Debate is a formalized system of logical argumentation. A debate is a rule-governed contest presided by an official, consisting of two or more sides where each side is attempting to win the approval of a designated audience, such as a judge or jury.

Debate in Education

Modern debate is common among students, especially at the high school and University levels in North America. Modern college debates are commonly organized along parliamentary lines, borrowing terms such as "government" and "opposition" from the British parliament.

In High school, students usually compete in two forms of debate. Lincoln-Douglas debate (named after the famous series of Senate debates between the two candidates) has two participants who argue against each other. The arguments center around philosophy, and thus it is also called Value Debate. The other form is Policy Debate. In this event, two teams of two students argue over a topic using predominantly facts and data. Debate has become a highly organized activity with National and International organizations.

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