Grammar, Writing

Introduction to Debate Writing

by VIDYANAND

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What is a Debate?

A debate is a formal discussion on a subject about which people have different opinions. It is like an argument but in a formal setup. For instance, some people are in favour of lavish marriage ceremonies, while some feel that marriages should be simple and low-key affairs. Some people think that computers are important for children, while others feel that they spoil them. These and many more issues can be debated upon by engaging in a persuasive speech.


Debate Writing

  • A debate is a formal way of arguing in favour or against a topic.
  • It is generally in the format of a speech.
  • A debate is presented before an audience.
  • The audience includes students, the Principal and teachers, and may have a Chairperson or a Chief Guest.
  • The speaker’s intention is to win the interest of the audience with persuasive comments expressing his/her stand on the topic. 
  • A good speaker knows what the opposition is going to say and hence is always ready with a counterargument in advance. 

Points to Remember while Writing a Debate

  • Address the audience before you begin your discussion.
  • Do mention whether you are in favour or against the given topic or motion or issue.
  • Write a debate speech of at least 150–180 words.
  • Use short and grammatically correct sentences to present your views.
  • Use a variety of words and phrases to make the debate interesting.
  • Avoid using harsh language or impolite expressions while expressing your opinion.
  • Avoid repetition, as this will make your argument weak and uninteresting.

Debate Examples

EXAMPLE 1

Reservation system should be abolished in India. 

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Reservation system should be abolished in India.

In India, reservation was introduced to uplift the lower strata of society. However, over the years, the reserved classes have been enjoying privileges offered by the government without really contributing to the country’s progress. The equality of opportunity has turned into a chance to misuse the relaxations offered to the lower classes. The result: the lower classes glorify their so-called ‘low’ status and eat into the positions at various levels in the country. 

In the modern times, people receive education irrespective of their caste; they are informed and can fight for their rights. The current reservation system then becomes an obsolete way of evaluating who needs aid from the government. 

The government should amend the reservation system and make a person’s financial status the parameter to offer or withdraw privileges. 

Positions in schools and government offices should be filled taking into account a candidate’s education and financial background. 

This is a huge change, but if brought about, will only produce better citizens who could do the nation proud at the national and the global level. It is time that the present reservation system is abolished in India.

Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Reservation system should be abolished in India.

Although the country has developed at various levels, people are still discriminated based on their caste and religion. The disparity between the privileged and the underprivileged continues to thrive. The reservation system only ensures that the rights of such people are protected. 

Thanks to reservation, more children are getting admitted in schools and colleges. Education is no more the right of the higher classes. If people from the lower castes also receive quality education, then they can find better employment opportunities and help their community prosper and flourish. 

Discrimination has always been a major concern in India since the ancient times. Despite education and social development, a part of the Indian society will always believe that only the upper castes deserve all rights and privileges. The reservation system ensures that discrimination based on caste and religion is under control in India. Therefore, the reservation should not be abolished. 

Thank you. 


EXAMPLE 2

Books should not be made into movies.  

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Books should not be made into movies.

In my opinion, making a book into a movie makes people lazy. It diminishes a person’s interest in reading the book. If you could watch all that happened in the seven books of Harry Potter in one movie spanning a few hours, why would you read the seven books? 

Each reader perceives a book and its components differently. For instance, for some readers, a character might become a hero by the end of the book. However, for others, he might become a villain. Each character, episode or scene is written so that people can think over it. I strongly feel that movies kill the imaginative streak in people. 

A story, its characters and the events are born out of the author’s imagination. You cannot recreate someone’s imagination. Every recreation will be a different version and the uniqueness and originality will be lost eventually.

A movie can never do justice to a book. Books shouldn’t be made into movies.  Thank you.  

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Books should not be made into movies.

Making a book into a movie can generate more readers. Those who saw the movie Harry Potter but hadn’t read the book would surely want to read the book to know more about the characters and the events.

