Fall 2017 Homework


Week 2 Homework

1). Choose an artifact from a culture you belong in, and write a full sentence outline for your culture artifact. Bring notecards with your outline, and your artifact to present next class.

2). 3 more impromptu examples in your impromptu notebook.

Competition prep - Daily Ritual

  • Practice your speeches everyday
  • Record a video or audio of your speeches and upload to the link that we provide
  • Each morning, check your email and this webpage for feedback
    • Improve your speeches by listening to/reading the feedback and making changes to your speech
  • Upload Here: https://www.dropbox.com/request/1r0C6fRT8zMco1Q67hpH

Q&A -

If you have any questions about your speech, the feedback you receive, or if you want additional help, please fill out this form and we will get back to you within a few hours.

How to practice

It turns out, there is a best way to practice. According to research by Anders Ericsson, you should follow the three F's

  • Focus - Pay attention to the process. Don't worry about having a perfect speech. Pick one skill and work on it.
    • Examples: Time - Is the speech the full length? Organization - Did I have three clear points in my impromptu? Delivery - Was my voice loud enough? 
  • Feedback - Find someone to get feedback from
    • Self assessment - Record yourself and watch the video, practice in a mirror
    • Coaches - Upload to us. We will provide expert feedback within a day
    • Friends and family - Practice in front of your mom, dad, brothers, or sisters. Force your friends to watch you.
  • Fix It - Listen to the feedback and focus deeply on correcting the one skill that your coach identifies as the most important to fix.


Impromptu Examples


1) The Hulk

Statement: Everyone feels anger and frustration, but how we deal with these feelings is what separates mature people from immature people

Elaboration: In other words, exercising self-control in times of anger is an important skill that people must learn in order to become well-adjusted adults

Example:  For example, the Incredible Hulk is usually a quiet and shy scientist.  However, when he gets upset, he cannot control himself.  He gets into a rage, and he becomes violent and destructive.  Until he can calm himself down, he is a danger to himself and everyone around him.

Illustration: The Incredible Hulk is like an exaggerated version of someone throwing a tantrum and being unable to control anger an emotions.  The creators of this character intentionally made him look like a baby with ripped clothes that resembles a diaper.  The character reminds us that lashing out in anger is an immature and dangerous behavior 

2) Donkey from the movie Shrek

Statement: True friends are hard to come by in life.  The ones that stick by you through thick and thin are the ones who really care

Elaboration: In other words, fake friends might be nice to you when times are happy, but real friends are nice to you when times are tough

Example: For example, Shrek is grumpy and wants to be alone.  Donkey is kind to Shrek even when Shrek is grumpy.  Donkey understands that Shrek is this way because people react negatively to him before they even get to know him.  Donkey wants to be Shrek’s friend regardless of what Shrek looks like.  When times are tough, Donkey stays by Shrek’s side and saves the day.  By the end of the movie Shrek realizes that Donkey has been a true and loyal friend, and they become joined at the hip.  They are forever buddies.

Illustration: Donkey and Shrek are like siblings growing up.  They fight, and they can be grumpy to each other.  But a lot of times your sibling is your first friend and your best friend.  When times are tough and fake friends aren’t there for you, your brothers and sisters will always have your back.

3) Dory from Finding Nemo

Statement: Everyone has strengths and weaknesses in one way or another, but the important thing is to keep trying and not let your limitations prevent you from reaching your goals

Elaboration: In other words, your limitation does not necessarily mean you will fail.  However, giving up is a guarantee for failure.

Example: For example, Dory from the movie Finding Nemo has short term memory loss. It made it difficult for her to complete a task or accomplish a goal.  Despite all this, Dory was always optimistic and she always kept trying.  The moment she finally found Nemo, she didn’t even realize she had accomplished her goal.  If Dory had given up earlier, she would have never made it to Nemo, even if it took her a few minutes to realized she succeeded.  At the end of the day, she was triumphant.

