Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
  Home:  418 North Sunny Lane (ph. 309-734-5431, cell 309-333-5447)

Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Description Syllabus Notes Assignments Homework Research

last updated 11/11/2008

1. For the first part of your debate project you need to organize yourselves into groups of four people. Each of these groups will select an argumentation topic suitable for a policy debate and have it approved by me.

2.  As soon as the topic is approved your group should begin the Debate Research Assignment.

** I recommend that the group (both teams) work together to research the topic.  Starting to do research early and sharing research materials between teams typically improves the quality of the debate and the grades team members receive.   This is not an assignment that can be completed above the C level by doing a few hours of research in the library (much less using Google) the weekend before your team debate outline is due. 

2. Having selected and begun research on the topic, your group will need to divide into teams of two, one affirmative and one negative. Then the four of you will need to word a proposition to debate based on your topic and have the phrasing approved by me.  Once the proposition has been approved, the four group members should agree on the definition of any terms which are not clear enough. [After the terms are agreed, upon submit the definitions to me.]   Further, the group should agree (in general terms) to the problems which will be argued by the 1st affirmative speaker. (If at all possible this should be done by  .). 

About 3 class meetings BEFORE the date of the in-class debate, the affirmative team must present an outline of their case (see "organization of speeches" ) to the negative team and the instructor. [Affirmative teams that do not submit outline to their opponents as scheduled will have their grades lowered automatically. If the outline does not contain definitions of terms, the negative then has the right to define the terms as they wish.]   

At least 3 days before the debate the negative team must present an outline of their case to the affirmative team and the instructor. Grades will be lowered for failing to meet this deadline as well.  See the "Debate Schedule" page for specific due dates and times for outlines.

Submiting outlines as described above means the team submits ONE SINGLE outline of their case to opponents and the instructor NOT separate outlines separately submitted by each debater.

3. All the usual expectations for a good speech apply. Remember, however, the main purpose of this assignment is to present a well-reasoned case using good evidence which proves the arguments you make. (Use of emotional appeals is not wrong but it is not especially important.)

4.  NOTE:  The written materials due in conjunction with this assignment following the oral debate in class are described on "The Toulmin Brief" page.


CATA Portfolio Requirement Guidance
This assignment is related to the following CATA Major Learning Outcome Goals:

I.  Messages (oral communication) 
II. B.  Communication Knowledge.
How communication influences beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, policies
III.  AApplication. Understand how a text or communication event influences civic culture.
III.  BApplication.  How communication principles can be applied to practical issues such as conflict management, problem-solving, construction of persuasive programs, cases or messages
IV. B  Skills. 
Group/team contexts and skills in listening, outlining, using graphic and verbal support material or conducting library research

If you intend to save this assignment for potential use in your CATA Professional Portfolio, you will need to save

  • a copy of both teams case outlines

  • a digital video copy of your constructive and rebuttal speeches if possible (see Professor McGaan about this)