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					                                             Debate Formats

Teaching Resources: Debate Formats

Different styles of debate offer their own distinct format and focus. IDEA predominantly
employs the Karl Popper Debate format with secondary school students and Parliamentary
Debate format with secondary and university students. Below is a list of different formats with
links to the IDEA Standards that list the rules for each distinct format.

Internet Debates -
    The Internet Debate format is meant to allow debaters to engage in short debates using instant
    messaging software. These debates will have one debater representing the "affirmative" and
    another debater presenting the "negative". While Internet debaters are not meant to replace
    face-to-face communication, they are a way to bridge geographic distances and to allow for
    discussion between people who might not otherwise have a chance to meet. IDEA expects the
    opportunities for debating on the Internet to improve as technology improves and believes
    this format will be dynamic and open to change.

Karl Popper Debates -
   The Karl-Popper format focuses on relevant and often deeply divisive propositions,
   emphasizing the development of critical thinking skills, and tolerance for differing
   viewpoints. To facilitate these goals, debaters work together in teams of three, and must
   research both sides of each issue. Each team is given the opportunity to offer arguments and
   direct questions to the opposing team. Judges then offer constructive feedback, commenting
   on logical flaws, insufficient evidence, or arguments that debaters may have overlooked.

Legislative Debate
   Legislative Debate is based upon the notion of having representative student leaders consider
   some of the problems that actually confront lawmakers. In doing so, Legislative Debate
   provides unparalleled insight into the way legislation is drafted, and establishes in its
   participants leadership and deliberation skills crucial to effective participation in democratic
   processes. Legislative Debate also offers a vehicle for teaching parliamentary procedure and
   helps students internalize the value of decision making processes that draw on consensus
   building and majority rule.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate -
   In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, the motion is a statement, phrases as a sentence that focuses on
   an issue of philosophical or political concern, and which will be analyzed from a moral
   perspective. Lincoln-Douglas Debate places primacy on the ability of debaters to make
   original, coherent, and philosophically persuasive arguments on issues of ethics. Debaters
   should present a persuasive moral position that they can defend from criticism and use to
   argue against an opposing case, without falling into self-contradiction or denying the
   complexity of the issues at stake. Students should familiarize themselves with the work of
   major ethical philosophers and should inform their cases with real-world examples and

Middle School Debate -
  Fostering debate and speech activities on the middle school level is consonant with IDEA's
  commitment to empowering youth as participants in democratic processes. Middle school
  students can benefit uniquely from exposure to speech and debate. They are at an age,
  psychologically and socially, when they can make considerable strides in acquiring research
  competence, media and argument literacy, reading comprehension, evidence evaluation,
  public speaking and civility skills. Finally, through cultivating middle school speech and
  debate activities, not only are youth and teachers empowered, but an appreciation of speech
  and debate is instilled in students who may well pursue it on higher levels.

Mock Trial
  IDEA Mock Trial is an exercise in argumentation and legal procedure, and the only
  educational trial format based upon the International Criminal Court established by the Treaty
  of Rome. The IDEA Mock Trial hones both legal reasoning and courtroom technique while it
  familiarizes participants with a vital arena of public debate. Teams representing the
  prosecution and defense take on the roles of all attorneys and witnesses. A judge, or judging
  panel, oversees the round, provides educational criticism, and makes a decision based upon
  each team's performance. Each case argued is an original scenario that the participants must
  master. Facts are presented through a variety of legal documents and through the testimony of
  witnesses. Although the underlying facts are the same, each round unfolds differently
  according to the actions, decisions, and interactions of the participants. Teams contest the
  facts of the case through direct examination, cross-examination, re-direct, and re-cross of
  both prosecution and defense witnesses.

Cross-Examination (Policy) Debate
   Like other forms of debate, Cross-Examination Debate focuses on the core elements of a
   controversial issue. Cross-Examination Debate develops important skills, such as critical
   thinking, listening, argument construction, research, note-taking and advocacy skills. Cross-
   Examination Debate is distinct from other formats (with the exception of two team
   Parliamentary Debate) in is use of a two person team, along with an emphasis on cross-
   examination between constructive speeches. While specific practices vary, Cross
   Examination Debate typically rewards intensive use of evidence, and is more focused on
   content than delivery.

