USA Debate Team

The National Speech & Debate Association’s Worlds Schools debate is a unique traveling opportunity for students, if you’d like to be a part of their USA team, follow the links below.

Applications are now open!

More information can be found here.

Paperless Debate Resources

Paperless Debate Templates
Paperless Debate Templates are an intuitive way for debaters to digitise the debating process. Templates also allow for an efficient way to cut cards and organise files on a computer for in-round access.

One such template is the Verbatim paperless template, found here.

Additional Resources
Emory University Debate Camp 2014 Lecture on Paperless Debating live stream today @ 6:30pm

More Information about paperless debate can be found on the paperless debate website.

CDL Debater Benchmarks

Know where you are headed in your development as a debater. Know what benchmarks you are trying to achieve to help ensure your competitive success at tournaments. Start with the CDL Debater Benchmarks.

Flow Sheet

There’s no real improvement in competitive academic debate that doesn’t start with the flow sheet

This electronic version of a flow sheet is useful if you are flowing on a laptop — a practice that can be more efficient and legible.

Debate Manual

Everyone who debates knows that learning the basics can be a daunting challenge. There’s a lot to learn in a short amount of time when you first start debating, which is why we’ve included the following guide for learning to debate. The guide, written by the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, details several aspects of debate that will help inexperienced debaters learn the basics and experienced debaters master their knowledge of the fundamentals.

Learning to Debate includes the following sections:

  • Getting Started
  • Evidence and Research
  • Communications Strategies
  • Affirmative Strategies
  • Affirmative Speeches
  • Negative Strategies
  • Negative Speeches

Debate Websites

The 3NR: A popular debate blog.

University of Georgia Debate Union Blog

University of Texas Austin’s debate camp blog has occasional articles on the topic and debate strategy from contributors like frequent CDSI lab leader and UT coach JV Reed and former Thomas Kelly assistant coach Claire McKinney A policy debate website with news and information on policy debate happenings nationwide. It features a popular “forums” section where debaters from across the country exchange evidence and discuss debate-related topics – note that since high school and college student debaters are the primary contributors, some discussions are more worthwhile and mature (or appropriate) than others.

Alternative Debate Styles
A powerpoint on Alternative Debate Styles
this presentation explains how one could run and answer performative debate arguments

Example of a Performative Aff
this is an example of a performative argument. It was written by Deven Cooper, debate coach at Fresno State.

How About More Resources?

Mini-Debates Exercise: Hold a mini-debate next practice with this document. Describes the format and details of a mini-debate lesson.

The basics of refutation are laid out in this Basic Refutation Powerpoint presentation.

Review why and how to debate the case — case take-outs, turns, etc. — with this Case Debate Overview.

Miscellaneous but useful tips for writing your own affirmative case are featured in How to Research and Write an Affirmative Case.

Debating Framework Arguments introduces the theory argument of the “framework” and explains a little bit about how it is used in contemporary debate.

The Disad Exercise both defines the core terms used in debating disadvantages and offers a very meeting-ready exercise in teaching disadvantages to beginning and intermediate-level debaters.

The Michigan State University Spartan Debate Institute produced an online debate encyclopedia that defines many terms you may hear in debate, with contributions from college coaches, college debaters and debate experts.

A Debate Glossary produced by Maine East (IL) Debate has useful definitions of many or most of the terms used in Varsity-level debate.

The Emory Policy Debate Manual is first-year and inexperienced Varsity debaters.

Thoroughbred Theory Blocks has a set of blocks on both sides of many of the key debate theory issues, and can be used as a round-ready resource, or a kind of text book on key theory issues.

A debate textbook from is for intermediate-level Varsity debaters.

Topicality Powerpoint a powerpoint presentation about debating topicality effectively