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Thread: Debate Judging Criteria

  1. #1
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    Debate Judging Criteria

    The purpose of this thread is to look for useful values and tips one could use to judge a formal debate.

    First, let me say we have a great underused resource here in this forum, the Formal Debate room. There is at any one time an interesting subject being discussed and a number of opinions being expressed on various threads which could be greatly enhanced by proposing a formal debate.

    The benefits are numerous: A one-on-one with a poster that you believe is wrong. A team of impartial judges to weigh your argument. A captive audience which actually reads what you write rather than thinking of ways to respond or refute it. Most importantly, it brings out the best in you. We should all strive for that. But onto the purpose of this thread.

    Okay, say youve just been asked to judge a formal debate here at 4Forums. Grab a legal yellow pad and draw vertical lines down the length of the pad. These lines will be your scoring system. How few lines or how many lines you draw is up to you. You are now the judge. If you want to keep it simple, maybe your scoring will be 0-4. If you feel nuanced, maybe 0-10, or (not a bad idea) -5-+5.

    Then draw horizontal lines. These will be the values you will be judging the debaters on.

    The question is: What would you write on the horizontal lines? What values would be important to you? Or to turn it around: If you were debating and being judged, what would you like to have them considering in your responses?

    Id appreciate your input, both seasoned and unseasoned debaters. Hopefully, some good advice will come from this, and we can sticky it in the Debate Forum for future judges to consult.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  2. #2
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    Well the first thing I'd put is "do they agree with me?" and make it a million points .

    But seriously:
    I'm not exactly an expert debater, but I think these would do as a couple of categories

    1. logical argument (does the person state logically every step of the logic that leads to the choice?)
    2. factual backup (does the person give facts from credible sources, and connect them with their stance on the topic?)
    3. Persuasiveness (does the person do a good job at tying everything together to make a sound, logical, argument that could convince someone that their stance is correct?)

    These are a few that I could think of, and I'm sure there are many more. I have never done any real debate but would be interested in trying it out. Maybe I'm way off here, but they seem good to me.
    "You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon. Need I say more?" - Chris Rock

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by billsco

    Id appreciate your input, both seasoned and unseasoned debaters. Hopefully, some good advice will come from this, and we can sticky it in the Debate Forum for future judges to consult.
    Well, then the first order of business is how to judge what "good advice" is. I mean: How are we going to decide what is "good advice" from what is perhaps not so good? And the first order of business on that account is: to judge how to judge what good advice is. And the first order of business on that account is: to judge how to judge how to judge what good advice is. So, do we have any suggestions on how to judge how to judge how to judge what good advice is?

  4. #4
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    That's actually what I thought when I saw the topic. "Debate Judging Criteria", but if we were having a debate, we'd have to have criteria first, and so on and so forth . How about instead of debate we agree on criteria?
    "You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon. Need I say more?" - Chris Rock

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachvac
    That's actually what I thought when I saw the topic. "Debate Judging Criteria", but if we were having a debate, we'd have to have criteria first, and so on and so forth . How about instead of debate we agree on criteria?
    That's humorous: I didn't read "Debate" as a command.

    Who are we to decide on the criteria? Im reminded of the labor unions that vote for diminished benefits for future members. People are lovely.

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