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How to persuade and influence people: The art of effective geographical debateThis article supports students to prepare to participate in a debate. We consider thorough preparation as the foundation for effective debate. Here we provide guidance on one approach to preparing as effectively as possible. We outline this before considering three key elements to this method of preparation: 1) substance: your knowledge and understanding of the debate topic; 2) style: how to present your points clearly and succinctly; and 3) persuasion: how through both substance and style you effectively persuade people of your argument. We conclude by summarising the key points raised in this guide and identifying how they apply to other assignment contexts. The discussion that follows uses the debate topic ‘Should an additional charge be applied to all single-use plastics?’ to demonstrate the approaches we suggest.