Nova A.
Nova A.

Learn Different Types of Debate and Win the Debate

5 min read

Published on: Sep 29, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 25, 2022

Types of Debate

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Debates can be a great way to increase your speaking and writing skills. It increases an opportunity to listen and speak in class, which is why debate writing requires proper structure to support your argument and present it clearly against other sides of an issue or topic.

Some people are not aware of the many different types of debate. Therefore, read this blog post and learn about them to make a perfect speech for whichever occasion you find yourself in.

What is a Debate?

A debate is an organized argument where two sides discuss the topic from different perspectives. This can be a contest between people, ideas, or concepts.

The "Pro" side believes they have all possible answers while conversely believes their opponents don't know what's best for them. However, rather than simply argue back-and-forth without any sense of logic, debaters must use examples/evidence as well.

The aim of a debate is not just to convince the opposition but also to understand why you are right. Therefore, when both sides can agree on something or one side's arguments sound more convincing than others, that will ultimately decide who wins this argument in a debate. In a formal debate, the mediator will decide who wins. However, in an informal debate, it can go on until one side gives up.

Moreover, a well-written debate will leave an impression on the audience that lasts for quite some time. The proper format and structure are necessary to write a speech, so you can easily grab the reader's attention from start to finish.

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How Many Types of Debate?

Debates are a way for people to argue their points of view. They can be used at any level, including high school, collegiate levels, and in the political arena.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

  • Parliamentary Debate

The purpose of a parliamentary debate is to support or attack potential legislation. They cannot be postponed or delayed because of a lack of research, and it greatly stresses logic and persuasiveness - two important qualities for any good debater.

Moreover, it is the most common type of debate used in parliament and assemblies because it has similarities to British parliament debates.

You will be given 15-20 minutes before each round to prepare your debate, and you are only allowed to bring pen and paper with you into the prep room.

A round of parliamentary debates consists of six speeches: four constructive ones and two rebuttal speeches.

The following are the speeches and their times:

Member of Government Constructive (MG)8 min.
Prime Minister Rebuttal (PMR)5 min.
Prime Minister Constructive (PMC)7 min.
Member of Opposition Constructive (MO)8 min.
  • Team Policy Debate

The oldest, still popular type of debate in the United States is team policy. The teams are made up of two debaters who compete against each other in eight speeches, four constructive and four rebuttals, plus cross-examination, presenting large amounts of evidence quickly with coherency.

Moreover, it is the most common type of debate in high school and colleges. It is focused on evidence gathering and organizational ability. It's important to know that the cross-examination period can also be used as a strategy in order to defeat your opponent.

  • Cross-Examination Debate

Cross-examination is a new type of college debate that takes place between speeches. It can be considered the procedure where an opponent debater asks questions to clarify better and understand their opponent’s point.

A cross-examination debate provides you with an opportunity to engage your opponent and demonstrate that you are confident in speaking persuasively.

  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The Lincoln-Douglas debate is a one on one and an open-style debate. Its main purpose is not just to persuade but also to clearly and logically argue one's point. It provides an open platform for people from all walks of life to voice their viewpoints freely.

To avoid the rote memorization and repetition many young debaters face, they should focus on logical reasoning to support a general principle. Also, the Lincoln-Douglas format is not complex.

  • Spontaneous Argumentation

Spontaneous argumentation (SPAR) debate is a great way for students to build their speaking and debating skills. The debaters draw topics at random, then spend just minutes preparing what they'll say. They focus more on presentation than content because there's no need for research-heavy arguments in these kinds of discussions.

Preparing this type of speech seems less daunting than other speeches where you require an extensive amount of time.

  • Public Forum Debate

Public forum debate is a great way to get engaged and learn about current events. It includes two teams of debaters who argue on controversial monthly topics.

The round begins when one team wins a coin toss between themselves (either Pro or Con). Then, they will have 3 minutes before presenting arguments. It consists of eight speeches total, and the judge decides the winner.

Also, this debate is a great way to test students' argumentative and cross-examination skills.

  • Academic Debate

Academic debate is a great way to develop your educational skills and learn about new topics. The choice of format can take from many different speeches, like Lincoln Douglas.

With debate competition, students learn how to prove their point of view in front of others. Also, improve writing and thinking skills.

  • Leaders Debate

It is also known as a presidential debate where the candidates expose themselves to potential voters. They are broadcast on radio, and the internet lives by media corporations or organizations not associated with any government body.

  • Constructive Debate

In the constructive speech, you want to support your main arguments with evidence and reasoning. To do this effectively, you must introduce in an interesting way that captures the audience’s attention.

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Tips for Giving a Great Speech

Here are some tips for giving an engaging speech in front of an audience.

  • Choose the best debate topic.
  • Know the different formats of debate.
  • Prepare yourself ten minutes before the debate.
  • Pick a theme and stick to it.
  • Understand the different kinds of debates.
  • Consider what your audience wants to hear.
  • Speak slowly.
  • Participate in different debate tournaments.
  • Use the power of eye contact.
  • Be confident.

Choosing the correct debate type is indeed confusing for most students. But if you want a great chance at winning your argument, you must know the debate type and prepare with confidence and clarity from start to finish.

And if you are unsure about your writing skills, consult the best essay writing service like We have subject specialists with the right expertise and guarantee to deliver your work within the given deadline.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now and get help from professional writers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the techniques of debating?

Here are some common techniques of debating:

  • Stay on topic.
  • Take notes.
  • Be confident.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Prepare your topic.

What are the 3 types of argument?

The three main types of argument are:

  • Toulmin argument
  • Classical argument
  • Rogerian argument
Nova A.


Nova A., Marketing, Literature

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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