BP Debate Topics - What are they & how to prepare?
The BP Debate Format, also known as British Parliamentary Debate Format, is known for its wide range of topics. BP Debate Topics can range from simple social or economic issues, to complicated philosophical and ethical questions. In this article we are going to take a look at some common BP Debate Topics, and how you can prepare for BP debates on any topic.
BP Debate Topics fall into a number of different categories. The most common type of BP Debate Topics are policy motions, in other words a debate where the teams are proposing or opposing a certain policy. Another very common category of BP Debate Topics are value motions, where the teams are discussing whether a certain thing is good or bad, or does more harm than good. Finally, another very common class of BP debate topics are Supports, Opposes and Regrets motions, where the teams argue about whether a certain thing is something that should be supported or opposed. It’s important that teams provide clear definitions in these topics so that everyone understands what they are supporting or refuting.
BP Debate topics also cover a very wide range of subject areas. The most common BP topics concern common debate subjects such as economics, education, social issues and equality. More complex BP debate topics involve international relations, religion or issues of medical and scientific ethics. At the most complicated end of the BP debate topics scale come philosophical topics or hypothetical motions, which ask the debaters to consider what the world would be like if certain key elements were completely different, and argue or refute the impacts of those difference.
For these reasons, BP debate topics are harder to predict and prepare for than some other formats of debate, such as World Schools Debate where motions may be announced in advance, or Public Forum debate where teams have weeks or even months to prepare the topics. In BP debate format, topics are scattered across a competition so that preparing to debate these topics is much more complicated. Still, there are a couple of easy ways to be more prepared for whatever BP debate topics may come up.
First of all, read the news, or at least skim the headlines. There are many BP debate tournaments every month, and they are always looking for new topics to use in their debates. As such, many BP debate topics are taken from current events. Reading the news will help you to be prepared for some, though not all, of the BP debate topics that will come up in a competition.
Second, try to research some standard BP debate topics that come up repeatedly in classes and competitions. Even if that particular debate topic doesn’t come up again, being prepared for other BP debate topics on similar themes will allow you to have a good background and context in the topic that comes up in your round.
So there you have a brief guide to BP debate topics. Remember, these topics are very varied and there is no point in trying to prepare for all of them. Instead, find some common BP debate topics that have come up in the past and use them to work on your debate skills and understand of the context, so that you will be more prepared for any BP debate topics that may come up in the future. Good luck!
Check out our BP competitions for upcoming debate opportunities.