Illustration: The challenges that Dory faced in the movie is like the challenges people with disabilities face every day.  They can reach their goals despite their limitations, but it takes effort and a positive outlook.  Dory could have given up, but she kept trying to remember, and eventually she found Nemo and succeeded.



Impromptu Examples

Community Jobs / Offices

1. The media

Statement: The search for the truth is one of humanity’s greatest pursuits.  Those who make a career out of testing assumptions, theories, and claims are doing a great service for the community.

Elaboration: In other words, the community benefits from people who seek the truth because knowing is the first step to resolving a problem.

Example:  People in the media serve an important role in investigating issues that affect our lives.  If we know more about what the government, large companies, and foreign nation are doing, the more we are able to prevent these actors from hurting the community or abusing their power.

Illustration: The media’s service to the community is like what doctor’s do for patients.  Doctors gather information to figure out what disease a patient is suffering from.  Only after you have the correct diagnosis can you then pick the right combination of medication, therapy or surgery to make the patient healthy again.

2. Teachers

Statement: A healthy community has productive workers and a population that can live in harmony.

Elaboration: In other words, an investment in teachers is an investment in the future health of a community because teachers give students skills to work and skills to cooperate with others.

Example: Students learn from teachers how to read and how to do math.  They also learn critical thinking skills needed to solve problems and challenges. All of these things are important to succeed in any job.  Teachers help establish good morals and encourage sharing, waiting patiently, and helping others.  People aren’t born with the skills necessary to function in modern society, and without good teachers, we would have a dysfunctional society.

Illustration: Teachers are like community gardeners who tend, water, and nurture baby plants so they will bear fruit that the entire community can enjoy.  Teachers help young people grow so that the community can benefit in the future.

3. Park Rangers

Statement: There are many types of community resources, and each needs a caretaker to protect it.

Elaboration: In other words, if a resource is important, we need people whose job it is to make sure the community uses the resource without destroying it.

Example:  National Parks are not just any community resource – they are so valuable that they are often called National Treasures.  The parks provide space for activities and adventures.  They have forests that give us oxygen, and they have lakes and rivers that give us water.  Park Rangers are needed to make sure fire safety rules are followed, wild animals are not fed, and fragile habitats are protected. 

Illustration: Park Rangers are like parents at a petting zoo.  Children love to play with rabbits and goats, but children can also be too rough with petting.  Sometimes the parents have to step in and set ground rules so kids are gentle and do not hurt the very thing they love so much.


Elementary Congress

Round 1: Resolved: Schools should start after 9:00AM.


1) Less sleep causes obesity: Every hour of sleep lost increases the chance of obesity by 80%

  • According to the medical journal Pediatrics in 2014, sleep-deprived teens tend to eat more carbohydrates and fats, with every hour of sleep that is lost increasing the odds of obesity by 80%.

2) Less sleep increases risk of death in car accidents

  • One community in Lexington, Kentucky, decreased the average crash rate for teenaged drivers by 16.5% after delaying high school start times by one hour, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. And a two-year study of two high schools in Virginia found that the school with the later start time had significantly fewer students in accidents.

3) Experts support starting school later

  • the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement recommends that schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Only 14% of public high schools currently meet this guideline, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

4) More sleep significant increase in school attendance rates, graduation rate, and student GPAs

  • Based on a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, the mean GPA of the students under the research increased from 3.0 to 3.75, after school push start time by an hour.






Elementary Congress

Round 2: Schools should be prohibited from assigning homework


1) Students should not be required to do homework that is not beneficial

  • According to the Center for Public Education, homework for elementary school children is not connected with improved understanding or higher test scores
  • Time after school should be used to build other important life skills that kids can learn through sports, music, and socializing with friends and family
  • We should not waste time on homework that does not raise scores or build life skills

2) Too much studying can actually hurt students’ health

  • According to researchers at Stanford University School of Education, students who do more than 3.5 hours of homework a night have more health issues such as headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems
  • Competition to get into top schools puts pressure on students to spend long hours on homework
  • But at the end of the day, health is more important than test scores
  • This rule protects kids and prevents homework that can be physically harmful

