DEBATE OPTION

Look over some of the following social debate issues and any others from the Topics page:

GROUP DISCUSSION- PANEL OR DEBATE TOPICS
( 30 minutes + discussion time with audience -not more than 50 minutes altogether)

  1. The war against illicit drugs cannot be won.
  2. The Internet offers more dangers than pleasures.
  3. Society is responsible for producing sex offenders.
  4. Our justice system needs to be drastically reformed.
  5. Professional sports teams are vital to the economic health of a city.
  6. There is no discrimination in Canada; everybody is treated equally by society, businesses and public institutions.
  7. Our society has become too obsessed with greed.
  8. Unions have outlived their usefulness.
  9. Businesses, not governments or consumers should accept responsibility for preserving the environment.
  10. Many well established North American companies are exploiting third world countries; their products/services should be boycotted by the developed world.
  11. Pornographic materials of all sorts are harmful to society.
  12. Prostitutes perform a needed social service. Prostitution should be legalized.
  13. Marijuana for recreational use should be legalized.
  14. Mixed marriages are more likely to fail than succeed.
  15. Lotteries do more harm than good.
  16. The current trends to allow more violence, sex, and profanity on television and in movies is having a negative affect on society.
  17. The rapid advancements in technology are more a curse than a blessing.

OR

  1. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT (FOR/AGAINST)

    1. EUTHANASIA (FOR/AGAINST)
    2. SQUEEGEE KIDS (FOR/AGAINST)
    3. GENETIC ENGINEERING (FOR/AGAINST)
    4. JERRY SPRINGER (SAINT/SINNER)
    5. SMOKING IN BARS AND RESTAURANTS (FOR/AGAINST)
    6. LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION (FOR/AGAINST)
    7. LEGALIZING MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL USE (FOR/AGAINST)
    8. OTHER ISSUES DEVELOPED IN CLASS (WITH INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL)

In class we will discuss these and any others the class chooses.

In class you will form groups to debate one of the issues.

Your groups should contain from 10-12 people with 5-6 people evenly divided on two sides. The debate will last at least 45 minutes. Remember that opinions are nice, but evidence is what will convince others of your view. Choose your partners carefully. Try to include members in your group who you may be able to assist. (Don't leave the shy members in a group on their own!)

Review the article in the text about Fallacies of Reasoning.

You do not necessarily have to take the side you believe in.

Have your topic approved by the instructor. Select your day and debate time.

GROUP RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Choose a leader for the group.

The Group Leader will be responsible for the following:

a) Making an opening statement that summarizes your groups point of view. (Just points don't present facts and evidence)

b) Moderating the debate -making sure that everyone speaks-controlling the wilder members

c) Presenting points with facts and researched evidence (bring your research to quote from)

d) Consult with members to coordinate the gathering of evidence

e) If you have a member who's point is not clear, you will assist that member by rephrasing the point

 

2. In your groups divide the potential points taking into consideration the points the other side will raise in response to your view point.

Group Member Responsibilities:

a) research the points chosen using reputable sources (bring your research to quote from)

b) consider what the other side will be presenting and prepare evidence to refute their points

c) consult with members to coordinate the gathering of evidence

DEBATE FORMAT:

1. OPENING STATEMENT GROUP ONE

2. OPENING STATEMENT GROUP TWO

*GROUP 1 FIRST POINT -----GROUP 2 REFUTE

*GROUP 2 FIRST POINT----GROUP 1 REFUTE

*GROUP 1 SECOND POINT---GROUP 2 REFUTE

*GROUP 2 SECOND POINT--GROUP 1 REFUTE

------UNTIL ALL POINTS ARE MADE

CLOSING SUMMARY GROUP 1

CLOSING SUMMARY GROUP 2

PANEL DISCUSSION OPTION

Your groups should contain from 6-8 people. Pick a suitable issue to discuss in a panel format. Your topic should be from the Topics page, topics above, or one discussed with the instructor. Within your group decide how best to split up the topic for presentation. Ensure that all members will be presenting the same amount of material and ensure that there is no duplication of ideas. The discussion will last at least 30 minutes plus time for audience questions.

Organize how the topic will be presented: Have someone do an introduction (as well as present information) Have some else prepare a conclusion (as well as present information). You may use a brief video to highlight information, but the video should not be longer than 5 minutes.

Enlightening facts, experience and evidence is what will draw in your audience. Choose your partners carefully.

Review the article in the text about Fallacies of Reasoning.
Inform your audience in the beginning of the presentation of when you would like audience questions. Questions usually will be best left to the end to ensure that all members get equal time

PLEASE NOTE: All members must be present on the date chosen. If for any reason a student can not be in class for the debate, that student must contact the instructor prior to the debate date; otherwise, no make up date will be allowed.

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