Volunteer to help idebate.org

Thank you for thinking about volunteering to help improve this website. Debatabase is not just a static resource that remains the same all the time. We are always looking to improve the quality of current debates, to update them as events take place that have an impact on them, and to add more debates to the Debatabase. And as it is a free resourse this means we are always looking for people like you to volunteer some time to help us improve Debatabase. If you are interested then please read on and tell us how you believe you can best help develop idebate.org.  

Your options for writing debates

There are several ways in which you may wish to help if you don’t want to be writing complete debates. First if you want add to our existing debatabase debates then you can be an editor of a debate or several debates. This means both improving the debate and checking any improvements submitted to the debate. Since we dont know what will be happening with the option of editing debates when the Debatabase is next changed this is likely to not be a long term position.

A similar opportunity for anyone who is a specialist, usually though not always an academic, in the area of one of our debates is to be the curator of the debate. The Curator is asked to check the debate and make suggestions for changes as well as provide a reading list of relevant works to point readers in the direction of where the best places are to go for more information on the topic of the debate. 

Second we are always looking for volunteers to help us expand debatabase by writing new debates on issues we do not yet have debates on. 

What you need to know when writing a debate

We will take and look at submissions that are sent to us out of the blue but you may first want to contact Alex Helling, the editor of Debatabase, at ahelling@idebate.org.uk to check that we do not already have a debate on the topic of your choice.

First of all, even if you already have a topic you want to write about, you will most likely want to come up with a suitable motion for your debate. Please read our motion guide for help.

Please read our guide to writing Debatabase debates which will tell you what you should include and how best to structure your debate, this should prevent you making structural mistakes that can often be difficult to correct.

Finally there is a Debatabase style guide that we are more flexible about and we will not reject debates because they do not meet up with all the guidelines in the style guide.

To submit your debate please email it to Alex ahelling@idebate.org.uk Also please email Alex if you have any questions or want advice on writing you Debate.

What happens after I have sent IDEA a debate?

Your debate will be checked by IDEA staff; we will check every debate regardless of whether you have done it at our urging or whether it is submitted without first informing us you are writing it. If you have followed the guidelines it is possible that we will immediately consider that it is of a high enough standard that we can simply make minor changes and add the debate to the Debatabase. However most of the time we will go through the debate, add comments and make suggestions, and send it back to you to make changes. This should help you to understand what it is we are looking for from you when writing debates and help you if writing any more debates in the future as well as enabling you to bring your submitted debate up to a standard where it can be added to the debatabase. Once we have accepted the debate we will immediately add it to debatabase unless the debate is for a specific project with its own timetable. We will also make you the editor of the debate so please tell us if you do not wish to be the debate’s editor over the long term.

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