NLA Debate Team to Host Mock Debate

The North Lakes Academy Debate team is hosting a Mock Debate today, January 22nd, in the room of English teacher and debate coach Tom Lutes.  The topic will be technology and whether it is good for our school.

When people think of debate, they think of an argument. This is not exactly wrong; debate is an argument with rules. The process is as follows:

  • Research.  Debate teams across the state are given the same topic.  This month’s topic was “Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms.” Teams must research the topic, which changes every month.

  • Compose Constructives.  Constructives are papers that give a debater’s affirmative (“Pro”) and negative (“Con”) arguments.  A “constructive” usually has two to three “contentions”, which are the argument’s main points.  There are also sub points for each contention. Claims made in the constructives are supported by research. 

  • Share. Debaters at NLA share their constructives in a shared folder on Google Drive®.

  • Feedback and Revision. Next they get comments from Lutes through Google Drive® and make changes as instructed.

  • Compete. The team car pools to tournaments on the weekends. A typical debate has the following steps: teams hear the topic and take positions (pro and con); teams discuss topics and come up with statements; teams deliver the statements and give main points; competitors discuss the opposing argument and formulate rebuttals and deliver them; closing statements are made.  Each section of the debate is timed.

For a clearer picture of how it works, come to the Mock Debate today after school.

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