Nationals Topics 2018

The following topic areas will be discussed during the 2018 National Speech & Debate Tournament. Visit our Nationals page to learn more about this prestigious event being held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this June.

High School Topics

Policy Debate

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.
 

Public Forum Debate

TOPIC AREA: Trade
Resolved: On balance, the benefits of United States participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement outweigh the consequences.

(A total of 526 coaches and 934 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 54% of the coach vote and 47% of the student vote.)
 

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Resolved: The United States’ use of targeted killing in foreign countries is unjust.
 

High School Congressional Debate

Download the 2018 high school docket containing preliminary, semifinal, and final legislation (updated 05/07/18).
 

Big Questions

Resolved: Humans are fundamentally different from other animals.
 

World Schools Debate Motions

(listed in round order)

NOTE: Octafinals was changed to a prepared motion as of 05/18/18.

Prelims:

  • Round 1: This House would not allow corporations to donate to political candidates, campaigns, or parties.
  • Round 2: This House regrets protectionist trade policies.
  • Round 3: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Round 4: This House would ban further development of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Round 5: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Round 6: (Impromptu Motion)

Elims:

  • Triple Octafinals: This House supports China increasing its investment in Africa.
  • Double Octafinals: This House believes that states should not celebrate nationally important historical figures involved in deeply immoral actions.
  • Octafinals: This House believes that Puerto Rico should become an independent nation state.
  • Quarterfinals: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Semifinals: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Finals: This House believes that private gun ownership does more harm than good to personal security.

 

International Extemp Topic Areas

(round order)

  • Round 1 – Middle East/North Africa
  • Round 2 – The Americas
  • Round 3 – International Economics
  • Round 4 – Europe
  • Round 5 – East Asia
  • Round 6 – Energy and the Environment
  • Round 7 – Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Round 8 – Russia’s Resurgence
  • Round 9 – Global Health and Poverty
  • Round 10 – South and Central Asia
  • Round 11 – Disruptive Technologies and the World Order
  • Round 12 – The Liberal International Order in Crisis
  • Finals – The World Next Week

 

United States Extemp Topic Areas

(round order)

  • Round 1 – U.S. Economic Issues
  • Round 2 – National Security and Defense
  • Round 3 – President Trump’s Second Year
  • Round 4 – Election 2018
  • Round 5 – Immigration and Social Issues
  • Round 6 – The Internet, Technology and Privacy
  • Round 7 – American Foreign Policy
  • Round 8 – The U.S. Congress
  • Round 9 – Education
  • Round 10 – Energy and the Environment
  • Round 11 – Healthcare and Entitlements
  • Round 12 – The Courts and The Constitution
  • Finals – The U.S. Next Week

 

Extemp Commentary Topic Areas

(round order)

  • Round 1: For Those We Miss (People Who Died Since Nationals 2017)
  • Round 2: And Oh My Golly!!! (Great Sports Moments through the Ages)
  • Round 3: It’s Getting Hot in Here (Global Warming and Other Environmental Issues)
  • Round 4: Goodnight the Party is Over (Secession Movements Around The World)
  • Round 5: I’m Conflicted (Significant Conflicts Around the World)
  • Round 6: I’m Just a Bill (About Legislation in Congress)
  • Round 7: Let’s Celebrate! (Significant Holidays of the Year Other than Christmas, New Year, etc.)
  • Round 8 (if needed): Space: The Final Frontier (State of our Space Exploration)
  • Round 9 (if needed): Old City Made New (Cities with Significance in Historical Instances)
  • Finals: 1968 – 50 Years Later (The Legacy of Events from 1968 in 2018)

 

Extemporaneous Debate

Tournament officials post the resolution to be debated for each round 30 minutes prior to the start of flight A.
 

Storytelling

Students competing in Storytelling may use any theme/topic area.

Middle School Topics

Policy Debate

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.
 

Middle School Nationals – Policy Debate Case Limits

The 2018 Middle School National Speech & Debate Tournament will institute case limits for Policy Debate. All teams participating must adhere to these limits to avoid forfeiture:

  • Right to an Education (RTE)
  • STEM
  • Civic education
  • School lunches
  • School integration

 

Public Forum Debate

TOPIC AREA: Trade
Resolved: On balance, the benefits of United States participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement outweigh the consequences.

(A total of 526 coaches and 934 students voted for the resolution. The winning resolution received 54% of the coach vote and 47% of the student vote.)
 

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Resolved: The United States’ use of targeted killing in foreign countries is unjust.
 

Middle School Congressional Debate

Download the 2018 middle school docket containing preliminary, semifinal, and final legislation (updated 05/01/18).
 

World Schools Debate Motions

(listed in round order)

Prelims:

  • Round 1: This House believes that applied sciences are more important than theoretical sciences for students to learn.
  • Round 2: This House believes that standardized testing, as a requirement for admission to universities, does more harm than good.
  • Round 3: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Round 4: This House believes that the international community should set up a safe haven for the Rohingyas in Myanmar, despite the opposition of the Myanmar government.
  • Round 5: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Round 6: (Impromptu Motion)

Elims:

  • Semifinals: (Impromptu Motion)
  • Finals: This House prefers a multipolar world to U.S. hegemony.

 

Extemporaneous Speaking Topic Areas

(listed alphabetically)

  • Africa
  • European Refugee Crisis
  • International Women’s Rights
  • Southeast Asia
  • U.S. Education
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • U.S. Healthcare
  • U.S. Immigration

 

Impromptu Prompt Types

(listed in round order – updated 06/05/18)

  • Round 1: U.S. Politicians
    Students will draw the name of a United States political figure who has been relevant in the last 10 years. Example – Paul Ryan.
  • Round 2: Sports Figures
    Students will draw the name of a contemporary sports figure. Example – LeBron James.
  • Round 3: English Proverbs
    Students will draw an English proverb. Example – All good things must come to an end.
  • Round 4: Beach Life
    Students will draw a word or phrase about something related to the beach. Example – seashell.
  • Round 5: Actors
    Students will draw the name of a contemporary actor or actress from TV or movies. Example – Brad Pitt.
  • Quarterfinals: Famous Quotations
    Students will draw a famous quotation and its author. Example – “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” —Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Semifinals: Banned Books
    Students will draw the name of a banned book, its author, and a short plot summary. Example – Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Farenheit 451 is a book about a future society in which books are outlawed, and any that are found are burned.
  • Finals: She Persisted
    Students will draw the name of a historical or contemporary woman who was a pioneer or advocate for women’s rights, as well as a brief description. Example – Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and legal advocate for gender equality.

 

Extemporaneous Debate

Tournament officials post the resolution to be debated for each round 30 minutes prior to the start of flight A.
 

Storytelling

Students competing in Storytelling may use any theme/topic area.

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