Just like other school activities, debates are loaded with benefits for high school and college students. First, they help develop a student’s critical thinking abilities. Also, student debaters often learn lifelong skills like public speaking and maintaining a calm demeanor under pressure.
It’s easy to assume that reaping the above benefits requires an overly serious debate session. However, that is far from the truth. It’s possible to have a laughter-filled funny debate. After all, isn’t laughter the best medicine?
That said, it’ll be necessary to find a good funny debate topic, and here we go…
Top 30 Funny Topics to Debate
1. Should gay marriages be legalized?
2. The disadvantages of feminism outweigh its advantages.
3. Fish can make the best pets.
4. Introverts are better performers
5. Playing video games increases a person’s IQ.
6. British accent versus American accent.
7. Is recess important to school kids?
8. Computers are fast replacing teachers.
9. Cats make better pets than dogs.
10. Is English an essential subject for native American students?
11. Teachers should wear uniforms just like students. Agree or disagree?
12. Bottled water is better than tap water.
13. It’s better to be rich and lonely than poor with many friends.
14 Are bad words really bad?
15. School uniforms shouldn’t be mandatory for students.
16. Using animals for research is unethical.
17. The death penalty shouldn’t be banned.
18. Sex education should be taught at home, not in schools.
19. Can vampires get Corona?
20. Beauty helps to make life easier.
21. College should be free.
22. Student loans promote careless spending among college students.
23. Should kids play violent video games?
24. Bosses and their direct reports can’t be good friends.
25. Should the sale of human organs be legalized?
26. Age difference shouldn’t be considered in romantic relationships.
27. Sleeping with clothes isn’t as enjoyable as sleeping naked.
29. Global warming isn’t a natural phenomenon.
30. It’s better to use alcohol than use marijuana.
Now you have a good list of funny debate topics already. That makes your job easier since all you need to do is choose one. However, having a long list of debate topic ideas is one thing. Selecting the best motion is something else because factors such as the target audience come to play.
But before delving into choosing a good debate topic…
Why Incorporate Funny Debate Topics in Classrooms?
As mentioned earlier, debating helps students to develop their thinking capabilities. Also, they train students how to remain calm amid extreme pressure. Often, these advantages come in handy in after-school life, and especially at the workplace.
Also, debating can help students hone other skills, including communication, collaboration, confidence, and creativity. Still, these are lifelong skills that are beneficial even beyond your school years.
Some funny topics for debate are complex. Therefore, detailed research and discussions are inevitable. Debating teams also piece together information from various credible sources into comprehensive arguments. As a result, students learn how to retain information.
Planning for a debate requires excellent teamwork and collaboration. After all, whether on the negative or the affirmative side, there’s a need to formulate the best strategies for presenting winning debate arguments. Consequently, most college students who were once excellent debaters often become great team players in the workplace.
During the research phase, students filter out relevant information only. Additionally, they look for supporting empirical data to make their viewpoints more robust. In the process, they hone their analytical skills.
Debating can help to overcome stage fright. As confidence solidifies, students find it easier to speak in public. The skill is essential to college and high school students, especially those whose career aspirations are law, communication, or political science, where speech composition and delivery skills are vital.
You may also want to check our guide on writing a great conclusion
Types of Debates
Whether it’s about high school debate topics or college debate topics, funny topics for debate will fall into one of the below categories:
Lincoln-Douglas (L-D) Debate: It’s among the most common debate types. The Lincoln-Douglas debate allows two speakers only, just like the original debate between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln during the Illinois senatorial campaign of 1858. Further, the one supporting the notion presents their viewpoints first, then the negative speaker follows. In addition, speakers must adhere to Lincoln-Douglas values during the session.
Oregon-Oxford Debate: Each side of the debating team appoints two or three speakers to oppose or support the motion. However, only one speaker can present their viewpoints at any given time. So, one speaker from the affirmative side offers their perspective, then one debater from the opposing side opposes the motion. The cycle is repeated until all debaters present their arguments.
Spontaneous Argumentation: This kind of debate is popular in high school and university classrooms. Only two debaters take part in the spontaneous argumentation after prepping for the session. Also, this type of debate doesn’t need detailed research since it focuses on presentation rather than debate content.
