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Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Judge Criteria
  1. Purpose:

    Lincoln-Douglas debate, one-on-one debate of value resolutions, is excellent training for developing skills in argumentation, persuasion, research, and audience analysis. In this contest students are encouraged to develop a direct and communicative style of delivery. The debater's goal is to persuade the judge to accept or reject an interpretation of the resolution on the basis of analytical, argumentative, and presentational criteria.
    1. Case and Analysis
      1. Defining the Values: Did the arguments presented focus on the values implicit in the resolution?
      2. Establishing Criteria for Evaluating the Resolution: On what basis (universal, moral, social, political, historical, legal, etc.) is one value proven by the debater to be more important than another?
      3. Weighing Importance: Are the values advocated in support of the resolution more important than the values diminished by the resolution, or are alternative values supported by the negative enhanced by the resolution?
      4. Application of Values and Criteria: Did the debaters apply their cases by filtering appropriate arguments through the value and criteria?
    1. Argumentation
      1. Proof:
        Did the evidence presented pragmatically justify the affirmative or negative stance?
        Did the reasoning presented philosophically justify the affirmative or negative stance?
      2. Organization: Are the ideas presented clearly, in a logical sequence, and with appropriate emphasis?
      3. Extension, Clash, and Rebuttal:
        Did the debaters fulfill their obligation to extend their own arguments?
        Did they appropriately refute the contentions of their opponents by exposing weaknesses or inconsistencies?
    1. Presentation
      1. Expression: Were language, tone, and emphasis appropriate to persuasive communication?
      2. Delivery: Were gestures, movement, and eye contact audience oriented and natural components of persuasive communication?
      3. Rate: Was rate of delivery conducive to audience understanding?
  1. Time Limits:
    1. Preparation: Each debater has a maximum of four minutes preparation time to be used during the course of the debate.
    2. Debate:
      Affirmative 6 minutes
      Cross-examination by Negative 3 minutes
      Negative 7 minutes
      Cross-examination by Affirmative 3 minutes
      Affirmative Rebuttal 4 minutes
      Negative Rebuttal 6 minutes
      Affirmative Rebuttal 3 minutes
  1. Selecting the Winner: Putting aside personal biases and based on the analysis, argumentation, and presentation of the debaters, which debater was the most persuasive?


Sample filled ballot

Hereford Orators© 2006
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