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Start Here: Teaching Public Forum

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Start Here: Teaching Public Forum

In Public Forum Debate, students work in pairs of two to debate both sides of a topic. Public Forum is one of the most popular events and is a great entry point for new students and judges.

Topics are based on current events and change frequently, which gives students the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects and keeps debates exciting and new.

Students present prepared cases, then engage in rebuttal and questioning periods with limited prep.

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. 
  • Respond to attacks against their arguments with limited prep using logic and/or evidence. 
  • Listen effectively to take notes on a round and use them to ask questions. 
  • Complete a full Public Forum round. 


LESSON 1: What is Debate? 1
LESSON 2: What is Public Forum? 6
LESSON 3: Resolution Analysis 12
LESSON 4: Research 16
LESSON 5: How to Cut Cards 21
LESSON 6: Argumentation 25
LESSON 7: Writing the Case 28
LESSON 8: Flowing the Round 32
LESSON 9: Crossfire 36
LESSON 10: Refutation 39
LESSON 11: Demonstration 44
LESSON 12: Delivery 47
LESSON 13: Practice 49

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