How to win debates: a brief survey
Hey! Over the last little while I've been collecting various bits and pieces of advice for good debating on this site. While no advice has been consistent, here are 7 basic tips I've found most people agree on:
- Use Research - easily the most emphasized point. Researching before you make your arguments can give you a serious edge against relatively unprepared opponents, especially if you're not very familiar with the topic.
- Winning isn't everything - also a very common sentiment. You won't win every debate so learn to take a loss! Losses can be valuable teaching/learning tools. Learn to congratulate your opponents, not hate them.
- Learn logic - logic matters! A basic knowledge of deduction and such will take you a long way towards winning debates.
- Have good conduct - good debaters tend to be more civil and polite. People appreciate that sort of thing.
- Avoid fallacies - basic logical fallacies are much easier for your opponent to tear down. Knowing the fallacies can also help you identify them if your opponent makes any.
- Be confident - fake it till you make it, as they say. Indicating at all that you're not going to win is not a smart strategy.
- Know your enemy - learn to anticipate your opponent's arguments before they even make them.
Remember there are many different opinions of how to be good! Know your style and above all, have fun doing it.
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