types of debate

  1. Policy DebateThese debates occur in schools around the country as a competitive competition involving two sides.  The purpose of policy debate is to debate whether or not the United States should act in certain policy actions.  The debate is largely based on the amount of research and evidences both sides show, so it usually arrives at a better decision.  The debate is heavily structured, meaning the decision will not be based on emotions or biasness, but rather the evidence and argument. 


  1. Lincoln Douglas Debate-These debates also occur at schools around the country, but are a one against one type situation.  The purpose of these debates is to argue for one side or the other on morals, human rights, and philosophies.  This debate leads to a better decision than a regular home style debate, but one could argue policy, due to it’s quantity of evidence, provides a better end result.  The debate is structured, which effects the decision making process because judges must pertain both sides as equal when starting out.


  1.  Political/Presidential Debate-The Purpose of this type of debate is to introduce the candidates’ ideas and viewpoints to the public.  These debates usually occur in college auditoriums or other places of that magnitude and size.  The problem with this style of debate is that a candidate can sometimes falsely attack another without a fair ability for rebuttal, candidates can bang up on one candidate, like we saw during the democratic debate, and, most importantly, the candidates do not need evidence to back up what they say, which can lead to “Political BS”.  For this reason, the decision in the end can sometimes be flawed.  The debate is structured, which helps the decision be more than just who could talk the loudest. 


  1. Court Debate-These debates, whether civil or criminal, go on in courtrooms all around the world.  The purpose of these debates is for the prosecution to prove the defense did something or owes them something that they say they did not do or do not owe.  These debates do help arrive at a better decision, though it many times can be decided, it would seem, on how is better represented, or in plain terms, who is rich enough to get the better lawyers.  The debate is structured, which helps lead to a better end decision because both sides get equal time and treatment.         

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