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HWA CHONG INSTITUTION (COLLEGE) INTER-FACULTY DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

1. Overview As part of efforts to promote the debating sport to the general student population and to develop students’ critical thinking and oratorical skills, the inaugural Hwa Chong Institution (College) Inter-Faculty Debating Championships is proposed. This is a new initiative proposed by the Debate Wing of the English Literature, Debate, Drama and Film Society(ELDDFS). 2. Competition Objectives The objectives in organizing the inter-faculty debates are: 1) To encourage students to engage in critical thinking and public discourse about real-world issues, and to garner their active interest in current affairs, thus equipping them with the relevant skills for GP; 2) To provide students with public speaking opportunities and to use debate as a platform for them to improve their self-confidence and hone their speaking abilities, preparing the C1 students for the Oral Presentation Component in Project Work; 3) To improve the standard of research, analysis and writing by using an intellectually rigorous approach, upholding Hwa Chong’s emphasis on research. 3. Competition Details 3.1 Competition Theme The theme of each round of the competition will be aligned to the GP curriculum for the C1 cohort. To expose the students to a greater variety of topics, the themes will be as follows:     Preliminary Round (Written Round): Environment Quarter-Finals: Education Semi-Finals: Arts Grand Finals: Singapore 3.2 Competition Format The tournament consists of two parts: a. A preliminary segment where each team (per class) will be required to write: i. Constructive arguments on an assigned topic ii. Rebuttals on the same topic in response to another team’s arguments b. Oral debate rounds for the top 8 teams selected to enter the quarterfinals of the competition. In other words, every class would participate in the written round and send in both constructive arguments and rebuttals. After the evaluation of the written submission,

the top 2 teams from each of the 4 faculties, i.e. the top 8 teams of the tournament, will proceed to the oral debating round. Detailed competition rules are included in Annex A, and an exemplar of a constructive argument and a constructive rebuttal sheet in Annex B, for participants to refer to. 3.3 Written Round In the written round, all 40-odd classes in the cohort will be randomly allocated either “Proposition” or “Opposition” to a particular motion. Classes will also be paired randomly to each other, for example, 13A12 (Proposition) will be paired with 13S75 (Opposition). These pairings will be cross-faculty. After receiving their allocations, each class will have to submit their constructive arguments, based on their sides, to the official email address at hcinterfacultydebate@gmail.com. These arguments will be graded independently. Following the grading process, the organizing committee will forward each class’ constructive arguments to the class they are paired with. This will be a two-way process; for example, 13A12’s constructive arguments will be sent to 13S75, while 13S75’s constructive arguments will be sent to 13A12. Thereafter, each class will have to respond to the received arguments by submitting their rebuttal sheets, which will once again be independently graded. Each class’ scores for the written round will be tabulated from both their constructive arguments and rebuttal sheet, each comprising equal weighting. The top 2 teams with the highest scores from each faculty will proceed to the oral debating rounds. 3.4 Oral Rounds Prior to the commencement of the oral rounds, the 8 selected teams will attend a compulsory debate workshop held by Mr. Tan, teacher-in-charge of the Debate Wing and the Debate Wing Heads. It will consist of an introductory lecture by Mr. Tan and an exhibition debate interspersed with a live commentary to explain the rules and format of debating by current debaters. The quarter-finalists will be informed of the motions and sides one week before the Quarter-Final round. Match-ups will be based on a ‘folding system’, where the 8 teams will be ranked based on their scores from the written round, and the 1st team will be matched with the 8th team, the 2nd team with the 7th team, and so on. Henceforth, only winning teams will proceed to the subsequent rounds, i.e. the SemiFinals and Finals. The ‘folding system’ will similarly be applied to match teams. 3.5 Competition Judging All written submissions will be graded by the current debating team, debate alumni, and if possible, GP tutors who are willing to lend their time. A panel of 3 judges for each round will judge teams that make it to the oral rounds. These judges comprise debate alumni and coaches. Judging will be based on the World Schools Debating Championship criteria: content (40%), style (40%) and strategy (20%).

Annex A: Competition Rules

Hwa Chong Institution (College) Inter-Faculty Debating Championships Tournament Rules
1. Introduction Welcome to the HCI (College) Inter-Faculty Debating Championships. These rules shall govern the conduct of the tournament. 2. Brief: Participants will first submit their constructive arguments and rebuttal sheets. They will be scored before the top 8 teams will be selected for the oral delivery rounds. The role of “Proposition” and “Opposition” will be allocated randomly. 3. Written Submission Guidelines: The Written Submission will follow these guidelines. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. Be in Microsoft Word 2007 format; Cover page must contain the name of all team members; Have a (stand-alone) bibliography; Contain an introduction; Development of arguments; Font Size 12, Arial; Full justified; 0 point spacing above and below; Capitalized name of class on top right hand corner of page All paragraphs to be numbered 1., 2., 3. Maximum of 4 pages long.

4. All Written Submissions must be emailed to hcinterfacultydebate@gmail.com as per the deadline in the time frame. 5. A description of the oral delivery rounds are as such: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. First Proposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) First Opposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) Second Proposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) Second Opposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) Third Proposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) Third Opposition Speaker (6 minutes per speaker) Opposition Reply Speaker (3 minutes per speaker) Proposition Reply Speaker (3 minutes per speaker)

6. Each speaker will have 6 minutes to deliver his or her substantive speech. The timekeeper for the debate will give a single audible signal (a bell or knock) at the end of the first minute and at the beginning of the fifth minute. During the time in between these two signals, the speakers on the other team may offer points of information. A double bell or knock will sound at the end of the sixth minute, after which the speaker should conclude his speech within 15 seconds. Adjudicators may penalise speakers for running overtime.

7. During the 6-minute substantive speeches of each speaker, the speakers on the other team may make points of information. The first and final minute of each speech shall be "protected time", during which no points may be offered. However in the intervening 4 minutes, the speakers on the other team may offer points of information at any time. 8. To offer a point of information, speakers must stand and say, "Point of Information", “Point, Sir/Madam”, “POI” or any variation that indicates a desire to offer a point of information. It is then up to the speaker holding the Floor to decide whether he or she wants to accept or decline the point. If he or she chooses to decline the point, the speaker who offered it must sit down immediately. However if the speaker holding the Floor accepts the point of information, it should be made clearly and succinctly. The clock will not be stopped while points of information are being made. 9. It is entirely at the discretion of the speaker holding the Floor as to whether or not he or she wishes to accept a point of information. However, speakers are encouraged to accept at least one point of information during their substantive speech and adjudicators may deduct marks from a speaker who takes none. 10. Reply speeches will be 3 minutes long. No points of information are allowed during reply speeches. After 2 minutes, the timekeeper will give a single signal to let the speaker know that they have 1 minute left. A double signal will then sound after 3 minutes. Adjudicators may penalise speakers for running overtime. 11. Adjudication Criteria For the written submissions, they will be judged on the following criteria: a. Development of Arguments: 40% b. Quality of research and evidence: 40% c. Organisation of submission: 20% The oral delivery rounds will be judged on the following criteria: d. Content: 40% e. Style: 40% f. Strategy: 20% 12. General guidelines a. Due to the nature of the competitions, members of the Debate Wing of the English Literature, Debate, Drama and Film Society (ELDDFS) will not be allowed to participate. This ensures impartiality and fairness on the part of the organisers. b. However, regular members of ELDDFS who are not part of the Debate Wing can take part in the competition. c. Students taking Knowledge and Inquiry (KI) are allowed to participate in the competition as well. d. Students who have participated in Dramafeste are discouraged from participating in the competition in hopes of providing more students with such opportunities