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What's the best debate format? Show more Show less
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Competitive debating has become one of the most popular extracurricular activities for both high school and university students. Around the world, people engage in many different formats of debating, from the formal, cooperate Model United Nations format to the rapid-fire, argumentative Policy format. Out of so many formats, what exactly is the best?

British Parliamentary is the best debate format Show more Show less

The British Parliamentary format is a form of debate that originated in Liverpool in the mid-1800s. The style of the format is meant to mimic the actual British Parliament, with four different teams of two competing against each other, with a proposition and opposition bench, as well as an opening and closing house.
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It is the format of the World University Debating Championships

The World University Debating Championships (WUDC) is the world's largest debating tournament. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Every year, students from schools worldwide all gather to participate and debate in the British Parliamentary format.

The Argument

British Parliamentary is the official debating format at the World University Debating Championships (WUDC), the largest and arguably most official tournament in the world. Every year, more than 400 teams compete to win. College students from some of the most prestigious universities, like Harvard University in the US and Oxford University in the UK, spend a year preparing for the WUDC by competing in many different British Parliamentary tournaments beforehand and trying to perfect their skills in this format.[1] Its importance and prestige in the debate circle at the collegiate level make it the best debate format because of how well-known and highly-regarded it is. Additionally, British Parliamentary at WUDC is what some of the biggest names in debating participated in. Famous debaters like Lee Chin Wee of Cambridge University and Bo Seo of Oxford University, whose Prime Minister Speech in the Grand Finals of the 2016 Thessaloniki WUDC has garnered nearly 300,000 views on YouTube, both competed in the British Parliamentary format.[2] Additionally, famous politicians who were once debaters in their college years, such as Ted Cruz, also participated in this format.[3]

Counter arguments

Many different formats also have international tournaments and world championships, albeit they are not always as big as WUDC. For example, the World Schools format also has the World Schools Debating Championships every year. Additionally, famous debaters from many other formats are also just as well known.[4] Many videos of debate rounds in the Policy format have tens of thousands of views as well. Other debate formats also have notable alumni. Josh Gad, for example, participated in Original Oratory.[5] Therefore, although the number of people who participate in British Parliamentary debate each year is impressive, it is by no means exceptional.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The World University Debating Championships, the biggest debating tournament, is held in the British Parliamentary style. [P2] The most famous debaters have all participated in British Parliamentary.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Other formats also have international tournaments with high participation rates. [Rejecting P2] Other formats also have notable alumni.

References

  1. https://www.wudc2020.au.edu/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tngaDNSlCpU&t=181s
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/us/politics/ted-cruz-honed-political-skills-in-princeton-debate-club.html
  4. https://wsdcdebate.org/about-wsdc
  5. https://www.speechanddebate.org/nationals-history/
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020 at 04:29 UTC

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