8 junio, 2024

Debate: what it is, characteristics, structure, types, rules, examples

We teach you what a debate is, its characteristics, participants, types and its rules. Finally we give examples of topics for discussion.

What is a debate?

He debate It is a structured conversation where one seeks to compare various opinions on a particular topic. When debating, a discussion is carried out in turns, present arguments and replies with the aim of defending opposing positions or opinions.

In order to formulate a debate, it is necessary define a main theme that can be discussed. It is also convenient to establish rules of participation, as well as the format with which it will be carried out. Participants should prepare in advance in the case of formal discussions.

It is convenient, especially in a formal debate, to carry out an investigation and analysis of the information to be discussedin addition to having someone to moderate the exercise, giving each participant a turn and presenting the topic to be discussed.

Characteristics of a discussion

– HE argue ideas to generate an organized conversation on a specific topic that may be controversial.

– Your goal is to reach a argued conclusion that allows those who witness the debate to form an opinion or clarify it.

– To be carried out, you need at least two people or two teams who defend a different position. However, there are discussions involving three or more people.

– In order to discuss in an organized manner, it is necessary to establish and explain the rules from the beginning.

– Each participant must do use of the word in turns and respect both the period assigned to comment and the exposure time of the opponents.

Sometimes a winning person or team is chosen at the end of the exercise, based on their ability to argue, as well as to present.

– The person who moderates is responsible for the debate taking place in order and that each participant has an equal turn to argue their position.

Participants in a discussion

In a debate there are three types of participants:

Participants: people participating in the debate who will face each other in the discussion of the topic, defending a position contrary to or different from that of their opponents. Not in all cases these are individual positions, since the discussion can also be structured around groups or teams that defend a certain opinion. They must know and be prepared on the subject in question and know how to defend their position by counterarguing when necessary.
Moderator: person who is in charge of explaining the rules at the beginning, as well as ensuring that the discussion is carried out in an orderly manner, taking turns to speak and ensuring that both the rules and the times allotted for arguing are respected. There are times when this figure is not present, especially in informal discussions.
Public: It is not essential that the debates are carried out with the presence of an audience, or the audience can even be in another space and follow the discussion through a means of communication or digital format. Depending on the type of profiles to which the debate is being directed, the language must be adapted so that all the people present can follow the discussion.

Structure of the discussion

A debate is organized around four moments that have their own characteristics:

Opening: This is an introduction to the topic that can be presented both by the moderator and with brief contributions from the debaters. In this part, the public is greeted, when there is one, the rules of the discussion are established and clarified, the debaters are introduced and a contextualization of the topic that is being discussed is provided.
development or body: It is generally carried out in blocks, where each participant or team has a previously established amount of time to present their arguments and defend their position. It is important that the opponents interact and contrast their ideas, but the exchange must be orderly. In addition, the moderator may need to intervene to ensure that time is respected and that all debaters listen carefully to their opponents.
Questions and answers: time allocated to ask questions that are of general interest and that can help clarify the message that each debater wants to give. Sometimes they also include participation from the public that asks the debaters directly.
conclusions: This is the last phase of the exercise, where a summary or synthesis of the data and information that was shared throughout the debate is presented. A person or a team can be declared the winner, based on their ability to refute the arguments of the opponents or on a vote of the same public that witnessed the activity.

types of discussion

informal discussions: They do not follow pre-established rules and are based on the improvised presentation of arguments. Nor do they have a well-defined structure, but rather they are built according to the nature of the holdings. In general, in this type of debate there is no person in charge of moderating.
formal discussions: They are based on precise rules and informed in advance to the debaters. It is advisable to include a figure who acts as moderator and who will be in charge of respecting the rules and the established structure of the exercise, observing that it is carried out fairly and that all people are heard.

Rules of a debate

Rules are sometimes included for effective discussion:

Prepare the subject in advance and keep the information organized to be able to present it in an agile and clear way.
Listen carefully to all the people who are participating in the debate.
In moderated discussions, the moderator must intervene when a person does not respect the timesinterrupts, is disrespectful or goes off topic.
defend a position with informed arguments and providing concise data that supports what has been said.
respond politely and calm to the questions of the opponents.
Speak clearlygood tone of voice, without shouting, providing interesting, new information and avoiding detours that make the arguments confusing.
Avoid falling into argumentative fallacies that seek to discredit opponents rather than refute the information they present or that mislead the public and provide partial or out-of-context data.
respect the turn of each debater, without interrupting or counterarguing when it is not the time to do so.
Respect everyone presentwithout contaminating personal relationships and without resorting to insults or personal disqualifications in an effort to counter an idea or argument.
Do not show condescending attitudes or that they underestimate the opponents.

What are the discussions for?

Discussions can serve different purposes:

Analyze a topic and break down different arguments around it.
propose solutions to a collective or social problem.
Reach a conclusion on a controversial topic that worries people and society.
contrast opinions to rescue different ideas and find a common way to approach a topic or a problem.
Know more information and data about a specific fact or situation about which there are not many details.

Examples of topics to discuss

The right to abortion.
In which cases should euthanasia be legalized?
Is the death penalty valid?
How to deal with the phenomenon of migration?
At what age should children start using electronic devices?
Causes and consequences of climate change.
gender inequality in the world.
Reasons to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Arguments to prohibit bullfighting.
The influence of social networks on the self-esteem of adolescents.
Importance of reducing carbon footprint.
Is artificial intelligence dangerous?
Education without blows and without mistreatment.
Environmental solutions to combat the ecological crisis.
The advantages of alternative medicines.
How to avoid war conflicts?
Which system of government is better?
Adult mental health vs. that of the young
How to combat violence against women.
Government strategies to improve public safety.


Debate Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary. Taken from britannica.com.
Conducting a Debate. Taken from edu.gov.mb.ca.

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *