Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Debate Writing - A Comprehensive Writing Guide

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14 min read

debate writing

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words when it comes to articulating your thoughts in a debate?

The inability to formulate your thoughts in a debate can be a significant obstacle, hindering your ability to express yourself effectively. But don’t worry!

If you’re someone who’s wandering around trying to find the secrets to craft an outstanding debate speech, we’ve got your back.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to debate writing, types, format, some tips, and debate examples, so you can understand how to pen down the perfect debate.

Let’s get going!

On This PageArrow Down

  • 1. What is Debate Writing?
  • 2. Types of Debate
  • 3. Debate Writing Format
  • 4. How to Write a Debate?
  • 5. How to End the Debate?
  • 6. Debate Writing Tips and Tricks
  • 7. Advanced Techniques for Debate Writing 
  • 8. Debate Writing Examples
  • 9. Debate Writing Topics for Students 

What is Debate Writing?

A debate is a formal contest of argumentation where two opposing teams defend and attack a given resolution. Similarly, it is also a persuasive manner of speaking to convert one’s opinion into your viewpoint.

Here, the speaker either speaks for or against a particular topic being discussed. Moreover, it is the process of preparing and writing the debate before its formal presentation.

Features of Debate Writing

The following are the main features of debate writing.

  • Informative - A good debate must provide complete information and facts. It is supposed to inform and educate people with the help of logical reasoning.
  • Well-reasoned - The arguments discussed in a debate must be logical, relevant, competent, and well-explained.
  • Persuasive - A debate must emphasize strong arguments to convince the people.
  • Orderly - A debate must present the facts in a structured and organized form. It should also follow a specific format.
  • Dynamic - In a debate, two teams present opposing arguments. Similarly, all the important points must be questioned and answered by each team member.

Types of Debate

The following is a detailed description of common debating types that are practiced on various occasions. 

  • Team Policy Debate - It consists of two teams, each with two debaters. The main aim is to present a huge amount of data coherently.
  • Cross-examination Debate - It is considered a period between speeches. Here, the opponents ask each other to clarify and understand the points based on evidence.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate - It is a one-on-one and an open-style debate. Here, the debaters focus on arguing for or against a topic persuasively and logically.
  • Spontaneous Argumentation - Includes two teams that argue on a specific idea, but it does not require much research work. Similarly, this debate focuses more on presentation than content.
  • Public Forum Debate - It includes arguments on controversial topics. Moreover, these are used to test the argumentation, cross-examination, and refutation skills of the debaters.
  • Parliamentary Debate - It consists of two teams, one called the government and the other called the opposition team. The Government team proposes a motion, and the Opposition team argues against it.

Expert Tip

If you want to learn more about the different debating types, head to over comprehensive blog on types of debates.

Debate Writing Format

The debate writing for middle or high school follows the same format structure. Here, we have mentioned a detailed format for you to get an idea of the parts of a debate.

Opening Statements and Clarification

It includes opening sentences with three key arguments and clarifying questions.

Pro Team - 5 minutes
Con Team - 2 minutes
Con Team - 5 minutes
Pro Team - 2 minutes


In this section, the debaters repeat and analyze the opponent’s arguments and position.
Pro Team - 3 minutes
Con Team - 3 minutes


Here, the debaters will summarize their positions after detailed arguments with the opposing team. Similarly, it also allows them to explain why their opinion is best.

Pro Team - 3 minutes
Con Team - 3 minutes

After a detailed discussion, each team must answer the questions in a 20-minute-long session.

Check out the given debate writing template to get help with structuring your debate.

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How to Start a Debate?

When starting the debate writing process, the question “How to write a debate introduction?…” could come off as a daunting one, but don’t worry.

Here are some easy steps for you to write a compelling debate introduction.

speech examples

1. Impressive greeting and strong opening sentence:

Greet your audience with enthusiasm, capturing their attention with a compelling opening statement that sets the tone for your debate.

2. Tell a personal story:

Connect emotionally by sharing a relevant personal anecdote that humanizes the topic, making it relatable and engaging.

3. State an amazing Fact:

Introduce a surprising or impressive fact related to your debate topic to pique interest and establish credibility.

4. Use a powerful quotation:

Incorporate a thought-provoking quote that aligns with your argument, adding depth and authority to your speech.

5. Ask a rhetorical question:

Pose a rhetorical question to stimulate critical thinking among your audience, encouraging them to ponder the issue at hand.

6. State a problem:

Clearly articulate the problem or challenge associated with your debate topic, highlighting its significance and relevance.

7. Share your opinion about the topic:

Express your stance on the matter, providing a concise preview of your argument and setting the stage for the forthcoming points in your debate speech.

