I have been involved in one form of debate or another
for many years. For two years, I was the coach of the New York
University Debaters' Union, and for another two I was a Trustee of the
American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA).
As a service to the debating community, as well as to people who want to
learn more about debate, I have posted the following debate-related
resources on my site:
Formats and Tournaments
Formats. There are numerous different formats for public debate,
each with its merits and drawbacks. This page describes the formats
known to me. If you're trying to find out how debate works, or what
form of debate is best for you, this is the page you want. (Warning:
I'm biased. Parliamentary debate is the best format there is.)
How to Run a
Damn Good Tournament. This page is intended as a guide for
people who are running a parliamentary debate tournament for the
first time or who need a refresher course. It is a comprehensive
list of all the things you need to worry about, plus hints for
avoiding the pitfalls that cause so many tournaments to go awry.
How to Hand Tab
a Debate Tournament. This page describes in detail how to
tabulate a debate tournament by hand, using notecards and pencils.
Fallacies and the Art of Debate. This page contains a list of
logical fallacies, descriptions of each, and discussions of their
use in the context of debate.
How to Case. This page is for inexperienced parliamentary
debaters who need guidance on how to create new cases.
Debaters Should Know About Law. This is a quick-and-dirty
debaters' guide to law and the legal system.
Debaters Should Know About Economics. This is a quick-and-dirty
debaters' guide to the economic way of thinking.
Things Debaters Should Know About Philosophy, and
Things Debaters Should Know About the Constitution. These items are
not yet complete. Maybe they never will be. (If anyone wants
to volunteer to write one of these items, shoot me an email.)