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Old 10-05-2008, 05:56 PM
Location: exit 0
4,116 posts, read 2,867,732 times
Reputation: 5218


We have noticed that most of the polls that are posted here do not lend themselves to the standards of the Great Debate as set forth by Administration Special high standards apply in this forum - ALL posters MUST read this.

*In light of that we will move polls to the appropriate forum based on the topic or delete them.

*Also, threads that deteriorate, and become nothing but one or two line posts will be closed. We are aware that often a question must be asked or a couple of lines must be posted in order to clarify a point. Those threads will not be subject to closure for that reason alone.

Please remember, Great Debates was set up to enable posters a higher level of discourse than is usually found in most forums.

Last edited by Ibginnie; 11-24-2009 at 02:17 AM..

Old 10-06-2008, 10:46 PM
5,598 posts, read 16,997,870 times
Reputation: 4709
Default A few guidlines from my college notes ...decades have passed so excuse the dog-eared pages :p

I just wanted to add a few suggestions for both starting a thread and for participating in one once it's started.

When you start a thread, in theory, it should state a premise and then ask for arguments from those who are "for" and those who are "against" that premise. This is basic debate "101."

What you should try NOT to do is to state a premise and ask for "opinions." What this does, right off the bat, is to scatter the responses in many different directions. The thread then has a much greater chance of sprouting conversations that go off on a tangent that could pull the topic away from the premise initially stated.

Once the thread has started each poster should endeavor to argue either for or against the premise stated. This is when "opinions" among other thoughts can be stated. However, the main underpinnings of the discussion should be focused on arguing either for or against the premise. This, hopefully, will keep the thread focused and on-topic.

I've dug out a compilation of notes from my old debate classes and will share some of them here:

Things to avoid:

*the use of ALWAYS

*the use of NEVER


*presenting opinions as facts ...if it is an opinion, admit it

*saying "you are WRONG" ...there are softer ways of saying the same thing and still getting the point across

*disagreeing with obvious truths

Endeavor to:

*use MANY or SOME rather than MOST

*quote sources and cite references

*stress the positive

*concede minor points

Remember that the use of the words "often" and "generally" allow for exceptions.

Sometimes it is better not to state the screen name of the member when rebutting their argument. It can possibly be antagonizing if used in the wrong situation.

And, remember what our T.O.S. has always stated: attack the idea and not the person.

Discipline yourself to keep your emotions in check and take a quick pause before posting in an emotionally-charged discussion. Sometimes, in an arena as this, you might take time to quickly proofread what you've composed.

A good debate can be fun, intellectually stimulating, and an experience where a lot of interesting things can be learned. Keep things in perspective ...it's just a debate on an internet forum where you're basically anonymous.

Have fun and let's keep this Great Debate forum a cut above the others. We need the cooperation of all who choose to participate here to make it something more than just another shouting match with a lot of bickering and quarreling.

Have fun and good luck!
Old 04-11-2016, 08:45 PM
2,303 posts, read 2,121,792 times
Reputation: 3827
In addition to the topics above, several topics deserve special mention as they often come up.

1) Since this is a debate forum, your posts are expected to contain enough detail to allow a discussion. 1 line posts do not allow for the back and forth nature that this forum was intended to facilitate.

2) Along those lines, simple "I Agree" posts do not contribute to the conversation. It's fine to express your support, but you should attempt to add to the discussion. The same also applies for disagreement. It's fine that you either agree or disagree, but you should strive to make your point so that you can either convince others of your stance, or allow people to understand your exact disagreements before they reply.

3) If you don't feel a thread is fitting for this forum, please report it. Reports are addressed much faster than posts in the thread are since there are often a lot of new posts.

4) Please ensure you have read both this thread as well as the thread by the Administrator. There are many posts that would be appropriate in other forums, but given the rules here, will not be permitted.

Last edited by Jeo123; 05-24-2016 at 02:15 PM..
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