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How To Start A Debate Against The Motion

How to start a debate against the motion requires the access to information on the topic. Learn how to start a debate introduction against the motion

Debate Against The Motion: Tips To Start

How to start a debate against the motion

Knowing how to start a debate against the motion is quite an exquisite way of ascertaining your win while participating in a debate competition. It requires having in mind some certain things that actively ease the way you oppose the motion while debating. This is because, often times, the group supporting the motion gets to speak or present their arguments first.

Before considering some of the basic tips to know on how to start a debate against the motion and also, how to write a debate against the motion, let's have a succinct definition of debate.

What is a debate?

A debate is a formal argument that involves two or more people expressing opposing views towards the main subject of the argument.

Basically, debate thrives on the art of persuasion and composure—the ability to convince your audience to subscribe to your line of thought as regards the side of the argument you're taking.

Now, how do you start a debate against the motion?

How to start a debate against the motion

As stated earlier, it is advantageous to take note of certain things while debating, especially when you are debating against the motion. This adds extra value to your initial preparations.

1. Listening to the opposition's arguments

Debating against the motion requires you to actively follow the opposition's arguments. Doing this will give you an overview of the opposition's arguments.

It will equally add to the information you have on the argument, the proper way to access the relevant information and how to counter it, and, as well, convince the audience.

2. Note down the point

Also, you can note down the points if required. This might allow you to quickly get your thoughts aligned and fixed on the points. 
Finally, starting a debate against the motion isn't absolutely different from the usual formal way of presenting a debate. It is still the same, only with some slight adjustments if wanted.

Typically, starting a debate requires you to do the following:

1. Debate greetings

This is the usual formal way of debating. You are required to greet the audience, judges and the personalities present in the debate scene.

 However, this needs to be succinct. 

2. Introduction

You are to introduce yourself to the audience. Introduction on your stand regarding the argument, your name and the group you're presenting for.

3. Define the relevant concepts or terms

Definition of terms is equally essential as it gives a quick view of what your arguments is based on. Hence, before starting a debate, ensure you succinctly define the concept as simple as possible.

4. Make use of statistics, qualitative and quantitative outcome of researches 

Ensure these supports your arguments and proves your point. This provides more validity to the information your provide. You can these in easy-to-understand lay magazines or online publications.

5. Make use of quotation

6. Summarize your argument

Reiterate a summary of the points you intended to make and of your high-level reasoning with a statement that declares your thesis to be proven.

Make a short, logical statement about why the other position is not valid.

How To Write A Debate Against The Motion

How To Write A Debate Against The Motion

As a speaker opposing the motion, learning how to write a debate against the motion involves the implementation of certain things. For instance, if you are to write a debate against the motion as the first speaker, you won't have the advantage of starting the debate. This is the advantage the first speaker supporting the motion has, being the overall first speaker from both sides.
However, you can employ the following guides:


At this stage, you succinctly introduce yourself and give a debate greeting. An example of how to write a debate introduction against the motion is:

I am going to set out the case against the motion, with my key arguments being that school is about preparation for working life - where suits and professional dress will be the order of the day, that 'fashionable' uniforms will go quickly out of date (costing parents more to replace) and that the benefits uniforms bring come largely from them being different to what we wear outside school.

Here, you may also introduce your other colleagues and what they are going to say.

2. Definition and interpretation 

This is where the speaker opposing the motion agrees, amends, or rejects the definition of the supporting speaker. If rejected, then justify.

The definition stage entails defining individual or key words of the topic and interpreting the words to mean what they are understood to mean in the context of the topic.

  • Look up words definition from the dictionary 
  • Interpret the topic.
  • Formulate a sentence or short paragraph explaining what the topic means
  • Each team must defend their definition, and attack that of the other team.
  • No one side has a right to the definition. Thus, the definition from the opposition and supporting teams may be different.
  • Also, the team which adopts a quirky interpretation may have a hard time supporting it with credible evidence.

3. Rebuttal

Technically, rebuttal is very essential when you want to write a debate against the motion. However, it is quite unfortunate that most people treat rebuttals as an added extra to their prepared arguments.
A debate is about presenting a good argument, but it also involves listening as the speaker oppose the motion. The opposition speaker must listen to and understand their arguments in order to properly challenge them.
Thus, as the speaker opposing the motion, you wouldn't have the chance to write this down before the debate starts. You will have to write them down during the debate while the supporting speaker is delivering his or her argument.
A rebuttal is necessary to convince the audience that the opposition to the motion is right. In other words, you rebut any notion, assertion, argument, example, statistic, or anything else that will contribute to the collapse of your opposition’s case.
Noteworthy, avoid assuming the role of the adjudicator instead of a speaker giving a rebuttal. You are only required to rebut the argument of the supporting speaker, not adjudicate on it.

For instance, the supporting speaker presented his argument without giving any supporting examples or statistics. Instead of saying “This argument didn’t have an example”, you can say:
Our opposition claimed the threat of artificial intelligence was true, but they couldn’t find a single example where this was the case! We, on the other hand, claimed that is not.. We showed you how this is true by using the following examples . . ."

This prevents you from assuming the adjudicator's role. While rebutting, you can either rebut the supporting speaker's theme or examples and statistics.

4. Introduction of speakers 

This is where the first speaker opposing the motion introduces the co-speakers.

5. Arguments, reasons and evidence

An argument is a distinct point supporting your
side of the motion. The speakers who oppose the motion should structure their argument using the following format:
Firstly, the Label. It is a short and simple statement of what your argument is all about, not an abrupt explanation of it. It is a basic reference to your argument for the adjudicator and other parties.
Secondly, the Explanation. This is a theoretical or abstract explanation of how and why your argument is generally true. It may be long, depending on the complexity of the case.

At the end of this part, your audience member should be thinking, “Sure—I understand why this argument should be true. But does it actu￾ally work in the real world?”

Lastly, The Examples, Evidence and the Tie-back. This is where you convince your audience and adjudicator with real facts. At the end of this part, your audience member should be thinking, “I’m convinced—this argument is true in the real world! But how does this prove the speaker’s overall case?”

The tie-back should answer this second question—by showing exactly how this argument supports your case approach. A useful technique is to answer the question “so what?” about your argument—why is something true, or worthwhile, or worth supporting? 

The answer forms the essence of your tie-back.

6. Summary 

The first speaker for the opposition then needs to sum up their case.

7. Conclusion 

How Do You Debate For Beginners?

Below are some of the tips that can guide you as a beginner. Taking note of these tips can as well determine your preparation and your chance of winning.
  1. Know the debate before it begins
  2. Conduct open and thorough research
  3. Think relatively
  4. Understand the debate through experiences
  5. Relate the content with evidence
  6. Consider the judge's perspective
  7. Make your case
  8. Do not always disagree with everything
  9. After refuting the opponent's case, rebuild your case
  10. Final thoughts


The art of debate requires mastering some basic skills and practicing on them. It requires writing and presenting well articulated argument and intelligent rebuttal, most especially, when the speaker oppose the motion. 



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Pawners Paper: How To Start A Debate Against The Motion
How To Start A Debate Against The Motion
How to start a debate against the motion requires the access to information on the topic. Learn how to start a debate introduction against the motion
Pawners Paper
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