High school Debate

Today’s blog post is also quite unique and different from what I regularly post as I am going to start doing debate at my new high school. Seeing as that is the case I figured I would explain the 2 types of debate my high school offers and compare and contrast them.

Ill start with the type of debate I’ll be doing which is policy debate. In policy debate teams of 2 people advocate for and against a resolution that usually calls for a policy change by the United States Government. It is also called cross examination debate as you can cross examen your opponents claims. Then a judge or judges decide who supported their perspective the best and they are the winners.

After each teams constructive speech period the other team has 3 minutes to question their entire argument. This second speech/set of questions is called a rebuttal. The point of the rebuttal of course is to try and convince the judges that your perspective is correct by finding issues with the other teams argument. The affirmative side has to convince the judge for change and the negative has to convince the judge that the current policy is better than the affirmatives proposed situation.

The other type of debate is called Lincoln Douglas debate. In this type of debate people debate 1 on 1. The formats questions often place heavy emphasis on logic, philosophy, and ethical values. Lincoln Douglas debate is named after the debates between President Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. Because their debates were about slavery and the morals, values, and logic behind it.

The biggest difference between these 2 types of debate is that in LD debate you make your claim and your opponent makes a claim and a judge simply decides which one they thing is stronger. Whereas in Policy debate you can point out any possible errors in your opponents argument and you can use those errors to your advantage.

I also want to do policy debate because I think being able to actually argue with the other team and having a teammate would be more fun and interesting. Also in LD debate you are simply stating your case and hoping that its better than your opponent’s and in my opinion there’s no actual debating. However this just my opinion and you should pursue whatever type of debate you would like or not at all.

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post and I’ll be back with another one tomorrow see you then!

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