Allison Moon, Grade 10
While this applies to all types of debate, debating has many forms and styles. While I focus on a specific style of debate, namely Public Forum debate or PF, debaters have multiple events to choose from like Policy, Lincoln-Douglass, and Congress. To clarify the history of PF, it was originally intended to be presents to the “layman” or, in other words, all types of people regardless of background. Thus, the main purpose of PF is to have a convincing and simple argument.
Allison Moon and Bobby Diaz won second place at the National Yale Invitational Public Forum Tournament in the Junior Varsity Division this fall.
Receiving a new topic is intimidating, and it requires lots of research to fully grasp even the most fundamental ideas on each given subject. However, the extensive research done provides tons of background knowledge to topics that are useful later in life. For example, Tina Dong, a debater in the tenth grade at Northview High School in Georgia explains that “[learning about] things like the national debt or universal basic income helps learn about the economy [or other real-life topics]” Regardless of how difficult the activity is, Dong continues that “debate [overarchingly] helps you tremendously with just being more logical.” In order to succeed, it's critical to “think through the [logic and steps] of [each] action [to] … truly understand.”
Debaters at National Debate Forum or NDF Debate Camp
Personally, debating provides me with greater self-confidence, the ability to speak about my opinion proudly, and to have a better understanding of the world as a whole. I get the opportunity to meet students from all around the country and learn more about politics, science, history, technology; the list is endless. To put it into perspective, debate furthers researching skills, reading comprehension, and most importantly, critical thinking. It is something that each student should consider partaking in — it provides a holistic view of our society and, as Dong concludes, it “honestly just makes you smarter.”