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Start Here: Teaching Policy

Start Here: Teaching Policy Debate
Start Here: Teaching Policy Debate

Policy Debate is a two-on-two debate where an affirmative team proposes a plan of their own creation and the negative team argues why that plan should not be adopted under the resolution.

Policy is generally known as the most research-intensive event, as students debate the same topic all year and must use pieces of evidence directly quoted word-for-word from the source. 

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Write a persuasive speech that features complete arguments with a claim, data, warrant, and impact. 
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning. 
  • Find, cut, cite, and organize evidence that supports their claims. 
  • Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence. 
  • Listen effectively and respond to attacks against their arguments with limited prep using logic and/or evidence. 
  • Craft an affirmative plan text that addresses harms/advantages, inherency, topicality, and solvency. 
  • Run and respond to arguments about topicality, disadvantages, counterplans, and kritiks. 
  • Weigh their arguments against their opponent’s. 
  • Complete a full Policy round. 


LESSON 1: What is Debate? 1
LESSON 2: What is Policy Debate? 4
LESSON 3: Argumentation 9
LESSON 4: Research 12
LESSON 5: How to Cut Cards 17
LESSON 6: Intro to Affirmation 21
LESSON 7: Intro to Negation 24
LESSON 8: Topicality 28
LESSON 9: Disadvantages 32
LESSON 10: Impact Calculus 35
LESSON 11: Constructive Speeches 38
LESSON 12: Cross-Examination 42
LESSON 13: Rebuttals 45
LESSON 14: Flowing the Round 48
LESSON 15: Delivery 51
LESSON 16: Judge Adaptation 54
LESSON 17: Practice Debate 60
LESSON 18: Extended Negative Lesson:
LESSON 19: Extended Negative Lesson:

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