Whatis Competitive Debate Heidi

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  • 1. What is Competitive Debate? And How Can it be Used in the Classroom? by Heidi H.
  • 2. McGough’s article in The New Republic
    • Competitive Debate has become a low substance, high format competition
    • Too much traditional debate focuses on volume of arguments, even if they are flimsy
    • Debaters speak quickly and ramble off as many arguments as they can, using too many abbreviations in effort to lure opponent to not have enough time to refute all arguments
  • 3.
    • Lincoln-Douglas and Parliamentary formats are more popular
    • Lincoln-Douglas focuses on discussing the merits of competing ethical values
    • Parliamentary does not have a pre-set topic. Debaters find out topic ten minutes before the debate.
    But There’s Hope!
  • 4. Toulmin’s Theories of Argument Construction
  • 5.
    • Data – evidence
    • Claim – debater’s stance on the issue
    • Warrant – logic the debater uses to make claim
    • Backing – reasoning for that logic, more evidence
    • Qualifier – relative strength of argument, a pitfall
    • Reservation – rebuttal that will strengthen argument
  • 6. Classroom Uses
    • Good way to build logical and abstract thought
    • Illustrates to students that there are no “pat answers” to tough questions
    • Gets kids to see multiple sides of issues