2Selecting Useful Material •While reading source material, mark the text that you believe will serve as strong evidence during the debate.•Passages may be marked by highlighting, underlining, bracketing, or, in the case of an electronic text, cutting and pasting into a new document.
3Selected Materials Should Be… Supportive of a potential argumentConciseAuthoritative
4Creating the CardsSelected text should be transferred to the index cards or evidence sheets by:1. copying the text by hand,2.cutting and pasting onto a card
5What should I put on the card? Each card should include one key piece of evidence on the subject.This way the cards may be organized later in the debate preparation process.Evidence should be written in passages of 2-4 sentences.This length ensures credibility and reasoning but avoids too time-consuming a support.
6Citing and TaggingEach evidence card should include the source and a content tag.What does that mean??
7Source CitationsCitations should include the author, title of publication, date of publication, and page numbers.A site from the World Wide Web should also include the URL.Why do we do this?By recording the citation on the card, it lets the you refer to the authoritativeness of the source during the debate.
8Looks like this(American School Board Journal Aug. 2006, Vol. 193, No. 8, pp )
9The TagThe tag, consisting of one to six words, serves as the title for the card, making it easier to identify particular pieces of evidence before and during the debate
10Looks Like This...School uniforms reduce crime in schools
11Organizing Evidence Evidence should be sorted. Determine if the evidence is affirmative, negative, or both. Label the evidence accordingly.Sort evidence by topic so that it may be located quickly to support or refute an argument.
12Sample Evidence CardsSchool uniforms reduce crime in schools (Affirmative)(American School Board Journal Aug. 2006, Vol. 193, No. 8, pp )In 1995, Long Beach, Calif., became the first large urban school district to require uniforms for all students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Five years later, overall crime in the school district had dropped by 91 percent. Suspensions were down 90 percent, sex offenses had been reduced by 96 percent, and vandalism had gone down 69 percent.
1394% of students opposed school uniforms (Negative) Source: Survey of 155 students in Mrs. Miller’s Health classes, November, 2006A recent survey was given to all students in Mrs. Miller’s health classes, a representative sampling of sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Howard Middle School (approx. 30% of the school).Students were asked to respond to a proposition from the PTSA that all students in Howard County should wear school uniforms. 94% of students surveyed were opposed, 4% were in favor, and 2% were undecided.
14Online Resources for Debate SIRS Knowledge Source/SIRS Researcher’s Pro vs Con Leading Issues is a good starting point for developing arguments for both sides of an issue.American Bar AssociationStudent Central page has list of many contemporary issues with relevant legal and legislative information, key Supreme Court decisions and information on Law Day.American Civil Liberties UnionThis site includes fact sheets on recent and current legislation, Supreme Court cases and related articles on many issues
15Online Resources - 2 •Debatabase •• Debatabase, a project of IDEA, is the world's most useful resource for student debaters. Includes arguments for and against hundreds of debating topics, written by expert debaters, judges and coaches. Also included are background summaries, links to websites of interest and recommended books, example motions and user comments. Total number of topics: 430.
16Online Resources - 3 •Debate Central • http://www.debate-central.org/ •This site is an online resource created and maintained by the National Center for Policy Analysis for high school students researching the nationwide high school debate topic. Their primary objective is to provide students from disadvantaged and low-income school districts with cost-free access to the best debate material available.
17Online Resources - 4 Envirolink http://www.envirolink.org/ EnviroLink maintains a database of thousands of environmental resources.Middle School Public Debate ProgramArchive of past and active debate topics. Includes links to resources on the World Wide Web for successful and challenging middle school debate topics.
18Online Resources - 5 •National Center for Policy Analysis •• The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in This site includes legislation and information on topics including reforms in health care, taxes, Social Security, welfare, criminal justice, education and environmental regulation.
19Online Resources - 6University of Michigan High School Debate Topics/ResourcesThe site offers links to resources related to debate topics that include mental health care policy, weapons of mass destruction, privacy issues, renewable energy, juvenile crime, and more.