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Overview: Debate Categories

Congressional Debate #

Congressional Debate typically appeals to students who are interested in socially and politically interacting with peers to discuss a problem in a group setting. Using Robert’s Rules of Order, students give alternating, brief affirmative and negative speeches, followed by questioning periods.

Speech Limit Purpose
Sponsorship 3 minutes Constructs advocacy by explaining need for the legislation to solve/mitigate a problem, and how it will do that.
Questioning of Sponsor 2 minutes Presiding officer recognizes 4 students to each engage in a 30-second direct question-and-answer periods with the sponsor.
First Negative 3 minutes Constructs opposition by explaining how attempting to solve/mitigate a problem with the legislation will fail to meet objectives or will make the problem worse
Questioning of First Negative 2 minutes Presiding officer recognizes 4 students to each engage in a 30-second direct question-and-answer periods with the first negative.
Subsequent Speeches 3 minutes Refutes opponents’ arguments by explaining why they are incorrect and extends previous arguments on the same side to related concepts or more in-depth exploration.
Subsequent Questioning 1 minute Presiding officer recognizes 2 students to each engage in a 30-second direct question-and-answer period.
Debate on each item of legislation may last up to an hour and a half (depending on how many delegates are assigned to a room, at which time, the presiding officer takes a vote of delegates.

Sponsorship Speech Structure

Placeholder for sponsorship speech structure video.

Introduction to Congressional Debate

Subsequent Speech Structure

Placeholder for subsequent speech structure video.

Feb. 2023 WISDAA Webinar

Placeholder for 2023 WISDAA webinar video.

Parliamentary Procedure + Presiding

Functional Civics in Debate

Start of Congressional Round

Congressional Debate Example, In Person

Congressional Debate, Emory Univ. Online

World Schools Debate #

World Schools Debate is a three-on-three format. While a given team may consist of five members, only three students from a team participate in a given debate. Resolutions come in two types: prepared motions and impromptu motions. Teams will be assigned one of two sides in each round- either the proposition team proposing/advocating for/supporting the motion or the opposition team advocating against/rejecting of the motion. Debaters present their position on a topic, refute their opponents, and respond to questions throughout the course of the debate.

Speech Limit Purpose
Proposition Team Speaker 1 8 min. Define/clarify the motion, describe status quo, introduce the proposition case.
Opposition Team Speaker 1 8 min. Refute proposition arguments, offer counter-case or just argue against the motion.
Proposition Team Speaker 2 8 min. Refute opposition’s arguments and respond to their refutations, and extend proposition case.
Opposition Team Speaker 2 8 min. Refute proposition’s arguments and respond to their refutations, and extend opposition case.
Proposition Team Speaker 3 8 min. Disprove the opposition, deepening analysis and pointing out strategic mistakes/inconsistencies, rebuild the proposition case and how the opposition inadequately disproves them.
Opposition Team Speaker 3 8 min. Disprove the proposition, deepening analysis and pointing out strategic mistakes/inconsistencies, rebuild the opposition case and how the proposition inadequately disproves them.
Opposition Rebuttal 4 min. Distill the debate to key points by explaining why those key points emerged, and why those ought to be the focus of determining how the opposition should prevail.
Proposition Rebuttal 4 min. Distill the debate to key points by explaining why those key points emerged, and why those ought to be the focus of determining how the proposition should prevail.

World Schools Debate Overview

World Schools Debate Example

World Schools First Speaker

World Schools Second Speaker

World Schools Third Speaker

World Schools Reply Speech

World Schools Points of Information

World Schools In-Round Etiquette

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Updated on 01/02/2024
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