Debating resources

The best way to get better at debating is practice. Meaning to watch debates, judge debates, actually debate, go to tournaments, ask for feedback, practice motions, do training exercises, and get into annoying discussions with those around you. However, a good amount of background knowledge and staying up-to-date on current affairs doesn’t hurt. Keep in mind that in order for reading anything to be useful you have to actively think about what you’re reading: Contextualize it, link it to other issues, approach it from multiple perspectives, and think about possible motions for example. This is by all means not necessary to have fun in debating or to do well at tournaments. But if you want to become really, really great, then the resources on this page will surely help. You don’t have to use all sources or read all books. Try to figure out what works for you, it’s all extra.

A short but comprehensive introduction to debating

Check out The Practical Guide to Debating by Neill Harvey-Smith (Copyright © 2011 by International Debate Education Association, Creative Commons License) for an introduction to debating. This short text provides you all you need to know on British Parliamentary Debating, the world of debating competitions, and provides access to additional resources.

Our own collection

On this website and in our Facebook group (not the page) there are various resources to be found. The website provides articles and general knowledge of debating. If you have Facebook and are a member make sure you get into the Facebook group!

Newspapers, websites, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and forums

Try to vary your your news sources, even from different sources around the world, in order to get easy access to different perspectives on issues. In-depth news sources can be more useful, but keep in mind that they are usually behind a paywall online. If you intend to follow your news sources online you can use RSS readers (like Feedly) to collect all your articles, blog updates, or podcasts in one place.

A list will be provided later.

Books

Books address certain topics in a more in-depth manner and can provide a lot more analysis than articles do. Books can also be expensive and challenging. Go raid your school/local library, or ask around, you don’t necessarily need to buy them. Here’s a list of topics and books we consider practical and readable.

A list will be provided later.

Motions and actual debate videos

You can practice motions by thinking of cases and arguments, in all positions, and writing them out. Many motions can be found online, but you can always make them up yourself. Many debates from tournaments are also recorded and easily found on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Watching and listening to these debates can prove to be very helpful, especially those of the world’s top debaters.

Debating exercises

To be added.

Movies, documentaries, and TV

For the more audiovisual minded among us…

Useful links