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Day Three - Learning Public Forum

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Day three at Lexington Debate Institutes was the students' first experience in Public Forum debate. Public Forum is one of the styles of debate at the high school level and is a good introduction to debate. It involves two teams of two debating each other about a set topic, known as the "resolution."


After check-in, we presented the students with a sample resolution discussing the benefits and downsides of standardized testing. Students analyzed the resolution, focusing on the wording and specific language used. We then discussed different arguments for each side and had students try to use these arguments in a series of impromptu speeches.


Next, we discussed how to compare pieces of evidence. Students learned to look at factors such as author qualifications, the recency of the article, the source, and the use of actual data versus opinion.


After lunch, students were taught the rules of Public Forum debate. To put together all of the lessons we covered today, we had students use these skills together. First, they researched the sample resolution and create collections of arguments, called cases, to use in practice debates. Then, using the Public Forum format they conducted debates on the resolution. All of the instructors were impressed with the students debating skills. After the debates instructor gave the students feedback about their debating and research. We're excited with how well camp has been going and look forward to more debate!


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