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  1. I'm thinking of doing a written debate activity in the debate class I teach. I'm looking for feedback. My main goal is to get students to intensively focus on one single issue. I want them to move beyond tag-line debating and get into the details. For example, instead of just saying, "Economy is good now," I want them to wade into specific indicators of economic well-being and what economists actually infer from them. Here is my thought: Aff. writes three arguments of its choosing on a narrow topic, maybe two pages, double-spaced, with no direct quotations; the Neg. gets the paper and chooses one aff. argument to respond to--getting to write three responses, two double-spaced pages; the process repeats for a couple of cycles. The idea is that only getting to respond to one opponent argument narrows down the debate quickly. If they can't respond with breadth, they've got to respond with depth. Oh, one other detail is that we'll be bouncing two topics back and forth. While the students are waiting for their opponents to write their responses, they'll be working on writing their own responses on a different topic. Has anyone used a written debate activity in their class? Any feedback or thoughts on my activity? Thanks!
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