ELP Debate Guidelines

Debate Guidelines
1. Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research analysis and to
synthesize information.
2. Students will demonstrate the ability to select visual aids that capture the attention of the
other team and the audience and that are pertinent to the topic of their debate.
3. Students will demonstrate the ability to work as a team and solve all challenges presented.
4. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology to support the team’s position during
the debate.
5. Students will demonstrate the ability to speak before a group, to argue effectively for your
team’s position and to think quickly in rebutting the other team’s arguments.
1. Students will choose to argue either the affirmative or the negative position. Each team will
consist of approximately three (3) members and will select a chairperson. This chairperson is
responsible for communicating any issues with me and for collecting and turning in the
group’s assignments.
2. Each team member must actively present an approximately equal amount of time during the
debate. The team is responsible for allocating time for each member to present and speak.
Each member should also make points in the rebuttal section.
3. Debaters must demonstrate thorough research on both sides of the issue. Each team must
turn in a typed research paper supporting the team’s argument, positions, and facts. This
paper should also include at least three arguments that the other side may argue. The body
of the paper should be at least three pages, but no longer than five pages. The paper should
be in MLA format with parenthetical documentation and include a works cited page. The
final paper is due the day before the debates take place. Grammar and spelling should be
checked. The works cited pages must also be included.
4. Each team must present at least two visuals during the debate. One of these must be a power
point, Google or other web-based presentation. Other visuals may include polls conducted
by the group (may put in the presentation show), demonstrations, video clips, or skits.
Posters are not acceptable! These posters are simply too small to be effective.
5. All solutions must stay within the law and within reason.
Format of Debates:
1. Affirmative Opening Statements
2. Negative Opening Statements
3. Affirmative Presentation of Facts
4. Negative Presentation of Facts
5. Rebuttal Crossfire
6. Affirmative Closing Statements
7. Negative Closing Statements
No more than 3 minutes
No more than 3 minutes
No more than 6 minutes
No more than 6 minutes
No more than 12 minutes total
No more than 3 minutes
No more than 3 minutes
Individual Grades: Counts as a project grade!
1. Debate Participation (See my notes for details)
a. Factual Content (30 points)
b. Presentation (20 points)
Team Grades: Counts as a Unit test grade!
1. Research Paper (50 points)
2. Visuals (40 Points)
a. Appeal (5 points each)
b. Content (15 points each)
3. Team Work (10 points)
50 Points Total
100 Points Total
Absences during Debates:
1. If a conflict arises in advance of your assigned debate date, debate dates may be switched
and rescheduled. The greater notice given of the conflict will ensure a better chance of
2. All debate materials are to be left in the classroom the day prior to the so the debate may
proceed in case one member is unable to attend.
3. If absent from the debate, a new debate topic will be assigned with a make up format.
Being absent will not exempt you from a debate presentation. You will do a solo
presentation in front of a panel of teachers and students.
Paper Format Guideline:
Opponent’s first argument
A. Rebuttal against argument
B. Facts to support rebuttal
III. Opponent’s second argument
A. Rebuttal against argument
B. Facts to support rebuttal
IV. Opponent’s third argument
A. Rebuttal against argument
B. Facts to support rebuttal
VI. Works Cited
Important Paper Information
1. Do not use contractions, abbreviations, slang or unexplained acronyms.
2. Write numbers one-one hundred as words, not numbers.
3. Do not use personal pronouns in paper. This paper is a fact-based research paper—not
an opinion paper.
4. Avoid the overuse of other pronouns. Be specific where possible.
5. Do not use rhetorical questions. Restate these as emphatic points.
Debate Paper Rubric
Final Draft: 50 points
I. Format
(20 points total)
A. Body of Paper
(15 points)
1. Length
2. Three Arguments
3. Three Opposing Arguments
4. Introduction/Conclusion
B. Works Cited Page
(5 points)
II. Content
A. Grammar & Spelling
B. Quality of Info. & Research
(30 points total)
(10 points)
(20 points)
Teamwork Grade Rubric
Each team member will assess the overall contribution and work ethic of themselves and their
team members. This grade will be an average out of 5 points. The remaining 5 points will be
assessed by the teacher during the actual debate as to how well the members function as a team
in the presentation. Qualities will especially be assessed by the rebuttal performance and the
quality and use of the team visuals.