Team Policy Debate: Like the Lincoln-Douglas debate, policy debate is popular among high school students. As the name suggests, teamwork is essential during a policy debate session. Either side of the debaters selects two speakers to support or oppose the debate topic. The chosen pair must be students who can work together for them to win. In addition, teams don’t need to be from the same institution. They can be from different schools or school districts.
How to Choose the Best Debate Topic
As mentioned above, it pays to have the crowd in hindsight when going through your list of good debate topics. For example, will the audience enjoy the debate motion? What’s the level of the participants—are the middle school students, high school students, or college students? Answering such questions helps find a topic that’ll engage the audience because they’ll easily relate to the motion.
It’s advisable to consider what you’re interested in during the selection process. In addition, think about the other debaters. Will they be interested in the debate topic? If the answer is yes, then prepping for the session will be exciting. The debate will also be lively and, therefore, enjoyable.
You’ll also need to consider the debated potential of the chosen topic. A good debate motion should allow either side of the debaters to present enough points to support or oppose the motion. So, ensure the debate topic is clear and specific. However, it shouldn’t be too narrow.
How easy is it to share your views about the debate topic? Will you feel offended or attacked if other debaters present their views? A good debate topic shouldn’t leave you or other participants feeling ballistic during the debate session. So, if you notice you aren’t comfortable with the motion, consider looking for another debate topic.
Debate is about pros and cons. To find enough points to defend the motion, debaters often research the topic. So, the debate topic must be one that’ll be easy to research. Better still, find a motion that debaters can obtain empirical data to support their viewpoints. That makes the debate more robust.
Popular societal issues make good debate topics. So, identify a motion about relevant, current political, or social issues. If possible, select a debate topic that has had massive media coverage. It ensures the audience can relate to the debate topic easily. Also, that offers you a great opportunity to formulate interesting, controversial, or funny topics for debate.
Lastly, make a list of the best topics that fit the above criteria. For instance, find out then filter debate topics with massive media coverage, those with sufficient empirical data, debatable motions, and so on. Next, please choose one from the list and run with it.
You may also want to check debate topics for high school
How to Conduct a Fun Debate
After finding a good debate topic, it’s essential to plan for the session adequately. By so doing, you avoid confusion. Consequently, the session becomes pretty enjoyable. For instance, you can watch live debates to learn what happens. It’ll also help you identify any missing links in your cheat sheet.
Aside from the television, you can obtain information from newspapers and organizations that hold live debate sessions like the League of Women Voters. In addition, if a nearby school is hosting a debate, you can attend the session for a first-hand experience.
Think about the available resources too. For example, will all the student’s debate at once? If yes, is the classroom or hall big enough to accommodate the participants?
Make sure to communicate the debate process early enough. At the same time, share your expectations with the debaters. In so doing, all participants will have adequate time to prepare for the debate.
Consider preparing some questions for the debaters. It’s another way of making the session more exciting.
Keep time. Note that you might need to remind the speakers that time is over. Alternatively, you’ll want to alert the next debater that it’s time to present their viewpoints. Therefore, remember to have some non-verbal cues to alert participants when to present their arguments or warn them that time is up. Some of the non-verbal communication techniques include knocking on the table or clapping. Further, time-tracking devices like a classroom timer can be great additions. It makes it easy for you and the other students to observe time.
Since emotions might rise during the motion, remind the teams about the importance of avoiding emotional appeals. Prepare rules or guidelines to help the debaters focus on the motion and to keep everything in check.
Basic Debate Rules
- Keep your answers short and precise.
- The affirmative side presents first, then the opposing team follows.
- Don’t raise your voice.
- Interruptions aren’t allowed during the presentations.
- Pay attention to the speaker and ask relevant questions only.
- Maintain a calm demeanour throughout the debate.
- There is no stupid idea. Respect every debater’s opinions.
- The audience isn’t allowed to participate in the debate.
- Voting is by raising hands; the majority wins.
- Keep time.
