Subject : English  Language

Class : SS 2

Topic :Spoken English

Sub – Topic : Speaking Skills on Arguments or Debates.

                     A debate is a formal contest of argumentation in which two opposing teams defend and attack a given proposition. It is a persuasive manner of speaking with the aim of converting the view of another person or an audience to your own point of view. In debate writing, the speaker speaks or argues for or against the issue being discussed

How to Write a Debate.

Step one: Giving a strong opening,  a good debate must start with a strong opening line. If you are discussing on something that is emotionally charged as debate topics tend to be, then you should start with a similar emotional opening to attract the interest of your audience.

            For example, where you are arguing for your country to take in more refugees, then you should have an opening like “have you ever thought about what it will be like to be forced to leave your home? To be so scared of violence or other persecution that you and your family have to leave behind everything you’ve ever known and travel to a new country?”. Don’t get caught up in the idea that facts are completely separate from emotions. For example, if you are arguing that your school should increase “Suicide awareness” you could start with, “Did you know that close to 800,000 people die of suicide every year?”. If your  topic is not clearly emotional then give a topic that is filled with surprises or a topic having statistics can also inject some feelings into your opening line to arouse the interest of your audience and the judges too.

Step two :   Defining the Topic.

               After giving your opening,  you must make the subject or topic you are talking about crystal clear to your audience. For you to do this, you have to state your topic i.e if you are against the topic or supporting it. For example,  “Today we are here to discuss on the topic or motion X. As the proposing or opposing side, my team or I firmly believe that Y(doctors are more important than teachers). You must also define any keyword that is in your topic. It must not be a literal dictionary definition but it should be your own view on what the word means as regards to the topic or issue at large.

Step three: Signposting.

            Signposting may appear to be annoying and unnecessary. Signposting means using phrases and words to guide the reader or listeners through the content of your essay, argument /dissertation. That is after your introduction, from time to time, you state your main arguments to remind your audience of what you are discussing on and where you stand because your audience may loose interest in the cause of the debate but where you restate your points, in the order in which you want to deliver them, maybe twice or thrice in between your argument, your audience will be kept attentive and in line with the debate until the end.

Step four: Rebuttal

It is a very important technique used in debates. It means picking one of the points your opponent has made and shredding it into pieces i.e disagreeing with the point your opponent has made. For you to use this technique, you have to prepare your points very well and think or prepare also on the points your opponent is likely to state using facts and figures if necessary. You have to do a thorough research on the debate topic properly to be able to rebute your opponents argument.

Step Five: Your Arguments.

            For you to achieve success in any debate, you must develop your arguments or points very well. Your points will be written in paragraphs and for you to build up a good paragraph, you must discuss extensively on your points leaving no stone unturned for each point you raise or discuss on by first deciding on what to discuss or argue, making a layout i.e arranging your points in a chronological order and coherent sentences, finding evidence, using persuasive strategies etc.

Step six: Conclusion.

         The conclusion to any piece of writing is very important. It sums up the points you have made in the body of your write – up and leaves the reader with a take home message that should make them feel as if they’ve gained something by reading your work.


                      ARE  CELL PHONES DANGEROUS?

          The Chairman, Panel of Judges, Time-keeper, Co-debaters, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to oppose   the motion which says that cell phones are not dangerous. I believe that cell phones are dangerous. They pose a threat to safety, to family life, to social behaviour, and to people’s attention on the road.

           In our society today, cell phones are common among everyone -every gender, every age. Each year, more and more kids get cell phones from their parents, and the average age at which kids receive  cell phones gets lower and lower. As teens starts driving, cell phones become an even bigger threat to safety. Some kids cannot resist the temptation of texting while driving, despite the various movements dedicated to that activity.

           However, teens are not the only ones at risk. People of all ages check email, make phone calls and text while driving. There are a growing amount of deaths each year caused by cell phone use while driving. When is enough enough? When will turning off cell phones be mandatory while driving? Yes, fines are given, but that does not seem to keep people from putting not only themselves in harm’s way but others as well.

               In addition, cell phones use poses a threat to the families. Children and adults are constantly on their phones, which causes home life to suffer. Dinner time is no longer a sacred time for families to sit and catch up on important things in their lives. Now phones are a part of the story : one kid is playing a game, another is texting a friend and parents are checking their emails. How can parents have important discussions with their children if everyone is absorbed in their cell phones?

             Social behaviours also suffers because of cell phone use. We don’t communicate the way we used to. Breakups occur via text and bullying happens the same way. People don’t have to talk to each other anymore because they can distract themselves with the latest game. Our society has turned into a society of people with their noses buried in digital devices. Inter-personal interactions are by apps that let you order a “nonfat chai latte” with out saying a word to a barrister. When will it become completely normal for people to have no communication with anyone but their cell phones? How much longer until we depend sorely on our phones for companionship?

             Lastly, attention deficit disorder are at an all time high and I believe that devices like cell phones are to blame. Children as early as two or three years old begin playing on their parents cell phones. They become accustomed to touching something and getting instant, colourful result. It is instant gratification at its worst. This behavior becomes a huge issue later in life when they are in grade school and high school and they can’t focus on reading a history book because it’s not giving anything colourful and fun back to them.

            In conclusion, I believe that cell phones are dangerous – not just physically but mentally, emotionally and socially as well. Limits should be put on cell phone use and more importantly, they should be banned from cars.


You are the chief speaker in a debate on the topic: “Wealth is more important than health”. Write your speech for or against the topic. (Not less than 400 words)

Submit assignment at the school’s security post

Download Document Here: Spoken English for SS 2

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