3) Too much studying can actually lower test scores

  • A recent study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology showed that middle school students’ scores improved with more studying up to 90 minutes a day.  But when students studied more than 100 minutes a day, their scores actually started to go down
  • Schools should not assign homework that lowers academic performance
  • Balance between work and play is important for kids to grow up healthy and successful.  Homework works against a healthy balance and should be abolished

Potential Questions to ask (Affirmation):

note, these congress questions are potential questions that do not depend on what the other side argues.  You should still flow/outline the other side’s argument anyway because you also want to ask questions that take down their evidence, logic, assumptions, etc.

Affirmation (for ban, believes homework is bad)

  • Wouldn’t you agree that having “quiet time” to step back, think, and reflect is an important think for kids to have?
    • If the answer is yes, then you can argue in closing that the other side agreed that we need to quiet time, and homework steals that time away.  
    • If the answer is no, you can argue that the other side is not being reasonable – of course we all need quiet time.  How can you buy anything they say?
  • Work stress and burnout is a huge problem for adults.  Where are kids going to learn the important skill of maintaining a healthy work-life balance if they go to school all day and have to do hours of school work at home at night?




Elementary and Middle School Congress

Round 3:  Bill to ban ecotourism

Pro (Yes to Ban) [ Please choose the points that you like the most for the tournament]

1) Ecotourism create traffic + pollution

  •  2016, tourist boat in Cayman Islands destroyed 14,000 square feet of coral reefs
  • Ecotourism actually hurts the environment

2)  Ecotourism should be banned because contact with humans has a very negative impact on wildlife

  • According to UC Berkley professor Daniel Blumstein, when animals interact with humans, they become less afraid and may enter into towns and suburbs
  • Cars on the road and new diseases threaten wild animals if they come too close to human civilization
  • Therefore, to protect wildlife for future generations, ecotourism must be banned

3) If ecotourism is in an area with poverty, locals won't be able to develop the land for more profitable industries like mining and logging

  • According to the United Nations, only 50% of the money spent stays local

4)  Ecotourism should be banned because it harms local and native cultures

  • According to the National Forest Service, ecotourism in Alaska has raised major concerns with tribal officials who worry that cultural resources will be harmed
  • Native tribes in Alaska have a close tie to nature and the environment
  • Destruction of forests and pollution of waters and a special impact on the native cultures
  • Ecotourism not only harms local habitats, it harms local people

5) Ecotourism should be banned because it destroys the very habitats that it is trying to save

  • Paul Allen – a billionaire who donates much of his wealth to protecting the environment – owned a luxury boat that toured the Cayman Islands.  
  • In January 2016, this boat accidentally destroyed 14,000 feet of coral reefs
  • Even the best-intentioned ecotourists can cause damage that will take thousands of years to repair.
  • The only way to stop these types of tragedies is to ban eco tourism


Potential Questions to ask (Affirmation):

Affirmation (for ban, thinks ecotourism is a bad thing)

  • How will the economic benefits of ecotourism help rebuilt forests and coral reefs that take tens of thousands of years to recover from the damage caused by tourists?
  • What portion of the money from the multi-billion dollar ecotourism industry goes to local economies and local people?






Elementary and Middle School Congress

Round 4 (Final Round): Bill to require compliance of mobile/tech companies to provide digital information to the government to assist with investigations.


