Intro to Public Forum Debate - Columbia Public Schools
Intro to Public Forum Debate What is Public Forum Debate? Partner debate Purpose- for the common man Much easier to understand, and thus to judge, than especially Policy but even Lincoln Douglas Debate (created because the other debates were so complicated) Topic changes each month Accessible to anyone
Types of Public Forum Topics Public Forum, or PF (pronounced puff), topics are all current, popular, and much debated issues Ex. NSA, immigration reform, climate change, foreign policy in the Middle East, the rise of China, health insurance, and the Supreme Court Resolutions are released at the first of the month prior to the month the topic will be debated
Types of Resolutions Three types or categories of resolutions that Public Forum debates fall under Course-of-action debates Cost-benefit analysis debates Comparison debates Most resolutions will fall under these three categories Course-of-action debates Debates that revolve around debating the
merits of a course of action Characterized by should in the resolution Verbs following should may include: Suspend Require Abolish May also include a moral obligation to take a course of action or to do something Course-of-action debates, cont.
Should debates will have the following categories of arguments: Moral (is it moral?) Feasibility (is it possible?) Practicality (is it reasonable?) The action will usually not have already taken place (will be in the future) There are also should not debates In this case, the PRO side will affirm that the course of action should not be taken and the CON will advocate that it should be taken
Course-of-action examples December 2013 Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrations living in the United States. March 2013 Resolved: The United States government should not require its citizens to have health insurance. February 2012 Resolved: Birthright citizenship should be abolished in the United States.
Cost-benefit Analysis Debates Debates that require you to evaluate and debate the costs and the benefits of an specific idea, institution, or decision Words that characterize these debates Undermines Threatens Harms Outweighs Benefits Not all of these debates will explicitly
say in the resolution costs or benefits!! Cost-benefit Analysis Debates, cont. These resolutions may be broad or specific Could require the debate to focus on a specific harm or benefit or cost Occasionally use the phrase on balance to equalize the debate (if you see this its a cost-benefit analysis debate!) Also may ask to uphold or justify a previous decision or evaluate the
implications of the decision Examples of CostBenefit Analysis Broad Debates Specific November 2013 Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms. January 2012 Resolved: The costs of a college education outweigh
the benefits. January 2013 - Resolved: On balance, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission harms the election process. February 2013 Resolved: On balance, the rise of China is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
Comparison Debates Resolutions that direct a comparison between two options in the round May have two different solutions/options to fix a problem Words to look for: Prioritize Is preferable Should replace Have to research both options thoroughly! The debate will be a clash between BOTH the costs and the benefits for BOTH options
Comparison Resolutions, cont. December 2012 Resolved: The United States should prioritize tax increases over spending cuts. November 2011 Resolved: Direct popular vote should replace electoral vote in presidential elections. October 2011 Resolved: Private sector investment in human space exploration is preferable to public sector investment.
What type of debate is this? Resolved: The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan. Resolved: In the United States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals. Resolved: Developed countries have a moral obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change. Why was this exercise important?
Its important to know what type of debate you will be participating in, in order to know the types of arguments The type sets up the framework of the debate Framework is what shapes the round The resolution is the initially framework in a debate, because it gives you what to talk about The value in LD and an observation in Public Forum further clarify framework in a round Observations A type of framework Useful to make the resolution more balanced to
your side (some resolutions inherently favor one side over the other) Used for clarification of what you want the round to look like or what should be talked about Should be limited in use but are crucial to understand so if another team as an unfair observation, you are prepared to adequately attack it Like a value in LD, gives the judge a criteria to judge upon Examples Resolved: The U.S. government should not require its
citizens to have health insurance. Observation one: the Affordable Care Act is only an example of a law that includes a mandate to purchase health insurance, meaning the debate should not be limited only to this act. Resolved: the United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan. Observation one: in order for the PRO side to win todays debate, they must prove that every form of assistance should be suspended. If any form of assistance stands at the end of the round the CON side wins todays debate
Public Forum Cases Like in LD, Public Forum Debates begin with each side reading their cases. This time, each case is 4 minutes long. Cases will include The resolution Definitions Any observations 2 or more contentions Before we clarify how to write a case, lets brainstorm what should be included in this months cases.
January 2016 Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests. What TYPE of debate will this be? Right, a cost-benefit debate! Now, brainstorm Definitionsthink, what should we define? And what definitions
should we use if we are PRO and CON? Will each case require different definitions? Any observations? What will this debate look like? January 2016 Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions Topic Analysis Split into two groups Each group should come up with 5 arguments for the PRO Side and 5 for the CON Side
May need to quickly look things up! (cite possible evidence) Think of the categories used in on balance debates (Undermines, Threatens, Harms, Outweighs, Benefits) Think of the effects of sanctions on Russia and Western interestsbe ready to share! January 2016 Resolved: On balance, economic sanctions are reducing the threat Russia poses to Western interests.
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