POLI0019 Debates

Mr Wong will discuss and organize the debates in tutorial meetings on 31 October, but we thought we should outline here how they will work.
  • There will be two rounds: on 21 November and 28 November.
  • On 31 October, Mr Wong will divide each section into four teams of three. (The 10-student section will have two teams of three and two teams of two.) He will assign the resolutions to be debated.
  • On 21 November, in each section, two teams will debate the first resolution. The order of speakers will alternate between teams. The second and third speakers on either team may choose to rebut points made by earlier speakers, but need not do so. The best speakers will be those that follow a clear and logical line of argument and do not read verbatim from a prepared text but work from notes or off the cuff. After each speaker has taken his turn, the remaining members of the tutorial section will react to what they heard and offer constructive criticism (perhaps in the style of the judges on "American Idol"?). At the end of the tutorial, the judges will vote on which side presented the better arguments. In the case of a tie, the tutor will decide if a winner should be declared or the tie should stand. Whether or not you are on the winning side will have no bearing on your assessment for the debate. What will matter is how well prepared your team is and how well you made your arguments.
  • On 28 November, the roles will switch and the previous week's judges become the debaters, while the debaters turn into judges. The debating teams will take up a second resolution.