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COM ARTS 262: Theory and Practice of Argumentation and Debate (Spring 2022) : Identify & Analyze Debate Topic

Identify and Analyze Debate Topic

Analyze Your Topic: Questions to Ask

  • What is your topic? 
  • What is your proposition?
  • What is your position?
  • What are potential arguments?
  • What are potential arguments of opposition?
  • What are some keywords for searching databases?

Sample Topic/Proposition

Resolved: Performance-enhancing drugs in sport should be legalized. 

Sample Topic Potential Arguments


  • Drug-testing is costly and ineffective
  • Athletes lack autonomy given restrictions due to regulations and testing, and choice in taking on risks


  • Drugs have health risks and could harm athletes in the near or distant future
  • Drugs are unethical creating an unfair advantage in competition
  • Athletes who do not cheat will be coerced in using drugs 

Sample Topic Keywords

  • performance enhancing drugs
  • doping
  • sports
  • athletes
  • athletics
  • competitive sports
  • professional sports
  • legalization
  • law
  • regulation
  • policy
  • anti-doping policy
  • drug testing
  • coercion
  • autonomy
  • choice
  • freedom
  • health risks
  • fairness
  • fair opportunity
  • ethics
  • sportsmanship