Debate and Extemp Seminar
Henry W. Grady HS, Mr. Mario Herrera
Practice: Mon-Thurs, beginning at 4:30pm, Room C324
This class serves as the competition class for the Grady High School Speech and
Debate team, specifically for Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate and
Extemporaneous Speaking. Students represent all levels of experience in competitive
forensics, from novice to varsity levels. Students will learn argumentation techniques and
construction, content-specific information, research strategies, cross-examination skills,
methods of persuasion, critical thinking skills, current events, classical and modern
philosophy and political science.
This course exists to promote and engage in competitive forensics and to gain real-world
experience in the areas of research, persuasion, exposition, comprehension and
synthesis of research, fact and opinion. Students enrolled in this class must be available
to practice after school and to compete in various forensics competitions as listed below.
The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen E. Lucas (McGraw Hill)- Books will remain in
class, although students may check textbooks out with Mr. Herrera. Online research
databases as well as news and commentary resources are utilized as well.
Students must attend at least three (3) forensic competitions to meet minimum
competition requirements in this class. Activities that count as forensic competitions
include but are not limited to Speech and Debate tournaments and Mock Trial
competitions. Additionally, students may attend six (6) Debate Centers at Georgia State
University to meet this requirement. The Debate Center is from 4:15pm- 7:15pm at the
downtown campus. A school bus will pick up students from Grady HS and drop them
back off at Grady HS; students are responsible for rides back home after the Debate
Center. See Mr. Herrera for more specific details about this aspect of class. NOTE:
Additional competitions do NOT count as extra credit.
By August 17, 2011, students should have: 1) A three-ring binder; 2) Loose-leaf paper;
3) Writing utensil (either pen or pencil); 4) folder for handouts/homework. Coming to
class without these materials is unacceptable and will negatively impact the student’s
conduct grade as well as the class participation grade. Additionally, students should
have their own email address. Email addresses may be obtained at gmail.google.com.
Several concepts guide class participation and behavior. First, diversity within the
community is to be celebrated, not threatened or simply tolerated. Secondly, open and
honest relationships are the only way to build a community, so creating and maintaining
such interactions is vital for student success. Finally, the ultimate goal of the class
should be the achievement of academic success and proficiency of skills. Remember,
communication involves building and maintaining trust between individuals and group
members. Students should be aware of Grady High School and Atlanta Public Schools
policies and follow them accordingly. REGULAR ATTENDANCE IS VITAL FOR
CLASSROOM SUCCESS. GRADY’S ATTENDANCE POLICIES WILL BE STRICTLY
ENFORCED, AS WILL THE PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICE/CELL PHONE
Grading rubrics are given to all students with exact expectations and grading systems for
Plagiarism is the representation by a student of another’s ideas or writing as her/his own.
Two types of plagiarism are common. The first, more serious of the two, involves a
deliberate attempt on the part of a student to claim the written or spoken ideas of
another (student, parent, published or unpublished author, etc). The second type of
plagiarism results from the student’s lack of attention to proper procedures of source
acknowledgements and use. The student in this case fails to acknowledge the use of
outside material. Both types of plagiarism are serious violations of the principles of
academic integrity. Neither will be tolerated and such actions will have negative impact
on the grade of that particular assignment, including but not limited to a “0” as a grade
for that infraction.
Additional Class Information
Hall Passes: One hall pass is provided in the event of personal emergencies. It may be
taken one student at a time on a first-come, first-served basis. It may not be used during
the first 15 minutes of class or the last 15 minutes of class. I reserve the right to take the
hall pass away from an individual or an entire class if this privilege is abused.
Work submitted after deadline loses one letter grade potential per class period. In other
words, if you submit work late, the HIGHEST grade you can make is a “B.” You are not
guaranteed a “B.” Work will not be accepted after the related unit.
Student Name (print) Student Signature
Parent/Guardian Name (print) Parent/Guardian Signature