Rules for Classroom Debate



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Rules for Classroom Debate


  1. Each group is to agree on two to three significant points of argument.




  1. The “pro” group will read the first point of argument. A debate on the validity of that particular point will ensue, providing others in the group opportunities to elaborate and the “con” group opportunities to counter.




  1. One person speaks at a time. No side discussions!




  1. All comments MUST address the previous student comment directly. You may not simply ignore a comment and shift the argument to an unrelated point.




  1. Each person will credit the source of any statistic, quotation, survey, or other research information AT THE TIME that source is mentioned during the debate.



Structure for Classroom Debate

Total Time Allowance: 15 minutes

“Pro” Point #1 “Con” Objection to Point #1 “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #1

“Pro” Point #2 “Con” Objection to Point #2 “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #2

“Pro” Point #3 “Con” Objection to Point #3 “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #3



Total Time Allowance: 5 minutes

Questions from Audience



Total Time Allowance: 15 minutes

“Con” Point #1 “Pro” Objection to Point #1 “Con” Rebuttal to Point #1

“Con” Point #2 “Pro” Objection to Point #2 “Con” Rebuttal to Point #2

“Con” Point #3 “Pro” Objection to Point #3 “Con” Rebuttal to Point #3



Total Time Allowance: 5 minutes

Questions from Audience



Total Time Allowance: 3 minutes

“Pro” Concluding Remarks “Con” Concluding Remarks



Debate Etiquette

  1. Team members must meet together in preparation for the debate, so they can work together as an effective team. Practice, practice, practice!



  1. All members of each side must participate in the debate.



  1. Do not read your materials.




  1. You may bring some brief notes, but you may not read them.




  1. Maintain good eye contact with the audience.




  1. Use proper language and be polite in referring to your opposing team.




  1. The pro team should write the topic on the board before class begins, listing the names of each pro and con debater in a clear fashion.


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