Imagine reading books such as Gulliver’s Travels, The Chronicles of Narnia, Life of Pi, A Christmas Carol, and The Invisible Man; now imagine watching these as movies. Isn’t it more enjoyable to see Gulliver and his encounters with the little Lilliputians? Watching Aslan and the White Witch fight for Narnia is more exciting than reading the book.  

Movies translate an author’s imagination into a series of fast-paced scenes which have a lasting effect on the audience. It makes people relate closely to the characters and the events described in a book. Audiovisual inputs also help children absorb the story better than reading the book. 

I strongly feel that books should be made into movies. Thank you.


EXAMPLE 3

A nuclear family is better than a joint family.  

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – A nuclear family is better than a joint family.

In a joint family, the eldest member, often a male, who is the head of the family, has a say in all the matters concerning his big family. The other members of the family cannot make their own decisions independently. One’s self-respect and identity is often compromised. In a nuclear family, decisions are made after mutual discussions. There is no shifting of responsibility, so the elders can think independently for themselves and the children. 

Women in a joint family have to live in the shadows of the men. They are seldom allowed to have a career of their own. They face many restrictions and are always busy in household work. As a result, they never find time to look after their children or think about themselves. In a nuclear family, a woman is equal to the man of the house. She gets time to take care of herself and can consider having a career. She can make her own decisions. 

Children are not individually looked after by parents in a joint family. They are always attended by the other members as women are always taking care of the huge family. Education is not given utmost importance and children join the family occupation. Children seldom discover their true interests and calibre. On the other hand, the number of children in a nuclear family is lesser than that in a joint family. Therefore, children get individual attention from parents. Parents closely monitor their education and give them an independent but liberal upbringing.

A nuclear family allows its members to lead a better life than a joint family. Hence, it is better than a joint family.

Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – A nuclear family is better than a joint family.

The father and the mother are the only elders in a nuclear family. They have to not only earn but also make time for the other responsibilities towards their children and home. Unlike in a joint family, they aren’t guided by other elders and hence can either make wrong decisions or end up feeling stressed because of too many responsibilities on them. 

Both the parents in a nuclear family have to go out and earn because of the high standard of living in a nuclear family. This often leaves the children alone and unguided. Children may make wrong decisions when they turn to their friends for advice. In a joint family, the older members are experienced and available if children need attention. They can guide the young ones and provide solutions to their problems.  

Women in nuclear families tend to neglect their children, as they too have to work because of the family expenses. Children are often sent off to day-care centres. Therefore, children don’t bond well with the mothers. Mothers are ignorant of the developments in their children’s lives and miss out on being a part of the milestones of their life.

Nuclear families force members to lead an isolated life, and therefore, joint families are better than nuclear families. 

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 4

Education in India should be skill-based rather than knowledge-based. 

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Education in India should be skill-based rather than knowledge-based.

In India, education is more about scoring more marks than acquiring an understanding of the concepts taught to students. Students learn to process facts and information but are poorly engaged in the process of learning. However, they seldom learn how to apply what they have learnt. Skill-based learning teaches students problem solving, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. These help students design a better life for themselves.

Different students have different IQs and interests. Some of them may be good with numbers, some with words, while some might be good with arts and sports. Life skills-based education aims at helping students realise their potential and achieve excellence in their area of expertise. 

Knowledge-based education leads to competition among students and brain wrecking rote learning. This not only destroys a student’s identity but also causes many of them to commit suicide under pressure. Skill-based learning inculcates the values of tolerance and patience in students and teaches them the skills of sociability, money management and even business management.

Skill-based education is a combination of knowledge and skills, and should be encouraged because it produces better individuals. 

Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Education in India should be skill-based rather than knowledge-based.

Skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking and developing interpersonal relationships are no doubt important. However, it is equally important to gain the knowledge of how to think critically, develop interpersonal relationships and solve problems. Therefore, knowledge-based learning should continue in schools as it forms the foundation for students. 

