PHSC 3500 Solar & Alternate Energy
Debate Introduction


There are two major projects for the semester, one of which is our end of semester debates. These will account for 10% of the final grade, with a further 10% assigned to a final paper which is based on the debates. There will be class time devoted to preparing for the debates, including a discussion of the procedures, with the actual debates being held during the last classes of the semester. With approximately 38 students still active in the class I am expecting to have six debates in total, two each on the last three days of class.

What does it mean to be in a debate?

First of all, what does it not mean? So, what does it mean?
A prime example of the debate idea is the whiskey speech  given by then-Rep. N.S. "Soggy" Sweat Jr. on April 4, 1952, while the prohibition issue was before the Legislature. In essence he debates himself, offering both sides of the argument, from the same "facts" but from two different points of view.

Debate Preparation

Before the debate takes place you need to accomplish the following tasks.

Debate Tactics

Although you cannot 'win' a debate, you can attempt to sway the audience towards your point of view. There are three tactics you can use to help your case See also Logos, Ethos and Pathos by Mike Callaway, Department of English, Arizona State University

Some Internet Resources

1. Any topic which could be proven one way or the other is not debatable. For example could you debate the proposition that the infinitely long irrational number 0.9999999....... is in fact exactly equal to 1? No, the proposition can be proven, there is no debate about it. (The con argument in the link results from lack of understanding, not from a real argument.)