We all love to talk about controversial topics that touch on the eternal or pressing problems of humanity. It is exciting and allows you to learn different views and keep your brain in good shape. But we have become so unaccustomed to the reasoning that the periodic discussions we enter into turn into disputes or conflicts. To prevent this from happening, you need to adhere to specific rules and constantly remember that a person and his or her opinion are completely different.
American sociologist Karl Popper first proposed the debate as a discussion technique. Initially, it was created as a program for students, allowing them to teach the ability to reason, think critically, and effectively organize the discussion. There is a lot of controversy about whether society needs debate.
But most of the students are confident that debating is useful in an adult and independent life. They will help the participants develop critical thinking. The discussion will help you see the situation from different perspectives, find dubious facts, and refute them. Thanks to debate, you have the opportunity to persuade and communicate your thoughts to people, but at the same time build everything on arguments.
To hold a debate, you need to have the following skills:
- The development of critical thinking. The essential thing in the debate is critical thinking. Critical thinking means the formulation, definition, justification, and analysis of the thoughts and ideas discussed. Critical thinking is essential from different points of view. Having received the debate topic, you must use critical thinking to study it in greater depth. Without critical thinking, it is impossible to build your argument well.
- Research skills. In addition to critical thinking, research skills are also needed. When making arguments, it is necessary to support them with evidence. Sometimes simple logic or simple examples are enough. However, the evidence is often required that the participant must find in various sources: newspapers, books, interviews, electronic networks.
- Organizational skills. Since the debate is primarily an oral activity, the organization of material plays an even more important role here. Unlike written speech, here, you can not turn the page back and reread the material.
- Recording skills. Even though the debate is an oral activity, recording occupies a significant place. In the discussion, the participant will not refute the opponent’s argument if he does not listen carefully to his speech or if he does not understand his arguments.
Behaving During Debates
Follow these simple tips when speaking in a debate:
- Introduce a topic. But before you decide on this act, you need to find out whether the audience understands you and whether they are ready to listen. Sometimes it may seem that everything is too obvious, but it turns out that some people do not understand basic things. Explain them.
- Present both sides of the problem. Even though everyone already adheres to their opinion after presenting the topic, it will not be superfluous to weigh the pros and cons. Many people may not have thought about this problem before, so they can automatically take one of the parties and then defend it on principle.
- Encourage discussion. Make sure everyone is participating in the debate. Insist on non-criticism and free expression, especially if one side is in the minority. The discussion should be constructive: even if a person has expressed an absurd perspective, it should be challenged using logic and critical thinking.
- Express your own opinion. If you are a presenter, it is naive to believe that you will hide your position from others. Express it clearly, but point out that it does not affect your attitude towards the other side at all. Remember that the purpose of the discussion is to reflect on things that you may not have thought about and to get a fresh perspective on the problem.
- Imagine the case method. The case study is a teaching technique that uses descriptions of real economic, social, and business situations. The audience should investigate the situation, understand the problems’ essence, suggest possible solutions, and choose the best one. Describe the actual situation.
- Discuss the situation again. Now that the parties have listened to each other and seen real-life examples, it is time to start the discussion again. Go back to the questions you asked initially and let people see if their perspective has changed. If you do everything right, you will significantly benefit and enjoy the topic under discussion, even if the problems were challenging enough. The ability to lead a debate is an essential skill that will come in handy both in real life and in your career. For example, you will have to discuss the project, its strengths, and its weaknesses. The topic of the balance between morality and profit may be raised. By learning to have a constructive discussion, you can defend your perspective without involving unnecessary emotions and listening to the interlocutor.
Choosing Good Debate Topic
If your topic has an exciting idea and covers many controversial issues, then there is a chance that the audience will appreciate your preparation. Therefore, you must responsibly choose the topic of the debate. It doesn’t matter if you are a high school or college student. It would be helpful if you chose a topic that deals with social or political disputes. If you think that there are few such topics, then you are mistaken. Science claims that there are several views on one topic, and one can argue about the same thing.