Teaching different life skills to different students will mean a great deal of expenditure. This will be recovered from the students by schools. In a country like India, even today, several children do not have access to basic amenities, leave alone primary education. How will they then afford skill-based education? Knowledge-based education ensures that all children receive at least basic skills at minimum costs.  Skill-based education is applicable only at a higher level when students have absorbed all necessary knowledge. Therefore, education in India should be knowledge-based rather than skill-based. 

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 5

Military service should be made mandatory in India. 

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Military service should be made mandatory in India.

The Indian armed forces are recently finding it difficult to attract bright youngsters to serve their country. Youngsters aspire to become doctors and managers, but no one wants to fight for or protect their country. If military service is made compulsory, the youth of the country will have to offer their services to the nation. 

While our soldiers sacrifice their life at the border, many ignorant youngsters misuse their rights and freedom. They take their responsibility towards the country for granted and often behave in an uncivilised manner. Making military training compulsory will ensure that the country’s youth are obliged to show their commitment towards the nation. It will also help the youngsters understand what goes into protecting one’s country against all odds.

Military service makes you a disciplined individual. Discipline goes a long way in building one’s character. Military service also inculcates the values of integrity and excellence at a young age. Making military service compulsory will help the armed forces train more soldiers and officers to build a better nation.  Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Military service should be made mandatory in India.

Many citizens are reluctant to join the armed forces because individuals in the forces are expected to serve the country before themselves. If military service is made compulsory, youngsters will join the training because they have to and not because they wish to serve their country. This will produce soldiers and officers sticking around only to enjoy the benefits offered by the government. 

Training a soldier involves high costs and time. It also involves sharing confidential details about the country’s army, navy and air force. Therefore, only those with a high level of integrity and commitment towards one’s country should be allowed to join the armed forces. 

Conscription shows successful results in countries with smaller populations. In India, it can lead to mismanagement and regional discrimination. Therefore, military training shouldn’t be made compulsory in India.  

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 6

Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home. 

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home. 

Gone are the days when the onus of supporting the family financially was solely the responsibility of the man. After the Second World War, women had to take up the jobs that were earlier the prerogative of men. Women who had been content with housekeeping were now forced to fill the gap left by their men who died at war. They were now financially independent and capable of financially supporting their families.  Despite this newfound independence, women were not freed from traditional responsibilities of taking care of the household and the children. However, since then, women have been striking a fine balance between their professional and personal lives.

A working woman plays many roles and effectively balances her responsibilities. A working woman makes a better mother as she understands the demand of the constantly evolving world. She prepares her children to deal with the vicissitudes of the world. She inspires them to make their own identity and instils discipline into their lives. Being accustomed to handling workplace stress, she knows how to manage the ever-changing needs of her children as they grow up. She helps them keep pace with the changing world. Children look up to their financially independent mothers and aspire to be like them.

Working women are not confined to the four walls of their houses. They explore the world outside and have a better understanding of what is right and wrong. In the world of price rises and competitiveness, one working parent cannot fulfil the needs of the family. A working woman can supplement the family’s income and relieve the burden from the shoulders of her husband. Working mothers, therefore, make better mothers than their stay-at-home counterparts no matter what the sceptics say. Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Working women make better mothers than women who stay at home. 

Working people are not new to making sacrifices for the sake of their career. Often, these sacrifices come at a bigger cost of their personal relationships. The ever-growing needs of the modern family have caused many women to take up jobs at the cost of raising their children. This has given rise to a trend wherein women soft pedal the needs of their family to pursue their career. 

Some think that children only need support in the first few years of their growth. In their formative years, the mother has to spend a lot of her time and resources to nurture her child. Commitment to work would mean that the mother has to rush back to the office leaving the child in the care of either the grandparents or a baby-sitter. Such a decision results in the child receiving conflicting messages about the parenting style of the mother. If the child does not receive the required attention, it grows increasingly aloof. The parent–child relationship is thus strained. 

