Daniel Cantrell
Daniel Cantrell
Professor of Communication & Forensics Coach
Office: 26D-1441 (forensics room)
Phone: (909) 274-6310
Email: dcantrell3@mtsac.edu
Homepage: https://faculty.mtsac.edu/dcantrell3

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  • Spring 2016

SPCH 20H – NFA-LD Debate Handout - POLICY DEBATES 



A one-on-one debate format that emphasizes research, refutation, and delivery. The topic will be known ahead of time and you should prepare to debate on both sides of the topic. A policy debate argues about whether or not some actor (such as the Federal Government) should enact some change in law. The main difference between this format of debate and IPDA (debate #1) is that you must cite the evidence you are referring to word-for-word.  Such as: According to CNN on Feb 21, 2016,"Increasing the minimum wage will hurt jobs..."

 On all three debate days (5/4, 5/9, 5/11) you should be prepared to both debate and judge. You will be randomly assigned to either pro or con on each of the topics.  For each day, prepare your 1st affirmative case or disadvantage for your written assignment.

 This debate will be done in small groups (like debate #1). You should be prepared to both debate and judge all three days.

Sample Affirmative Case  | Sample Disadvantage


Affirmative Case Template  |  Disadvantage Template


We will be doing a practice debate day on 5/4.

 Topic: Resolved: The United States should ban assault weapons

Affirmative Debaters: Jacqueline, Michael W., Shahar, Tiffany, Monica, Carol, Hanna, Justin

Negative Debaters: Maggie, Sylvia, Prez, Abraham, Jared, Hillman, Shantel


Structure & Time Limits


  • 1st Affirmative = 4 minutes (present inherency, harm, plan & solvency)
  • Negative Cross-Examination of Affirmative = 1 minute
  • 1st Negative  = 5 minutes (present uniquness, link, internal link, impact & refute case)
  • Affirmative Cross-Examination of Negative = 1 minute
  • 2nd Affirmative = 3 minutes (refute negative disadvantage and defend case)
  • 2nd Negative = 4 minutes (defend disadvantage & provide summary)
  • 3rd Affirmative = 2 minutes (provide summary)

 Total Time: ~ 20 minutes





Topic: Resolved: The United States should legalize recreational use of marijuana



Jacqueline, Michael W., Shahar, Tiffany, Jared, Hillman, Shantel, 



 Maggie, Sylvia, Prez , Abraham, 

Monica, Carol, Hanna, Justin


Topic: Resolved: The United States should make higher education free 




  Maggie, Sylvia, Prez , Abraham, 

 Monica, Carol, Hanna, Justin



Jacqueline, Michael W., Shahar, Tiffany, Jared, Hillman, Shantel



This debate is worth 100 points. 80 points will be based on turning in written assignments (1 aff case and 1 disadvantage– each worth 30 points, practice speech day worth 20 points). The remaining 20 points will be based on judging other debates in class. If you do not debate one day you will have a 50 point deduction in your grade. If you miss both debate days you will have a 100 point deduction.


All written assignments are due on the day that you are assigned to debate. Please do not email me your written assignments. Please use the affirmative case or disadvantage template provided online and turned in a typed copy.

If you have any questions please email me at dcantrell3@mtsac.edu

Last Updated: 6/3/19
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