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Tour Guide: Introduction to Debate (Book & DVDs)

$26.99 (was $29.99)

A lighthearted approach to learning formal debate

Audience Grades 9-12; used in Classical Conversations communities in Challenges I and II. This product will serve Classical Conversations students, parents, and directors all the way from Challenge I through Challenge IV, and it is perfect for all parents and teachers wishing to build formal debate into their curriculum.
Accessibility Designed for anyone new to formal debate
Preparation None required
Ease of Use Regular print; wide margins for note-taking. Black-and-white illustrations throughout
Author Classical Conversations MultiMedia
Page Count 108 pages + 2 DVDs
Format 8.5" x 11", spiral bound; soft cover. DVD sleeve in back.
Publication Date 2016

General Description

Designed personally by Leigh Bortins, this small book teaches beginning debaters the structure of both team policy and Lincoln-Douglas debates, while the companion videos bring the forms to life.

The book relies on practicing rote presentation, asking good questions, and breaking debate into small components that are easy to practice. The videos introduce debate through familiar conflicts and characters, with pop-ups and judges’ commentary helping viewers interpret the action.

Only some people will love debate, but all can benefit from the practice of formal debate, which teaches valuable skills such as:

  • Researching for compelling evidence
  • Separating form from content
  • Taking good notes
  • Listening actively
  • Holding judgment until an opponent has concluded
  • Understanding both sides of an issue
  • Constructing logical arguments
  • Analyzing logical arguments
  • Asking good questions
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Managing time well
  • Speaking from notes AND from scripts
  • Practicing formal etiquette
  • Disagreeing graciously
  • Respecting the ideas of others
Perfect for directors, students, and parents who are ready to tackle this challenging and rewarding skill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this book prepare students for competitive debate?

The point of this small book on debate is to teach beginning debaters the separate forms of team policy and Lincoln-Douglas debates. It does not explain the detailed nuances required to win competitive debates, but it will help students at any level to hone their research, thinking, and speaking skills. If you are interested in competitive debate, we suggest you consult the guidelines of a national organization such as NCFCA or STOA. You will find more information about these options in the back of the book.

Why did you use silly debate topics in the videos?

We made a conscious choice to use silly examples first so that students could focus on the form rather than the content. We also chose imperfect examples so that the students could critique someone else’s content before developing their own. We have done our job well when, as your student finishes watching one of the videos, says, “I know how I could make that case stronger!”