OneOne Refutation


Public Speaking/Bathke

Democracy in Action: Debate

Name: _____________________________

Date: ________________

Speaking Opportunity: One-on-One Refutation Drill

Task : Last week, you learned how to construct an argument using the Claim-Warrant-Impact structure (e.g. What claim are you making to either support or refute the resolution? What reason do you provide for why your claim is true? Why does your argument matter? What is its importance?)

Today, you will continue to practice developing sound arguments; however, in addition, you will actually debate them!

This activity introduces the technique of line-by-line refutation. Using a simple debate with only a few arguments, the instructor (e.g. me) walks two students through a demonstration line-by-line refutation. Meanwhile, the class learns to flow arguments in a orderly fashion that will allow them to visualize the progress of an argument

. Afterwards, you will divide into groups of three and repeat this process. Not only should you be able to practice line-by-line refutation, but you should also begin to “think like a judge.”











Propostion (Affirmative) 2 min



Refutation (Negative) 2 min Rebuttal (Affirmative) 2min

Task 2: Thinking Like a Judge

Students are asked to view debate from the perspective of a judge. The goal is for students to think about debate as an interaction with the evidence. Students should also think about how "winning" and "losing" a debate is arbitrary and subject to the thinking of a judge. You must not simply be right, but persuade another that you are right. Imagine that you are supposed to judge a debate round. Take notes on the round before you. Then, use the following criteria to write a Reason for Decision (RFD) in the space below.

1. Unanswered arguments

2. Analysis of significance and impacts

3. Style or demeanor (a good judge uses this criterion less than the others)

4. How "realistic" their arguments are

5. Use of evidence to support her side

Model Debate

Actual Debate

Winner: AFFIRMATIVE or NEGATIVE ____________________ Speaker Points: 30-25 ________

Judge’s Signature: _______________________________________