Debate Skills for Presentation, Writing and Interviews

Conducted by
Professor Logandran Balavijendran
Email : /
Office : 151326, Office Tel : 02-820-5586

This course attempts to use debate as a platform to teach, practice and develop dynamic speaking skills and then help students adapt these skills to presentations, writing and interviews. Along the way students will develop critical thinking, listening skills and teamwork. The course will rely heavily on activities and assignments, and will be conducted entirely in English (but this is NOT a course about English!).


  • To teach students debate as a platform to practice and develop effective skills expressing, presenting and speaking in English
  • To teach students to use debate skills for practical purposes with specific focus on Presentations, Interviews and Academic Writing
  • To develop critical thinking, listening and teamwork
  • To give students safe and encouraging environment to practice expressing themselves in English

Class Policies

Language - This class is done in English but is not a class about English. That means I will not be teaching you English in class, nor will I be grading your English (pronounciation, grammar, spelling etc). However if you have questions about the language, please feel free to talk to me about it and I will gladly help you. That said, one of the objectives of this class is to build your confidence using the English language, so all communication (even group assignments) should be done in English.

Assignments - Almost all assignments in class can be re-done, either to get a better score or just to try a different style. All assignments must be redone at most one week after I give you back the assignment, and the topic (or some other component) must be changed. More details will be provided in class.

Evaluation - The emphasis of evaluation for this class is more practical than theoretical, therefore we won't be using a textbook and the majority of your grade will come from assignments. That said, theoretical understanding is also important, so a part of your score will come from quizzes. All quizzes will use material from this website and what was discussed in class, and will be announced at least one week before. The evaluation plan is as follows

  • Assignments - 60%
  • Quizzes - 30%
  • Participation - 10%

Lesson Plan

This is a brief overview of what we will cover this semester. Other items may be added as required.


  • What is an argument? How do we argue?
  • Notes : Types of Arguments
  • Homework - Pro and Con arguments for Any Topic


    Argument Types

    Each time you say something to persuade someone, you are giving them an argument to do something. There are many different kinds of arguments, but almost all of them have the following parts

    • Logic – People born in Korea are Koreans
    • Evidence – Mike was born in Korea
    • Claim – Mike is Korean
    • Reservation - Unless Mike's parents are not Korean

    The claim is your main assertion (the label of the argument). Arguments usually start with a claim. Evidence is some kind of real-world proof or observation (a fact or statistic or quote). The logic connects the claim and evidence. If the logic and evidence are correct, then the claim is proven to be true. The reservation is some exceptional situation, when even if the logic and evidence are correct, sometimes the claim is not true.





    Create association between examples and a more general rule

    3 debaters are coming doing badly, so this class is doing badly


    Create association between things or situations that are similar

    Iraq war is becoming like Vietnam war. We have to deal with North Korea like East Germany

    Cause & Effect

    Create association between cause and effect

    Smoking leads to heart disease. Gambling leads to poverty


    Associate with opinion of experts in the field

    Kofi Annan says we should support the Millennium Plan more


    Connect a situation with a general principle

    Capital punishment is always unjust because it violates the principle of the Right to Life

    Assignments & Quiz

    Assignment One : Detecting Arguments

    This is a group assignment. You will be assigned a debate to watch. In your group, watch the debate and answer two questions

    A) For each of the following roles, state the arguments and rebuttals they delivered.

    1. Prime Minister
    2. Leader of Opposition
    3. Deputy Prime Minister
    4. Deputy Leader of Opposition
    Use a table like the one shown below to answer the question. Do not write down the entire speech, just the arguments. The answer for each speaker should be less than 100 wor ds.

    B) Which speaker is do you think is the most persuasive? Why?
    Please do not write an essay. You can answer in point form as long as it is clearly explained. The entire answer should be less than 150 words.

    This assignment should be typed and printed. Please submit with the names, student numbers and emails of all members.