How to Write a Debate?

Following are the steps you can stick to for writing a debate speech that lets you stand out from the competition:  

1. Understand the Debate

The first of many steps in debate writing is understanding its nature. Here, both teams will be given a topic, and they will choose an affirmative or negative stance.

2. Research the Topic Thoroughly

Brainstorm and research the topic thoroughly to understand all the aspects of the debate. Make a list of critical points and use credible sources to cover them in your key arguments.

3. Develop a Debate Outline

Develop a basic debate speech outline that consists of three main sections. It includes an introduction, body, and conclusion that are discussed below in detail.

  • Debate Introduction

    It is the first section of the outline that includes an attention grabber. Introduce your topic and present the context with the help of a thesis statement. Also, provide a brief overview of the students’ arguments to understand the direction of the debate.

  • Debate Body

    It is the main section of the debate that discusses the key arguments in detail. Moreover, it further includes logical reasoning and evidence to support the thesis.

  • Debate Conclusion

    The conclusion is the last chance to demonstrate significant ideas. It summarizes the main body by adding emotion and drama to the words and includes a strong closing sentence.

4. Writing the Debate

Start writing the final draft of your debate. Mention the crucial elements of persuasion, which are ethos, pathos, and logos. These are used to explain the effects of the resolution in the real world.

Also, use transition words to maintain a logical flow between paragraphs. Lastly, edit and proofread your work to avoid plagiarism, grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.

Here is a great example of a well-written debate introduction:

“Ladies and gentlemen, today's motion is 'Should virtual reality be integrated into the education system?' I'm [Your Name], opening for the affirmative side. We'll show how virtual reality can revolutionize education. Let's begin with our first argument.”

If you’re thinking, “How to write a debate greeting?”, take a thorough look at the detailed steps below: 

1. Address the Audience:
Begin by addressing the audience politely and respectfully. You can say, “Ladies and gentlemen,” “Honorable judges,” or “Esteemed colleagues.”

2. Express Gratitude:
Express appreciation for the opportunity to speak. You can say, “I am grateful for the chance to participate in this important debate.”

3. Introduce Yourself:
Briefly introduce yourself, including your name and any relevant affiliations or roles. For example, “My name is [Your Name], and I am representing [Your School/Organization].”

4. Acknowledge the Opponent:
If you are in a formal debate with opposing teams, it's a good practice to acknowledge your opponents. You can say something like, “I want to extend my respect to the opposing team for their efforts in today's debate.”

5. Establish Rapport:
Establish a rapport with the audience by connecting with them on a personal level or by mentioning a shared experience or interest related to the topic. This can help you build a connection and engage your audience.

6. Relevant Quote or Anecdote:
Consider starting with a relevant quote, anecdote, or thought-provoking question related to the topic. This can capture the audience's attention and set the stage for your speech.

7. State the Motion or Topic:
Clearly state the motion or topic of the debate. This is essential to ensure that the audience knows the context of the discussion. For example, “Today, we are here to debate the motion…”

8. Preview Your Position:
Give a brief overview of your position or stance on the motion. This provides a roadmap for your speech and helps the audience understand where you stand.

9. Enthusiasm:
Convey enthusiasm and confidence in your ability to present your arguments effectively. This can inspire confidence in the audience and judges.

10. Conclude the Greeting:
Conclude the greeting with a transition statement that leads into your main arguments. For example, “With that said, let's delve into the key points that support our position.”

Here's an example of a debate greeting following the steps above:

“Ladies and gentlemen, honorable judges, my name is [Your Name], and I am honored to represent [Your School/Organization] in today's debate. I would like to extend my respect to the opposing team for their hard work. As we gather here to discuss the motion, 'Should students have homework?' I am excited to present our compelling arguments in favor of this crucial educational practice. With that said, let's delve into the key points that support our position.”

If you have the question, “How to write a debate against the motion?” in mind, look at this step-by-step procedure below:

1. Understand the Motion:
Begin by thoroughly understanding the motion or topic you are opposing. Ensure you know what it means and what specific aspects you need to address.

2. Research and Gather Information:
Research to gather relevant information, facts, and evidence to support your opposition to the motion. Be well-informed about the topic.

3. Develop Your Arguments:
Identify the key points and arguments you will use to oppose the motion. These should be clear, concise, and well-structured. Each argument should relate to the motion and contribute to your opposition.

4. Organize Your Arguments:
Organize your arguments in a logical order. Start with your strongest argument and follow with supporting points. Use a clear and consistent structure for your arguments.

5. Anticipate Counterarguments:
Consider potential counterarguments that the other side might present, and prepare responses to them. Anticipating and addressing counterarguments strengthens your position.

