What is debating?

Debating is a formalised exchange of ideas. Unlike arguments in the pub, debating follows an established set of protocols to emphasise the nature and structure of arguments above shouting people down.

The format we follow is British Parliamentary. A debate is composed of four teams, two in favour of the thing being discussed, and two against it. Teams are randomly allocated to positions 15 minutes before the debate begins, so you will often find yourself arguing for something you personally disagree with. This teaches you to think on your feet, and means that the ability to construct arguments is more important than having memorised lots of subject matter.

British Parliamentary debating is largely defined by established conventions, rather than hard and fast rules, but you can get a more detailed overview of the format here.

Don’t worry too much about the ins and outs of the format, we’ll teach you everything you need to know. The important thing to remember is that debating is a competitive challenge that focuses on forming arguments and public speaking.

See Also

The Union

The Aberystwyth Debating Union was founded in 1872, and meets weekly to foster the use of debate as a means of exploring ideas.

Qui tacet, consentire videtur.

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