Online Debate Network FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

What is the Online Debate Network?

The Online Debate Network is a one stop shop for all things debateable online. We provide sources, how-to's, free online courses, and a discussion board with a variety of topics to discuss and debate.

Why debate an issue?

Even this very topic is up for debate, and has been discussed in our forums. A debate is merely two or more presented arguments (positions, beliefs, or claims) in opposition to one another.

The desired outcome can involve disproving someone else's claims, proving yours, convincing of someone that one idea is better than another, learning something new, etc... It really depends upon the presenter of the argument. All are valid reasons for putting forth an argument.

Some may debate the opposite position that they actually have to better understand the argument of the opposition. It should be noted however, that it d oes not involve personally attacking those who present the argument. Such behavior is always inappropriate

Why do I have to register to participate in the forums?

Each member has a unique username, signature and avatar that identifies who they are. You can create your new online persona very quickly, easily, and privately. You are not required to provide any personal information, but you are asked for a valid email account. We do not disclose your email account to anyone, and you may select to hide your email account from others in your User Control Panel.

To register, simply go to the Discussion Boards (or Forums) and click the Register button. You may browse the discussions without being registered, but you will need to register in order to participate.

What if I have never debated online before? Can I still participate?

There are no prerequisites to become a member and debate a topic here. We promote an atomosphere where the idea is challenged or supported, the member is not attacked. We also provide material for those new to online debate in the future.

Feel free to browse the available content to aid you in developing your debate skills. Also, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Aside from the debate topics, we also have Off Topic forums where community members can have fun, talk about the latest movie they saw, favorite bands, hobbies, etc... There is something for everyone here!

Do you practice Parliamentary or Lincoln/Douglas Debate?

No. Online Debating is quite different from formal, procedural, verbal, or team debate.

However, for those wanting a formal exchange, we do offer "one vs one" or "team vs team" debating in our forums.

How do you know who won the debate?

Online debating is different from structured debate such as Lincoln/Douglas or Parliamentary, in that there is no tabbing (scoring). The arguments speak for themselves. Often times a discussion may "die" for a few weeks, then be revived by a new member, or old member who wanted to bring a new point to the debate.

Online debating is more of an oppositional discussion than a formal debate in the traditional sense. Sometimes, you'll find that the argument was very quick. Other arguments may be long and drawn out over weeks or months on occasion.

If you are wanting a more formal debate structure, we do offer "one vs one" and "team vs team" debate. See the Forums for more info, or contact the staff for help.

What do I do if someone constantly harasses me and personally insults me?

There are a couple ways to notify us of a problem. If you cannot resolve the conflict with the other party, you may contact the staff, use a private message to one of our staff members, email us (see Staff page), or use the Contact Us forum page to reach us.

If there is a problem post that requires our attention, you can "report" that specific post by clicking the "Report this Post" icon, found on every post. It looks like this:

Aggressive personal attacks are never acceptable here. While we do allow for the use of a bit of sarcasm, wit, and humor to illustrate a point, when it crosses the line of insulting and offending another member, we must object, and a warning to the offender will be issued.

Repeat offenses will result in temporary bans. For those unable to control themselves or adhere to the warnings of the Administration, permanent bans may result.

Can I submit resources or links to the Online Debate Network?

Absolutely! We always encourage member participation. You can use the online form, email, pm, or Site Feedback forum in the Discussion Boards.

We ask that all links be an actual site (not an online essay) that members may use to learn about a topic discussed in the forums. We cannot allow however, a link or advertisement to another debate forum or community.

Search FAQ

Select this option if you would like your search to look in the text of FAQ items as well as their titles.

Select an option here to specify how you would like your search query to be treated. 'Any words' will return the most numerous but possibly least relevant results, while 'Complete phrase' will return only results that contain exactly what you are searching for.