How to Learn Lincoln-Douglas Debate


How to Learn Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Lincoln-Douglas Debate is a one-on-one forensic
competition format modeled after historic debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen
A. Douglas. Learn how to participate. You will need A forensic competition Research
An opponent Extensive research 3-by-5 index cards Pens or pencils and a legal pad. Step 1. Choose the affirmative or negative side of
a given topic. A Lincoln-Douglas format is a debate judged
on the moral validity of one ideal over an opposing ideal. Other debate formats are judged on the more
practical application of a debate position. Step 2. Research your stance. Write notes with source citations on 3-by-5
index cards, to be used as evidence during the debate. Step 3. Use a legal pad held horizontally to create
a Lincoln-Douglas Debate flow sheet. Divide the page or pages into seven sections,
one for each round of the debate. Before participating in the debate, fill in
your side’s evidence points in the appropriate sections on the flow sheet. Leave the opponent’s sections empty for note-taking
during the debate. Step 4. State your position clearly and support it
with three or more facts during the opening round if you’re affirmative. Step 5. Aim your questions at your opponent’s opening
statement with a strategy that points out flaws and negative implications of your opponent’s
position if you’re negative. Step 6. Present your opposing statement clearly with
supporting facts during the opening round if you’re negative. Step 7. Cross-examine the opponent’s negative position
if you’re affirmative. Cross-examination rounds in Lincoln-Douglas
format debates typically have three-minute time limits. Step 8. Make a rebuttal speech if you’re affirmative. This four-minute rebuttal round will serve
to rebuild your case. Step 9. Make your rebuttal speech if you’re negative. The negative rebuttal round has a six- or
seven-minute time limit. Step 10. State your final case in a three- or four-minute
rebuttal of your opponent’s negative position if you’re affirmative. Did you know Senator Hillary Clinton challenged
Senator Barack Obama to a Lincoln-Douglas format debate during the 2008 Democratic presidential
primaries.

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