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About Debate

Debate instruction is provided based on the event that students participate in.

Public Forum. Public Forum is the most popular debate format in the world, with students debating 2 v. 2 in competition. In the US, topics change bi-monthly in the fall and every month in the spring. In Asia, topics change in the spring and fall semesters.  Students normally debate topics more than once and prepare very intensely to debate the topics. We provide instruction with helping students learn Public Forum, helping students improve their skills, and helping students prepare to debate the topics.

Public Forum Training

Policy Debate.  The original debate format, students who engage in Policy debate debate two on two on a similar topic for the entire year, though they do debate subsets of the topic. For example, this year’s Policy debate topic in the US is immigration reform. Subsets that students debate include refugees, family separation, and H-1B visas.  Students who compete in Policy debate talk very quickly and it is a very research intensive form of debate. Many students who participate in Policy debate spend 4-7 weeks during the summer at debate camps preparing for competition.  We provide instruction with helping students learn Policy debate, helping students improve their skills, and helping students prepare to debate the topics.

Lincoln-Douglas. Lincoln-Douglas is a common but less popular form where students debate one on one.  The topics change bi-monthly and generally focus on philosophical issues, though modern Lincoln-Douglas debating has taken on many of the many of the norms and practices of Policy debate.  We provide instruction with helping students learn Lincoln Douglas debate, helping students improve their skills, and helping students prepare to debate the topics.

World Schools debating. World Schools is a format that is less popular in the US but more popular abroad. In this format, students debate three on three with different topics in each debate. Some of the topics are announced before the start of the tournament and others are announced an hour before the debate.  This requires students to prepare in advanced to debate a wide variety of topics and there is more of an emphasis on logic and reasoning than evidence.  We provide instruction with helping students learn World Schools debate, helping students improve their skills, and helping students prepare to debate the topics.

Parliamentary training. Parliamentary debate is similar to World Schools in terms of the preparation the announcement  of some the topics during the tournament and others a bit before, but in Parliamentary debate students debate 2 teams v. 2 teams and the teams and debaters are ranked. There isn’t a winner, but teams are ranked 1-4. This format is rare in the US, but it is practiced in California and there is a small prep school parliamentary debate circuit in the Northeast US. We provide instruction with helping students learn Parliamentary debate, helping students improve their skills, and helping students prepare to debate the topics.