Useful Tips For Students On How To Prepare For A Debate: 10 Great Debate Topics For A School Project

Isobel Lynn Lee
Jan 9, 2023
Debate Topics & Preparation Tips
📚 Download our FREE School Brochure now!
Start your child's journey to success.

Are you looking for great debate topics for IB school projects and techniques that can help you to outshine?

Then this article will provide your in and out details of debating.

So let’s get started with the basics.

Knowing how to debate is an important skill that every student must know in this competitive world in order to convey their message clearly.

It is a structured contest where students try to win by putting forth convincing arguments. They are mostly formal but can occur at times in an informal setting as well.

Benefits Of Knowing How To Debate?

● Job Success.

● Leadership opportunities.

● Good grades in school.

● Gaining broad, multi-faceted knowledge in several disciplines.

● Increase students’ confidence and self-esteem.

● Improve critical thinking skills.

● Enhance the ability to organize thoughts.

● Enhance Japan school students' analytical, and research skills.

● Students learn to form balanced, informed and evidence-based arguments.

● Students learn to develop effective speech composition and delivery.

● They learn to work as a team.

Please check if your Child is Eligible for Scholaships!

What Happens In An IB School’s Debate Competition?

In a debate competition or contest, the topic of statements is given to participants.

They either have to choose one (the affirmative side or the negative side).

The participants are given a set time to prepare and then they are given the opportunity to speak for a set time and put forward their argument in front of an audience consisting of other students, judges etc.

The speakers switch turns and convey their messages and finally, judges make a decision based on the most convincing arguments and announce their winner.

Check out the Importance Of Social And Communication Skills For Students

Wondering How Students Debate Successfully?

Roles Of The Speakers

1. First Affirmative

The first person from the group or team will begin by setting the scene for the rest of the other members of their team by defining the topic or statement, listing arguments they disagree with and making interpretations of the topic.

They might also put forward 2-3 arguments in their team’s favour.

2. First Negative

The first person from the competitor's team will change the scene into a negative by redefining definitions and proving the affirmative arguments wrong or baseless, followed by 2-3 arguments of their own.

3. Second Affirmative

The second speaker from the affirmative team will resolve definition issues, prove the first negative speaker false, and put forth 2-3 new supportive arguments.

4. Second Negative

The second speaker from the negative team will continue to prove the affirmative arguments baseless or false by delivering 2-3 new arguments against the notion.

5. Third Affirmative

The third speaker from the affirmative team will rebut specific arguments from competitors' teams and defend important attacks/ arguments/ statements.

They will conclude the debate with a summary.

6. Third Negative

The third speaker from the negative team will rebut specific arguments from the affirmative team and defend their side. They too will conclude the argument with a brief summary.

Example Of The Structure Of Debate In Japan School

● Claims:- If your team is claiming some point, present them in a clear statement.

● Evidence:- Add evidence to support the claim such as statistics and more

● Impact:- Clearly define the impact of a particular statement or topic and support it again with evidence.

● Rebuttal:- It is an important part of the debate process, check if you can prove false the claim or evidence of the opposing team by providing the supporting evidence, this will provide an edge to your team.

Things to check while rebuttal, check if there is a False Dichotomy, Contradiction in their statement, Assertion, Morally Flawed statement or if the speaker forgets to track their own argument and misses to prove some points.

How To Prepare For An IB School’s Debate?

1. Create Speeches

If you are in charge of debate or writing a speech, make sure you create a draft of pointers and assign the name of the person who will speak, sit with each person and brainstorm on their part of the statement.

This will help to get more detailed points for arguments and then identify the main ones and finalise it.

2. Be A Team

Being a team you need to make sure that you read each others’ speeches in order to get understanding, practise together and make sure it showcases a cohesive line of thought.

3. Analyse The Evidence

Triple check the evidence with different sources that you will use as support to prove your statement as it can make or break situations. Make sure it is accurate and can be proven.

