The OG Debate Guide

Struggling with debating? Wanting some helpful tips? Take a look and see what our team has to say:

Define key terms in the motion.

Tell the judge & opponents the key points you need to prove to win the debate.

WSC Debate Scoresheet

Look at the scoresheet! There are so many points up for grabs if you do some things others almost never do. It is difficult to score thousands of people engaged in subjective debate, but follow this guide & you will make the most of the impwaafect scoring system. Remember, the scores never lie. It is up to you to win for yourself.

Motions

WSC motions are the bane of my existence with their tendency to completely not support high-level case framework.

Junior motions are often more quirky/less serious, leaning towards the absurd, while Senior motions (esp. in Yale) are more current issues/policy-oriented, with implications for the status quo. As usual, the most useful advice I can offer is to read stuff like the New York Times & The Economist to keep up with current issues in the socio-economic spectrum.

For example, Yale 2016 had the motion “Facebook should ban fake news” - while not in the official syllabus, it had implications for the stuff we were studying in An Imperfect World.

Feedback

Proper feedback produces debate medals. Judges are tired of listening to compliments aimed at being “polite”. Instead, use the time provided to analyse the opponent’s points & help them come up with better argument styles. Show the judge that you are worthy of 7 points in feedback by producing proper analysis of the scenarios & how they can improve themselves. Just don’t try to undermine their points & you will be polite enough!

Teamwork

Discuss during prep. Seriously, do not go off & write your own points down without consulting your teammates. Spend 5-10 mins whispering to each other - I promise you will score higher in everything.

Style & Content

Study my notes for content, but do not use evidence from Art & Literature, even if the judge is DAA (which shows they know the syllabus enough to coach others). Or else you would be having hell for trying to incorporate deep symbolism into policy debate. It is best for you to develop your own style, though Juniors benefit from being louder, because judges are looking for confidence more than analysis & content in young pacas. For Seniors, especially for those going to Yale, judges are looking for more cohesion e.g. more poised methods of delivering your content - like the one I gave you below.

Define key terms in the motion.

Tell the judge & opponents the key points you need to prove to win the debate.

Frame arguments and team stance into case context.

Rebut the opposition by turning their arguments into your favour.