    Prime Minister

    Leader of Opposition














    Deputy Prime Minister

    Deputy Leader of Opposition














    Criteria for Evaluation

    This Assignment is worth 15 points

    • Accurately identifying the arguments/rebuttals used by all the speakers (3 points per speaker). You don't have to identify all the arguments/rebuttals, just most of them.
    • Clearly explaining your answer for question B
    What I will NOT evaluate
    • Your English - language, grammar, spelling etc. But I would appreciate it if it's easy to read
    • Whether I agree with your choice of best speaker.
    Videos to Watch

    1. This House Supports Abortion for Any Reason

    2. This House Would Disapprove of Dignified Death

    3. This House Would Tax Fast Food

    4. This House Would Abolish Veto Powers in the United Nations Security Council

    5. This House Would Ban Mail Order Brides

    6. This House Would Abolish Minimum Age Requirements to Run for Any Public Office


    Debate - In Class Assessment

    You need to give a 5 minute speech, minus reply speech. Scoring will be based on

    • Length of Speech (1 point for every full 30 Seconds, maximum 10 points)
    • Points of Information (1 point for every question asked and answered, maximum 2)
    • Role Fulfillment (6 points)
      • Carry out your responsibilities as Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Deputy and so on. For more information on what your roles should be, check the notes about the Debate Format
    • Non-Verbal Communication (6 points)
    • Structure and Organization of Speech (6 points)
      • A measure of whether your speech is clearly organized, has an outline and summary and is easy to follow. More details available under Organizing Your Speech

    The scoring range for Role Fulfillment, Non-Verbal Communication and Stucture is as follows

    • 5~6 - Above Average, Excellent
    • 3~4 - Average
    • 1~2 - Poor, Below Average

    Teams will be made randomly in class. You will be given the topic and side in class and have 15 minutes to prepare. You will be scored immediately. If you do not like your score, you can repeat the assignment in the same or different team (but with a different topic). Two teams will be required to repeat this assignment, so if you want to repeat, please let me know early!


    Make Up Assignment for President's Cup

    You will have to judge 3 online debates. Watch any of the following 3 debates and fill the judging form that is attached. You have to submit this to me latest 30th of November

    1. This House Supports Abortion for Any Reason
    2. This House Would Disapprove of Dignified Death (NOT THIS ONE)
    3. This House Would Tax Fast Food
    4. This House Would Abolish Veto Powers in the United Nations Security Council
    5. This House Would Ban Mail Order Brides
    6. This House Would Abolish Minimum Age Requirements to Run for Any Public Office


    Presidents Cup Report-Judges.doc25 KB

    President's Cup Tournament Report

    Write a short assessment on at least 3 Debates that you participated in. Fill in the form below (you can use the template attached) and submit a printed copy to me one week after the President's Cup.

    Name :
    Student ID :
    Email :

    Part A is for each Debate. Repeat as many times as necessary. Part B is about your overall experience, you only need to answer it once.

    Part A : Specific Debate Evaluation

    Debate 1 (Change number as necessary)

    1. What is the topic you debated?
    2. Where you in Government or Opposition?
    3. What was your position?
    4. Did you win the debate?
    5. Write a short summary of your speech in this debate (50 words or less)
    6. What did you do well?
    7. What do you think you can improve?

    Part B : Overall Experience

    1. Please write 3 things you think you learned from this experience
    2. How do you think this experience could have been made better for you?
    3. Which was your favourite speech in this tournament?
    Presidents Cup Report.doc15.5 KB

    Common Arguments

    Here is a short list of arguments that commonly occur in debates or discussions. This will help you quickly think of arguments in a debate.


    • Many great debates in society hinge on the issue of rights. Everyone has rights but giving some people more rights means taking rights away from other people (for example, giving victims the right to live free from fear of criminals means taking away from criminals the right to move or sometimes even live, or giving women the right to abortion means removing the right to life).
    • Here are a list of some established rights – rights that are recognized by most governments and international treaties (like the UN Convention of Human Rights); the Right to
      • Life
      • Education
      • Freedom from Persecution
      • Equal Employment, regardless of Race, Religion, Gender and Sexuality
      • Choose and Practice your Religion


    • In most societies, the right of an individual to choose is considered fundamental. The right to choose their government, what they eat, where they go, what they watch and so on. This is based on the idea that because human beings have the logical capacity to make their own decisions they should always be allowed to do so.
    • Governments usually step in and prevent people from doing things when
      • their actions can harm another person (for example, the choice to drive fast)
      • they cannot make a fully informed or rational choice (because they do not have the capacity or information to choose, like children or if they are misinformed)
      • their choice gives up all choice (like death or slavery – although this is contentious, not every society supports this idea)