1) Wide access to internet and cell phone data works to help stop terrorist attacks

  • According to the National Security Administration – or the NSA – more than 50 terrorist attacks were stopped using internet surveillance between 2001 and 2013
  • The NSA did not get court authorization to collect this information from a specific criminal, but this approach helped saved thousands of lives


2) The internet and cell phones are the favorite tools of terrorist committing acts of violence against innocent civilians

  • According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the internet is the primary tool for terrorists to recruit and radicalize young people
  • We can’t let any rules or procedures get in the way of government officials who want to stop this internet activity, and this bill proposed today accomplishes just that


3) The internet and cell phones are the favorite tools of criminals within the US

  • According to USA Today, “stingray” devices used by more than 50 local police departments across the country help solve thousands of crimes
  • That means fewer criminals on the street and safer communities
  • Internet surveillance should be available for important public safety concerns, and that is what this bill allows
  • For these reasons, judges, you should vote for the affirmative


Potential Questions to ask (Affirmation):

Affirmation (for requirement, companies should turn over info to the government)

  • What is more important: the right to live and breath?  Or the right to privacy?
  • Wouldn’t you agree that stopping a terrorist plot 1 month in advance is better and safer than stopping it 1 day in advance?



Middle School Congress

Round 1: Bill to Dismantle the Irvine Company

Please pick your favorite argument from below list to use for the tournament


1)  Hurts consumers

  •  The Irvine Company isn't just big, it is the biggest in the U.S.
  •  Donald Bren is not simply the wealthiest person in Orange County. His fortune -- recently estimated by Forbes magazine at $12 billion -- is also the largest American real estate fortune.
  • Bren's fortune[...] dwarfed the second-largest real estate fortune: the $5 billion wealth of New York developer Richard LeFrak.


  • The law provides that companies that damage consumer well being can be broken up by the government.
  • The Irvine Company own The Irvine Ranch which encompasses almost one fifth of Orange County.  They also own several large retail centers, including The Market Place and Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, and Fashion Island in Newport Beach and more.   
  • Ownership of so much land in such valuable areas has made them a virtual monopoly.  This gives them massive market power as they can dictate prices.
  • This ultimately hurts consumers and other businesses as there is little competition and the Irvine Company can easily control prices raising rent to absurd levels which crush small businesses and make it difficult to impossible for low income families to obtain housing. 

2) Housing Shortage

  •  There is currently a large housing shortage in Orange County.  
  • But one underlying factor relentlessly dogs the market: Homebuilding can’t keep up with demand, creating a shortfall that pushes rents and prices ever skyward.
  • The shortage affects everyone, but not to the same degree: The affluent will still find housing, but at a higher price. The poor and middle classes, meanwhile, increasingly face overcrowding, long commutes or housing costs that exceed what they can afford.
  • Experts estimate that Orange County has a shortfall of 30,000 to 60,000 housing units.


  • The Irvine Company is currently sitting on 46,500 acres which it won't develop additional housing on.
  • With the lack of housing causing more and more people to become homeless action must be taken to start building more housing.  
  • By Dismantling the Irvine Company, the land they refuse to build upon can be built by other developers who can build more sustainable high rise buildings and not large track homes the Irvine Company is famous for.  
  • This helps solve homelessness and allows for more sustainable development plans.


Middle School Congress

Round 2: Resolved: Steps should be taken to reduce the gender wage gap


1. The gender wage gap is real

  • A 2012 report by the American Association of University Women found an unexplainable 7 percent difference in the earnings of male and female college graduates one year after graduation
  • This is AFTER the study accounted for many factors such as: college major, occupation, hours worked, GPA, age, race, region, and whether someone was married or had children.
  • Claims that the wage gap is a myth are plainly false

2. The gender wage gap has long-term negative effects on women

  • According to a 2016 report by the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress, gender wage disparity has a huge impact on retirement savings
  • Women over 75 are almost twice as likely to live in poverty as men the same age
  • This is unacceptable.  We have a duty to make changes – big and small – to address this problem.

