Best Practices for Civic Debate

2018 Working DRAFT

The Civic Debate Conference is an academic community dedicated to developing, implementing and publishing best practices for civic debate education. This will eventually include best practices for academic design and administration of civic debate series, participation in civic debate series, and organization and administration of civic debate societies.

Civic debate best practices are not “rules” and are not intended to establish a standardized civic debate format.  To the contrary the conference recognizes different civic debate series organized in different contexts with different partners will require different approaches and encourages flexible and opportunistic civic debate practices to maximize student outcomes given available resources.

Best Practices for Civic Debate is a working draft released May 2018 at conclusion of the third annual Civic Debate Conference held at the University of Southern California . The conference intends to test, refine and expand the civic debate best practices published herein on an ongoing basis.   

Best Practices for the Academic Design & Administration of Civic Debate Series

Civic debate should:

Prioritize engagement

Encourage scholarship

Promote service

Create opportunities for iteration of student speechwriting and/or research

Maximize the educational returns on student research and preparation

Prioritize student publication including oral publication to civic assemblies 

Provide clear guidance to participants regarding design and process

Minimize barriers to participation  

Promote diverse opinions and perspectives

Create a healthy and safe environment for student education

Strive for effective and efficient event administration

Minimize missed class absent compelling reasons

Select and leverage locations to maximize return on travel dollars

Maximize student involvement in all levels of the civic debate process

Create opportunities to effectively and efficiently promote debate education

Provide opportunities for student professional and civic development

Best Practices for Civic Debate Societies


Best Practices for Participation in Civic Debate Series


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