PACIFIC NORTHWEST DEBATE
Student-centered debate for a new generation.
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WELCOME TO PNW DEBATE
“Pacific Northwest Debate” is an intercollegiate debate format rooted in evidence and advocacy, yet accessible, realistic, and enriching for a diversity of college students. The format is particularly geared for college students with limited prior debate experience. PNW Debate has four major educational goals.
Immerse students in scholarly literature related to pressing social and political controversies.
Develop skill with building, testing, and critiquing arguments for a diversity of educated audiences.
Develop critical and strategic thinking skills, including working cooperatively with others.
Fostering an inclusive community committed to the growth and success of all members.
Topic Rotation & Article Packet
We feature two topics per school year (Fall and Spring) and an article packet constructed by participating students. Consisting of a variety of scholarly and topical sources, the article packet is the sole source of quoted evidence in debates. The packet is also expanded and revised throughout the topic cycle as participants’ arguments evolve.
90 Minute Debates
From the release of the pairing to the oral critique, rounds last 1 and a half hours. All students deliver a 6-minute constructive, 4-minute rebuttal, and a 2-minute cross-examination period (both asking and answering questions). Pre-round disclosure and assistance from coaches is encouraged and each round concludes with a decision and critique delivered by the critic.
Humane & Fun Events
PNW debate tournaments stress the importance of a humane and realistic schedule. Hosts are encouraged to offer 5-6 preliminary rounds and 1-2 elimination rounds, limit total event time to one and a half days, and reserving time for community bonding, relaxation, and sometimes even homework.