Debate Preparation, Procedure, and Process


The debate format will be as follows. We will have two teams, one presenting an argument for a position stated in a GIVEN STATEMENT and one arguing against it. Each team will be given 3 minutes for an initial presentation, an additional 4 minutes for substantiating the argument, and a final 2 minutes to present a rebuttal of the other team’s argument.
Each STATEMENT will be debated by a panel of six students: three “pro” and three “con.” Each team should begin by assigning a primary responsibility to three team members, as follows:

The debate will begin with each side giving a three-minute presentation that summarizes the team’s position. One team member will deliver this statement for his or her team by bringing up, point by point, each of the claims that comprise the team’s argument. While it will be one person’s responsibility to deliver the argument, it is up to the whole team to define the main points.
As a team, begin by preparing a written outline of these points. This outline may be used by the presenter, but the statement should be delivered in a conversational manner, rather than as a scripted reading.

This is the substantive part of the argument. Each team on the panel will be given 5 minutes for substantiating each of the points provided in their team’s argument and citing relevant research to back up each statement given in the initial presentation. In general, all statements should be identified clearly as either fact or opinion, and all statements of fact should be verified with evidence.

In the class time provided, team members will begin finding facts to support the team’s claims. In addition, each team member will be responsible for researching a fact or supporting a point for homework.  You will turn in an annotated bibliography to show your individual contribution to the research. Remember that any proof the team provides will be attacked by the opposition in the final step of the debate, so it must be backed up with strong supporting data and a balance of Ethos, Pathos, Logos (AKA Rhetorical Triangle) As in the initial presentation, speaking in a conversational style from prepared notes is preferred over reading verbatim from a script.

After the team has offered its support for its arguments, each team will have five minutes to refute the opposing team’s argument. Probe the opposite team’s evidence for weaknesses (insufficient data, weak sources, inconclusive or illogical arguments, etc.). While one person will deliver the rebuttal, the whole team should keep track of the opposition’s points and evidence, and then, during a “working break,” gather the points for a rebuttal as a team.


A coin toss at the beginning of each debate will decide who will begin the debate, but in general, the format is as follows:

-The “pro” team defines the points of its argument (3 minutes).
-The “con” team defines its team’s counterpoints (3 minutes).
-The “pro” team delivers evidence to substantiate its argument (4 minutes).
-The “con” team substantiates its argument (4 minutes).
-Working break: 3 minutes.
-The “pro” rebuttal seeks to refute the “con” argument (2 minutes).
-The “con” rebuttal seeks to refute the “pro” argument (2 minutes).


  1. TEAM DEBATES: Directions (PDF)
  2. Debate Rubric
  3. Logical Fallacies: Thou Shall Not Commit Logical Fallacies
  4. What is an Annotated Bibliography: How to video and Annotated Bibliography Guide (PDF) and Sample Annotated Bibliography
  5. Debate Support Resources:
    1. National Speech and Debate Association
    2. Debate Central by National Center for Policy Analysis
    3. The Great Debate
  6. Debate Reflection

Weekly Updates: 10.30-11.3 *Note: This Week is End of the Quarter, NB, Unit Portfolios & Midterm Essay Due Friday!

AP Seminar: Period 1

Announcements: Notebook Due Friday! Sign Up Walk In My Shoes Field Trip On November 17th

Monday: 1.) Stats and Data Review: Stanford’s CEPA “Racial and Ethnic Achievement Gaps” Presentations  (Tools: Sample Sentence Starters Template

Tuesday: 1.) Watch: He Named Me Malala 2.) Notes: EQ What arguments about Educational Inequality does the documentary reveal through Malala’s story? What connections does this documentary make with what we have been learning?

Wednesday: 1.)Summarizing Statements for: Tale of Two Districts  2.)Mendez v. Westminster Legal Brief Analysis & Summary

Thursday:1.) New Groups Read and Analyze “Educational Equity: What does it mean? How do we know when we reach it?

Friday: 1.) Quick Read: “Resolved Inmates Make Tough Debaters” as Introduction to Debate Process 2.) Evaluate Debate: Bullied to Death 3.) Debate Team Process & Prep

English 3P Honors: Period 2, 5, 6

Announcements: Revised Literary Analysis on The Namesake Notebooks Due Friday (Essay Sample, Revision Checklist & Revision Reflection, MLA Guides), Walk In My Shoes Field Trip On November 17th

Monday: Quarter 3 Benchmark

Tuesday: 1.) Complete Says-Means-Matters, SOAPS, Comparative Summmary on The Constitution and “Declaration of Independence” 

Wednesday: 1.) Building A Democracy Learning Stations Introduction

Thursday: 1.) Learning Stations Day 2

Friday: 1.) Notebook Reflection 2.) Literary Analysis Essay Due: Turnitin Tutorial 2.) Learning Stations Day 3

Mexican American Literature & Culture Period 3

Announcements: Unit Portfolio and Notebooks Due Friday, Chicanx/Latinx College Day November 3, Walk In My Shoes Field Trip On November 17th

Monday: Identity Unit Portfolio Poetry Stations

Tuesday: “Book of Life” Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Wednesday: Dead Writers Day Exhibit Preparation

Thursday: Dead Writers Day

Friday: Portfolio Share Out and Reading