What is Debating?
Like many facets of our society, such as Theatre and Politics, Debate can be traced by to Ancient Greece. Today the foremost stage for debates are legislative assemblies like the House of Commons in the UK or the Houses of Congress in America. However they are not the only places where debate can arise. David Dimbleby, the long-time host of BBC's Question Time, retires soon and a new host will take his place. On his show Politicians, Journalist, Business Leaders and Trade Unionists have discussed the current affairs of the day along with an audience who can often steal the show with their impassioned experiences rooted in the real.
Debate is a contested and competitive process where speakers will challenge the quality of the arguments made. They can do this by challenging the factual accuracy of the case, point out logical inconsistencies as well as appealing to emotions within the audience. Showmanship can be one sign of a good orator but in reality the quality of the argument and the evidence that it is based on is key. This is why the legal profession can be so difficult, and lawyers some of the best debaters, because their attention to detail and ability to construct an argument is central both to their reputation and whether they will work again because nobody wants an advocate who doesn't know what their talking about.
Newman University's Debating Society is one of the new kids on the block this academic year and we're looking to forward to putting on a whole host of events, specifically debates, that you can get involved with. If you're interested in coming to any of our training sessions on structuring an argument, public speaking or research please come down to the Students' Union office and sign up for the year. We're only £5.00 so we hope on reflection you'll find us more bang for your buck.
After Newman whatever profession or occupation you hold you will need the ability to challenge ideas and policies to make them better, especially if you are looking one day to go onto management within the School setting, so improving your research and public speaking skills are a must-do activity!
If you've ever wanted to be involved in a Parliamentary style debate ... watch this space for the Debating Society's next big debate 'This House' and like our page on Facebook at:
We hold regular debates throughout the academic year including our This House formal debates where we take on the British Parliamentary Debating rules and compete against each other in trying to win the argument of the day.
The above image is the topic our Society Committee chose for our first debate.
Our next debating topic, chosen by Society Members will be. Watch our Facebook Page for details on when:
Find us on Facebook below: