The Speech and Debate Summer Think Tank offers Public Forum competitors two distinct program options: 


Week 1: Advanced Topic Exploration

  • In-depth Topic Analysis: Varsity debaters will engage in comprehensive analysis of the current debate topics, exploring nuanced arguments, identifying key trends, and evaluating potential strategies for case construction.
  • Advanced Research Techniques: Participants will hone their research skills, delving into specialized databases, scholarly sources, and expert analyses to uncover cutting-edge evidence and develop nuanced arguments.
  • Case Development Intensives: Debaters will participate in intensive workshops focused on advanced case construction, refining their contentions, strengthening their impacts, and incorporating sophisticated evidence and analysis into their cases.
  • Crossfire Mastery: Varsity participants will sharpen their crossfire skills, mastering advanced techniques for strategic questioning, effective rebuttals, and skillful navigation of cross-examination exchanges.

Week 2: Tournament Preparation and Strategy

  • Crossfire Mastery: Varsity participants will sharpen their crossfire skills, mastering advanced techniques for strategic questioning, effective rebuttals, and skillful navigation of cross-examination exchanges.

  • Weighing: Varsity students will master weighing mechanisms in order to prepare better extension documents and prevail in farther out-rounds.

  • Adaptation: We will discuss in depth how to adapt cases, rhetoric, and organization given different paradigms of judges.

  • Tech & Theory: Varsity students will get a Tech & Theory 101 course. They will leave with the basic knowledge of how to avoid theoretical violations and develop their own if needed. They will also be instructed on the structures of how to respond to Kritiks and how they function in PF in 2024.

  • Flowing and Analysis: Participants will deepen their understanding of debate flow, learning advanced techniques for efficient note-taking, accurate analysis of arguments, and strategic organization of information to enhance decision-making in rounds.

  • Tournament Simulation: Debaters will engage in a tournament at the end of camp participating in debates with fellow participants and receiving feedback from experienced coaches to fine-tune their strategies and techniques.

Throughout the camp, varsity participants will have the opportunity to interact with renowned guest speakers, engage in collaborative strategy sessions, and network with fellow debaters from across the country to enhance their understanding of debate theory and refine their competitive edge.


Week 1: Foundations of Debate

    • Introduction to Public Forum Debate: Participants will learn the basic structure, format, and rules of Public Forum Debate, including speech timings, crossfire techniques, and judging criteria.
    • Research Skills Workshop: Debaters will acquire essential research skills, learning how to find credible sources, evaluate evidence, and conduct effective topic analysis. Students will develop their own Research Checklist they can use for any future topic.
    • Case Construction: Participants will explore strategies for constructing compelling cases, including defining key terms, outlining contentions, and crafting impactful introductions and conclusions.
    • Rebuttal Technique: Debaters will practice delivering concise rebuttals and how to structure time allocation between first and second speakers. We will go in-depth on the different types of rebuttal arguments and how to develop an effective block file.
    • Summary and Final Focus: We will introduce to debaters how to collapse or condense argumentation as well as structure the final two speeches in the round with appropriate weighing.
    • Practice Debates and Feedback: Debaters will engage in multiple practice debates, applying their newfound skills in simulated competition settings. Experienced coaches will provide constructive feedback and individualized coaching to help participants refine their techniques and improve their performance.

Week 2: Advanced Techniques and Application

      • Argument Refinement: 

      • Crossfire Mastery: 

      • Weighing: 

      • Adaptation: 

      • Strategy and Flowing: 

      • Tournament Simulation:  

      Throughout the camp, participants will also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures, participate in drills and exercises, and engage in collaborative activities to further enhance their understanding of debate theory and application.