Political Science 102                                                                            American Government

Issue Debate

Objective: The in-class debate is designed to strengthen your skills as a persuasive speaker. You will construct strong arguments and break down and refute opposition arguments.


Requirements: In order to prepare for the debate and case briefs, each student should keep a notebook or journal of reading notes with his/her readings. Students are expected to locate materials to support their position and prepare a research synopsis to aid in their presentation.


Format: The last part of the class will be focused on the formal debate. 6 students will be assigned to each group. Each group will debate a pre-chosen topic. The debates will be structured in the following manner: 2 students will present a 10-minute speech. The third student will prepare 5 minute rebuttal statements to the opposing arguments.  


                        Group 1                       Group 2          

                        First Speech                 First Speech

                        Response                     Response

                        Second Speech            Second Speech

                        Response                     Response


Each student will be required to prepare and submit a research synopsis detailing the main issues of their presentation or rebuttal.


Judging: Your instructor will serve as the moderator. Students will judge the other debates. You will be given instructions on how to judge these debates.


Grading Policy: Grading will be based on participation in debate-related class activities (including the actual debates) and written case briefs.


Point Distribution:

Group Participation               10 pts.

Research Synopsis                10 pts.

Formal in-class debate           30 pts.