Competitive Debate

Hone essential debating skills and strengthen your arguments as you compete against opponents in various forms of debate.

Utilize body language, vocal projection, and other public speaking techniques to construct an argument that anyone would be hard-pressed to dispute. First, you’ll take your place in a formal Congressional debate and take a stand to influence other politicians. Use the research and persuasion techniques you’ve developed to engage in large-group British Parliamentary Debate, working with your team to insert points of information and defend your stance. Show off your individual debate skills as you incorporate impromptu speaking techniques into one-on-one SPAR debates. At the end of the week, participate in a full, final debate — bracket style — and cheer for your classmates as they face off on a variety of issues. Whether you argue Supreme Court cases or just want to get your way more often, learning to use words to your advantage will make your voice heard.

Plan your summer

New York

Course Highlights

  • Creating Arguments

    Dissect arguments to determine what makes some convincing while others fall flat. Identify the claim, warrant, and impact of your competitor’s statements, identifying holes in their logic and fixing your own.

  • Research + Evidence

    Discover the best sources for your argument and where to find the facts that will really support your point. Using professional debate resources, hone your research techniques as you mine for information with skill and speed.

  • Rebuttals

    When your competitor leaves you with a strong statement, how will you respond? Practice spinning off any statement to make your arguments the strongest — and quickest — in the room.

  • Impromptu Speaking Skills

    Explore techniques for delivering thorough impromptu speeches. Practice responding on the fly and thinking on your feet.

I think that when we debate issues in this class it will help me beyond EXPLO because it helps me learn about different topics and how to interpret them with an open-minded point of view.