Skip Nav

How Do I Create an Outline for a Debate Paper?

Our Mission

❶Next to each Roman numeral, students need to list an additional example, statistics, or other information that is relevant and important to the debate topic. Outline your introduction as the first main point for a speech or essay.

Our Vision

How to Cite
Language & Lit

Finishing a debate paper involves attempting to convince the reader to think like the author and agree with the author's point of view. Writing the paper in APA format means using tabs, spaces, font points and page setup in a specific manner. Create the outline for the debate paper, beginning with an introduction.

The introduction will state the question or issue debated in the course of the paper, as well as an overview of the different sides of the debate. Fill in the rest of the outline with research and information from both sides of the debate, presenting the opposing side first, followed by the side you support.

Give a conclusion, discussing why the audience should support your opinion. Prepare the word processor for APA format. Set the margins at 1 inch around the perimeter of the paper. Double the line spacing. Use Times New Roman with 12 point font for the letters. Insert headers using the tools specific to the word processor. Flush the page number to the right of the header and include a running title with the number.

Insert the four major sections of an APA paper, which are the title page, abstract, main body and reference page. Under your argument, list the supporting evidence so that the most powerful and persuasive evidence is presented first.

Then, list potential questions or arguments that may be brought up by the other side, along with different ways to counter them. Finally, organize your outline using headings, subheadings, and bulleted lists, and write out each section in complete, detailed sentences.

Identify the form of debate you are using. Each form has its own organizational structure. You will base your debate outline on that structure. There are two common forms used in schools and competitions. Other forms are simply varieties of these two, changing the amount of time available and the organization of different segments.

Team debates are one of the most common debate forms. In the first half of the debate, each team has two segments to present arguments for their side. In the second half of the debate, each team has two segments to rebut arguments presented in the first half. Lincoln-Douglas debates are set up to allow one side to present their arguments, and then the other team to cross-examine them. The second team then presents their arguments and has the first team cross-examine them.

Finally, each team has an opportunity for a final rebuttal. Whatever form your debate takes, you will have the opportunity to present your side of the issue. Gather all of your research and look for common arguments. On a piece of paper, list different pieces of evidence under each line of argument. This can include quotes, examples, cases, facts, and statistics.

Be sure to note all bibliographical information on your notes. Use the best research at your disposal, not just the first entries on google, in order to find solid evidence. Visit the library and look for peer-reviewed journals for a good selection of research. For every supporting piece of evidence you find for your case, try to find another piece of evidence to counter it.

This will help you build your argument later. It is better to include more points than you think you will need, than not doing enough research and lacking evidence.

While the order of your material will be determined by your debate form, the format for your debate outline should follow the basic guidelines for outlining. If you are doing your debate for a class, you were likely presented with a rubric which you should be making sure you are following.

Main headings will probably consist of arguments, while subheadings will contain different pieces of supporting evidence. Each level of the outline has a particular symbol to use. Subheadings use capital letters A, B, C. Sub-sub headings use Arabic numerals 1, 2, 3. Keep these consistent throughout your outline.

Indentation helps you follow the line of argument and keeps your outline organized. Your case is your primary argument: Start the outline of your debate by compiling a list of evidence that supports your case.

Order it so that the most influential and powerful evidence is the first to be presented, mediocre evidence is in the middle, and a final powerful piece is at the end. For example, you could have legal, moral, and economic support for your case. Aim to have a minimum of three supporting facts or pieces of evidence in your case outline. In debates in particular, quality is better than quantity. You will have the opportunity to rebut or question the arguments presented by the other side.

Identify potential arguments they may bring up. Many opposing arguments will probably be addressed in your research. Brainstorm different ways to counter these arguments during your rebuttal should the opposing side bring it up.

This will fortify your position in the debate. Many times their argument will be the opposite of yours, so while your argument lists the pros, theirs is listing the cons of a particular value. If you pay attention to this, you will be able to not only prove their side of the argument invalid, but also help to further promote your own.

Add detail to your outline. When you have made a bare bones outline of your case and rebuttals, begin adding a bit more detail that will benefit either essay writing or debating on the subject. Keep the outline form of headers, sections, and bulleted lists, but write in complete sentences, add in helpful questions and evidence, and make your argument more well rounded than just a list of a few words.

Write this more detailed outline as if you were speaking in the debate. This will help you with wording and understand your own argument, and coming up with logical questions and rebuttals for your opponent. A sound argument will be based on solid evidence that you can back up with if necessary.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The outline for the Debate paper—the organization of the paper—is really quite simple. Here’s what it would look like. This is a template. It .

Privacy FAQs

Outline Template for Position or Debate Paper I. Presentation of the Issue II. Thesis Statement - Read through this page to get you started, it explains it well -.

About Our Ads

Let’s talk about adding those claims to our argumentative essay outline now. Argumentative Essay Outline Section 2: Developing Your Argument. Now that you have filled in the general points of your topic and outlined your stance in the introduction, it’s time to develop your argument. In my sample outline, I show three claims, each . Introduction: (You should write the intro and the conclusion LAST) Because (of what you just said in the introduction), my partner and I firmly affirm/negate the resolution which states: Resolved: Unilateral military force by the United States is justified to prevent nuclear proliferation for the following reasons.

Cookie Info

Debate papers are unique papers where authors use points and counterpoints to present an argument and attempt to convince the reader to think about a topic from a different point of view. The debate paper weighs both sides of an issue, pointing out the pros and cons of each side. Also, the more detailed and thorough the debate outline, the easier the paper will be to write later. Warning Always follow the directions given by the instructor to .