• Peter Lawrence

Day Eight - Two Debates and Final Research

Today, we started the morning off with an argument structure exercise, writing out together an argument for why Microsoft is better than Apple (students picked the argument). We worked our way through the parts of an argument, from main claim to warrants to sub-warrants, co-premises, and rebuttals. We looked at the topic from both sides to strengthen our final argument, and included some opposing arguments for reference.

After the argument map exercise, students had their fourth full-length debate, the third on the topic of standardized testing. Judges provided feedback, and then we came back together in one group for a flowing exercise. Using a deck of cards, we simulated a simple set of debate arguments and helped students create shorthand to improve their flowing technique. We then broke for lunch, with half of the students staying inside and the other half eating outside.

Once lunch was over, we finished the flowing argument with rebuttal speeches that drew arguments from both sides of the debate, and took some time to discuss the importance of synthesis - both in English papers and debate! As the flowing exercise ended, we broke into new pairings for a fifth full-length debate, flipping the sides students had been while debating in the morning. The reason for this is that by switching sides, students can employ arguments they hear from earlier debates that opponents made against them to improve their overall argumentation.

After the fifth debate, we gave students the choice to continue with research, or practice and deliver rebuttal redoes one-on-one with us. Most continued with research to make sure they were prepared to start debating tomorrow morning, but a few decided to give redoes with us, and we were able to work through multiple angles of advice for skill improvement.

We're looking forward to the tournament, starting tomorrow! As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at


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