What’s your view?

De­bat­ing is an or­gan­ised clash of good ideas that helps you to de­velop valu­able and use­ful life skills



HAVE you ever come across a word in the news­pa­per that you have not seen be­fore or don’t know what it means? This week’s word is CYN­I­CAL Def­i­ni­tion:- show­ing con­tempt or dis­trust for some­thing

What’s on­line

NiE on­line is an in­te­gral part of the pro­gram and pro­vides ex­tra in­for­ma­tion and re­sources that sup­port this page. Go on­line by vis­it­ing your news­pa­per’s web­site. You’ll find the ad­dress on the front page. Look for the NiE logo at the top of the page and click. This will link you to APN’s NiE web­page. IT IS all very well hav­ing your say, but do you re­ally know how to form an ar­gu­ment and de­bate an is­sue?

In ed­u­ca­tion, work and life in gen­eral, be­ing able to struc­ture ar­gu­ments, make con­vinc­ing anal­y­sis and present your thoughts or ar­gu­ment to oth­ers is a highly val­ued and use­ful skill. De­bat­ing al­lows you to im­prove all th­ese skills.

What is a de­bate?

Un­like the ar­gu­ments you might have with your fam­ily or friends, a de­bate is an or­gan­ised clash of good ideas. It is a con­test be­tween two teams. It is like a ten­nis match where each side, fol­low­ing the rules set down, throw ideas back and forth to de­feat the other team.

Two sides speak al­ter­nately for and against a par­tic­u­lar con­tention usu­ally based on a top­i­cal is­sue. Each per­son is al­lo­cated a time they are al­lowed to speak for and any in­ter­jec­tions are care­fully con­trolled.

Each side em­ploys worth­while ev­i­dence to pro­mote their view­point and to re­but the ev­i­dence given by the other side to con­vince oth­ers that their views are right and per­suade the judges that they have won.

Tips for de­bat­ing

Re­search the sub­ject to find facts to back up your views and val­i­date your stance.

Use logic to de­velop your case and make your points. Lead each point on from what you were pre­vi­ously say­ing. That way you build up a story and ex­pand your an­swer.

It’s al­ways good to be pre­pared,


Aus­tralia’s Monash Univer­sity – rep­re­sented by Nita Rao and James Beavis – won the 2013 world de­bat­ing cham­pi­onships open cat­e­gory. This is the third time in a row the univer­sity has been crowned world cham­pion.

Aus­tralia’s Bo Seo (best speaker of the tour­na­ment), Zoe Brown, Nick Salmon, James Strat­ton and Ty­rone Connell won the 2013 World’s School De­bat­ing Cham­pi­onships. The World Schools De­bat­ing Cham­pi­onships is a global com­pe­ti­tion for high school de­baters. The Cham­pi­onships take place each year in a dif­fer­ent coun­try. This year’s event was held in Turkey. so con­sider the counter ar­gu­ments in ad­vance. That way the other side can not­catch you out and you are al­ways pre­pared.

Be open-minded and pre­pared to change your opin­ion if the other side con­vinces you your ar­gu­ment is flawed.

In the heat of a de­bate it is easy to lose your cool and at­tack the other per­son for hav­ing a dif­fer­ent opin­ion to you.

Stick to the sub­ject be­ing de­bated.


In de­bat­ing each team presents points in favour of their case. They also spend some time crit­i­cis­ing the ar­gu­ments pre­sented by the other team. This is called re­but­tal. There are a few things to re­mem­ber about re­but­tal:

Pick the im­por­tant points – try to re­but the most im­por­tant points of the other side’s case.

“Play the ball” – do not crit­i­cise the in­di­vid­ual, crit­i­cise what they say. Be­ing able to de­bate a topic is a great skill so get into some class de­bat­ing. Here are a few top­ics that you might like to use.

So­cial net­work­ing sites are harm­ful

An­i­mal test­ing should be made il­le­gal

Beauty not brains gets you ahead in life

There shouldn’t be any zoos in the world Peer pres­sure is ben­e­fi­cial Stu­dents should be re­quired to wear uni­forms at school

Tele­vi­sion is bet­ter than books What’s a topic you would like to de­bate?

News in the spot­light

DIS­CUSS the fol­low­ing topic and let us know what you think.

On­line Bul­lies

School bul­ly­ing used to be some­thing that stopped at the front gate and home time was a guar­an­teed es­cape from the tor­ment. Th­ese days stu­dents no longer have that lux­ury as more and more bul­ly­ing oc­curs on­line in­stead. The rise of so­cial me­dia and photo-shar­ing apps has made it eas­ier for bul­lies to tar­get oth­ers and harder for them to be caught.

MP Wyatt Roy is Queens­land’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Coali­tion’s on­line safety work­ing group, which aims to make a safer cyber-world.

“This is not about vil­i­fy­ing or de­mon­is­ing so­cial me­dia and all the pos­i­tive ben­e­fits that it brings to our so­ci­ety,” he said. “This is about en­sur­ing that our young peo­ple are equipped to deal with the chal­lenges they may face on­line and are able to pro­tect


In your opin­ion

SO­CIAL me­dia should be banned be­cause it en­ables bul­ly­ing and cre­ates un­safe be­hav­iour.

Let us know what you think. Go to NiE on­line and post your


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