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Lesson five: Responding to questions


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The Debate in the Neighbourhood mentor training programme provides all of the material that you need to begin exploring debate with teaching staff and youth workers in your institution or youth group.

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Lesson five: Responding to questions

  1. 1. Questions in debate Cross-examination - debaters ask each other questions during designated periods in debate
  2. 2. CROSS -EXAMINATION What is the purpose of cross-examination in debate: different types of questions
  3. 3. CROSS -EXAMINATIONClarify the Opponent’s argumentsQ: I am sorry, our team missed your last point… Could you please explain…?
  4. 4. CROSS -EXAMINATIONAsk for additional informationQ:Do you have any statistics on this point ?
  5. 5. CROSS -EXAMINATIONForce your opponent to commit to a positionQ: You said that the freedom of an individual is the greatest value. Is it always right? What about cases when individuals can potentially endanger others?
  6. 6. CROSS -EXAMINATIONExpose bad argumentsQ: You have said that advertising has no effect on the viewers but then why would companies like Coca- Cola be then spending all this money if advertising did not work?
  7. 7. CROSS -EXAMINATION• Expose inadequate evidence• Q: You mentioned the fact that after re-introducing capital punishment in California, the crime rate in that state increased. Do you know if that was an increase in violent crime or other types of crime?• A: We have the statistics that show the over-all increase.
  8. 8. CROSS –EXAMINATION- questioner• Treat your opponent with respect and courtesy.• Ask questions in series- follow –up on answers with another question.• Ask short close-ended question: do you agree? Is it correct that?
  9. 9. CROSS –EXAMINATION- questioned• Remain poised and confident• Admit ignorance, if the question demands knowledge of obscure facts.• Exercise the control of the cross- examination period by controlling the timing of your answers.