    3.The Role of Government

    • From the two arguments above (Rights and Choice) we can see that Governments have a tough job (and by this we mean the government of a country and not the government team). They have to balance between the wants of all the different people in their countries. There are two clear approaches of Government;
    • Big vs Small Government
      • This is a difference of how much involvement a government takes in each person's life. A big government is very involved – they take moral positions, they are more involved in welfare and education. They believe that Government should use their power to make life better for everyone. A Small Government is the opposite – they believe that Government is ineffective and cannot decide for everyone. They believe Governments should only do the things that people cannot do themselves (like national defense or justice) and people should choose everything else themselves.
    • Utilitarian vs Deontological Government   
      • This is a difference of how decisions are made. Utilitarian means what has the most benefit for the most number of people. Deontological means using a principle or idea, a moral sense of right. For example, many criminals re-commit crimes when they are released. A utilitarian position would be, to protect more people, to not release the criminal (or to kill him or her), whereas a deontological view is that the criminal has rights to and another way has to be found.


    • This argument assesses whether something can be done or not, rather than whether it is right or not to do something. This is also known as arguing about practicality argument.


    • This is about the negative reaction to a specific policy or action, from a group of people who are not directly involved. For example, legalizing prostitution could result in backlash from religious or women's groups

    6.Slippery slope / Ripple effect

    • This argument is about the long term effect of a specific act. Often when a government or a person does something, they continue to act in the same way. In the long term, this could have negative (Slippery Slope) or positive (Ripple Effect) consequences. For example, if we legalize euthanasia because we recognize that people with great suffering can choose to die, then the slippery slope could lead to legalizing suicide too. Or legalization of euthanasia could have the ripple effect of recognizing other choices of people with terminal diseases, like their choices of treatment, rights over their property etc.

    7.Message to society

    • This argues that actions send a certain message, and beyond the direct consequence of that action, there can be a message to people that will influence their thought. For example, legalizing prostitution sends the message that women are sex objects.

    Debate Format

    A) Format

    Format is a plan or structure that will guide your debate. If debate is a game, format is the rules. Formats are important because they ensure fairness (balance the time and responsibility of both the teams and all the speakers) and provide a guide to determine the winner of the debate.

    There are many different debate formats (you can even create your own!) but all formats have

    • A topic

    • Restrictions on time

    • What speakers can and cannot do in a speech

    • Different teams and sides

    But remember, formats are a very small part of the debate, these are the only absolute rules that you will have in a debate!


    All-Asian Parliamentary Debate Format


    • Usually 3 topics will be provided and the teams will have to choose one between them. The topic is sometimes called the “motion”. Motions usually start with the words “This House...”, which refers to the history of parliamentary debate – the House of Parliament.

    • There are two teams in every debate, the Government and Opposition. The Government must defend the topic and the Opposition must oppose the topic. Each team has 3 people.

    • Each speaker has 7 minutes to speak. The Government team speaks first, followed by the opposition team. After all 6 speakers have spoken, each team can give one more concluding speech, called a reply speech. This is given by either the first or second speaker of each time and is 4 minutes long.

    • Between the 1st and 6th minute of each speech (except the reply speech) speakers from the opposing side can offer questions to the person speaking. The person speaking can choose when to accept a question, and should accept at least one question during his or her speech. Only once the person speaking has accepted the question, the speaker on the other side may ask the question. The question should be short. There will be knocks or claps to represent the minutes (1 clap at 1 and 6, two at 7).


