Questions or challenges should be professional. Insulting, condescending, or comments involving personal language or attacks are unacceptable.


Critical analysis, synthesis, rhetorical skill, and wit are keys to debate success.


Focus on the opposing side’s position or argument. Knowing the “other side” is critical for preparing strategies to refute your opponent’s arguments.


Limit your arguments to three or less.


Use logic to make your arguments. Present these arguments clearly and concisely.


Know the common errors in thinking like logical fallacies and use them effectively in your refutation.


Present the content accurately. Only use content that is pertinent to your point of view and draw on support from authoritative sources.


Be certain of the validity of all external evidence presented for your arguments. Also, challenges to the validity of evidence should be made only on substantive grounds.


Your rebuttal (or conclusion) in a debate is your final summary position. Use it as an opportunity to highlight important issues that indicate proof of your points or refute your opponent’s argument.