Research suggests that children benefit greatly from the contact with their mothers. The best form of attachment begins when the mother does not leave the child alone regularly. The child’s life is full of milestones such as uttering the first word, standing up on its own and walking. The working mother will never get to partake in all this. The stay-at-home mother is more likely to be in touch with her child’s activities. She is better placed to sense the needs of her child. Child rearing has to be dealt with a handson approach, which only a stay-at-home mother can achieve. Therefore, it is clear that working women do not make better mothers.

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 7

Sex education should be compulsory in India.  For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Sex education should be compulsory in India.

Sex education is not only limited to the organs of reproduction. It aims at teaching young children the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. Unfortunately, many families in India equate sex education with sexual relations, and think that children will ‘eventually come to know about everything related to sex’. 

With the increasing exposure to TV and the Internet, children often pick up wrong information and get into trouble. Therefore, it becomes imperative that children are informed about their own bodies and made comfortable with their sexuality when they attain puberty.  

The cases of child sex abuse are increasing in India. The number of unwanted childbirths has been increasing in India in the past few years. The government must include sex education in the school curriculum to counter problems such as teenage pregnancy, molestation, child abuse and rape. 

Research has shown that sex education does not promote promiscuity but only spreads awareness.

Therefore, it should be made compulsory in schools. 

Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Sex education should be compulsory in India.

It is inappropriate to expect school authorities to conduct sessions on sex education.  A child’s family is the closest to him/her, and hence, it is the parent’s responsibility to educate children about their bodies and sexuality. 

If children learn about sexuality in schools, they might end up using that information in a wrong way. Introducing sex education in schools can divert the attention of children. Instead of using the information to be safe, it might be used in taking advantage of knowing how one’s body works.  The cases of child sex abuse can increase if schools impart sex education to children. An offender can also be a school student who may use the information shared by the school to exploit younger children.  Making sex education compulsory in India will increase the number of young sexual offenders. Hence, it shouldn’t be made compulsory in India. 

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 8

Children should be allowed to live independently after the age of 18 in India.

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Children should be allowed to live independently after the age of 18 in India.

In India, children never really live alone at any point of time in their life unless it is for higher studies or an out-of-station job. Even in those cases, parents expect children to return home and start living with them again. The Indian family system promotes interdependence and living together. However, if children move out of their parental homes and start living on their own, they will be more confident, self-reliant and responsible. 

A young man or a woman is entrusted with responsibilities only when they get married and begin living with their spouses. However, before that, they have very little experience in making important decisions, planning finances or even handling critical situations. This puts them in a very difficult situation and doubts their position as responsible adults. If they are allowed to exercise their rights from the age of 18, they become better at judging good from bad. They get opportunities to see life and experience it firsthand.  Living independently helps children become accountable for their actions and teaches them to make sensible decisions in life.  

Thank you.  

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Children should be allowed to live independently after the age of 18 in India.

An 18-year-old will not get a decent job in India because of his limited educational qualifications. As a result, he might take up odd jobs or stress himself to earn money. Youngsters might be attracted to criminal activities to earn more money. Allowing them to live alone can result in losing them forever. 

When children move out of their parental homes, it becomes impossible to monitor their behaviour or track their whereabouts. If they get into wrong company or are mislead, chances are that parents will be ignorant of what’s happening until it is too late. When children live with their parents, it is easier to know what is happening in their lives and the chances of them being mislead are few.

Living alone is very common in western countries because laws and regulations are better equipped to handle circumstances. However, in India, the legal or employment system has many loopholes. Hence, children should not be allowed to live independently after the age of 18.  

Thank you.


EXAMPLE 9

All girls or all boys schools provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools.

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – All girls or all boys schools provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools.

It is our duty to ensure that our children feel a sense of security and freedom at school. In an all boys or an all girls school, a student receives unbiased attention from the teacher. The fact that boys schools often have male teachers and girls schools have female teachers is an advantage to students who feel more comfortable approaching them.

In a country like India, same-sex schools are advantageous at various levels. Especially, where there is a need for sex education, it becomes easier to educate boys and girls separately without making them embarrassed about each other.

Research has reported that students perform better in a same-sex school irrespective of their social background. In addition, such educational institutions are a boon for girls as parents readily send their girlchildren to schools to gain knowledge and life skills. 