Public Debate -
   IDEA believes that debate should not be limited to the setting of competitive debate
   tournaments in which only students take part, but instead feels that debate should operate
   within a broader context of public participation and should embrace different segments of a
   community. IDEA strongly encourages its members to promote and support public access to
   debate through the organization of public debates and by inviting the public to debate
Public Forum Debate -
   Public Forum Debate offers students a unique opportunity to develop on-their-feet critical
   thinking skills by situating them in contexts not unlike US political (radio and TV) talk
   shows. Public Forum debaters must anticipate numerous contingencies in planning their
   cases, and must learn toadapt to rapidly changing circumstances as discussions progress.
   Public Forum's open-ended cross-examination format encourages the development of unique
   rhetorical strategies. Public Forum debates should be transparent to lay audiences while
   providing students with real-world public speaking skills through the discussion of
   contentious ideas.

Two Team and Four Team Parliamentary Debate -
    Parliamentary Debate is a team format modeled on the British House of Parliament, with one
    or more teams representing the government, and the others speaking for the opposition. In
    general, parliamentary debaters have the freedom to offer both practical and philosophical
    arguments for their side (a combination of the Lincoln-Douglas and policy debate formats).
    In addition to constructive and rebuttal speeches, speakers are allowed points of order, of
    privilege, and of information - interruptions that highlight erroneous claims and/or breaches
    of etiquette. Parliamentary debaters are also permitted to heckle one another with short,
    whitty, and relevant comments, which challenge some aspect of the opponent's case and
    entertain the audience.

Individual Events -

   Limited Preparation Events
       Impromptu Speaking.
          In Impromptu Speaking, students learn to prepare and deliver an original speech on
          the spur of the moment. Impromptu Speaking topics range from the meaning of
          proverbs and abstract words to the significance of events and quotations by famous
       Extemporaneous Speaking.
          In Extemporaneous Speaking students must prepare and deliver an original speech
          on a current events topic with a limited amount of preparation time. Extemporaneous
          topics are presented in the form of questions, and contestants are expected to take a
          position on the question as well as to justify their stance.

   Platform Speaking Events
       Informative Speaking.
          In Informative Speaking students prepare and deliver an original speech designed to
          fulfill the general aim of providing new information to the audience. The speech
          should describe, clarify, illustrate or define an object, idea, concept, or process.
   Persuasive Speaking/Original Oratory.
      In Persuasive Speaking/Original Oratory students prepare and deliver an original
      speech designed to inspire, reinforce or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or
      actions of the audience.

Interpretative Events
   Prose Interpretation.
      In Prose Interpretation students must select, analyze and share a cutting from
      literature other than verse or plays through the art of oral reading. Prose
      Interpretation expresses thought through language recorded in sentences and
      paragraphs. Prose Interpretation includes fiction (short stories, novels) and non-
      fiction (articles, essays, journals, biographies). An effective Prose Interpretation
      consists of a selection or selections of materials with literary merit.
   Poetry Interpretation.
      In Poetry Interpretation students must find, analyze and share a cutting or rhyme
      through the art of oral reading. Poetry selections express ideas, experience, or
      emotion through the creative arrangement of words according to their sound, they
      rhythm, their meaning. An effective Poetry Interpretation consists of selections or
      selections of material with literary merit.
   Dramatic Interpretation.
      In Dramatic Interpretation a student must select, analyze, and share a cutting from a
      play that may have one or more character through the art of oral reading. A Dramatic
      Interpretation consists of a selection or selections of literary merit that may be drawn
      from more than one source.
   Duo Dramatic Interpretation.
     In Duo Dramatic Interpretation, two students must find, analyze and share a cutting
     from a play through the art of oral reading. A Duo Dramatic Interpretation can be
     either humorous or serious. The cutting should represent the portrayal of one or more
     characters presented by the two individuals.
   Programmed Oral Interpretation.
      In Programmed Oral Interpretation students must find, analyze and share a program
      of thematically linked selections through the art of oral reading. The selections
      should be of literary merit, and must be chosen from at least two of the three
      recognized genres (prose/poetry/drama). 'Different genres' here means that the
      material must appear in separate pieces of literature, and that, for example, a poem
      included in a short story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a
      poetry genre.