Intro To University Debating


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The Monash Association of Debaters (MAD) Member Training Program 2010 presents:


by Viv Jones, Top-10 Speaker and Semi-Finalist at the 2009 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships and Nita Rao, Semi-Finalist at the 2009 Australasian Intervarsity Debating Championships.

An introduction to debating at university, introducing the 3-on-3 debate format before moving on to general discussion about the importance of matter, manner and method in debates. Also covers definitions and a number of useful tips.

Presented as session 1, semester 1 in the Novice Stream and session 2, semester 1 in the Beginner Stream.

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  • Rules to fascilitate discussion on topics - people speaking and responding to ensure it’s godo!
  • Improve yourself: Tute presentations a sinch, job interviews etc
  • Heaps of Opportunity to get involved Casually Seriously As much as you put in you can take out DEBATING = IMPROVEMENT MAD has enormous history of debaters coming in with very little experience; Kim Little did a little bit at UQ in undergrad, but joined MAD, got into and became WORLD CHAMPION! Opportunity is there for you to carpe diem
  • 1) We want to be able to express our opinions clearly and powerfully. We like to Argue, or we recognise it’s important; Important for study, work, and life.
  • First principles: Role of Govt: big vs small govt - topic: criminalise hate speech, holocaust denial, ban abortions Harm Minimisation - topic: legalise polygamy, prostitution Page 50 classic concepts
  • Ddebate:That we should arm Afghani Tribal Militias
  • Eg; That smokers should be denied access to medicare. Aff say: smoking related illnesses are the no. 1 drain of public health care Rebut: not a true fact. Why? Smokers die younger - old age and associated paleative care costs are the real drain on health care. BUT even if it is: - smokers are human beings too - people who pay taxes to the states, engaging in a legal activity - govt’s role to provide them with healthcare = unacceptable implications
  • What are you like to listen to? How credible are you as a speaker? Find YOUR OWN STYLE and work to perfect it Humour
  • VARY: You want to be considered (ie; rational and logical), passionate at times, logical always, confident, TONE: Debate: that we should legalise euthanasia - terminally ill people You want to sound: calm compassionate, realistic & respectful You don’t want to: makes jokes about people who are terminally ill - be the speaker who advocates killing old people off to cut costs LANGUAGE: - umms, ares, repetitive ladies and gentlemen, ‘you know..’ Indigenous Australians: Aboriginal people, indigenous people, aboriginies Femininism: Women or girls? -
  • Context helps - eg; that google has made the right move. Ie; Jan 2010 - decision to end operations in China following the targeting of Chinese HR activists = will no longer censor
  • That we should ban homeschooling aff: homeschooling is bad for children - education and socially (3) Neg: homeschooling is not bad = negate problem (2) Neg: there are some problems with homeschooling and with certain religious groups who homeschool their children BUT when you ban you isolate these groups and exacerbate the problem - govt can no longer mandate curriculum. (1) don’t do this.
  • Intro To University Debating