    B) Roles

    Debate is a team sport. For a team to win a debate and effectively persuade their audience, each speaker has to fulfill his or her responsibilities. Here is a guideline of what each speakers responsibilities are (however, these are NOT rules. These are what is the Best Thing to do when persuading in a team, so it is something you can do whenever you are persuading in a team)




    (PM) Prime Minister

    (LO) Leader of Opposition

    (DPM) Deputy Prime Minister

    (DLO) Deputy Leader of Opposition

    (GW) Government Whip

    (OW) Opposition Whip

    (GR) Government Reply

    (OR) Opposition Reply

    Order of speeches : PM > LO > DPM > DLO > GW > OW > OR > GR



    (PM) Prime Minister

    • Define the debate

    • Outline the gov case

    • Develop 1-2 constructive points

    (LO) Leader of Opposition

    • Accept definition or else redefine

    • Outline the opp case

    • Rebut the gov case

    • Develop 1-2 constructive points

    (DPM) Deputy Prime Minister

    • Reaffirm your team stance

    • Defend the PM’s constructive matter

    • Rebut the LO’s case

    • Develop 1-2 new constructive points

    (DLO) Deputy Leader of Opposition

    • Reaffirm your team stance

    • Defend the LO

    • Rebut the DPM and PM

    • Develop 1-2 new constructive points

    (GW) Government Whip

    • Reaffirm the team stance

    • Defend the DPM and your team case

    • Rebut the DLO

    • Organize the key issues/question/clashes

    • Summarize & reaffirm the team stance split

    (OW) Opposition Whip

    • Reaffirm the team stance

    • Defend the DLO and your team case

    • Organize the key issues/question/clashes

    • Summarize & reaffirm the team stance split

    ( G/OR) Government/Opposition Reply

    • Organize and summarize the issues and/or dynamics of the debate, with commentary on why your side should win. This include reaffirming your own team’s case and rebutting the other team’s case within the overall context of the debate. But don’t get tied up in specific rebuttal points



    Defining your Debate or Discussion

    Definitions are a very important part of persuasion. Often, we fail to persuade people not because we don't have good arguments but because our definition is not clear.

    A) Definition Strategies

    A definition is important to help people understand what you are talking about. Sometimes, to do that it is also important to tell people WHY you are talking about something. So if you think it helps, give people a background to your issue, which will help them understand what you are talking about, and why it is so important.

    There are many different ways to define something. Here are some

    • Define Words – describe and explain the meaning of a word or your plan. You don't have to do this for every word, but only for words that might have more than one meaning. Do not define words as they mean in the dictionary, but how they will affect your debate.
    • Define Comparative elements of the topic – somethings there are words in the motion that ask you assign a value or compare something. You need to explain how that word will affect the debate. You do not need to define that word, but explain how you will be using that word in your debate.(for example, “boys are better than girls” - how will you measure better than in this debate?).
    • Compare to something similar – compare what you mean or want to do with something similar that everyone understands. It is important to explain which part of the comparison is important for your case. Use the form, “it is similar the way that....”
    • Compare with something that is not similar – compare with something that is not what your plan is but could be confused with it
    • Give an example of what you will do
    • Give an example of what you will not do




    Define Words

    This house would prioritize the environment over the economy

    Environment here means all nature and animals, OR Environment here means only nature

    Comparative elements

    This house would prioritize the environment over the economy

    By Prioritize we mean we will sacrifice economic development if it affects the environment, or By Prioritize we mean we will ban development of the Amazon rainforest


    Support the invasion of Iran

    Similar to US invasion of Somalia, in the way that it was quick and fast and only destroyed the targets

    NOT similar to US invasion of Iraq, because it will not be long and we do not want to change the government.


    Ban smoking in all public places

    Examples of what we will do; ban smoking in bus stops, libraries and hospitals

    Examples of what we will NOT do; ban smoking at home, in parks

    Policies and Values

    When you are defining the debate, you are creating the debate. You are deciding what kind of debate you want to have. There generally two kinds of debates you can define

    • Value – this means generally comparing the ideas in the debate without much practical consideration for implementation. Discussing principles.
    • Policy – this means you are trying to solve a specific problem with a specific plan. Policy debates would require more specific details, like an place to solve the problem, who can solve the problem, what needs to be done, etc.

    However the best debates are debates that mix Value and Policy. You can however choose to prioritize one of these elements in your case.




    This House Believes that prisoners have a right to vote

    Debate is about the what rights we remove from prisoners and whether the right to vote is one of them.

