For the Fall Semester 2014 there will be one or two current event debate assignments worth 100 points each. Each block will be divided into groups of two or three (depending on class size), and students will be randomly assigned current event topics to research.Teams will have one month to prepare for the debates. One class period per week will be set aside to allow students to collaborate in doing research and preparing arguments to debate on their side of a particular news topic. Students will be expected to create a Google Doc to share with Mr. Klingman that will hold their research, support for their side of the argument, written script that will be used during the debate, and works cited.

Components and Their Value:

Research: 25pts of the grade.
  • Each member of the group should post their notes to the Google Doc and include the works cited for each section of information.
  • The research should be from a variety of sources using newspapers, magazines, television media, government publications. HIES database has Opposing Viewpoints and Facts on File to help. Any online source that cannot be considered to be reliable must be shown to Mr. Klingman.
  • Groups should research both sides of the issue, because they will not know until debate day which side will be chosen.

Individual Written Script: 25pts of the grade (Script can contain outline format or bullet points, but argument must be well prepared and organized.)
  • Each member of the group may have a written script or notes in front of them during the debate to help them with supporting information.

Two Minute Groups Introduction: 10pts of grade (Each member of the group must speak)

Individual Presentation: 10pts of grade (Do you make the argument to support your side of the issue?)

Overall Group Effort and Collaboration: 20pts of grade (Each member of the group has the ability to comment on how much he/she contributed)
  • Mr. Klingman will be viewing the Google Doc for each group to determine if this occurred, along with the contribution of each member during the debate.

Overall Works Cited: 10pts of grade
  • Must use proper MLA format and should be turned in to Mr. Klingman at the time of the debate.

Ideas for issues to be debated will come from the classes, but must relate to current events in the world or United States. Sports, weather, local crime, and articles of this nature will not be accepted. Mr. Klingman will choose the issues for debate from those submitted by the class.

Issues for December 2013 Debates
Globalization Debatess Feb 2014
Issues for May 2014 Debates
Choose From These October 2014
Globalization Debates Feb 2015

Format for the Debate:

  • Debates will take place in class.
  • A coin flip will determine which side goes first.
  • A coin flip will also determine the side of the debate issue, so students will have to research both sides.
  • Each side will have two minutes to make an opening statement
  • After the opening statement, the side to go first will give the first point to their argument. They will have 45 seconds.
  • The opponent will have 20 seconds to counter or go against the first argument, and then will make their first argument.
  • The overall debate will last approximately 10 minutes with the debate going back and forth between sides in an orderly manner.
  • Each side will have one minute to make a closing statement.
  • No visual aids or videos will be used by either side during the debate.