3. There are concrete steps that can be taken to reduce the gender wage gap

  • According to the Center for American Progress, there are many steps that can be taken to address the gender wage gap.  For example, we can:
  • Raise the minimum wage because women make up 2/3 of all minimum wage workers
  • Require employers to have more fair and flexible schedules so it is easier for working parents
  • Make childcare more affordable.  In 2012, in EVERY STATE in the country, the cost of childcare was more than the median rent








1. An earlier start means an earlier end of the school day, which means there will be more time for after school activities

  • According to the University of Pittsburg Department of Child Development, after school programs are important because 1) they promote social and emotional development, 2) they help kids to explore what their interests and goals are, and 3) they offer yet another positive source of mentoring and encouragement
  • After school activities are an essential part of a balanced education. 
  • Less time for after school programs would mean less time for things like speech and debate practice

2. It is safer for schools to get out in the early afternoon because there will be more daylight after school

  • According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, daylight savings time during the winter poses a safety risk because more students walk home after the sun goes down, which puts them at greater risk of injuries from traffic crashes
  • Walking in the dark also increases the risk of trips and falls
  • Having an earlier start time and release time helps ensure that kids who walk to school can get home safely before the sun goes down

3. Earlier starts make it easier for parents

  • According to David Code, who wrote the book “Kids Pick Up On Everything: How Parental Stress Is Toxic To Kids,” a parent’s stress over time can seriously impact a child’s development in a negative way
  • A 7:30am start time would allow many parents to drop their kids off at school on the way to work
  • Parents could save A LOT of money by not having to pay for morning childcare
  • Parents could have the peace of mind seeing their kids off to school safely
  • When parents are stressed out and over extended, it negatively affects their kids.  So when parents are happy, it benefits the kids.







1) Students are already doing the right amount of homework

  • National Assessment of Educational Progress data shows that the vast majority of public middle school and high school students get assigned an hour or less of homework each night
  • Fears of over-worked students are exaggerated
  • We don’t need a rule for something that is not a problem


2) Teachers and parents need flexibility

  • According to the US Department of Education, it is common for teachers to set time limits to make sure there isn’t too much homework
  • Teachers and parents need the flexibility to spend extra time on homework when necessary
  • This rule should not be adopted because it takes away flexibility 



3)  The achievement gap between public and private schools will be worse with this rule

  • In a 2006 study, researchers at Duke University found that at the high school level especially, homework improved learning and achievement 
  • This new rule limiting homework would only apply to public schools
  • While private school students can put in extra study hours to improve their scores, public school students won’t have that benefit
  • This rule should not be adopted because it handicaps public school students who are competing with private school students to get into top colleges



Potential Questions to ask (Negation):

Negation (against ban, thinks homework is good)

  • Is an hour or less of homework each night going to over-work and over-stress kids?
  • Don’t kids need to train and prepare for the demands of college and the real world?  So then, how are kids going to rise to the challenge of an important deadline as an adult if they aren’t taught how to manage stress as kids?











Con (No to ban)

1) Local residents can work unpacks and reservations, which helps the local economy

  •  In Uganda, more than 300 locals work as guides in the Bwindi Forest

2) Ecotourism helps educate people about important natural resources. Why should we protect the environment

  • Most parks also run educational programs + engage people at a young age

3) Ecotourism should not be banned because it generates money for national parks and forests, which can then be spent on helping save important habitats

  • According to the US Department of the Interior, entrance, parking, and other fees at national parks generate $200 million dollars a year
  • This money is used to pay for conservation, rebuilding habitats, and repairing historic buildings
  • Without visitors, there would be less funding for protecting the environment

5) Ecotourism should not be banned because it generates wealth

  • According to the World Wildlife Fund, the ecotourism industry generates 600 BILLION dollars
  • This includes money spent on flights, hotels, ground transportation, food, and other items that can really help businesses, big and small
  • Banning this source of revenue would have a terrible impact on the economy

6) A complete ban is unnecessary because we can have better regulation of ecotourism

  • There is no question that there are some downsides to ecotourism.  However, the Affirmation side assumes that regulation can’t make things better
  • The United Nations – the UN – has developed guidelines for sustainable ecotourism
  • The guidelines include ways to preserve bio-diversity and protect cultural resources, among other things
  • This bill throws the baby out with the bath water.  Better regulation can address many of the problems 


Potential Questions to ask (Negation):

Negation (against ban, thinks ecotourism is positive)

  • Wouldn’t you agree that educating people about the environment and conservation is a good thing? Then why get rid all the benefits of ecotourism when better regulations can address many of the harmful effects?
  • Wouldn’t you agree that seeing something in person – that is, being able to see, smell, hear, feel something for yourself – has a greater impact on someone than if he or she just read about it online or saw a tv program? 
    • (If answer is yes, then you can argue in closing that the real goal is changing people’s minds and making them care about the environment.  We will lose opportunities to inspire people with a total ban on ecotourism.)