    Debate is about the problems that prisoners have without the right to vote and whether we can solve them

    This House Supports the Death Penalty

    Debate is about the right of the state to kill and whether is it fair to exchange one life for another life

    Debate is about solving terrible crimes and the role of the death penalty as a deterrent

    This House Supports Abortion



    This House Support the Right to Use Drugs









    Interview Skills / Points of Information

    Asking Questions

    1. Short and to the point - Don't ramble, it gives your opposition more time to think of an answer
    For example: "The Death Penalty cannot be effective because it people still commit crimes like murder even though there is the death penalty, so that means it doesn't work. What do you think about that?"
    "If the Death Penalty is effective at preventing crime, why has the murder rate increased even in countries with the death penalty?"

    2. Ask questions that require people to take a position. This forces people to defend more things or to be inconsistent.
    "If you support the death penalty, do you also support euthanasia? or Suicide?"

    3. Give examples in your questions - Force people to deal with facts
    "In America, 75% of people on death row are black. Doesn't that show the death penalty is racist?"

    Answering Questions

    1. Direct Answers - Whenever possible, you must answer questions directly. Give short and clear answers. Do not take a long time answering questions as it removes time from your speech.

    2. Structured Answers - Divide your answer into two or three parts, using terms like "Firstly, Secondly" and so on. This gives the perception that you are very reactive and helps people follow your answers easily.

    3. Discussion Answers - If you don't know the answer to the question, try to discuss the answer in your speech. For example, if someone asks you "Who is the best President of Korea", you can start by discussing what is the meaning of "best", for example "Well, for me, the best President is someone who best represents the people. Also, because of Korea's unique situation of division, each President needs to bring the countries closer to unity. Therefore, I think the best President is..."

    4. Buy time before answering - Give yourself some time to think before answering the question.

    • Praise the question and talk about why it is important
    • Make a joke
    • Make a personal reference/anecdote

    5. Use answers to talk about yourself / your position / your team - answers to questions should highlight your strengths. Try to use your arguments/ideas to answer questions. In an interview, always reflect on your strengths or experiences when answering any question.

    Non-Verbal Communication : Dynamic Speaking

    The majority of all communication (some estimate up to 80% or more) is made up of non-verbal communication. That's a little scary, because even if your mouth doesn't say anything, you are still communicating!

    An effective and dynamic speaking is someone who can control non-verbal communication. Here are some quick points to remember:

    • if your non-verbal communication and verbal communication contradict each other, then your audience will trust your non-verbal communication (example: if you say "I'm happy" in a sad voice, people will think you are sad, not happy)
    • if people are suspicious about your non-verbal communication, they won't trust you (example: if you don't look at people when you speak to them, or seem very nervous, it seems like you are hiding something)

    Speaker Credibility

    Speaker credibility is a measure of how much your audience trusts you. This is determined by

    • Expertise - how much you know your subject and the information you have
    • Character - your personal character, are you someone who can be trusted
    • Dynamism - active and energetic, sincere

    Expertise is something you can work on by studying and doing research. Character is something you will take your whole life to build. But Dynamism is something you can develop by practice.

    The 3 Rules of Dynamism

    To be a dynamic speaker, you must

    • Change - have variety in your speaking style
    • Change for a reason - change to emphasize something or to attract attention
    • Stay Natural - even when you change, change within your natural range. Don't act strange

    So to be a dynamic speaker, you must change the elements of non-verbal communication as you give your speech. Everytime you change, you are trying to emphasize something or attract attention (for example, pause before your main point to create suspense, use gestures to draw audience attention). But remember, even when you change, you must be natural. Change within your natural speaking range - don't shout or speak strangely!

    These rules are how we speak when are comfortable, for example when you are speaking with your friends, you change your tone, use gestures and have eye-contact. We don't do them only when we are nervous.

