Basically, a debate is an argument with rules. In a debate, two or more teams are presented with a resolution or topic that they will debate, and each team is given a set period of time to prepare an argument. Students typically don't know their debate subjects ahead of time. The goal is to come up with a good argument in a short amount of time. Students are encouraged to read about current events and controversial issues to prepare for debates. At a debate, one team will argue in favor (pro) and the other will argue in opposition (con). Sometimes each team member speaks, and sometimes the team selects one member to speak for the entire team. A judge or a panel of judges will assign points based on the strength of the arguments and the professionalism of the teams. One team is usually declared the winner and that team will advance to a new round.
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