Standard rules for debates

Discussion in 'Formal debates' started by James R, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Members are advised to read the thread on How the Formal Debates forum works, if they have not already done so.

    This thread contains ready-made sets of rules for debates which may be referred to as the "Standard Rules".

    It is not a requirement that debates be conducted according to these rules. Rather, the aim here is to save time in negotiating the rules for each individual debate, by having available a set of rules which debaters may agree to follow, possibly with variations of their own. Therefore, instead of every debate proposal having to include a full set of rules, a member proposing a debate can simply say in his or her Proposal thread: "I challenge ____ to a debate, using the Standard Rules, on the topic: Should smoking be banned everywhere?"

    The current thread will always contain the current Standard Rules, but these may be updated from time to time. Suggestions for additions, clarifications or changes may be discussed in a separate thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Standard Rules for one-on-one Formal Debates

    The following rules are the standard rules for debates involving only two participants.

    One participant will argue the affirmative side of the topic; the other will argue the negative side. The participants will be agreed in a Proposal thread.

    1. The debater for the affirmative side of the debate will create the "Debate" thread and post the first post, setting out his or her main arguments.
    2. The debater for the negative side will then reply with his or her own introductory post.
    2. There will then be exactly two follow-up and rebuttal posts from each debater, in which the debaters may address and refute points made by the other person, as well as adding any new points that may come up.
    3. Finally, each debater will post one concluding post, summing up his or her side of the debate. Following the concluding posts, the thread will be closed.
    4. Debaters each have exactly two days from the time of posting of a post by their opponent to post their next post. If they do not post in the required time limit, the debate will be declared finished, and the thread closed.
    5. Debaters may not post more than 4 posts in total. Once the 4-post limit is reached, further posts by that debater will be deleted from the thread, but the thread will remain open for posts by the opponent, until either his or her own 4-post limit is reached or until time runs out.
    6. Debaters may include links to any supporting information or references in their posts. They may also quote extracted sections of text from other sites.
    7. Individual posts may not be longer than 1500 words, including any quotes.
    8. Any claims of violations of these rules should be made in the related Discussion thread of the relevant Debate. A moderator may follow up on such complaints, deleting any posts in violation of these Rules, unless the debaters agree to some other mutually satisfactory solution.
    9. Other than as provided in Rule 8, debaters may not post in the Discussion thread until after the conclusion of the Debate.

    [Latest revision: 12 Dec 2009]

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    List of updates:

    [8 Jan 2008] Time limit in rule 4 changed from one day to two days.
    [12 Dec 2009] Rule 9 added.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Standard Rules for Formal Debates involving "teams"

    The following rules are the standard rules for debates involving teams consisting of more than one member each.

    One team will argue the affirmative side of the topic; the other will argue the negative side. The members of each team will be agreed in a Proposal thread.

    1. A debate will consist of four "Rounds", as described below.
    2. One member of the Affirmative team will create the "Debate" thread and post the first post, setting out his or her main arguments. This will start Round 1 of the Debate.
    3. Following the initial post, the remaining members of the Affirmative team may each post one post. Each members of the Negative team may similarly post one post.
    4. Once all members of both teams have all posted one post each, or when time runs out (see rule 5), Round 1 of the debate will end.
    5. There is a time limit for all posts in any single Round of the debate of three days from the post time of the first post of that Round. If a team member has not posted within the time limit, that member forfeits his or her right to post in that Round, and the next Round of the debate may begin.
    6. When all team members have made one post in a Round, or when time runs out (see rule 5), the next Round may be started by a debater from either team. The first poster in a given round should clearly indicate that a new Round is beginning, by heading his or her post with a line such as "Round 3".
    7. Each team member may only make one post in any given Round. This means that each team member will make a maximum of four posts in the entire debate.
    8. Round 4 is the last Round of the debate. Debaters should post their conclusions in this round. At the end of Round 4, the Debate thread will be closed.
    9. Debaters may include links to any supporting information or references in their posts. They may also quote extracted sections of text from other sites.
    10. Individual posts may not be longer than 1500 words, including any quotes.
    11. Any claims of violations of these rules should be made in the related Discussion thread of the relevant Debate. A moderator may follow up on such complaints, deleting any posts in violation of these Rules, unless the debaters agree to some other mutually satisfactory solution.
    12. Other than as provided in Rule 11, debaters may not post in the Discussion thread until after the conclusion of the Debate.

    [Latest revision: 12 Dec 2009]

    ------------

    List of updates:

    [12 Dec 2009] Rule 12 added.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
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