If you have little time to prepare, we advise you to choose a topic that does not cause you many problems and difficulties. Choose a topic that is easy to prepare for and meets your level of academic knowledge. If you are a middle school student, you should not touch on patriotism, international relations, and censorship in social networks, as these topics are intended for people over 20 years old. Also, topics that affect political aspects can cause difficulties. If we are to choose a policy, then only one that does not bear serious consequences. You can talk freely about school uniforms or fast food.
Also, consider the fact that your topic should be interesting. If you want to reach out to the hearts of your audience, then you must choose the topic that excites you the most. When you like a topic, you will not feel constrained or afraid to speak in public. The adrenaline rush from an exciting topic increases the chance to win an argument. We also recommend that you pay attention to topics that reflect your own experience. If you have experienced a situation, this will be an excellent example to defend your perspective.
If you are having difficulty choosing a topic, then our experts have prepared several exciting ideas. All topics are divided in different directions, so each student can choose a topic that suits your interests. However, before choosing, consider all those aspects of the debate that we described above.
Debate Topics for Middle School
- Governments around the world must carry out massive anti-smoking campaigns.
- Human cloning should be prohibited.
- Books, plays, films must be censored.
- The death penalty should be abolished.
- All sports involving danger and violence must be prohibited by law.
- Christmas should have been canceled.
- Parents should be sent to school.
- Middle school students should be free to choose their curriculum.
- The UN must expand the protection of cultural rights.
- Grades are not a useful tool for assessing student ability.
Debate Topics for High School
- We live better than our grandparents.
- Watching television is detrimental to mental health.
- There are more substantial incentives than material incentives.
- The USA is an ideal country.
- High school is unable to prepare students for real life.
- Caring for the environment is a luxury we can no longer afford.
- Social responsibility is the most important thing to be taught in high schools.
- Women are only interested in one thing – how to get married.
- Real-life begins at 40.
- Mustachioed men have evil intentions.
Debate Topics for College
- Teachers will be replaced by teaching machines.
- Camping is the best way to spend your vacation.
- Advertisers perform useful functions for society.
- Nowadays, people are most interested in how to make more money.
- Technological progress has changed our lives for the worse.
- Suicide is cowardice.
- Progress invariably leads to regression.
- Tourism does more harm than good to society.
- History teaches us nothing.
- The use of animals in scientific research is not justified.
Debate Topics for University
- Civil disobedience is the most powerful and terrible form of protest.
- All people should have the right to freely express obscene words, as they have the freedom to words.
- Euthanasia can only be legalized if the risks are justified.
- Television and print media need sensationalism in their news reporting.
- Men and women are equal for any job.
- The use of drugs in sports undermines the essence of unfair competition.
- Government interference with privacy is justified.
- Military action can lower the level of global terrorism.
- European economic integration will expand world trade.
- It is unethical to hide the truth from a terminally ill patient.
Debate Education Topics
- State-run schools are better than private ones.
- Politicians should lead to education.
- Students must take part in the organizational aspects of the institution.
- Secondary education is worse than higher education.
- Teachers need to curb violence when students get out of hand.
- Grades cannot influence the development of students’ knowledge.
- Every person should receive higher education.
- The schools must teach a lesson in religion.
- Learning at home is better than in an educational institution.
- Each student must know at least one foreign language.
Debate Social Topics
- The modern police do not protect people. Why is the media silent about this?
- The death penalty is the best punishment for rapists.
- To have an abortion is the right of women and not of the state.
- Electronic libraries survive classically, which leads to degradation.
- It is necessary to legalize the use of marijuana to improve immunity level.
- The government should legalize euthanasia.
- The government should raise the salaries of ordinary citizens, not officials.
- The addict needs help with addiction treatment.
- Every citizen should be a patriot.
