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DEBATE These programs have provided generations of more privileged students the substantial academic benefits that result

from training in rhetoric, persuasion, organized communication, and argument. In debate, the preparation and delivery of argumentation provides students with the opportunity to think critically, develop their academic research skills, improve their communication abilities, solve problems creatively, and increase their self-confidence. Because students involved in debate regularly engage in writing, information analysis, and in-depth library and Internet research, they often receive higher grades than non-debaters in high school, and are more likely to continue on to postsecondary education. Debate enables students to express their views effectively and to respond cogently to arguments with which they disagree. In addition, debate students are often the most well read and well informed in their grade level. The scope of their studies -- from the mental health care crisis to curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction -- means that debate students take part in a truly worldwide examination of the issues facing all people. Class and contest debate preparation (idea brainstorming, subject research, argument briefing, speaking practice) is based on the specific language of a set of debate topics. The importance of debate topics cannot be underestimated. They establish the issues in controversy. They motivate students to explore the world. They direct library, Internet, and personal reading. They introduce students to new ideas; students use them to spark their own intellectual creativity and argument innovations. And, as students quickly realize from their experiences in challenging debates, the particular words selected for a debate topic may carefully distinguish the arguments that are available for the proposition or opposition teams. Debate tournament hosts, league officials, teachers, and student practice leaders recognize that it is important to write appropriately worded topics. Badly worded topics generally result in bad debates. Because the topic is interpreted by the proposition as a statement of proof (that is, a claim that the proposition team will attempt to show is more likely to be true than false), an entire debate may collapse due to confusing, vague, or awkward wording. Most people, then, would probably agree that it is a good idea to avoid badly worded topics. But what are the guidelines for a well-worded topic for debate? First, a topic author should consider the purpose of a topic statement. It ought to be designed to promote serious discussion and argument clash. It should provoke important and challenging questions. It ought to be a subject that is controversial or encourages an examination of obvious difference. In other words, the subject should promote debate. A topic should also be an issue for which students could draw conclusions. Debates do not merely create an opportunity to open an issue for discussion but they also produce a definitive result, a conclusion that an opinion on an issue may be better than other opinions on the matter. In this way, a debate topic should allow students to identify and determine concluding arguments for its side of the topic.

In formal school debates, the advanatges are numerous. First, the student gets to improve on his speaking. He learns to use words that are more technical, but are not jargon. They learn how to use proper grammar, or else they will be criticized by their adjudicators. They learn how to expand the points they have to fit a time frame (usual for Brit Par debate and most others are 7 or 6 minutes). Another important advantage of debate is that they learn how to think outside the box. In a debate, failure to anticipate what the opposition's points will be is a sign of narrow mindedness. You must always have better, unanticipated by the opposition, and debate helps develop this. In British Parliament format, there are two teams within a house, and the closing team will have to provide 'new light' to the opening team's government, and this is easier said than done, because the opening goes first, and they will have all easy arguments and closing would have to think of something better. They learn to think critically, so that they may successfully rebut the opposition's points. It helps students become creative when it comes to making points for frequently debated topics such as prostitution, because everything has probably been thought of already. Debate also teaches students how to research better, as they need this to make points and arguments. It also enhances teamwork, and friendly competition. it also teaches students how to act cool under pressure (motions which are unexpected; good opposition) and how to use their minds to their advantage under pressure also, in most interscholastic debate tournaments there will be at least one homosexual debate, one current event debate, one political debate, etc. this helps raise awareness within the students about the current events plaguing the world or events that need resolving. students also learn from their teammates and the opposition. in the context of high school debates, these are the disadvantages that I see: students have to put extra time on it, therefore losing time for studies. debaters have a VERY LITTLE chance that they might take the debate personally, but it is like a 0% chance because it's a scholastic debate and not like, personal or anything. Competitive debate is a challenging and highly rewarding activity for most who become involved in it. There are a full range of benefits associated with being on the debate team. Fun: The vast majority of the tens of thousands of students who compete in debate tournaments each year will tell you that its fun. For every person, the experience is a little different, but generally the thrill of competition, the camaraderie of teammates and the travel opportunities make debate fun. Teammates: An additional benefit of getting involved is building friendships with teammates who enjoy similar interests. Public Speaking Skills: Most people naturally avoid public speaking--debate provides a non-threatening environment to practice these skills so that down the road when youre called on to speak in college or on the job, youll have the skills necessary to do a great

job. This increases your chances of doing well in important interviews for jobs or scholarships. Analytical Skills: The ability to critically analyze a problem and propose workable solutions is invaluable. This is a skill that debate best teaches and high-level business people and professionals possess. Research Skills: From traditional library research to the Internet, debate teaches you to become a world-class researcher. Ask any college student and theyll tell you how valuable this is. Listening & Note taking Skills: Debate requires that you become a careful listener and good note taker. This helps students get better grades and learn faster. Goals of the National Debate Project 1.To use debate to augment the educational experience of K-12 students from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds. 2.To design and field test innovative curricular models for effectively infusing debate into the students lives 3.To systematically assess the learning and behavioral outcomes of strategies to spread the benefits of debate. 4.To implement and sustain programs that have a documented record of success in urban and rural environments both at home and abroad.

ntroduction
1. You are experts who have been assembled to address a particular issue in debates that have been organized by the Parliamentary Research Service. 2. Your audience is composed of parliamentary staff members who will be advising their bosses. Thus, the debates will be judged primarily on the cogency and relevance of the arguments rather than on technical debating skill.

Learning Objectives
1. Present and structure a coherent oral argument 2. Learn how to debate a point using logic and factual citation 3. Learn how to prepare arguments for both sides of an argument.

Topics for the Debate


1. Human cloning should be legal 2. Steroid use should be legalized in sports

Debate Mechanics
1. A debate team should consist of four people. 2. All members of the debate team must participate (speak). A single member of the team should take each segment. 3. The debate format will be as follows: 1 minute opening from affirmative 1 minute opening from negative 3 minutes of detailed argument from affirmative 3 minutes of detailed argument from negative 2 minute rebuttal from affirmative 2 minute rebuttal from negative 3 minutes class questions and open debate 1 minute closing from affirmative 1 minute closing from negative Audience evaluation: feedback and vote from the audience.

Suggestions for Debating


1. You have to be prepared to argue both sides. This means that your team must have researched both sides extensively from good reputable sources. 2. Listen very carefully to your opponents. Rebuttals are only as strong as your ability to undermine their arguments with evidence or carefully constructed counterarguments of your own. 3. Arguments should be made from logical constructions, almost like a mathematical proof. You should avoid emotional argumentation, that is Im right because everyone knows that its right. 4. Arguments should be supported with expert opinions, gathered from your research. Also avoid citing sources that seem dubious or that are unsupportable unless they are personal anecdotes designed to create the foundation for a point.

5. You will be cut off at the end of the time limit. This means that you need to practice timing your responses to ensure that youve made your argument within the time allowed. Otherwise the audience will be left hanging. 6. The first and last impressions are most important. Make sure that you have good openings and closings for your debate. Make sure your closing statements address the arguments of your opponents. 7. Dont worry about getting every little bit of information out there. Your listeners will respond much better to clear argumentation.