Project Academic Debate
Full course description
Debating skills are an important component of academic life. That is, students should be able to defend their own position and to refute opposing positions, by providing substantial arguments, based on reliable sources.
In this project, students will prepare, present and defend a position for an academic debate on a specific topic. The available topics are central issues that have emerged out of a wide range of UCM courses from different concentrations. At the start of the project, the group will discuss their topic and settle on a concrete proposition for the final debate. After that, the group splits up into a pro (“yes”) and a con (“no”) side; the pro side will argue in favor of, and the con side will argue against, the proposition. The two sides prepare their cases for the final debate separately. A crucial part of this preparation is writing an individual position paper, in which one counter-argument is refuted based on three pro-arguments, which are supported by relevant, reliable sources.
During this course, there will also be a practice debate, which focusses on delivery. The purpose of this practice debate is to familiarize students with the debate setting in the lecture hall and to provide them with feedback on their public speaking skills. The topic for the practice debate will thematically relate to, but still significantly differ from, the proposition of the final debate.
In this debating course, students will work on their argumentation and communication skills. The focus is on content and delivery. It is not only important to think about what you say, but also about how you say it. The goal is learning to convince an audience of the correctness of one’s position, by presenting them with a cohe-rently structured case, based on informed arguments, which are delivered in a clear and self-assured manner.
- To equip students with essential debating and communication skills.
- To introduce students to the practice of speaking in a public setting.
- To become an expert on a topic of their choice (the debate topic).
Presentation Skills SKI2007, Argumentation I SKI2049.
Courses relevant to the topics of that particular year.
- Students will have to search, read and use (academic) literature on their debate topic themselves.