Topics to Debate OnHaving the right topics to debate on can help you sharpen your debating skills and reduce the chances of your opponent overshooting their mark. It's important to remember that in a debate, topics are not simply presented as they might appear in an encyclopedia or news magazine.
A good topic may vary depending on the subject of the debate but most often this is based on the occasion. For example, for a government debate on poverty in the UK, a topic could be about the links between childhood obesity and adult obesity, or how a free school meal scheme has helped the classroom diet in schools, or what effect the recession has had on the business sector.
Some topics to debate on will actually challenge your opponent to explain something you didn't say - maybe a difference of opinion about the law, or a point of view that he may have never thought of before. The challenge to bring them back down to earth is not only useful but also impressive. That is why you should make sure you know what your topic is before taking part in a debate.
When choosing a topic, the best way to do this is to think about the audience you want to appeal to. Do you intend to speak to your local town hall, to trade union representatives, or to a group of college students? This will give you some idea of what topics to discuss and the key people in the audience that you will need to reach.
You may also choose a topic that is obvious to you, so you can quickly speak about the main questions that you want to address. Or perhaps you want to discuss something about which there is a particular answer - for example, the link between pollution and obesity.
In fact, you may even decide to find a topic that has been recently addressed by a political figure, making it easy for you to change the format if necessary. That will make the topics more relevant to the debate. Just remember to let your opponent know about the other topics too, so they don't feel they have won by being the first one to mention them.
You can usually tell if your opponent knows what topic to debate on by how well he knows the laws. If he is able to argue about them, and talk about the links between them, that may mean that he is already familiar with the subject. In this case, you may be able to settle the debate by highlighting a particular point about the law that your opponent hasn't mentioned.