6. Use Evidence:
Support your arguments with evidence, such as statistics, expert opinions, examples, and anecdotes. Citing credible sources adds credibility to your opposition.

7. Address the Motion's Assumptions:
If the motion is based on certain assumptions, challenge or question these assumptions. Explain why they may not hold in your opposition.

8. Craft Your Introduction:
Begin your debate with a compelling introduction. State the motion, provide a brief overview of your opposition, and grab the audience's attention. You can use the PAS (Problem-Agitate-Solution) format for your introduction.

9. Structure Your Speech:
Divide your speech into clear sections, including an introduction, arguments, counterarguments, and a conclusion. Each section should flow logically into the next.

10. Use Persuasive Language:
Use persuasive language and rhetoric to make your arguments more compelling. Emphasize the importance of your points and why the audience should consider your opposition.

11. Rebut and Refute:
In your debate speech, address the arguments put forth by the other side and provide a strong rebuttal. Refute their points using evidence and logic.

12. Provide a Conclusion:
Summarize your key arguments, restate your opposition to the motion, and make a strong closing statement. Leave a memorable impression on your audience.

13. Practice and Delivery:
Practice your speech to ensure that you can present your opposition confidently and persuasively. Work on your speaking skills, including tone, pace, and clarity.

14. Engage with the Audience:
Engage with the audience by making eye contact, using gestures, and varying your voice. Connect with your audience emotionally and intellectually.

15. Be Open to Questions:
Be prepared to answer questions from the audience or the opposing team during the debate. Respond confidently and with poise.

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How to End the Debate?

End the debate by making sure that you have included the following elements. It will help you assess the credibility of your debate.

  • Does your debate start with an interesting greeting?
  • Does it provide original content, personal experience, and a call to action?
  • Does the debate follow a proper format structure?
  • Does it include the correct sentence structure?
  • Does it maintain logical transitions to flow ideas from one paragraph to another?
  • Have you proofread or revised it for common mistakes such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
  • Does the debate mention your opinion about the given topic?
  • Does the debate end with a powerful conclusion sentence to leave a lasting impact on the audience?

Debate Writing Tips and Tricks

Here are some amazing debate tips and tricks for you to write a perfect debate:

  • It is better to know and prepare for a debate before starting it
  • Conduct thorough research work to collect relevant data and draft creative arguments about the topic
  • A writer should think relatively to identify the validity of significant claims
  • Try to understand the formal debate through a variety of personal experiences
  • Support the arguments with examples and evidence to make them more credible and authentic
  • Also, consider the perspective of the judges and audience while making a critical argument
  • Always structure your speech while keeping the time limits in mind
  • Do not always disagree with the opponent’s arguments. Instead, you should take notes and think logically
  • Build your case by keeping in mind all the possible objections that others can raise
  • Never make the mistake of introducing new arguments in your closing section

Advanced Techniques for Debate Writing 

Below are some easy debating techniques to write a primary and high school debate.

  • Introduce the topic at the beginning of the debate and form an opinion about it.
  • Know your audience to adjust your argument according to them.
  • Assign the two sides as affirmatives and negatives.
  • Take enough time to research the case and the vocabulary used for it.
  • Organize your opinion and present supporting facts to persuade the audience.
  • Follow a basic debate structure that includes the following period.
  • Get an idea about the opponent’s arguments and advance your research by weakening them.
  • Make a judgment based on the audience’s votes and your opinion about the arguments.
  • Connect to the audience emotionally by presenting examples, evidence, and personal experiences.
  • Incorporate simple, well-timed humor to engage and emphasize your argument effectively

Debate Writing Examples

Check out the following examples of debate writing to get a better idea of the concept.

Expert Tip

If you want inspiration from more examples on various debate topics, visit our comprehensive debate examples blog!

Debate Writing Topics for Students 

The following are some impressive debate writing prompts for students to get started.

  • All schools should conduct compulsory drug testing on their students
  • Middle and high schools must ban sex education
  • Is it ethical to move in before getting married?
  • Academic institutes should ban smoking on college premises
  • Peer pressure is harmful to students
  • High schools should provide daycare services to students who have children
  • The government should develop nuclear energy for commercial use
  • Celebrities can get away with crime more easily than non-celebrities
  • Cell phones should not be used in classrooms
  • Money motivates people more than any other factor in the workplace

Expert Tip

Head over to our list of debate topics to choose from a wide range of unique debate writing ideas.

To sum it up, 
This comprehensive guide to debate writing will help you write a perfect one for your high school or college. We’ve covered all the essential details one would need to craft a winning debate.

However, if you think that you could use a helping hand to perfect your debate writing game, we’ve got you covered. 

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Cathy A.


Cathy A.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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