better than bananas
because they contain more vitamin C. Therefore, you should prefer oranges because while many foods in an
ordinary diet contain potassium, few contain an appreciable amount of vitamin C. It is more important to eat
oranges whenever possible than it is to eat bananas.