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BTN Debating Resources

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Behind the News (BTN) provides a great source of inspiration for debate topics, as well as some handy debating resources.

A BTN story in 2015 covered the Australian National Debating Championships in Adelaide. Although the format of the debates is a little different to our Rise & Shine system, there are still plenty of points that might be of interest to young debaters. What's the Same? Points about the system of debating shown in the story that are the same as the Rise & Shine system include:

  • Debating is about arguing a topic and proving that your ideas are right and your opposition's are wrong.

  • Debate teams consist of 3 people.

  • One team is called the Affirmative and the other team the Negative.

  • We definitely encourage the same "Do's" and "Don'ts" as shown in the story - do use facts and logic and do explain things clearly. Don't get personal or rude.

  • In Rise & Shine debating, we are able to argue against the opposition's points. This is called rebuttal.

  • The tips given by the debating students in the BTN story are ideas encouraged by Rise & Shine debating too.

  • The benefits and uses of debating in life are definitely experienced by Rise & Shine debaters too.

What's Different?

Differences between the debating shown on the BTN story and Rise & Shine debating include:

  • The scoring system is a little different.

  • The BTN story talks about scoring being based on Argument, Presentation and Structure. Rise & Shine essentially uses these 3 categories for scoring too, but we refer to them as Matter, Manner and Method.

  • The BTN story shows students interjecting when they disagree with something the opposition says. In Rise & Shine debating, students do not interrupt the opposing team, but have a chance to rebut their arguments when it's their turn to speak.

Behind the News is a great resource for debate teachers and coaches. The news stories often provide inspiration for debate topics, and the story on the Australian National Debating Championships can be inspiring for students, or a great way to introduce the idea of debating to new debaters. Below the Debating Championships story, there are some handy debating resources listed too. Be aware that Rise & Shine debating works a little differently to what is shown in some of these resources, but there's still plenty of good information and ideas for debating games. Go to 'behind the news' and check it out today!


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