    1. 1. Introduction to 3-on-3 Debating Viv Jones
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Why debate? </li></ul><ul><li>What is debate? </li></ul><ul><li>Matter/Manner/Method </li></ul><ul><li>How to prepare a case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaker roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Case </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hot tips </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why Debate? Improve yourself Make friends at uni Travel the world funded by Monash!
    4. 4. Tournaments <ul><li>SEMESTER 1 (3-on-3) </li></ul><ul><li>Freshers (MAD) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For virgin IV debaters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Easters (Melbourne UNI) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The National novice comp </li></ul></ul><ul><li>President’s Cup (Melbourne) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Debate with fun people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sorensen (MAD) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Major 3-on-3 comp, novice rule </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ADAM (Melbourne) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-Australs and great practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>AUSTRALS @ Auckland </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MAD’s favourite IV </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SEMESTER 2 (British Parliamentary) </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-Am Comp </li></ul><ul><li>Open BP Comp </li></ul><ul><li>Freehills </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s (Sydney) </li></ul><ul><li>ANU Mini (Canberra) </li></ul><ul><li>Sydney Mini (Sydney) </li></ul><ul><li>Vic Mini (New Zealand) </li></ul><ul><li>Melbourne Mini (Melbourne) </li></ul><ul><li>WUPID (Malaysia) </li></ul><ul><li>WORLDS (Botswana) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why do we do it? <ul><li>“ Dutch troops pull out of Afghanistan” </li></ul><ul><li>“ US to sell Uranium to India” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gay marriage bill vetoed” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cap on CEO pay strives to end era of excess” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ GLOBAL WARMING IS OVERRATED” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. What is Debate?
    7. 7. Debate is structured argument
    8. 8. Debate - an overview <ul><li>Assigned topic and side </li></ul><ul><li>Understand context </li></ul><ul><li>Identify problem </li></ul><ul><li>Propose solution </li></ul><ul><li>Convince everyone why </li></ul><ul><li>it’s right! </li></ul>
    9. 9. 3-on-3 Debate: the format 1st Aff 3rd Neg 2nd Neg 1st Neg 3rd Aff 2nd Aff AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE 30 minute prep 6-8 minute speeches
    10. 10. MATTER, MANNER and METHOD The elements that contribute to persuasiveness in debates
    11. 11. <ul><li>What you say </li></ul><ul><li>“ Arguments” </li></ul><ul><li>How to make it good: </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis = first principles, examples, statistics etc </li></ul>MATTER
    12. 12. Elements of an argument <ul><li>IDEA </li></ul><ul><li>ANALYSIS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step through your analysis - keep asking “why?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EVIDENCE </li></ul><ul><li>LINK </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it help you prove your team’s case? </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Example of an argument <ul><li>Giving arms to Afghani Tribal Militias will undermine Al Qaeda's power in the hills </li></ul><ul><li>Pashtun tribes have self-interest at heart (concerned with protection) -> will follow whoever presents the most benefit. By providing weapons, we become the ally of choice. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Under Soviet Union, Mujahaddin fighters were happy to engage with the most powerful ally </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Without weapons to defend themselves they are blackmailed by Al Qaeda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Al Qaeda has taken sons of tribal leaders hostage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. One tribe that resisted Al Qaeda initially was made an example of - Suicide bombers exploded in a family wedding killing dozens </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By providing weapons, Militias will be both able to defend themselves and will be motivated to align with west </li></ul>
    14. 14. Keep it logical and relevant <ul><li>Why is it true? </li></ul><ul><li>Who Cares? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Rebuttal <ul><li>Same elements are true for building arguments and destroying them. </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting the Idea > Analaysis > Evidence </li></ul>
    16. 16. Viv’s Rebuttal Tips <ul><li>Ways to rebut: </li></ul><ul><li>Establish that the opp argument is based on an error of fact / an erroneous interpretation of fact </li></ul><ul><li>Establish that the opp argument is illogical (the conclusion does not logically flow from the premise) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem/solution gap </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Establish that the opp argument, while itself correct, involves unacceptable implications . </li></ul><ul><li>The best rebuttal works together these approaches into an “ Even if ..” </li></ul>
    17. 17. MANNER <ul><li>Your presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>How engaging are you as a speaker? </li></ul><ul><li>First things first: </li></ul><ul><li>There’s no hard fast rule as to what makes </li></ul><ul><li>good manner </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone’s style is different - keep it natural </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone can improve their manner </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Consensus on what makes good manner : </li></ul><ul><li>Eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Body language - gestures, posture </li></ul><ul><li>TONE </li></ul><ul><li>In control - you have the floor </li></ul><ul><li>Viv’s Hot tips: </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your language - no flippant comments </li></ul><ul><li>Vary your manner </li></ul><ul><li>Be conscious of your own flaws </li></ul>
