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Tips for debate (1 Viewer)

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Major General Big Lug
DP Veteran
Jul 5, 2005
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Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
I've created this thread to show newbies, and veterans alike, little noteworthy "guidelines" in order to make debates flow more smoothly and to have your overall experience at this site more enjoyable while you refute and proclaim to your heart's desires.

Mostly everything written here is not written in stone. It's just a "tip sheet" for assistance. You may not even agree with everything written here. That's okay.

DISCLAIMER - This is NOT meant to be a representation of DebatePolitics.com's official position on any issues. What is written here is one person's opinion...mine.

PERSONAL PROFILE - Try to provide as much information as possible. Many members don't even know when to say "he" or "she" when mentioning you...Showing your gender, age, and a little bit about yourself will get the other members of this forum to know where you’re coming from…We even have a "Member pic thread" if you would like everyone to know what you look like.

If you are including an avatar or a custom user title, be as creative as you want, but resist the urge to use something that is offensive not only to all people in general, but also offensive to others' political affiliation. Having something which offends a group or party shows the other members that having an objective debate with you isn't likely.

SIGNATURES - Although not mandatory, many members like to display their creative side with a picture or illustration that, much like the avatar, shows the members your feelings toward an in particular topic. This should also be free from offense toward groups or political affiliations. Members will not want to debate you seriously if you've already shown them that you're willing to attack their beliefs.

If using a quote or a phrase in your signature, it would also be wise to refrain from using words from someone who is a magnet to behavior that is abusive to one's beliefs. Ann Coulter & Al Franken come to mind.

OK then.

You're ready to jump into the fray...Time to start "testifyin'"...

A few things first to keep in mind. Some are general common sense statements and some are things that almost everyone here has been guilty of but you should try to limit your use.

COME IN AND SAY “HI” - We have our own forum dedicated to new members for announcing their involvement into our community. This is a great place to start. Introduce yourself and give us a little background info; even a simple “Hello” gets your feet wet.

For the regular members of this forum, don’t initiate slanted or bias debate here. This is purely an introductory forum. There’s no need to push new members away. They should be welcomed.

RESPONDING TO SOMEONE ELSE'S POST - You don't need to write "Member A wrote this", followed by their comments. Just use the "QUOTE" button in the bottom righthand corner and a window for posting will show up with that member's comments already included with the proper HTML coding. You can even break up their post into multiple quotes to respond to each part of their post individually. Just begin each new section with the "QUOTE=Member" you see at the top and "/QUOTE" at the end of each section.

THIS SITE IS UNOFFICIALLY "PG-13" - This ain't a porn shop, but it ain't Amish country either.

The software being used does stop certain words from public display, but there are ways around it(wrong spelling; using "$" instead of "S")...They should be used sparingly and only when you believe it’s relevant to the discussion...They should never be used when describing another member...

USE OF "IDIOT", "MORON", ETC. - Although they should never be used, frustration may rear its ugly head and a burst with words like these may slip out.

Depending on the situation, this may be moderated. The range for these words are from "lighthearted" to "outright attack", and discretion is used when weighing whether or not actions by the Moderation Team is warranted. One thing is certain. Re-occurring use, especially towards one member, will not be tolerated.

LYING - Although there is no official rule against lying, doing so will kill your credibility and respect. If you make a statement that you say is documented, you'd better have the goods to back it up.

This brings up an important point...

SOURCES - Sources provided from the members of this forum are primarily to back up their claims or statements with articles, surveys, or just plain information in general. However, some of these sources are deemed "not credible" or "unreliable" to other members.

You wanna lose credibility fast?...Use partisan websites as your source and you're off to a good start. TRY to keep to the reliable places the general public acknowledges as legitimate. One good way to find out if a website is bias is to go to the "About Us" section (if they have one) and see what their intentions are. There are some that are obvious (Rush Limbaugh & Moveon,org) and some that you'll find, with time, that are purely agenda driven but not well known (newsmax, truthout, mediamatters, mediaresearch). Believe me. There are plenty out there. Try to avoid using them.

Also, try to avoid using Op-Ed pieces. They are, for the most part, more opinion-driven then fact-driven. Just because somebody wrote something doesn't mean its necessarily true.

GENERALIZATIONS - One thing that "perturbs" the members is the constant use of generalizations. Not everybody that belongs to a political party or has a political affiliation has the exact same beliefs. There is a very big difference between a moderate and a "far-winger". To group them together is insulting to the moderates, who, most of the time, don't have those same beliefs.

STARTING A THREAD - Got an idea for a new topic? Great! Try to keep these things in mind...Try to be objective in choosing your thread title. An attack on someone's beliefs right from the get-go is an invitation for a thread spiraling downward quick. Also, an attack here sets up a return volley that is equally, and sometimes more so, demeaning as your initial title.

Also, when introducing an article, put forth your opinion and how it relates to what you want to show. Posting an article without commentary makes other members say, "And your point is?!?”. Provide your point within that first post. Let them know where you stand. Even if it's just a few sentences.

BTW(By The Way) - If you post something taken from another site, you better give that site credit and provide a link to it...This is a legal issue, and it is mentioned specifically in the forum rules.

REPORTING A POST - Sometimes there are instances where you feel that another member is intentionally abusive or being disruptive. Point it out. The Moderation Team can't read EVERY post, and they need to know if someone is flying off the handle...Use the "REPORT" button in the bottom lefthand corner to notify the Moderation Team. ALL reports are read.

Which brings us to the biggie...

MODERATORS - The Moderation Team (which includes yours truly), takes itself very seriously. We are in this thing free of charge, and our only motivation is maintaining the integrity of this site. These "gawdlike powers" are not given to those the Moderation Team believes will use them for personal reasons.

In the Forum Rules, it clearly states that the Moderators are held to a higher standard, and that is the truest statement you'll find on this website. The Moderation Team has been purposely divided across all political spectrums. All actions taken by the Moderation Team are documented. Everything. If you notice a Moderator using the red "Mod mode" quotations, what is written will be shown verbatim to all members of the Moderation Team along with the reasons why the action was taken.

We’ve been accused of "far-left" leaning and "far-right" leaning. And it tells you more about the person mentioning it publicly than the Moderation Team itself. And if you find yourself "entangled" with a Moderator, by all means, report it. A third party is only a "report click" away. But PLEASE keep in mind that if the Moderator not involved in the actual discussion feels that the Moderator involved has done nothing wrong, it is NOT an indictment of you nor should it be taken personally.

One point that must be noted...Moderators, when not conducting "official business", are just the same as any other member. We have emotions and interests in certain topics just like anyone else. There shouldn't be any intimidating feeling because you have a disagreement with a Moderator, but just the same, you shouldn't think that you need to call a Moderator out when it comes to abusing power just because they may disagree with you. It just doesn't happen. They (including myself) would be thrown out of here before they knew what hit them.

RESPECT – This is purely a give and take. How you present yourself is just as important as the discussion itself. If you are condescending or abusive, don’t be surprised if you get the same in return. Show the other members that your intent is legitimate debate and you will gain their respect. Most of the time, it’s all up to you.

ENJOYMENT – Let it all hang out! And for once in your life, we don’t mean “your gut"!

There are plenty of topics and forums where you can take a time-out from serious debate and just enjoy meaningless or lighthearted discussion. Laughing and smiling is not only allowed, but encouraged. Develop friendships, delve into personal feelings, and most of all...

HAVE FUN!...:2wave:
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