High school debate programs train students to develop real-world skills, such as: written and oral communication, critical thinking, public speaking, confidence, organization, and research. Research is considered the hub of all debate programs. It is the first step in forming a compelling argument. Debaters know that diligent research provides them with the knowledge and vital information that wins arguments.
Debate teaches students to research a topic in various ways. Not only are students taught to find information pertinent to their opinion, but they are also trained to research their opponent’s side of an argument. This allows debate students to keep an open mind, and form a non-judgmental analysis of their opponent’s argument. Essentially, it is a debate student’s job to research their opponents’ opinions, and find flaws in their logic and reasoning. This type of critical thinking provides debaters with the opportunity to excel in other coursework. Having the ability to fully research a topic, pull out the most important information, and simplify the explanation, is crucial for writing essays, taking notes in college, and performing at high levels in the workplace.
Research skills require an individual to eliminate distractions, develop great note-taking abilities, organize her findings, and be able to present her investigation in a well-crafted persuasive presentation.
Research encompasses, “reporting, writing, analyzing information from various sources, the ability to find essential information, and critical thinking skills.” Also, having excellent research skills make debaters valuable to employers. “Graduates who can research more deeply into their industry are often able to come up with new ideas and better ways of running a company.” Research is about finding a solution to a problem in a constructive way. This type of thinking helps individuals when an argument arises in the real world. Debaters have the ability to step back from a disagreement and return after completing a thoroughly researched analysis. Research requires patience, comprehensive examinations, and a well-crafted presentation of logical opinions.