The breaking down or separating of a statement or claim into meaningful
parts or categories.
proof: The responsibility to uphold a proposition. In formal
debate, the person who assumes the affirmative position carries
the burden of proof.
A form used by judges of formal debates to assess the performance
of the debaters.
The information or physical records offered by someone who is
trying to support a statement or claim.
Belief on reasonable grounds or probable evidence. In formal
debate, the person who assumes the negative position operates on
the basis of presumption.
A surprisingly subjective term, proof is the demonstration or evidence
that a claim or proposition is true. However, truth is often a matter
of interpretation, and it can depend on how the evidence or demonstration
A statement that advocates a course of action or a judgement, for
example, The death penalty should be abolished.
A process of rebuilding or strengthening an argument after it has
been attacked by an opponent.
A process of disproving or weakening the arguments of an opponent
The connection between the claim one makes and the evidence
that supports that claim.
For more on
these and other terms of debate, see Colburn, William C. Strategies
for Educational Debate. Boston: Holbrook Press, 1972.