Oxford style


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The Europe debates take place in the Oxford-style audience debate format. This enables a lively exchange between speakers and audience with the aim of critically examining the argumentation of both sides. Clear positions and time constraints urge concentration on the essentials (cf. Klartext Europa 2014).


Two speakers speak on the pro side for a yes, two on the contra side for a no and try to win the audience for their side. The moderator is a president (see graphic) (cf. ibid.).

  1. Pro-side: 2 speakers (opening statement 5 minutes; closing statement 2 minutes)
  2. Against: 2 speakers (opening statement 5 minutes; closing statement 2 minutes).
  3. President: The President is in charge of the debate: during the debate he monitors the observance of the rules and calls on the speakers to speak according to their order.
  4. Audience: 1-minute questions/statements (cf. ibid.)

Course of the debate

At the beginning, the speakers of the pro and contra sides take turns to give a 5-minute opening statement in which they present their initial arguments and respond to those of the opposing side (cf. ibid.).

Then the open debate begins, during which a list of speakers is kept by the president. The audience is called upon to address individual speakers directly with 1-minute statements or questions. Speakers give 2-minute answers to questions and can also be added to the speakers’ list for 2-minute statements. Pro and con sides can also ask each other questions (cf. ibid.).

The President closes the list of speakers after 40-60 minutes and gives the floor to the speakers of the pro and contra sides alternately for a 2-minute closing statement (cf. ibid.).

The debate is followed by an open vote on whether the audience would now answer the argument in the affirmative or in the negative. The speaker’s side with the largest increase in votes wins (cf. ibid.).


Klartext Europa (2014): Die Regeln. In: http://www.vdch.de/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Klartext-Europa-Debattenregeln-2014.pdf [Access on 09.10.2015].