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  • Louiza Easley

New Course Offering: Public Forum Debate

Public Forum (PF) debate is an accessible and engaging format designed to help students develop critical thinking, public speaking, and research skills. Our Public Forum Camp is specifically tailored for beginners who are eager to build a solid foundation in PF debate. Through interactive lessons, practical exercises, and daily debates on official PF topics for 2023 and 2024, students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this form of debate.


Course Overview


The camp is designed to engage students in the specifics of Public Forum debate through a balanced mix of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Over seven days, participants will progressively build their expertise, starting with the fundamentals and advancing to more complex aspects of the PF debate format. Early sessions focus on understanding the PF format, crafting arguments, and learning essential debate techniques such as card cutting and flowing. As the camp progresses, students dive deeper into the roles and responsibilities of speakers, mastering the art of Constructive and Rebuttal speeches. Each day includes interactive activities and practice debates on official PF topics, ensuring that students apply their learning in real-time scenarios.


The latter part of the camp is dedicated to improving debate skills and strategies. Students will engage in Summary Speeches, Final Focus and Grand Crossfire sessions, where they practice direct exchanges, and learn to perform Impact Calculus, which is crucial for weighing the importance of arguments across debate formats. Emphasis is also placed on effective preparation, time management, and strategic planning. By the end of camp, participants will be familiar with the PF tournament requirements through the introduction of PF judging criteria and tournament structure, and will have developed strong teamwork and collaboration skills, essential for success in PF debates. This broad approach ensures that students not only learn the mechanics of debate, but also gain the confidence and competence needed to excel in competitive settings.


Importance of Public Forum Debate


Students benefit much from learning Public Forum discussion in both academic and personal settings. One of the primary causes is that PF debate pushes students to apply advanced critical thinking abilities by having them examine complicated topics from different perspectives. Students gain transferable abilities in any subject by learning how to construct coherent, convincing arguments and skillfully counter opposing views. In order to build strong arguments, debaters must also perform in-depth research, which enhances their capacity to recognize and assess reliable sources.


Continuous practice delivering speeches and participating in cross-examinations builds confidence and proficiency in public speaking. Lastly, group work fosters strong cooperation abilities in students by teaching them how to plan ahead and assist one another under pressure.


Through engaging lessons and practical debate experiences, students will emerge as confident, capable debaters ready to tackle complex issues and excel in any discussion.

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