reuploaded by fawk
Somebody just not grasping how a proper debate is? Are emotions getting flared up in your arguments? Send them on over here to this convenient graphic & guide to proper discussion & debating etiquette.
A debate, as most of us know, is a discussion (most of the time, having to do with a controversial topic) in which two or more parties hold a side. During this discussion, the opponents hash up facts, statements, precedents, and other points that disprove the other party's side on the topic. This form of 'constructive arguing' is sometimes spoiled over into flames and spam, because people choose not to observe the proper etiquette to arguing and debating.
Let me first dispel something: the point of a debate is not to win, nor is it to be correct 100% of the time. I have seen too many debates where people try to blow their opponent out of the water, and not let them have a fair chance to speak.
The first thing all good debaters must understand is that debating is not something that a person wins. You can't win in a debate. Your opponent may choose to say "Hey, you know what? You're right about that!", but a good debate can't end with a check-and-mate. Remember, there is no right or wrong side you can take on an opinion, so how could an opinion be worthy of a win or loss? Again, the object of a debate is NOT to make anyone feel bad. When you view a debate as "one I can easily win", you are already not following rule one of debating etiquette.
The reason so many debates turn into flames is because so many people begin to bash other people in the process. Debating is not a personal thing, and should not be taken personally. You MUST respect everyone's opinion; opinions that they are rightly entitled to; or you yourself are flaming. Whether you agree to a statement or not, you should listen to it, and then react to it. Remember, there is no need to be disrespectful, because you aren't trying to win the debate. Instead, you are trying to 'prove' a point.
Whilst keeping with the 'respect' theme, remember, your job is two-sided: to say your side and opinion, and to listen to your opponent’s opinions. You should do a little of both. This means that you shouldn't try to drown the other person out with facts and statistics that prove them wrong; give them a chance to say what they need to say. I can't say enough: DON'T TRY TO WIN, try to outwit, but don't try to destroy! In other words, take turns.
Try to show some pieces of evidence that proves you right, or your opponent wrong. In other words, do your research beforehand and put that quote/citation tag to work. Quoting/citing someone is an excellent way to prove a point. Facts are often times better then "well I think." Make sure that what you cite is a credible and reputable source. Just because you pulled a pro-life citation from "WhyProLifeIsBest.com" obvious biased source does not make your supported statement a fact. Feel free to say your personal opinions too, and then back them up with the facts.
1). Debating is not about winning
2). There is no right or wrong answer
3). Don't emotionally argue
4). Do your research and gather your cited sources beforehand
5). Assure your sources are CREDIBLE, and NOT BIASED
6). Acknowledge and address the opposition
7). Be respectful
8). Let your opponent speak/type
9). Listen/Read what your opponent is saying/typing
10). Look for solid facts to back yourself up
11). Have fun
12). Take the time to read everything that has been said before as this keeps people from reposting and recreating the same "old" arguments.
13). Proofread your material before posting it/giving your speech on it
Don't take what I say as a rulebook on how to debate. Instead, look at it as a guide on how to debate. This is a far more civilized way to debate, rather than trying to cut other people's throats over the rights and wrongs of a topic. Have fun, and be respectful. I hope you can understand better on what a debate is, and how to 'constructively' argue. You are encouraged to ask any questions you may have or give any suggestions/constructive criticism for the guide.
-The above paragraphs are paraphrased.
-The base of this guide was taken from this website: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/show ... -of-Debate with some modifications and additions I made
-This guide is subject to revisions and additions