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Communication Studies

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Debate

For the Feisty and Logical in Each of Us

There are two types of debate in which LACC specializes:

  1. Parliamentary Debate
  2. International Public Debate
What is Parliamentary Debate?

Parliamentary Debate is steeped in tradition. It is a team activity, pitting two teams of two individuals each against one another. Its form follows the British House of Parliament, and audience participation is encouraged during the course of the debate. Unlike most other forms of academic debate, Parli debaters have a different topic every round. They do not know what the topic will be until 15 minutes before the debate begins. Additionally, while debaters must be well read, no evidence is used in the debate.

What is International Public Debate?

International Public Debate primarily utilizes a one-on-one, or individual, debate format in which one debater takes the side of the affirmative where they have the burden of advocating and proving the resolution. The other debater takes the side of the negative where they have the burden of refuting the affirmative's case. For each round, the two debaters are given five possible resolutions. The negative begins the topic selection by striking one resolution, then the affirmative strikes one resolution. The negative strikes again. Thus, the affirmative has two resolutions to choose from. The affirmative then strikes one of the remaining resolutions, selecting the other as the topic for the round. After the topic has been selected, both debaters have thirty minutes to prepare a case.

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