Debate: Matter Loading Tips

Gaile Teves
| | 3 min read

My favorite part of debating would definitely be matter loading sessions. These are the frequent meetings where we go the extra mile in making ourselves aware of the current issues. Even those that don’t debate can learn something from this.

What is matter loading in debate?

In debate, there are three things you always have to keep in mind. These are manner, matter and method. Manner is how you speak, matter is what you say, and method is the structure of your speech. For now, we will focus on matter.

You need to know what to say and give evidence behind your arguments. That evidence is your matter. Matter loading is learning your matter or extra knowledge that can be applied when you debate. There are many issues going on around the world on the daily.

In this day and age where information is merely at our fingertips, we need to use these tools that are available to us and stay in the know with current events. We learn about the current political climate, environmental issues, social issues, and so much more. After learning what we can about it, we try to break these events down into their bare concepts, and try to build a case.

Even if you aren’t a debater, matter loading can still help you in other situations. It is important for everyone to be informed about current issues and form their own opinions on them to encourage critical thinking. Not only that, but we can be exposed to different perspectives on these issues and broaden our horizons.

Read Parli Matter Loading: Purposes of Punishment as a good example.

Where do we start during matter loading?

You can start with having a certain theme or category for whatever issue you want to focus on. A lot happens in the world, it’s easier if you narrow it down to what you want to find out for the session. It could be about sports, gender, politics, religion or something else. After choosing a category, try and find a current problem or controversy within this category, and identify the stakeholders, the cause and effect and try to break them down into concepts. Then you can try and come up with solutions to the problem and explain how these solutions address it.

What else can we do to help our debate?

Do your best to have these sessions at least once or twice a week. You can do it individually or in a group. It’s best when you matter load as frequently as possible in order to strengthen your skills and expand your knowledge. Our debate team members share articles in our group chat pretty often. Then, when you feel like you have enough background with a certain topic, you can search other motions and try to build a case or have a debate round where you can apply your new knowledge.

Read the sample loading motions below to help you get started.

  1. Religion: This House would force religious adoption agencies to place children with homosexual couples.
  2. Politics: This House believes that political Islam is incompatible with democracy.
  3. Sports: TH, if presented with a choice between holding the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar or not holding the World Cup at all that year, would choose not to hold the World Cup in 2022.
  4. Ethics: THBT there is no significant moral difference between the life of a human and the life of a pig
  5. Other: TH Regrets the Existence of Valentine’s Day THBT characters with disabilities in film and television should always be played by individuals with disabilities.

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Gaile Teves

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