Introduction — Students

We are so excited that you  are joining the next generation of students who will learn about speech & debate.

Speech & debate education is a form of active learning that has been embraced by millions of students around the world to help them develop foundational skills in public speaking, argumentation, research, and collaboration.  

As you begin your debate course, one critical thing to keep in mind is that speaking and debating are skills. To develop these skills you must be actively involved in practicing the development of these skills. Although there will certainly be content that you need to learn, instruction in speaking and debating will focus more on helping the you develop as a speaker and debater rather than primarily on content.

This is one way that debate is like a sport: You need to practice to hone your skills to improve your odds of winning. It is also like a sport because it is competitive and the competitive element will help drive you to succeed.

In the process of learning these skills, you will also need to push yourself, to incorporate important values, and, hopefully, celebrate many competitive successes if you enter speaking and debating competitions. And it is through these competitions that they will continue to be motivated to improve.  

In this online guide, we aim to provide you with the tools you need to help you learn the critical components of speech and debate.

The guide is meant to be adapted to the specifics of your learning schedule and the pace at which you are able to learn the material.

Next: Introduction to Debate