Author Topic: written debate activity--feedback?  (Read 3073 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
written debate activity--feedback?
« on: January 14, 2017, 12:00:49 PM »
I'm thinking of doing a written debate activity in the debate class I teach. I'm looking for feedback.

My main goal is to get students to intensively focus on one single issue. I want them to move beyond tag-line debating and get into the details. For example, instead of just saying, "Economy is good now," I want them to wade into specific indicators of economic well-being and what economists actually infer from them.

Here is my thought: Aff. writes three arguments of its choosing on a narrow topic, maybe two pages, double-spaced, with no direct quotations; the Neg. gets the paper and chooses one aff. argument to respond to--getting to write three responses, two double-spaced pages; the process repeats for a couple of cycles.

The idea is that only getting to respond to one opponent argument narrows down the debate quickly. If they can't respond with breadth, they've got to respond with depth.

Oh, one other detail is that we'll be bouncing two topics back and forth. While the students are waiting for their opponents to write their responses, they'll be working on writing their own responses on a different topic.

Has anyone used a written debate activity in their class? Any feedback or thoughts on my activity?



  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: written debate activity--feedback?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 09:32:11 PM »
So without "direct quotations", will you be giving more credence to presumption, and to what one might call, "conventional wisdom"?
Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981

V I Keenan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 82
Re: written debate activity--feedback?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 10:03:12 PM »
You should look up the International Public Policy Forum by the Bickel and Brewer Foundation (now just Brewer Foundation).  It is a HS scholarship competition that the first few rounds of competition were written, then written plus oral defense in the Sweet 16, and then verbal debates.