Course code:



I - Introductory

Lab fee:


This class will be conducted as a workshop with an emphasis on providing students with an opportunity to engage in various forms of public debate and argumentation.

The majority of work related to the class will be spent participating in “hands on” debate and argument practice. Students will get the chance to take part in a wide array of debate formats covering a broad spectrum of topics and themes. In many instances decisions about topics will be student driven and guided by events external to the class. Along with the instructor, students will work together to refine argument structure, strategic argument selection, research practices, presentation skills, and audience analysis. In addition, students will also examine various historical accounts of academic debate practices and the theoretical/social context that gave rise to them.

Previous debate and/or public speaking experience is not required. Students of all academic interests and backgrounds are encouraged to participate. Students will be evaluated on their participation in class, completion of process-based assignments, collaboration on team projects, and several individual reports that require outside research. At no point will the final evaluation of students be tied to any standard of what constitutes a “good” debater in a competitive sense. Students who feel that they are less proficient in the areas of argument and public communication should not be worried that this would somehow disadvantage them in terms of grading.

While there is no set “lab”, this class will require a good deal of time commitment outside of the traditional “classroom” environment. This includes research on the debate topics as well as actual performance time.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.