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Old April 15th, 2013 (10:47 AM). Edited January 19th, 2015 by Livewire.
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The Discussions & Debates Rules
Welcome to Pokecommunity's principle "Off-Topic" section, where you can find a plethora of discussions about all kinds of world issues - the political, the scientific, the religious, and so on and so forth. While posting in D&D, please read these rules before posting.

Global Rules

Global PC rules apply here including, but not limited to - all posts must adhere to the 4/25 Rule, must stay on the current topic, no double or consecutive posting is allowed, as well as no advertising of a personal or monetary nature, no pornographic or indecent imagery of any kind, under any circumstances, and no reviving threads after 30 days since the last post.


Trolling is unacceptable on PC as a whole, and especially in D&D. It undermines the very point of having a sane, level headed debate and the inclusive nature of our community and it will not be tolerated in any shape or form.

Respecting other members

Sometimes, debates can get heated or passionate, and that's ok, provided that everyone's being respectful of the other members of the forum. Disrespectful behavior towards another member will not be tolerated. You are here to discuss, debate and critique an opinion, in a professional, calm, respectful and tactful manner. Do not be purposefully hostile, offensive, passive aggressive, disrespectful, or resort to personal or ad hominem attacks when interacting with another member in this forum. Treat members with respect and decency, and they will do the same to you.

Be Scholarly

It's important to structure your argument around logical and reasonable thinking. When making a thread, present the point of your thread as unbiased as possible, from the thread title to the sources used, for a more intellectually honest and better overall discussion. Feel free to cite statistics, data, and studies where appropriate, (In an actual debate, to prove a point) and link to trusted news sites for threads with a [News] Tag. Regular discussion threads can be more unsourced, and more or less about ideas. Common knowledge, such as "What year did Columbus sail to America?" doesn't need to be sourced. However, when replying to threads, don't resort to pointing out logical fallacies and "asking to cite sources" as your sole rebuttal. These are hideously annoying and will be deleted immediately. Try and present your points in an impersonal manner, if you're debating.

D&D Vs. General Chat, Culture & Media, etc.

Discussions & Debates is intended to house a range of topics, discussed in a certain depth, not found in other sections. While you may see similar topics here and in another forum, say Culture & media, threads here are meant to be more in-depth, articulated, and the discussions themselves shouldn't infringe on another sections' - for example, a thread about computer hacking in D&D should talk about the political and/or social aspect, whereas a hacking thread in Computers & Technology could talk about the technological and mechanical perspective. The same would apply for say a thread about anabolic steroid use. Talk about the actual effect on the sport itself (Does this hurt Team X's chance this year?) would be in a C&M thread; discussions about the effects of steroids and its cultural impact (body image, use of other enhancing drugs?) would be a D&D one.

Regarding Mature content

As a section that tackles topics about some more adult oriented or "PG-13" topics, D&D usually stretches the boundaries of what's appropriate, content wise, on PC. Topics that could be construed as exceeding a "long" PG-13 boundary should be brought to myself or another Higher Staff member to be OK'd before being posted. Do not post threads of an explicit, vulgar, or explicitly sexual nature, or any associated content, in the forum.

Feel free to contact any Higher Staff member or myself with any questions; use the Staff Feedback Thread for any concerns or comments. Happy Posting!
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Old January 19th, 2015 (10:25 AM).
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
Age: 23
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D&D's Guide to Debate and Discussion

Discussions and Debates is intended to bring out your scholarly and vocal side, focusing on in-depth discussion and thought-provoking debate on a variety of topics. As such, a certain level of maturity and professionalism is required at all times. Please see the section-specific rules thread for more detailed information on what is and is not allowed.

The following guide outlines some basic principles of debating and arguing for a point, as well as deciding if your thread is concerned a discussion or a debate. These tips are surefire ways to successfully argue for or against a point.

When Posting a Topic...

When posting your topic to D&D, you should consider whether your topic is a debate or a discussion. This will be the foundation for your thread and better help YOU, the topic creator, properly label what you desire from the thread.
A debate is "a formal discussion on a particular topic, in which opposing arguments are put forward." [1]

A discussion is "the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas." [2]
You should ask yourself which of the two categories your topic falls under and pose your question(s) as such.

Some examples of debatable topics include:
Are video games harmful to society? | Is education a right? | Is democracy truly freedom?
These types of topics generally have pro-sides and con-sides, can be sourced with scholarly articles, statistics, and journalistic sources, and are not as open to free-flowing discussion.

Some examples of discussion-based topics include:
Strippers: trashy or respect? | "Be a man" | Coming out | 14 year old sibling wants to have sex
These types of topics are generally opinion-based, have little necessity for sourcing (though it is always recommended when taking information from any source that is not yourself), and rely more often on the back-and-forth between participants as they discuss their views.

When Participating in a Debate...