Children grow and develop best in surroundings of their own kind. Therefore, all girls or all boys schools provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools. Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – All girls or all boys schools provide a better learning environment than co-educational schools.

Same-sex schools may promote gender bias in a country like India. In a co-education system, there is no discrimination between boys and girls. Co-education can become a medium to promote equality between the two sexes. These schools stress at gender-specific teaching where boys and girls are sensitised towards each other. In a same-sex school, the absence of the opposite sex will make it difficult for either one to understand the other person. This leads to problems later in life. 

Co-education is a boon to a country where there is a shortage of well-trained teachers. The same staff can teach both boys and girls at the same time in the same class. Establishing more co-educational institutes can help in spreading literacy even with the limited teaching staff and infrastructure. This will help build a better nation. 

When students step out of a same-sex school, it may prove difficult for them to adjust to a co-ed work atmosphere after they graduate. On the other hand, students from co-ed schools are comfortable talking to people of the opposite sex and are not intimidated by their presence.

Co-education systems are economical and generate a spirit of comradeship between boys and girls.

Therefore, co-educational schools are better than all girls or all boys schools.

Thank you.


 EXAMPLE 10

Private tuitions are a necessary evil.

For the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak for the motion – Private tuitions are a necessary evil.

Private tuitions offer academic coaching for students who need guidance in addition to their school routine. Today, apart from academics, students are made to partake in many activities. They are allotted marks for participation in sports and for creative activities such as drawing, painting, dancing and singing. Students have a lot on their plate and often find it difficult to give studies undivided attention. Under such circumstances, it would be helpful for students to receive some help in their studies.

Many schools are understaffed and find it difficult to cater to each student individually. It is difficult to address academic problems of students at a personal level. Therefore, students need to turn to someone for their problems. Private tuitions usually have a favourable student–teacher ratio. The private tutor can help students with their studies and give them their undivided attention. The tutor can manage students at a micro level and monitor their progress at a closer range. 

When it comes to studies, having a private tutor also gives students a variety in learning. Tutors can give students a fresh perspective in learning as compared to the techniques taught in schools. They nurture the students’ thirst for knowledge away from the noisy din of their classrooms. Private tuitions provide an environment where students can express their doubts without any inhibitions or the fear of ridicule. It is therefore a boon for introverted students who often feel shy in class. 

I strongly believe that private tuitions should exist alongside academic institutions such as schools and colleges because it provides an alternative to classroom education and can bolster the child’s confidence in academics. 

Thank you.

Against the motion:

Respected Principal, teachers and dear friends, today I am going to speak against the motion – Private tuitions are a necessary evil.

Private tuitions are institutions that offer academic coaching for students apart from the training given at their schools. However, I believe that these institutions destroy the very spirit of learning which is innate in every child. 

Private tutors often charge an exorbitant amount of money for less than 20 hours a month. I believe that it gives undue advantage to a privileged child as compared to his less privileged counterpart. It is unfortunate that somebody with money is given an edge over the others. In a world where opportunities are rare, the underprivileged student may never get a chance to come up in life because the rich student has the access and the means to them.

It also destroys the ability of the child to think for itself. By being spoon fed by the tutor, the child refuses to make any effort of its own. The innate ability to question and ponder is destroyed by the private tutor. The child will then become unnaturally dependent on the tutor for its academic needs. It promotes the idea that nothing can be earned in life, only bought. The children internalise the wrong notion that success can be bought and not earned.

Tutors also swindle parents by charging exorbitant amounts of money to tutor students for less than 20 hours a month. Some parents foolishly trust such people and expect them to miraculously improve their children’s grades. The value of school teachers also diminishes in the eyes of students. They do not respect the teachers and may not pay attention in class because they believe that their academic success is safe in the hands of their private tutors.

Owing to these reasons, I strongly oppose the practice of private tutoring. I urge students to study independently without taking help from these so-called ‘tutors’.

Thank you.