Evaluating the Effectiveness of Debates as a Communication Strategy
Debate has been used as a tool in education, politics and public discourse for many millennia because it is seen as an effective method of disseminating facts to an audience, either large or small, regarding the whole of a topic. The audience is then tasked with the decision about which “side” they agree with. A definitive structure has not been followed by all debaters because there are different topics, debaters and desired outcomes from the debate. However, debate as a form is a good way to communicate an idea, determine the different sides of the topic and to decide whether a position is relevant or not.
The debates which were conducted in the class had the advantage of being structured in a formal way. The idea was to present a topic logically and see what side won via strength of presentation. The proposition had to be understood and prepared for. It has to be understood that “controversy is an essential prerequisite of debate” (Freeley & Steinberg 2005: 43) and that the controversy must be minutely understood. Freeley & Steinberg also state that “To have a productive debate, which facilitates effective decision making by directing and placing limits on the decision to be made, the basis for argument should be clearly defined” (2005: 45), and that “the phrasing of the proposition must be clear, specific, devoid of ambiguous terms, and precise in the statement of desired decision” (2005: 47). So the preparation for a debate is that the person who holds an opinion must have studied the proposition in question. Walking into a debate unprepared is an impossible task and will not convince anyone. Thus, for debate to be an effective communication tool, there has to be preparation on the part of the debaters.
The preparation and delivery of the idea also entails an understanding of both sides of the proposition. Cioffi said, “such essays look not only for confirmatory evidence (that is, evidence to support a given position), but disconfirmatory evidence as well. And they end up using both kinds of evidence to develop their ideas. They aim not merely to persuade but to give as fair and honest and complete an analysis as possible” (2005: 3). Of course, this quote is specifically talking about argumentative essays, but the thought applies to verbal debate as well. The person who wishes to communicate via debate must understand that there are two positions. Without knowledge of the two positions it is impossible to successfully state the correctness of one’s own side.
If a person does not understand the two different sides prior to beginning the debate they may have some difficulties convincing people that they are in the right. It is a fact that, “asserting something to be true is no guarantee that what is being asserted is true” (Holowchak 2004:22). Strength of debate lies not in loudness, but in making relevant points that will persuade people to the arguer’s side. Since, as Govier says, “If an argument has a flaw of relevance, the added premises are likely to be unacceptable” (1997: 151). The debater, thus, needs to not only understand what the two sides are to a particular debate in order to maintain good communication, but they must see that there are no flaws in the argument that they present.
A debater not only needs to prepare and understand both sides of the topic, but they must understand the structure of the debate. As mentioned above, a formal structure does not have to be adopted, but some logical form, where both sides have a chance to air their views, is necessary. Sather explains that first the debater (or debating team has to “explain any ambiguous words, second, set any limits to the debate and third, interpret any as a whole and state exactly what connection you are going to try and prove” (1999:7). Even when it is called an argument and is between two people over a back fence, the debate has an informal structure that starts with a statement of terms. While the debate is going, since it is sometimes difficult to recall the specific details of the original proposition, a restatement of the topic may be necessary. “At its simplest, restatement involves nothing more that repeating the main idea” (Kane 1988: 81). In most debates, this is done many times as the opponents try to make sure that they are being heard and that the definition of the debated topic is clear. The structure is then completed when someone summarizes the position. “A summary speaker has been compared to ‘a biased news reporter’, going over the various arguments that have already been made but implying that your side has won them all” (Sather 1999: 9). Even in the basest “arguments” this is true. It may be done while storming off, but a summary statement or gesture is made.
A formal debate also often involves more than one person per side and they must know what the debate is about and trust the others engaged on their side to state the question clearly. Thinking of a political debate, politicians need to understand that they can trust the others on their team to agree with the basic premise that is being proposed. Without some trust in the people who will be forwarding the argument, it will break down (Kee 2006: 13). Of course, debate does not have to be a team exercise, but it is best if others can bring points that one alone may not think about. Also, other people may have strengths that one person will not possess that could present the topic better (Kee 2006: 13).
Oftentimes, even the simplest of questions will be debated, and for that debate to be successful it needs to have some certain elements. The people involved must be prepared, understand that there are two sides to the issue, and they have to follow a logical structure or they are not going to be successful in their attempt. Debates of this sort are an effective means of communication mainly because they follow a logical path that it is difficult to counter.
However, the debater must be prepared to consider the other side. Even in preparation, some points may be missed. If this is the case and the other debater makes a strongly relevant case, then true communication only happens when the other side of the proposition acknowledges this. Debate as a form of communication may be foreign to many people because they have determined that they are not going to listen to what is said and that they are going to just thrust their particular opinion at the other person. However, communication being a two way street, this is where debate breaks down and pure argument begins. Thus, for debate to be an effective form of communication, it has to be an agreed upon two-way street.
Cioffi, FL 2005, The imaginative argument: a practical manifesto for writers, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Freeley, AJ & Steinberg, DL 2005, Argumentation and debate: critical thinking for reasoned decision making, Thomson Wadsworth, Australia.
Govier, T 1997, A Practical Study of Argument, 4th edn, Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, California.
Holowchak, A 2004, Critical reasoning & philosophy: a concise guide to reading, evaluating, and writing philosophical works, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Md.
Kane, T 1988, The New Oxford Guide to Writing, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Kee, C 2006, The art of argument: a guide to mooting, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, Victoria.
Sather, T 1999, Pros and cons: a debater’s handbook, Routledge, New York, [Electronic book].
Spurr, B 2005, Successful essay writing for senior high school, college and university, New Frontier Publishing, Epping, N.S.W.
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!