First of all, a debate is about providing arguments. So arguments are the first aspect of the debate that might be essential to the debate. Having strong arguments about the topic is the first step of having a good debate. As a note taker, it’s important to find out the main arguments of both sides and record those arguments, since those arguments are the main themes of the debate.
Second, when debaters have their arguments, they’ll have to illustrate them using examples. There’re often times when debaters do have their strong arguments but also have a hard time putting forward their ideas. The debate’s purpose is to let the judge or audience to understand the debater’s concepts. Examples serve to help the audience directly get debaters’ ideas and believe them. Therefore, examples are the second aspect that is essential to the debate.
Third, it’s also important how the debaters respond to the arguments from the other side. The debate is different from a speech. A speech can focus on only one side of a topic and talk only about the side that the speech giver stands on. A debate is different. Responding to the opponents’ arguments and prepare counter-arguments toward them is essential to the debate. It’s what makes a debate a good debate.
Overall, as a note taker, it’s important to record debaters’ arguments or counter-arguments and examples used to sell their arguments. These aspects can also be used to determine the quality of the debate.