• 5 Tips for Succeeding at NSDA Nationals

      With NSDA (National Speech and Debate Association, formerly National Forensics League/NFL) Nationals coming up next week, Debate Central wants to help you be as prepared as possible. We interviewed a number of debaters who have done well at N...

  • 5 Ways to Keep Improving Over the Summer

      Now that the season is officially over (or, at least, you have a significant break before NFL Nationals), no one would blame you for wanting to take a break. But we know lots of you out there are HARDCORE and will want to use all your newfoun...

  • Have a Better Next Season, Starting Now: Conduct a Self-Assessment

      As this debate season draws to a close, your most triumphant wins and painful losses are probably still fresh in your brain. That makes right now the perfect time to conduct an honest self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as a deba...

  • Summer Debate Camp Guide 2014: Institutes Offering Low-Cost Tuition and Scholarships

      Here at Debate Central, we know how helpful it is to attend summer debate camp. Camps give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience, run practice rounds, research next year's topic(s), and receive feedback from some of the country's bes...

  • Learning From the Best: The Importance of Watching Elim Debates

      There are plenty of things you do to improve your debate performance: hours of research, speaking drills, practice rounds, rebuttal re-dos. But you might be missing out on a key resource that is built right into the tournament: watching out-r...

  • The Best Speaking Drills, and When to Do Them

      Speaking drills are an important component of preparing for your debates. Today, we’re going to introduce you to some of the best drills, and explain how each one will help you improve.   This post references speed as a goal, bu...

  • The 12 Best Debate Tips We've Ever Heard

      In honor of February 12th, today we’re going to share the 12 best pieces of debate advice we’ve ever received. Read and absorb these nuggets of wisdom below.   1. “Know the internal link scenario.” No matter what event and ...

  • Guest Post: How to Become Autonomous in Your Forms of Argumentation

      This week’s guest blog post comes from Myra Milam. Myra is currently a senior at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, where she competes in NFALD debate. Last year, Myra was top speaker at the National Forensics Association college Na...

  • Guest Post: Building a Core Narrative for Public Forum With Traditional Policy Tactics

      Today's post is written by a guest contributor, Charles Fisher.  Charles is currently the Public Forum coach at Millard North in Omaha, NE. As a debater, he was a TOC Top Speaker in public forum in 2006, as well as a Nebraska State runner...

  • How To: Win Debates Even When You're Behind on Some Issues

      When I was judging this last weekend, I found myself repeating the same criticism to teams over and over again. It’s a technique that is particularly important in close debates, because it influences judges to resolve contentious issues in ...

  • Got Kritik Questions? Get Ready For Our New Column: Ask a K Hack!

      We know lots of you have questions about kritiks. That’s why, beginning next week, we’re introducing a new column: Ask a K Hack!   Need help understanding Foucault, Nietzsche, or the cap K? Unsure about how to answer psychoanal...

  • The One-Second Change That Will Dramatically Improve Your Speeches

      There is one change you can make to the way you give speeches that only takes about one second, but makes a huge difference. Skeptical? Read on.   Many high school debaters have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it’s like t...

  • Uniqueness Controls the Direction of the Link: A Primer

      Have you been hearing teams throwing the phrase “uniqueness controls the direction of the link” around in your debates, and aren’t sure what it means or how to use it? Debate Central will help you demystify.   Like nearly al...

  • January PF Con Analysis is Published!

      Public forum debaters, here's our guide to debating the con side of the January PF resolution, "Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa." In it, you'll find an introduction to t...

  • The New Year's Resolution Every Debater Should Make for 2014

      What is our recommendation for the one new year's resolution that will help every single debater improve in 2014? It might surprise you.   Many of you are probably already setting goals for yourself for the new year. We have a sug...

  • January PF Pro Analysis is Published!

      Public forum debaters can check out our brand new guide to the January PF resolution, "Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa," below the fold. In it, you'll find an introduction...

  • 2013-2014 Policy/Cross-X Topic Analysis is Published!

      We know you CXers have been eagerly awaiting our topic analysis for your topic, "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela." Here it is, just in time ...

  • Judges' Top Pet Peeves, and How to Avoid Them (Part 2/2)

      After asking a wide range of frequent judges in each event, we have uncovered some of the most common debate judge pet peeves. Yesterday, we discussed the first half of the responses, and how to avoid making these classic mistakes. Today, we ...

  • Judges’ Top Pet Peeves, and How to Avoid Them (Part 1/2)

      For today’s article, we consulted a diverse group of active judges from each event about what debater habits irritate them the most. Here are the results, along with how to modify your behavior and become every judge’s favorite debater...

  • Improve Your Body Language to Improve Your Performance

      This excellent TED talk discusses the transformative power of strong, powerful body language in shaping not only how we are viewed by others, but also how we view ourselves. According to Amy Cuddy, studies show that people who enact dominant ...