Timeliness is one factor that you wouldn’t want to mess with. Else, debaters might be unable to present their viewpoints. Consequently, you’ll deny participants the chance to enjoy a laughter-filled funny debate classroom session. That said, below is a typical debate sequence to help you conduct a fun debate easily:
1. As the one conducting the debate, the first step is to introduce the debate topic (this is essential in ESL class since English isn’t the students’ mother tongue). In so doing, you’ll ensure everyone’s awareness of the focus of the motion. Then affirm that both the affirmative and negative sides are represented already.
2. Next, the first speaker from the affirmative team takes 5-10 minutes to support the funny debate topic.
3. Then, the first speaker on the negative side takes over and opposes the motion for about 5-10 minutes.
4. The second speaker from the affirmative team comes next. They take another 5-10 minutes to present more viewpoints in support of the debate topic.
5. The opposing side debater takes 5-10 minutes to present more arguments against the motion. If the affirmative speaker had asked questions, they’re also addressed at this point.
6. Next, both teams take a 5-minute recess and prepare their rebuttals.
7. After the recess, the opposing team takes 3-5 minutes to present their rebuttals. No new arguments should be allowed.
8. Then, the supporting side takes 3-5 minutes to present their first rebuttals, marking the end of the argument phase.
The Post-Debate Phase
After either side has presented their viewpoints and rebuttals, next comes time to assess the debate. At this point, the audience can ask questions and share their opinions about the arguments presented.
Additionally, the debating teams find time to reflect on the session and ask for feedback from the teacher and the general audience.
Lastly, the teacher, judging team, or students conduct an assessment. However, debate assessment isn’t mandatory. It often depends on whether it had been planned for before the debate kicked off.
How to Win a Debate
Sometimes, the debate topic might be challenging. However, getting a few things right can give you an upper hand against your opponent and place you on top. Here are tips to help you win.
The Topic Matters: Make sure to choose a humorous debate topic. Nonetheless, it should be ideal for the audience. Remember, professionalism is also critical. That means you’ll need to add just the right amount of humour to your arguments.
Your Teacher Is a Gold Mine: Often, tutors are quiet and are rarely mentioned during the debate. However, they are the invisible wit behind winning classroom debates. That’s because teachers invest hours upon hours to prepare their team for victory. You’ll want to consult your teacher for various classroom debate tips.
The Right Mindset: Thinking like a winner is another sure-fire way to win a funny classroom debate. You see, if you walk into the debating room with your head down, it affects your confidence. Consequently, you set yourself up for failure. Therefore, have a winning mindset and plan to win from the start.
Select the Right Debaters: You’re as strong as those around you. In other words, remember to choose the right debating team. If you notice a debater isn’t as strong as you’d like them to be, it’s advisable to pair them up with an outstanding speaker.
The below list can help you choose an excellent speaker for a controversial debate topic.
- Thinks critically about what’s said
- Team player
- Scans when reading something in the classroom
- Good at research
- Longer attention span
Practice Makes Perfect: Practicing before the debate day is an excellent way to familiarize with the arguments. It also boosts the speaker’s confidence. Aside from having the speakers practice their presentations, you can invite the teacher to help identify areas of improvement
While at it, consider having an opposing team for a more effective practice session. Does the school have a debate club? Why not try out the whole debate and see how it goes?
Embrace Teamwork: Remember, speakers present their arguments in turns. So, pre-planning is essential to avoid confusion. Also, research is vital, and its best when conducted in pairs. In other words, winning a fun debate is synonymous with embracing teamwork.
Captivate the Audience: A captivated audience encourages you to present your arguments confidently. In fact, confidence is the fuel you need to win the debate. Here’s how to dazzle the crowd:
- Make sure to use your body (hands, palms, face) to connect with the crowd emotionally.
- If sited, lean forward and backward to keep the audience engaged. However, moderation is key—don’t overdo it.
- Create some little noise to draw attention to yourself. Tony Robbins does it so well. Consider watching him learn how to snap and clap.
- Frequently show open arms to show the crowd you mean no harm.
Apart from the list of top 30 funny debate topics, this article aims to share invaluable debate tips. It’s worth noting that you can employ the ideas for other types of debate topics. That makes it a win-win situation. So, why not hit the share button and spread the value? Or, proceed to order from us and let our top tutors for hire handle that debate paper for you!