Debate Instructions

1. The two debaters will meet with Dr. McCarthy and Dr. McManus to select the focus of the debate, write a “resolved” statement, and determine who will take the pro and con sides; the debate focus must be connected with the unit in a significant rather than a peripheral way.

2. In keeping with the judicial principle of “disclosure,” each debater will prepare an outline of her main points (one brief statement per point—no arguments or evidence) and post it at the appropriate table in the Speakeasy Cafe at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled debate. All students in the class will read the two outlines before the debate so they have a sense of the issues involved. Both debaters will present their arguements in oral form, with notecards rather than a fully written script. Arguments should be supported with references to the required readings of the unit (plus other relevant materials from prior readings) whenever possible, though students may also draw on other materials if they choose. Each side should attempt to deal with counter arguments.

3. The initial presentations of each side should take no more than fifteen minutes, and approximately 2-3 minutes will be allowed for rebuttals. Notecards will be handed in after the debate.

4. The audience will listen carefully to the arguments. After the conclusion of the debate, all will join in a general discussion of the topic. In the subsequent week, the non-debaters should visit the debate table in the Speakeasy Cafe and post their reactions to the debate, further discussion or questions about the issue that occurred to them, etc. Every student will be required to post reactions to at least two debates during the semester.

Daniel McCarthy <>
Barbara F. McManus <>
HON303/WMS303 Syllabus
January 2000