    19. 19. METHOD <ul><li>How you present your case </li></ul><ul><li>Can you audience understand and follow what you are saying? </li></ul><ul><li>Matter impact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjudicator can digest what you are saying </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manner impact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You appear logical and in control. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>How to keep your speech structured : </li></ul><ul><li>Team split </li></ul><ul><li>Individual speaker: Introduce, Analyse, Conclude </li></ul><ul><li>Say what you’re going to say, say it then say what you said. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch the clock </li></ul>
    21. 21. Speaker Roles <ul><li>1st Affirmative </li></ul><ul><li>SET UP: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Position/Model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Split </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arguments (5 - 6 minutes) </li></ul><ul><li>1st Negative </li></ul><ul><li>Definition Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Rebut (3 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>SET UP: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Position/Counter Model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Split </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arguments (4 mins) </li></ul>ROLE: Establish the grounds on which the debate will be fought
    22. 22. Definitions <ul><li>Define the meaning, not the words </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t need to spell it out (no “according to the Oxford dictionary…” </li></ul><ul><li>In 3-on-3, definitions are usually clearly stated by the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Context is the best way to go </li></ul><ul><li>Stress less and have fun! </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>The definition must be reasonable </li></ul><ul><li>There must be a debate to be had. </li></ul><ul><li>Unfair definitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time set </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truistic - debate the should not the will </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you’re on the NEG to an unreasonable definition: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t challenge. Ever. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point out to your Adjudicator why the definition is unreasonable but debate the definition regardless. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Team Position <ul><li>AFF: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify problem </li></ul><ul><li>Propose a Solution (Model) </li></ul><ul><li>NEG: (3 Options) </li></ul><ul><li>1/ Accept the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Propose an alternative solution = counter model </li></ul><ul><li>2/ Accept the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Show that the AFF solution exacerbates the problem </li></ul><ul><li>3/ Negate the problem </li></ul>
    25. 25. Speaker Roles …. continued <ul><li>2nd Affirmative </li></ul><ul><li>Rebut (3 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Split </li></ul><ul><li>Arguments (4 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>2nd Negative </li></ul><ul><li>Rebut (3 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Split </li></ul><ul><li>Arguments (4 mins) </li></ul>ROLE: Move the debate forward by developing analysis of existing arguments and introducing new lines of argument
    26. 26. <ul><li>3rd Affirmative </li></ul><ul><li>Intro - biggest point Rebut (7 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Summarise and Conclude (30secs) </li></ul><ul><li>3rd Negative </li></ul><ul><li>Intro - biggest point </li></ul><ul><li>Rebut (7 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Summarise and Conclude (30secs) </li></ul>ROLE: Organise the debate into clear questions/themes to make understanding it easier - then show why you won all of them! “Thematic Rebuttal”
    27. 27. How it all happens…..
    28. 28. Secret Topic, 30 minutes ARGHH! <ul><li>NO 1 Rule - DON’T PANIC! </li></ul><ul><li>You know more than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Key is to structure the time you have </li></ul><ul><li>Choice of 3 topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutual Preference System </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Choice of Topics: Example <ul><li>That all you need is love </li></ul><ul><li>That China should float the Yuan </li></ul><ul><li>That trees should have the same legal rights as animals </li></ul>1 3 2 3 2 1 Team of Arts students Team of Eco. students
    30. 30. Timeline for Prep together Walking to the debate! Brainstorm opposition case Individually, with 3rd speaker help 10 minutes Flesh out arguments together 10 minutes Prioritise arguments, build case and split Individually, then together 10 minutes Brainstorm arguments Who Time Activity
    31. 31. Adjudication <ul><li>There are no draws </li></ul><ul><li>Scoring range 70-80 </li></ul><ul><li>No automatic wins or losses </li></ul><ul><li>Adjudicator’s must provide reasons for there decisions </li></ul>
    32. 32. Viv’s Final Tips <ul><li>Don’t introduce yourself!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Make the most of your introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t write out speeches word for word! </li></ul><ul><li>Get clear feedback from your adjudicators </li></ul><ul><li>READ shit </li></ul><ul><li>PARTICIPATE in Comps and practice debates. </li></ul><ul><li>Stress less and have fun! </li></ul>