- All people should think about their health.
Debate Environmental Topics
- The primary air pollutants are cars and factories.
- The sources of pollution of natural waters are people.
- Forest fires are an environmental problem.
- Radiation and chemical pollution can kill people.
- The impact of road transport on the environment will lead to the death of humanity.
- Recycling of solid household and industrial waste is not effective.
- International cooperation in the protection of the biosphere and the greening of production does not fulfill its obligations.
- The problem of a warming climate on Earth can lead to freezing on other continents.
- Heavy metals in the environment are bad for the population.
- Global Warming: Myths or Reality?
Debate Political Topics
- Google has banned political discussion at work. Is this the right approach?
- Anti-globalism is the best political movement of our time.
- Political processes in society lead to problems and litigation.
- The political thought of Rome and Greece can be applied in the modern world.
- The political system of society: essence and functions.
- Political technologies of our time lead to global problems.
- Modern trends in the development of international relations are not effective.
- Terrorism as a geopolitical phenomenon.
- World politics and international relations in the 21st century lead to wars.
- Modern features of political processes in the world.
Debate Technology Topics
- Does technological development lead to development in humans?
- Artificial intelligence can lead to problems in the world.
- Robots can make life easier for homemakers.
- Advances in technology are improving the lives of humanity.
- We need another planet for all people to live in prosperity and peace.
- Can human cloning become a reality?
- All drivers are required to drive electric vehicles.
- Technology makes it easier for people to keep in touch with each other.
- Every day there are more and more discoveries in the world of technology. What could this lead to?
- Is it possible to save nature using modern technologies?
Debate Healthcare Topics
- Healthcare admits that marijuana needs to be legalized. Are you for or against it?
- Everyone should be vaccinated for the sake of health prevention.
- Alternative medicine may supplant classical medicine.
- Can technology develop medicine?
- Do doctors prescribe antibiotics for personal use or the pharmaceutical business?
- Is drug use good or bad from a health perspective?
- Why are politicians influencing health reforms?
- Should the government provide free medicine?
- Medicine and politics must act in the common interest for the sake of the nation.
- Can public hospitals be as helpful as private hospitals?
Debate Leisure Topics
- More fun during your summer or winter vacation?
- Do teenagers need to read more books instead of playing on the computer?
- Why are young people more and more spending time playing games on smartphones instead of living communication?
- Why, with the advent of social networks, teenagers have ceased to lead an active lifestyle?
- Can you give it to a benefit?
- During work, everyone needs to spend half an hour for active leisure.
- Free time should be spent in communication to cheer up.
- Should you separate work and personal leisure?
- Have Smartphones Affected Personal Leisure?
- Leisure for women is different from that for men. Why?
Debate Financial and Policy Topics
- Can the United States ensure the country’s economic stability?
- Is it safe to use mobile banking?
- Is the economic system improving or deteriorating with the help of loans?
- From an economic point of view, can wars worsen the country’s situation?
- Should entrepreneurs pay such high taxes?
- How to develop the economy so that everyone is provided?
- During riots, should all people be punished?
- Every person should learn economics for their good.
- Free financial advice needs to be introduced in the US.
- What could destroy the US economy?
Debate Historical Topics
- Every student needs to study history to be educated.
- Is Coral Arthur a fictional man or a historical persona?
- With the help of history, you can look at the world differently. Do you agree or disagree?
- During World War I, English troops fought better than in World War II.
- Why do historians tell differently about situations during the Second World War?
- What happened to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
- Tell us what the features of the War of Independence were.
- Ancient Roman culture had more power than modern civilization.
- Can history influence the future?
- Why did racial conflicts arise more and more often in the 20th century?
The Final Insight
The controversial topics are usually the most interesting. They involve many people with different thoughts. Therefore, there is an opportunity to find the best solution for any issue. Yet it is very important for debate topics that it should be interesting for you. In such a way you will easily attract the audience.