Procedure and Rules for Student Debates

  • The debate will include two groups (A and B) of students (each made of at least one student), representing the two potential and controversial sides of the environmental issue (in the real world), and a moderator
  • The number of moderators is limited to one for each session!
  • The moderater role is optional, and leads to extra 5% (for the moderator paper and moderating)
  • Each debater team (or individual) must clearly identify their (or his/her) position on the issue (e.g., global warming is real or is not real; high birthrates cause poverty or poverty causes high birthrates)
  • Students will choose the topic for debate on the 1st week, and identify their position on each issue. Each student will indicate whether he/she wants to serve as a debater or a moderator.
  • Students must fill up the special table for debates (see debate schedule on the course's web wite)
  • If the class population is large, some students may choose to also act as "reporter, i.e., real journalist" (in addition to their debater or moderator roles) for a session other than their own debating session. Reporter role can make up to 3% of the grade
  • The debaters will prepare a clear and simple Individual Debater Report (see format below) based on their team's position on the issue.


  • The Individual Debater Report must be submitted (or emailed) to the moderator at least two days before the debate session starts. The Individual Debate Report must be submitted to me on the day of debate
  • The debaters open the debate by a clear introduction, followed by a successful argument in support of their position on the issue. All members of the debate team must participate in the debate to get full credit
  • The moderator will introduce the debaters and the issue first, so that all students will know the two opposing issues. He or she then opens the debate by giving equal time to the two groups of the team and ask them questions
  • The debaters must prepare for all possible questions and arguments against their position, and provide clear responses.

I will grade the debate summaries on the basis of:

  • Carity of arguments and responses
  • Strength of the arguments
  • Extent and depth of knowledge
  • Number of references read

· The debating will be graded based on the following criteria:·

  • Participation in the debate
  • Clarity of arguments
  • Strength of arguments (depth of knowledge)
  • Type of visual aids used (diagram, overhead projectors, Powerpoint slides, etc.)
  • The amount of information that we, the audience, learned from the debate.

You are encouraged to search your topic online using the Internet, visiting websites that continuously update their information