    7 Elements of Non-Verbal Communication

    1. Loudness of Voice
      * There is no perfect loudness, but ensure you speak loud enough for everyone in the room to hear you. Don't be afraid to speak loudly, but don't shout!
      * Change your tone to emphasize ideas. Speak softer to show suspense or sadness, louder to show energy, passion or anger.
    2. Speed of Speaking
      * There is no perfect speaking speed, but speak at the speech which you think people will understand you. If you speak too quickly, people won't understand you and also might think you are very nervous. But if you speak too slowly, people will go to sleep. Keep changing your pace of speech
      * Speak quickly to show excitement and energy, slowly for drama and suspense. If you are saying things that are not so important (for example, quick details or things that are also on a visual aid), you can speak a little quickly. But if you are saying something that is very important, that you want people to write down, you should speak slower and with emphasis.
    3. Gestures
      * We use gestures very naturally when we talk to one another. When we are speaking in public, we should use the same gestures we use when speaking to our friends, except that you need to be a bit more energetic and keep your hands above your waist (so people can see them!)
      * Use your natural "gesture vocabulary", which is a list of hand-signals that we use to show different ideas (for example, how do you show "bigger" or "more"?)
    4. Eye-Contact
      * Eye contact is very important to ensure your audience is paying attention. If you don't look at them, they won't look at you. Scan your audience; try to look at everyone - left to right, far and near.
      * Also, if you don't look at your audience, they might not trust you. It is harder to trust someone who refuses to look at them.
      * Looking at your audience also helps you measure how they are reacting to your speech - if they believe what you are saying or if they are paying attention. Based on that, you can dynamically make changes to your speech (for example, spend a little longer on one part of your speech that they do not seem persuaded, or move around more if they seem like they are losing attention)
    5. Facial Features
      * Your face is an amazing communicator - just by looking at someone you can tell if they are happy, sad, bored, interested, nervous etc. Use that to your advantage by smiling alot, and showing what you feel through your face. It's a great way to hide your nervousness - just smile! :)
      * The face is also reflective. If you smile at someone, it is very likely that they will smile back at you. The same applied for other emotions.
    6. Movement
      * Moving around the stage or speaking area shows the audience that you are confident. It also helps increase the audience attention because there is more activity in front of them.
      * Move smoothly and gracefully - glide across the floor. Don't run!
    7. Body Posture
      * A confident body posture will send a message of strength and sincerity. Don't lean on the podium when you are speaking, because this shows that you are weak. (leaning on the podium also doesn't allow you to use gestures).


    Organizing Your Speech

    A) Organizing Your Speech

    Organization is the most important part of your speech. It allows your audience to clearly understand what you are talking about, and allows you to maximize your speech time. If your speech is not organized, your audience will be confused and won't understand your powerful ideas!

    There are 3 main parts to your speech

    • Opening – your opening statement and outline of your speech
    • Content – all your main ideas, the largest part of your speech
    • Closing – a summary and strong closing statement

    B) Organizing your Ideas

    The power of an idea comes from how that idea is developed and presented. Powerful ideas are ideas that are developed logically and are most relevant to what you are trying to prove.

    In a debate, each different idea or a reason for your team is called an Argument. Teams will have many arguments, and arguments will be used against the other team's arguments. When you are trying to disprove an argument, that is called making a rebuttal.

    Each idea has 3 parts

    • Label : A name for your idea. This helps your audience remember this idea and helps you and your teams to refer to it later in the debate. A label should be short and easy to remember. The label should also make a claim and not just describe something (for example, don't say “Quality”, say “High Quality” or “Improves Quality” or “Best Quality)
    • Explanation : This is the logical development of your idea. Use cause and effect relationships to persuade your audience that your idea is logically related to your topic and is true (for example, “our product is of high quality because it is made of the finest materials. The materials are a very important part of the product, because if the materials fail, then the entire product will fail. This makes our product work accurately and last a long time”
    • Evidence : Even if people believe your logic, they need some real-world proof of your idea. You need to give evidence that your logic is true (for example “our material is composed of 50% titanium, 23% silver and 10% magnozium and 7% hope, which Science Journals rates as the best combination to use”)

    C) Example of Full Speech Structure


    Opening Statement

    This is something interesting that you say to attract the attention of your audience. It should be relevant to your speech and short.

    This can be a greeting, quote, statement, joke.

    Good morning everyone!”

    If we cannot create life, should we remove it?”

    On this day, 30 years ago, Donald Duck first talked about abortion, when he said....”