Being a successful debater takes time, effort, and skill. It also requires a willingness to accept other arguments and points, even if they do not coincide with your own. Also of value is the ability to not only argue for your point of view, but also to know what arguments there are against it. This is a valuable tool in crafting a well-thought out debate and point. When you begin to participate in a debate topic, you should accomplish the following:
State your side of the argument clearly and concisely. [3]
"Video games are harmful to society."
Explain your side of the argument using reason and common sense. [3]
"Video games are harmful to society because there are studies linking video gaming and homicide rates."
Elaborate on your claims. [3] If you state a fact or statistic, it NEEDS a source!
"Video games are harmful to society because there are studies linking video gaming and homicide rates. A study by John Smith of Harvard University concluded 50% of homicides were linked to video game usage."
"Video games are harmful to society because studies linked 50% of homicides to video game usage. (John Smith's Harvard study linked here)"
For more information on sourcing, visit Princeton's guide. Princeton's guide on the importance of acknowledging sources is valuable to read through as well.
Do your due diligence!
Sourcing Wikipedia, your friend's dad that works at Nintendo, and other inappropriate sources is not permitted! All sources must come from scholarly articles, journalistic articles, or government statistics pages.

A few of the best places to locate sources are:
Google Scholar | EBSCOHost | LexisNexis
If you're a student, these scholarly search databases should be free for you to use through your school's website. Google Scholar is free regardless and works well if not.

It is perfectly acceptable to use news and info sources. The following are some reputable options available to you:
IDEA | BBC | New York Times | The Guardian | Al Jazeera
When looking at numbers and statistics, it is often best to get that information straight from government statistics websites:
USA Data & Stats | USA Census Stats | USA Federal Stats
For US statistics, be aware of the URL you are sourcing, as the most (and often only) reliable statistics come from .gov addresses. If you have an international (and reliable) source for statistics, such as a government website, PM me and I can check it out (and possibly add it here).
If you remember to S.E.E.D. (State, Explain, Elaborate, Diligence), your posts will contain all the necessary and reliable information to help you make your argument clearly, intelligently, and accurately.

When Participating in a Discussion...

A discussion topic is much less stringent on sourcing, but as advised above, it is always proper etiquette to source any outside article you acquire information from. Once again, take a look at Princeton's guide for acknowledging sources to see the value in doing so.

What sets D&D apart from General Chat, Culture & Media, and other sections that share themes in your topic is that those areas focus on the superficial details. That is not to say that they are meaningless, but D&D posts should always focus on the underlying and deeper discussion. In a topic on hacking in Computers & Technology, it may focus on the technical aspect of hacking with some light talk on the consequences of hacking. In a topic on hacking in D&D, you should choose to focus your post on the political fallout, social implications, or the deeper discussion. [4]
Some things to consider when discussing a topic in D&D:
Find balance in your ideas. Consider the various aspects and implications of a topic before posting.

Accept the beliefs and opinions of others, even if you disagree.

Intelligently state your views and opinions. Avoid poor use of language and insults. If you're posting in D&D, you're seeking a valuable discussion or debate, so remember that before you post things like:
"I don't need to go into detail about this stupid topic." Actually, you do!

"idk what this is about." Do some research.

Is posting a .gif or meme an acceptable response?
These are real responses in D&D and they are not the sort of things we want to see here. If you're here, try to speak with some level of professionalism, maturity, and tact. Having fun and being goofy is fine, but try to make sure your posts have some soundness.

When Displaying Maturity and Professionalism...

Consider that you will not always (or ever) change someone's opinion or beliefs. As a debater, your job is not to convince another person to change their views but to provide substance and validity to your own. If you remember to be mature and professional when responding to an argument, your own view and argument will remain viable. By resorting to attacks, ad hominem or other fallacies, and general misbehavior, you only negate your premise, ideas, and research, as well as looking foolish.

Keep in mind the forum-wide rules, while recognizing the heated and passionate nature of debate. Respect yourself and others at all times for the best results and you may just come away with a little more knowledge and a lot more respect for the craft of debating.

1. Definition of debate taken from Oxford English Dictionary.
2. Definition of discussion taken from Oxford English Dictionary.
3. Witzmann, Marco. "How can I become good at debating?" Quora. 16 August, 2012 updated. 17 January, 2015 retrieved. Concepts used (S.E.E.) and retooled with more appealing language.
4. Livewire. "The Debates and Discussions Rules" ThePokeCommunity. 17 January, 2015 published. 17 January, 2015 accessed.
Old January 19th, 2015 (10:30 AM). Edited January 19th, 2015 by Livewire.
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sunyshore City
Gender: Male
Nature: Adamant
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When making threads in this section, it's always a good idea to get your information from reputable places and to cite information to back up your points. Below is a list of websites that usually have good sources of news and information, over a wide array of topics that usually get covered here, predominately news, politics, science, etc. You don't have to use these when you make threads, but it's a quick way to find good info and it's great if you need a thread idea for this section.

BBC News
Al Jazeera
International Debate Education Association [For Debate Topics]
The Huffington Post
Think Progress
NBC News
The New York Times
The Nation
The Guardian

Have any other reputable sites you use? PM and I'll have them added here!
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