Three Tips for a School Debate

Anthony Cosentino
2 min readMay 24, 2022

Anthony Cosentino qualified from Eastern CT Fire School as a firefighter level II in 2013. In 2019 he became a fire instructor after taking a course at the State of Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. The Putnam-based fire instructor graduated as a teacher with a BA in history from St. John’s University in 1995 and teaches at Woonsocket High School, Rhode Island. He has coached the school’s debate team for many years and received a citizen citation for his contribution to the Urban Debate League from the city of Providence.

A debate is a formal discussion where two opposing sides present their views about a topic. Here are three tips when preparing and participating in a school debate.

When presenting an argument, have a clear assertion, sound reasoning, and illustrative examples. The assertion decides what side of the argument you are on. Your reasoning explains your stand, while illustrations give the judges a clear idea of presenting.

While imitating good speakers is good, learn to develop your unique style as a speaker. Try integrating your personality into your debating, as it will help more than imitating others in making you feel more confident and comfortable.

Consider the judges’ perspective

At the end of your debate, what matters most is the opinion of the judges, not your audience. When making a key point, consider the perspective of the judge. Eye contact will help reinforce your argument.



Anthony Cosentino

Anthony Cosentino — Teacher in RI and Firefighter in Putnam, CT