4. Be Prepared For Arguments

While rehearsing make sure your team is divided into 2 and then rehearse as competitors.

Bring out all the possible points they will lay as arguments and be prepared for the answers that you will say.

5. Confidence

The more prepared you or your team are, the more confidence it will reflect. Take it slow, do not show your nervousness on your face, make eye contact, and pause when necessary.

Here Are Tips You Need To Follow While Debating

1. While defining the debate terms, make sure you are not wasting too much time so do write the speech and check if it's needed or not.

2. Read it as many times as possible, you will get an idea of it.

3. Question yourself:-

● “Will it make a difference if I don't define terms?”

● “Will it be confusing to judges and listeners?”. if I don’t define this term?” 

● “Will there be any misunderstanding or incorrect interpretation?

4. Stick to absolutely necessary ones.

5. It is recommended that participants should put forth the most compelling arguments at the beginning of the speech as it leaves an impression on listeners.

6. Make each member of your team in charge of a specific area such as social, political, and economic to put forward the convincing arguments.

7. Study the topic more and more in order to get more ideas and points to prove.

8. How you say it matters the most, so check gesture, body language, tone, and eye contact as they play a significant part in delivering debate. 

9. Notice fillers words if any during practice and get rid of them.

10. If your speech has the same common word repeated frequently then try to use synonyms in order to keep the content fresh and not bore the audience by saying the same thing.

11. The debate can lead to heated arguments, so make sure you are calm and deliver a statement in a calm and confident way.

12. Try to connect with as many people as possible in the audience or judges by maintaining eye contact.

13. Diversify your tone in order to make it look like you are talking to the audience and not reading.

14. Utilise dramatic pause to give the right impact at the right time.

15 . Use a passionate tone while closing in order to leave an impression on the audience.

10 Great Debate Topics For An IB School Project

1. Climate change is the greatest threat to mankind.

2. Video games that are violent should be banned.

3. Plastic Bottled water and Plastic bags should be banned.

4. Sexual education is necessary for schools.

5. How will the development of artificial intelligence help humans?

6. Harmful radiation from phones is dangerous and should be minimised.

7. Citizens who do not vote should be fined.

8. Celebrities should play positive role models

9. Should celebrities be required to be positive role models?

10. Social media makes people less socially active.


Debate is an important life skill that will help students to put forward their message in the most convincing way to the world out there in any facet of life.

Hope these ideas would have given you a better understanding of how debates work and the techniques to be used.

But as per Japan school, reading more about the topic, research skills and more and more practice and preparations will help you to win.


Annual Gross family income bracket (YEN)

Value of Scholarship
(Waiver on Tuition fees)


Below 3,000,000




















Isobel Lynn Lee

Ms. Isobel Lynn Lee holds a BSc. in Biological Sciences (Exeter), PGCE (Oxford), and M.Ed in educational leadership and policy from Monash University, Australia. The research in her Masters degree included how the IB Theory of Knowledge programme could be used as a platform for teaching sustainability and critical thinking. She leverages this when teaching IB Biology or working with students and teachers to support TOK and the IB World Studies extended essay. Her passions lie in the environment and equality and as a UN Global Schools Advocate she is working with the teachers and students to promote sustainability in the school. She is currently working as the Deputy Head of the International Curriculum at GIIS. Outside of work, she enjoys being with nature, observing the biodiversity of flora and fauna in Singapore through walking and volunteering.

Related Topics

More from same author

Chat with counsellor

Enquire Now

Featured Blogs

Top Scholarships

Global Citizen Scholarship


93 % and Above or A*

Learn More

9GEMS Holistic Development Scholarship


Talent Based - 9 GEMS

Learn More

Hideki Yukawa Global Skills Scholarship


Talent Based - Technology

Learn More

Sadako Ogata Merit cum Means Scholarship


GROSS FAMILY INCOME : Below 3,000,000 YEN to 12,000,000 YEN

Learn More

Global FUTURE-READY Merit Scholarship


90 % Above or A*

Learn More