1) The bill is unnecessary because we already have search warrants that do what the bill proposes

  • According to the Cornell Law School’s online legal dictionary, search warrants allow government officials to take people’s property, such as phones, computers, and documents – whether or not a tech or phone company wants to cooperate with the investigation
  • We don’t need more laws to do what existing laws already do


2) The bill is unnecessary because we already have subpoenas [suh-PEE-nahs] that do what the bill proposes

  • According to the Cornell Law School’s online legal dictionary, subpoenas [suh-PEE-nas] are court orders that require people or companies to provide evidence by turning over documents like phone records or testifying in court.  
  • A court can punish people and companies if they don’t comply
  • We don’t need more laws to do what existing laws already do


3) The bill should not be passed because we already have a working system to prevent abuse by the government while providing more access during times of emergency

  • According to the 2011 FBI legal digest, there is over 60 years of supreme court cases that allow police greater access during times of emergency
  • Government officials already have everything they need to get information by 1) getting search warrants, 2) getting subpoenas [suh-PEE-nahs], and 3) using the emergency exception when there is a terrorist threat 
  • The bill is unnecessary, and that is why, judges you should vote for the negation

Potential Questions to ask (Negation):

Negation (against requirement, privacy should be protected)

  • Wouldn’t you agree that SOMETIMES the government abuses its powers and can do improper things like racial profiling?
  • What will keep the police and FBI and CIA from abusing its power if they are no longer required to ask the court to issue warrants and subpoenas [suh-PEE-nahs]?  What happened to checks and balances?







1) Breaking up a company without reason is a dangerous precedent

  • Currently the federal government can only break apart a company that has violated monopoly law.  This means that it is either a monopoly or has conducted anti competitive business practices. 
  • The Irvine Company, while large, is not the only real estate or developer in Orange County.  There are litterally hundreds of developers in orange county.  Terra bella, Polygon Development, Pacific Real Estate Group and so forth.  
  •  By breaking up a company that has not done anything illegal, you are setting a dangerous precdent that the government can destroy your company if it doesn't like you.
  • This will have a chilling effect discouraging businesses to want to be succeful for fear of the government coming down and destroying them.  
  • The impact this will have is it will stop companies from growing and there will be less jobs and less economic growth which hurts everyone. 



2) The Irvine Company helps protect wilderness areas

  • The 93,000-acre (380 km2) Irvine Ranch remains the core holding of The Irvine Company. Of the total ranch area, 44,000 acres (180 km2) is retained for development whilst the remainder are preserved as wilderness and recreational preserves collectively known as the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. In August 2014, the Irvine Company announced plans to donate and preserve 2,500 additional acres of land previously approved for housing

Cowan, Jill. "Final pieces of Irvine Ranch complete 'open-space puzzle' in O.C.". LA Times. Retrieved Feb, 24, 2017. 

This means that half of the Irvine Ranch land they own is protected from housing development

  •  By breaking up the Irvine company, you are removing the one group that is capable of stopping this natural areas from becoming developed.  
  • You will destroy the little natural land we have left for more shopping centers and hurt the environment.
  • This will only continue to worsen the problems of global warming and will result in catastrophic results.  We must reject this type of thinking that building more housing is more important than protecting the planet. 









