Debate And Forensics

Written by Samuel Wong
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What we see of debate and forensics on television today looks nothing like how they are defined. When most people think of debate, they picture two people on a news show trying to talk over one another and get the last word in before the commercial break. When they think of forensics, they picture a detective solving a 10-year old murder mystery. Merriam-Webster lists the definition of forensics as "the art or study of argumentative discourse," and that of debate as "a contention by words or arguments."

Debate and forensics are a dying art form. With the advent of the Internet, anyone who can type and click a button labeled "post" can have a virtual soapbox without fear of counterarguments or rebuttals. On radio and television, programmers assume no one has the attention span to listen to a well thought-out discussion on a controversial topic. These days we are limited to, and even expect to get our information from a 30-second sound byte or catchy slogan.

Debate and Forensics Are Vital Communication Skills

Having debate and forensics skills can help anybody in his or her personal and professional lives. Knowing how to communicate well can benefit you, whether you're asking for a raise at work, or asking your spouse to take the trash out.

So many people these days have difficulty putting their ideas into spoken word form. Teaching debate and forensics at the pre-college level will equip your students with the skills they need to ask for what they want, and speak their hearts and minds, regardless of the location, whether it be in front of the class, or in front of a roomful of executives.

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