Glen Whitman



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

Debate 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.


Logical 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.

Twelve Things Debaters Should Know About Law. This is a quick-and-dirty debaters' guide to law and the legal system.

Ten Things 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.)

Questions about this page?  Email me at
This page was last modified 30 August 2005.