Summer Debate Institute
Giving Tomorrow's Leaders a Voice 
by Training Students to Debate 
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What to do before you come to the Summer Debate Institute
In order for you to gain the most from your week at the Summer Debate Institute, we would strongly suggest that you read and complete the following homework assignments before you arrive. These assignments are not intended to burden you, but rather to enhance your learning and performance.
Novice team policy and Lincoln-Douglas debaters should familiarize themselves with the schedule and read the materials they have been sent prior to the Institute.
Intermediate debaters have the foundations necessary to begin enhancing their debate skills. As such, preparation before the Institute is vital
  • Students should familiarize themselves with the schedule and read the materials sent out prior to the Institute.
  • Additionally, policy students should begin their examination of the resolution, begin formulating case ideas and write a plan-meets-needs case complete with supportive evidence to bring to camp. L-D students should prepare an affirmative case to bring to camp.
  • Students should bring any briefs, cases, and articles they have found in order to expand the knowledge base regarding the resolution.
  • Finally, students should bring potential generic negative arguments.
Advanced students are those who have two or more years of experience, have competed at national level competitions, have written and debated a variety of case structures, and have studied some advanced debate theory. These debaters have foundational skills and enough in-round experience to prepare them for taking a step to the next level. However, experienced debaters often lose sight of the basics and get lost focusing on the individual arguments rather than the big picture. Thus, preparation before the Institute will determine their success both here and in the year of competition to come.
  • Advanced students should arrive at the Summer Debate Institute with a good understanding of the topic. The main policies that are typically cited as harmful, the main thinkers behind the topic, and the major arguments that should be apparent in the resolution.
  • Advanced students should refresh themselves on the debate basics. Looking over an old debate book or pretending to be a novice can help you reinforce the fundamentals so as not to lose sight of them in the whirlwind of new theory.
  • Finally, advanced students ought to arrive at the Institute with substantial preliminary research, a developed affirmative case, negative paradigms, and general disadvantages. If these foundations are sound, the camp will be very rewarding.
  • Advanced policy students must prepare and bring to camp a full case complete with supportive evidence, briefed affirmative backup evidence from 20 unique sources and briefed negative evidence from 10 unique sources. (Highlighted articles are not acceptable forms of briefs.) Advanced L-D students must bring a full affirmative case and a full negative case as well as quotations that relate to the resolution from three philosophers
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