Arguments are the basic units of a debate. You must know how to write good arguments and in Debatepedia's simple format. Here is what a good argument looks like on Debatepedia:
- Offering drivers licenses to illegal immigrants will make roads safer in the US With millions of illegal immigrants lacking drivers licenses, there are millions of drivers on the road who have not taken a driver's license test and who probably do not know the traffic safety laws. Issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens and requiring that they take a driving test would help resolve this safety hazard.
Or, you could use a supporting quotation to summarize the argument, making it look like this:
- Offering drivers licenses to illegal immigrants will make roads safer in the US Sam Gomez. "Should illegal immigrants be granted Driver Licenses in New York State?" Clarkson Integrator. December 12, 2007 - "The last real benefit of the policy change is the most obvious; safer streets. We all remember taking driver ed, the signs, parallel parking, three point turns, the works. Obviously, people who do not have to pass that rigorous rite of passage known as 'the driving test' aren't going to be well equipped to handle driving on congested roads. Not knowing the rules of the road aside, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than validly licensed drivers. Clearly, safer roads would also be good for everybody."
Some of the key features of this model argument include:
- A bullet point should start arguments for visual reasons.
- The "claim" is essentially a one sentence summary of the argument's conclusion. It is basically a header for an argument. It should be as concise and to-the-core-point-of-the-argument as is possible. The rule of thumb is that it take up no more than a single line the pro or con side of a debate, which requires that it be very concise. Part of the reason for this is that "claims" are what are made into the titles of argument pages (below).
- Argument summaries come after the "claim". This is where a more detailed, generally three to five sentence, description of the argument is presented.
- Or, a summarizing quotation after the claim. It is good to have a balance of argument summaries and summarizing quotations on a debate article.
- Link to argument page/evidence: The above arguments have a link to their own argument pages. Argument pages are whole pages dedicated to a single argument, with the "claim" being the title of the argument page (click on the above argument). On these pages, supporting evidence (quotes, studies, facts) can be presented in mass in support of an argument. The example provided above demonstrates that the "claim" is made into the title of the argument page. The next section shows you how to create these pages.