  • The Cross-X Questions You Can’t Afford Not to Ask

      Cross-examination is perhaps the most under-utilized several minutes of any debate round. Since your cross-x gives you complete control over what subjects are discussed, it is crucial that you work to wring every last drop of strategic potent...

  • Research Means More Than Cutting Cards

      When you sit down to do some debate research, the number one thing on your mind is probably finding evidence to support your claims. However, there’s another kind of research that’s just as important: the kind that helps you sound like yo...

  • Stop Going for Framework Against Nontraditional Affs: Here’s Why

      As the number of teams reading “nontraditional” affs continues to rise, more and more debaters from traditional backgrounds are struggling to adjust to the new demands these rounds present. Many students respond by using framework argume...

  • Rebuttal Strategy: How to Choose Which Arguments to Go For

    It’s the most ubiquitous strategic dilemma in debate: how do I decide which arguments to carry into my last speeches, and which to abandon or kick out of? This choice is one of the most influential in determining whether you win or lose, but in the...

  • Start Winning More Debates Now: Master the Fundamentals

      Anyone who has ever participated in a sport understands the meaning of the term “fundamentals.” Fundamentals refers to the most basic skills underlying an activity. Debate is no different! Just as basketball players must pay attention to ...

  • Do You Struggle to Beat Non-Traditional Teams? Read this now.

    Two days ago, HSImpact published a fairly in-depth post about debating non-traditional teams. With many more teams talking about the topic in unconventional ways (employing poetry, personal stories, changing frameworks, or even new angles on time-teste...

  • Message to Debaters on the Economics of the 2013-2014 CX Topic!

    A large part of part of Debate Central’s mission is bringing you current, in-depth information directly from experts. This year, we’re proud to release our economic analysis of the topic, “Economics of the 2013-2014 Debate Topic: U.S. Engagement...

  • Fall UIL Topic Analysis is Posted!

    We've just posted our analysis of the fall UIL Lincoln-Douglas topic, Resolved: The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010) ruling undermines democracy in the United States. You can find the complete analysis here. As a...

  • Debate Central High Speed Rail Packet

    Hi, debaters! We didn't forget about the Cross-Examination Topic just because we've been spending so much time on Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum. Our debate expert, assistant director of debate at North Texas Louie Petit, has written you a high speed...

  • Skyline Workshop Date Change

    Debate Central is moving the Skyline High School workshop back a week to accommodate more students. The new date will be September 8th. All other details remain the same. If you've already registered, we'll be contacting you individually to upda...

  • Message to Debaters on the Economics of the Transportation Infrastructure Topic

    A large part of part of Debate Central's mission is bringing you current, in-depth information directly from experts. This year, we're proud to release our economic analysis of the topic, "Message to Debaters on the Economics of the 2012-2013 Debate T...

  • Announcing Four Star 2012!

    Debate Central, along with its partners at Oklahoma Christian University and the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute, is proud to announce Four Star leaders, a one-of-a-kind camp experience. To learn more and apply please visit our website!

  • Summer Debate Camps

    As you are preparing for the 2011-2012 season, check out Debate Central's list of summer debate camps around the country.

  • Understanding Public Forum Debate

    Follow this link for more information on public forum debate.

  • Common LD Values

    Debate Central has summarized common LD value premises to help you understand basic LD debate.

  • Understanding the Value-Criterion

    This in-depth discussion of the value criterion will help you understand the function of the criterion and different ways to prove that it achieves your value premise.

  • Understand Cross-Examination Debate

    The following PDFs are great resources for understanding Cross-Examination Debate. They are divided into categories; General Introductions Introduction to CX Debate by Debate Central Stock Issues by Debate Central Outline of CX Debate by Deb...

  • Understand Lincoln-Douglas Debate

    The following PDFs are great resources for understanding Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Outline of an LD Debate by Debate Central Understanding the Value-Criterion by Debate Central Guide to Popular Philosophers by Debate Central Common LD Val...

  • Judge Adaptation and Tips

    Judges have various backgrounds. Some have no experience at all, while others are former TOC champions. If you want to be successful, you need to be able to debate in front of all of them and cater to what they want to hear. Often, adapting to a judge ...

  • Research Strategies and Tips

    by David Weeks What is a card? A card is a paragraph or several paragraphs taken from a credible scholarly or journalistic source that proves a specific argument true. It is a word-for-word quotation, without adds (unless bracketed), deletes, paraphr...

  • Important Terms in Lincoln-Douglas Debate

    Understanding debate terminology is essential to excelling in the round.  These terms are not limited to debate.  They are applicable more broadly to assessing ideas and arguments. Affirmative: The side that supports the resolution is affirmative...

  • Tournament Casebooks

    NDCA Casebooks (includes Greenhill and Grapevine)

  • Debate in the News

    Obama's Speech to Students "Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team." When It Comes to Sisters' Skills, There's No Debate Debate Champ...

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