Oral Comm-Debate Syllabus

Debate/Oral Comm-Debate/Advanced Debate
Course Syllabus
Fall 2007
Course Objective: Students learn to research and organize ideas, evaluate evidence, make
logical connections and present ideas in a clear and thoughtful way. Students develop the ability
to listen to material, analyze that material and base sound judgments on that analysis. Students
have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic debate competition (course requirement for
Oral Comm-Debate).
Topics Covered:
•Overview of case writing
•Overview of philosophy (one of the major projects in class will be based on this)
•Overview of round structure
•Researching/writing/mock competitions in three major types of debate (Lincoln/Douglas,
Public Forum, and Congress)
What to Bring: *
•Three-ring binder (they’re on sale for, like, less than 50¢ at Wal-Mart right now). You will
be doing a lot of note taking and research in this class, and will need a place to store it. I would
also recommend a folder for said binder to keep material organized.
•Writing utensil. Shouldn’t have to mention it, but… (P.S. A highlighter would be
recommended as well.)
•Notebook/loose-leaf paper for your researching and note taking items.
Please have these materials by
Thursday, August 23
Classroom Procedures and Expectations:
These fall under our school’s three main categories: Be Respectful, Be
Responsible, and Be Prepared.
•Come to class prepared/work completed. Although I will occasionally give time to work
in class on materials, the successful student will use their own time to get work finished.
•Passes will not be given to leave the room. As you have realized, North Star is growing
exponentially, and we all have to coexist here harmoniously. There are classes in the forums,
and we have to keep the hallways as empty as possible to cut down on noise pollution. Make
sure that you plan accordingly.
•Be respectful of each other. We will accomplish this in a variety of ways. First, by
respecting the room. This is a brand-new school. Please be respectful of the items in the room.
Treat the room as you would want guests to treat your house. Since we are in a computer
classroom, there are even higher expectations I have for you all. The computers are for Debate
classroom work only. More details on computer use will be given out at a later date. (P.S.
Returning Gators—computer use has changed! Don't expect it to be like last year!)
Secondly, be respectful of your classmates. We will be debating a variety of topics this
semester. That’s why (hopefully) we’re all here. The procedure I have in my classroom is to not
take it personally. You will be arguing the topic, not personally attacking the debater. If you
personally do not agree with the topic that is being debated, that’s really too bad. The effective
debater can overcome that difficulty and win the argument anyway. One of the course
objectives for Debate is that students will be able to objectively look at a variety of topics.
*If you are unable to purchase any of these items by the end of the
week, please speak to me privately and we will make arrangements.
School is supposed to take you out of your comfort space—my motto for this year due to that is,
"Don't be a neophobe!"
•This class requires you to be active, both inside and outside the classroom. I would
heartily suggest that you all begin watching the news networks (CNN, MSNBC, etc.), the nightly
news, and regularly reading the newspaper and the networks’ websites. The topics that we will
be debating in class will have to do with some of the hot topics in the news, and issues that
Washington is dealing with right now. The only way this class really works is if you have your
work done, and you come to class ready to discuss and share ideas.
•There will be a good deal of writing in this class. If there is an outside of class written
assignment given, please come with it typed to class. As you will realize, there is a reason I
type everything, so please follow this procedure.
•There are three different classes being taught together. Patience and flexibility is
needed to make sure this runs smoothly. There will be specific assignments for each class—the
expectations/objectives are not completely the same for each class. (i.e., the district mandates
that Oral Comm-Debate students give a Persuasive and Informative speech to pass the class.
If you do not give these, the district requires a failing grade to be given to you.)
•Last one—the bell does not dismiss you. I dismiss you! Frequently we will be having
debates up until the bell, and it would be disrespectful to your classmates if you stood up and
walked out as they were finishing their debate, just because the bell rang. Also, if you would like
to leave at the end of class, please be in your seat. Or, else, we will wait until you all are.
•Class work will be graded on a points system. You will be notified when the assignment
is announced how much it is worth. Generally, tests, and debates will be worth the most, with
daily assignments, rough drafts, and quizzes being worth less.
Grade Scale:
A: 90-100%
B+: 85-89%
B: 80-84%
C+: 75-79%
C: 70-74%
D+: 65-69%
D: 60-64%
F: Below 60%
•There are four major assignments in this class (for OCD and Debate): L/D debate, PF
debate, Congress bill writing/debate, and your philosophy presentations. All other smaller
assignments stem from these assignments (rough drafts, research, making deadlines, etc.), so
please be prepared to work, and work a LOT. Those who want an A out of this class will have
to do high-quality work/speaking.
My contact information: email: [email protected]
Plan: 3rd and 4th
A102: 2nd, 5th, and 7th
TPC: B217
B120: 6th and 8th
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