    Speech Outline

    Briefly state what you are going to be talking about in your speech. This helps your audience understand your speech, and also builds up interest in your speech

    In my speech today I will talk about 3 things, the Right to Life, the Role of Governments, and Second Chances”


    Idea A : Label

    This the name of an Idea

    Right to Life”


    Idea A : Explanation

    The logical explanation of your idea

    The right to life is the most important right any country can give to its citizens”


    Idea A : Evidence

    Proof of your idea

    Every constitution of every country guarantees the right of life”



    Summarize your main ideas to remind your audience of what you said. Be sure to use the same labels you used in your speech

    In my speech today I told you why we should ban the death penalty. I argued that we all have a Right to Life, that this is the main Role of Government and why we all deserve Second Chances.


    Closing Statement

    A powerful ending statement to ensure your audience remembers you

    Just because we want to prevent murder, we all may end up being murderers when we vote for murder”

    ..and I am Very Proud To Propose”


    Other Resources


    • Election Debates : Analysis of Politicians debating by world famous international adjudicators. You can get the videos and analysis of the recent American presidential debates here (Barack Obama vs John McCain)


    arguments warrants class notes.doc107 KB


    Video Analysis

    • Bill Gates Keynote speech at Vista Launch -
    • Steve Jobs, Apple IPod Launch -
    • How to Present like Steve Jobs! -
      • 1. Set the Theme - Identify a theme, and make sure it is clear and consistent throughout the presentation. Choose something simple and memorable.
        2. Provide the Outline - move clearly from one part to another part.
        3. Be exciting and enthusiastic
        4. Sell an experience - connect the dots and put into context for your listeners
        5. Make it Visual - use little text and more images. Don't make it confusing
        6. Create memorable moments
        7. Rehearse, but do not memorize
        8. Bonus at the end of the presentation

    Writing - Using Skills Learned in Debates

    Writing for Business or Academic Purposes

    Write freely - don't edit too much, don't doubt, just write to learn, to express
    Writing should have a purpose - don't write too much, don't write too little


    • Brainstorm your topic
    • Ask questions – what is the purpose of this letter/essay/message? What do I want to achieve? What do I need to prove? What does my audience expect?
    • Organize your ideas, prioritize them – create an outline
    • Check outline for completeness - are you saying everything you want to say? It is too much? Is it unclear?


    • Write draft – write the whole letter/essay as a draft, not just one paragraph
    • Free-write – don't keep stopping to correct yourself. People spend too much time trying to create the perfect start because then you may never get to the middle. Don't assume you know exactly what you want to say before you write everything, or exactly how you want to say it.


    • Edit for fulfillment of your objective – are you doing what you are supposed to do?
    • Edit for organization – are the ideas organized in priority? Does your introduction give a clear idea of what to expect? If someone only reads the conclusion, can they get a clear idea of what you have achieved in your paper? Make a reverse outline – take the key idea from each paragraph and write it down as an outline and see if it makes sense to you. Also, consider creating different sections and using bullets or lists.
    • Edit for transitions – does each paragraph and section connect to each other? Use transition words (however, therefore, in conclusion, secondly..) -
    • Edit for word accuracy – does this word really say what I want to say?
    • Edit for word economy – can I reduce a sentence into one word?
    • Proofread – spelling and grammar


    • Use references – do no plagiarize! It is okay to use other people's work, as long as you give credit for it
    • Use proper capitalization
    • Use a consistent style (font, margin). The focus should be easy to read, not attractiveness. Don't forget to number pages, especially if the document is long.

    Some common mistakes

    • the structure of your message does not need to follow the structure of your source material/subject (historical, book review, movie review)
    • don't write to fill the space
    • don't repeat yourself – you will encourage your reader to ignore you

    To improve you writing skills

    • Write!
    • Read!
    • Take time to edit

    Relation to Debate

    • You are required to have an outline
    • You have to form clear ideas
    • The argument structure is similar to paragraph structure
    • Themes for a speech are similar to themes for an essay
    • Debate discipline helps you form clear ideas to write
    • Writing is a longer more detailed process. There is less direct emotional expression, the medium is less rich.



    Here are your grades so far - view the pdf file attached below.

    • If your grade is missing - don't panic. Please send me an email or come to my office
    • If you grade is wrong - don't panic. Please bring your assignment to me and I will correct it.