Team Policy and Lincoln Douglas Debate
Participation in debate is a huge commitment, but benefits abound! Christy Shipe writes, “…Whatever the resolution, a student will almost certainly cover government, economics, political science, composition, research, public speaking, logic, rhetoric, current events, typing/word processing, computer skills, editing, and argumentation and debate theory…”
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE?
Check individual class and club listings at www.mache.org/mnhs&d for age/grade recommendations. For debate competition, home educated students age 12-18 by January 1st of the current school year may participate.
HOW DOES A STUDENT BECOME INVOLVED? (7th- 9th)
Younger students (7th - 9th) who are not yet ready for debate can improve their speaking and reasoning skills in the following speech events:
In a class, club, or competition students pick a topic and are given two minutes to prepare a 5 minute (maximum) speech. Students who practice impromptu daily will learn how to think on their feet! Students will use the skills they learn from impromptu in everyday conversations and, if they choose to participate in debate, during cross-examinations and refutations of other teams or individuals in debate rounds. On your own or with a group of friends, work through the resource:
- Split Second Thinking by Zac Flowerree
(Time commitment is approx. ½ hour, 4 times per week, 4-8 weeks. After completing the book, prepare and give a speech two to three times per week to keep your skills sharp)
Writing and presenting Persuasive or Original Oratory speeches gives students more confidence in these skills, which will carry over into writing “plans” for, or presenting “constructive” speeches in debate rounds. As students write platform speeches, they will search for and add in facts, stories and quotes that will support their topics. Sharpening their ability to “search” for information from print and online resources will prepare students for doing the same with debate, where they must always be prepared to debate the affirmative or the negative side of a debate resolution. On your own or with a group of friends, read or work through the platform speaking activities in one or both of these resources:
- As I Was Saying …A Guide to the World of Competitive Speech by Thane Rehn
The Art of Platform - Speaking Learning From Great Orators by Michele Hop
(Time commitment varies with reading level. Students can practice writing and speaking on subjects they are currently studying in class.)
HOW DOES A STUDENT BECOME INVOLVED? (9th - 12th)
Older students (mature 7th - 8th graders, 9th - 12th graders) who start out in debate, rather than speech, will learn and practice the skills mentioned above in class, at club, and/or in competition. Before competing in debate rounds, students must become familiar with debate theory. To learn debate theory, students can take a debate class. For more practice using what they have learned in class, students can also attend a debate club, where they will participate in a variety of debate-related activities. Students may also study debate on their own. If a student chooses to learn debate theory outside of a class, it is a good idea to do so with a few friends or a small group, as this will help all students stay motivated and give them a chance to discuss the resolution, articles, or their cases with others.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN A DEBATE ROUND?
Team Policy Debate:
A Team Policy debate round can last up to 74 minutes. Participants in a Team Policy debate round include four debaters, one or more judges, and a timekeeper. Two-person teams debate the given resolution. In each round, the teams are prepared to debate for (affirmative) or against (negative) the resolution, and will debate equally for or against the resolution in preliminary rounds of a tournament. During timed constructive speeches, cross-examinations, and rebuttals, debaters on both sides of the resolution attempt to convince the judge(s) that their position on a policy is the correct one. Throughout the season debaters will continue to gather information to strengthen their cases to more confidently argue for or against the resolution.
Lincoln Douglas Debate:
A Lincoln Douglas debate round is completed in approximately half the time of a Team Policy debate round. A Lincoln Douglas debate round involves two individualdebaters on opposing sides of the resolution, one or more judges, and a timekeeper. In each round, the individuals are prepared to debate for (affirmative) or against(negative) the resolution, and will debate equally for or against the resolution in preliminary rounds of a tournament. During timed constructive speeches, cross-examinations, and rebuttals, debaters on both sides of the resolution attempt to convince the judge(s) that their position on a value is the correct one. Throughout the season debaters will continue to gather information to strengthen their cases to more confidently argue for or against the resolution.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT DEBATE (AND SPEECH) OPPORTUNITIES IN MINNESOTA?
For current information about classes, clubs, debate (and speech) resolutions and resources, tournaments, and other opportunities, contact us HERE.