The Middle Schoolers' Debatabase: 75 Current Controversies for Debaters

The Middle Schoolers' Debatabase: 75 Current Controversies for Debaters

The Middle Schoolers' Debatabase: 75 Current Controversies for Debaters

The Middle Schoolers' Debatabase: 75 Current Controversies for Debaters

Excerpt

The Middle Schoolers’ Debatabase: 75 Current Controversies for Debaters provides an introduction into the wonderful world of debate for students, coaches, teachers, and parents. This volume gives general information necessary for beginning debaters and their coaches to get started with debate and argumentation and presents 75 debate topics that will interest and challenge middle school students.

Unlike other debate resource books, this volume is designed specifically with the needs and capacities of middle schoolers in mind. This focus has guided every aspect of the book’s development — from the design, to the hints for debaters, to the topics included. Topics and motions have been chosen for two reasons: first, to appeal to interests and experiences of middle schoolers; accordingly, a very large number of the topics involve school and environment. Second, to help introduce students to domestic and international issues with which they may be unfamiliar. Each entry contains a topic and motion; an introduction; information on debating the motion; pros and cons; additional sample motions that could be argued with similar research; and web links.

Topics and Motions

Entries in this book are organized by topic for ease of reference but begin with a specific motion. A motion is included because narrower motions (rather than broad topics) are more common in middle school debate. For most middle school students, the research required for each debate will be entirely new; the narrower motions make the research less daunting, particularly as the task of including and excluding information is one that middle schoolers can struggle with.

The motions are also broader than might be seen in a typical middle school debate tournament — where motions might focus on items of local interest. Broad motions are appropriate for a more general audience and also force debaters to define and narrow, skills important in debate. In many cases, I purposely chose vague terms like schools and government or good and bad to demonstrate the kind of work that students need to do in defining a motion.

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