Course Objective
Students who participate in this course will become familiar with the style and procedure of various forms of debates. They will learn how to generate and subsequently organize their ideas into effective, coherent speeches. Students will debate about a wide range of interesting and relevant issues. They will learn how to dispute the arguments of others during the debate. Students who take the course will be given the opportunity to improve their confidence and ability in public speaking by participating in real debates.

Syllabus Overview

  • Students learn idea generation methods, both individual and group brainstorming (this will involve research skills training and advice).
  • Students learn to effectively organize their ideas into an effective, coherent argument.
  • Students learn to create suitable structures for communicating their ideas.
  • Students are introduced general debate procedure and the various roles (main speaker, support speaker, chair etc.)
  • Students become comfortable with the lexicon of debating (motion, oppose, support, proposition, rebuttal etc.)
  • Students learn the various formats of debates and the required customs/ of each (e.g. news broadcast, political debate, negotiation debate, group debate etc.)
  • Students will observe model debates in videos and analyze structure, style and content.
  • Students are coached in public speaking and given the opportunity to practice oratory in a formal public setting.

Teaching Methods

  • Lectures and seminar discussion
  • Group/pair discussions
  • Mock debates
  • Video analysis of model debates
  • Homework


  • Class Participation & Discipline 20%
  • Homework and Assignment 20%
  • Mock Debate 20%
  • Final Debate 40%