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Intro To Debate

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									Introduction To Debate
          What Is Debate?
- Debate is a formal academic
  competition in which students argue
  both sides of a given topic.

- The foundation of debate is speaking.
  Students deliver speeches based on
  logic and research, attempting to
  persuade a judge to endorse their
  argument.
             Affirmative vs. Negative
-   The job of the Affirmative (Aff) is to prove that the topic
    (resolution) is a good idea.

-   The job of the Negative (Neg) is to prove that the topic
    (resolution) is a bad idea.

-   A judge will evaluate the debate and vote for whichever team
    does a better job proving their point.

-   Being an eloquent speaker helps, but debate has much more to
    do with winning substantive arguments than with oratory.

-   Debaters use a combination of research, logic, and strategy in
    order to persuade judges that they have won.
         Affirmative vs. Negative
- The core of debate is refutation. Debaters both make
  their own arguments and are respsonsible for
  responding to arguments made by the other team.
  That is what distinguishes debate from other speaking
  contests.

- In order to adequately respond to the arguments
  made by the opposing team, debaters need to prove
  that their own arguments are better reasoned, better
  evidenced, have historical or empirical support, or
  have greater significance.
Three Distinct Debate Activities

- Lincoln Douglas Debate

- Public Forum Debate

- Policy Debate
       Lincoln Douglas Debate
- Lincoln Douglas is a value-oriented debate
  activity that emphasizes ethics and philosophy.

- LD debaters argue such topics as:
   Whether military conscription is unjust

   Whether it is moral to kill an innocent person in order
    to save the lives of more innocent people

   Whether a just society ought not use the death
    penalty as a form of punishment
  Lincoln Douglas Continued…
- The topic that is debated (the resolution)
  changes every two months.

- LD debates occur between two teams:
  Affirmative and Negative.

- Each team (Aff and Neg) is composed of
  one debater (one v. one).
              Public Forum Debate
-   Public Forum is the debate activity that most resembles real world political
    debates.

-   Public Forum resolutions center around a domestic or foreign policy of
    national importance.

-   PFD debaters argue such topics as:
      Whether Affirmative Action to promote equal opportunity in the United
        States is justified

      Whether organized political lobbying in the United States does more
       harm than good

      Whether the United States should normalize relations with Cuba

      Whether failed nations are a greater threat to the United States than
       stable nations
    Public Forum Continued…
- The Public Forum resolution changes every
  month.

- Each team is composed of two debaters
  (two v. two).
               Policy Debate
- Policy Debate centers around determining the
  most desirable policy option for the United States
  federal government to adopt.

- Policy debaters argue over the same resolution
  for an entire year. Past topics have included
  changing our foreign policy towards Russia,
  increasing incentives for alternative energy,
  limiting the use of weapons of mass destruction,
  supporting United Nations peacekeeping
  operations, and many others.
    Policy Debate Continued…
- This year’s resolution is:

  Resolved: The United States federal
  government should substantially reduce
  its military and/or police presence in one
  or more of the following: South Korea,
  Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.
    Policy Debate Continued…
- Policy debates occur between two teams:
  Affirmative and Negative. Each team is
  composed of two debaters.

- In every debate, the Affirmative team will
  propose a specific plan to enact the
  resolution. The Negative will argue that
  that plan is a bad idea.
 What Does a Debate Look Like?
- A team from one school (one or two students depending on
  the debate format) is assigned to debate against a team from
  another school.

- Debates occur in classrooms, in front of one judge and usually
  with no audience.

- In Policy debate, teams will either be assigned to be
  Affirmative (in favor of the resolution), or assigned to be
  Negative (against the resolution).
What Does a Debate Tournament Look Like?
-   Debate tournaments occur at high school and college campuses
    around the country. They take place on weekends between Friday
    afternoon and Sunday evening.

-   Each team at a tournament usually participates in five or six
    debates. Before each individual debate (referred to as a round), the
    tournament will release pairings that tell debaters who they are
    debating, where they are debating, and which side they are
    debating on.

-   Every Policy team will debate both sides of the resolution. At a six
    round tournament, for example, each team will be Affirmative in
    three debates and Negative in three debates.
A Preview of Policy Debate at the Highest Level
      Benefits of Being a Debater
-   Participation in debate teaches lifelong skills relating to public speaking,
    critical thinking, organization, and research.

-   These skills consistently help students get into and get scholarships to
    attend some of the nations top undergraduate institutions including
    Harvard, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and Berkeley.

-   Former debaters are also using the skills they learned in the activity to
    control the world:
      Neal Katyal is the Acting Solicitor General of the U.S.
      Michael Gottlieb is Associate Counsel to the President
      Colin Kahl is Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for the Middle East
      Mark Parkinson is the Governor of Kansas
      Larry Summers is Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors
      Rajiv Shah is Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International
       Development
      Lindsay Harrison has won cases argued before the U.S. Supreme
       Court

								
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