Debate course description

  • Debate

    Dr. Michael Andrews

    -          Teacher of A.P. World History, A.P. European History, Economics, and Debate

    -          Head Coach, Speech and Debate Team

    -          Email:

    -          Voicemail: (631) 367-6961

    Debate Periods:  4 & 5  (Fall 2015)      

    Extra Help:        

    Practices are held after school at least two or three days each week prior to a tournament either in room H-3 or the Social Studies office.  Debaters are strongly encouraged to attend. 

    Course Description:  

    This course provides instruction and practice in the art of public speaking, with an emphasis on debate.   Students train to compete in tournaments in the events of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate (a type of team debate), Extemporaneous Speaking (impromptu speeches analyzing current events), and Model Congress.  Most of the course focuses on the in-class debating of major political and ethical issues.  Students are taught case-writing, rebuttals, cross-examination skills, analytical thinking, and political and moral philosophy.  Students are encouraged to participate in at least two tournaments and to provide an adult judge at most tournaments in which these students compete.


    Students will utilize instruction by Dr. Andrews, in-class notes, handouts, and websites (see "links" under "Debating Tips" subpage) as well as conduct their own independent research in libraries and on the internet to advance their study of debate and to prepare for competitions. 

    Grading Policy:

    50% Class Participation (includes volunteering for in-class debates; active, attentive class participation which is respectful of others in class is expected at all times.  Student note-taking of in-class debates, written on "flow sheets," form a part of this grade.) 

    50% Written Work (Affirmative and Negative debate cases and Congressional bills - all typed, double-spaced, supported by evidence/expert opinion/research, etc., and on time) 


    Honors Credit Criteria for Tournament Debate

    Students who earn an "A" overall for the course and fully qualify for the State Championships by receiving at least two "half-qualifications" in the same event (LD, PF, Extemp, etc.) at two or more tournaments prior to the end of the second quarter may qualify for the Honors Designation in Tournament Debate by virtue of their substantial achievement.

    (In exceptional cases, students who earn an "A" overall for the course and in addition seriously prepare for and actively compete in five or more tournaments involving one or more of the analytical events of Extemporaneous Speaking, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, and/or Model Congress prior to the end of the second quarter may qualify to earn the Honors Designation in Tournament Debate, provided that such students consistently earn tournament high scores and positive tournament ballots demonstrating active and serious competition at ALL of these tournaments, in cases in which such students may come close to fully qualifying for the State Championships yet not fully qualify. )