1. Statistics that claiming there is a gender wage gap are misleading

  • Many women’s rights advocates cite statistics saying that the median yearly income for men is greater than the median yearly income for women
  • But according to Hanna Rosin of Slate magazine, the data is being misinterpreted.  
  • People mistakenly believe this means a man and a woman doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. 
  • In reality, men just work more hours than women, in higher paying jobs
  • This has nothing to do with wages being different for men and women

2. The main reason for gender inequality in the workplace is what’s called “the mommy tax”

  • According to American University professor Joan Williams, employees who take family leave and refuse overtime end up having lower overall hourly wages and fewer chances for promotions
  • Men are able to work longer hours because society does not expect them to do as many household duties and chores as women
  • For professional women, the main issue is career interruptions while having kids and missed opportunities for advancement 
  • Women need equality at home.  This is the real source of gender income inequality

3. Focusing on the wage gap distracts and takes away from making real changes to address the true sources of gender inequality

  • Passing the bill before us today is like passing a bill outlawing segregated bathrooms, but ignoring employment discrimination, housing discrimination and racial profiling by police.  
  • Racial inequality has continued for decades after Jim Crow laws were banned because the root of the problem was never addressed 
  • If we want REAL changes for women, we can’t be distracted by slogans and misleading claims about a wage gap
  • For these reasons, we should consider OTHER steps to truly address gender inequality, and we should NOT pass a bill to take steps to address a nonexistent wage gap



The Knowledge

Where you can find all of the elements of speech and debate that we have been working on.

We've talked about two models of how to create an argument.

The models are:


  1. Assertion - Your claim or opinion. What you are trying to prove.
  2. Reasoning - What makes your claim likely to be true? Why should we believe it? Add more detail. What reasons you have for your opinion?
  3. Evidence
    • Research - Find a study conducted by a university
    • Expert opinion - Can you find a newspaper article where an expert says what they believe?
    • Example - If you can't find research or experts, give an example from your own memory
  4. Significance - Why is this argument so important? Why should we be listening to you? Why should we care?
  5. Result - What is the final consequence, impact, or effect?


  1. Statement - Your claim or opinion, what you are trying to prove.
  2. Elaboration - Always start this with "In other words..." Add more detail. Say some thing similar to your statement but from a different perspective. Keep building your argument by giving layers of detail.
  3. Example - Always start this section with "for example..." Provide a concrete example from the world that shows or demonstrates that what you are saying is true.
  4. Illustration - Start with "is like...." This is the last part but a very important part. Use simile, metaphor, or analogy to help your audience paint a picture in their mind. For example: "An argument is like a key that unlocks the door to the greatest treasure, your future"


How to take notes in debate

What is a Criterion?

Knowledge base for impromptu

We will be posting potential examples for impromptu created by students and coaches. Memorize them. Be able to speak for one minute on each topic. We will post a few new examples everyday

1. The most important invention in your lifetime

Statement: The smartphone is the invention with the greatest impact on the world today

Elaboration: In other words, smartphones have become way more than just a way to communicate with people far away.  It is almost a necessity.

Example:  For example, smart phones have completely changed the way we get our entertainment, the way we get our news, the way we buy things, the way we navigate the roads, and many other things.  Smartphones don’t just impact rich Western countries.  In some poorer countries where computers, technology, and television are not readily available, smart phones are the easiest way for people to access all the knowledge and resources available on the internet.

Illustration: The smartphone is like a gateway to the modern world.  People can use their smartphones for hours and hours everyday because you can do so much with them.  No other invention or device has had a bigger impact on the world than the smart phone.



2. Increased use of robots will benefit society
Statement: Artificial intelligence is actually a threat to humans
Elaboration: In other words, robots are powerful and efficient, and they already threaten our jobs.  As robots become smarter, they will threaten our lives.
Example: For example, the use of robots in car manufacturing has led to thousands of lost jobs.  Taxi drivers are all about to go out of business because of self-driving cars.  Robots such as drones carry weapons and missiles that can destroy an entire city in an instant.  What happens if these robots malfunction?  What happens when these robots think for themselves and decide humans are the enemy?  We have no answers, and that is the scariest part.


Illustration: Artificial intelligence is like a genie in a bottle.  It has great potential do good things for people, but if something goes wrong, we cannot control it or put the genie back in the bottle.