Speech and Debate Course Offerings

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Course Options 
Students at the Northfield campus may enroll in "Freshman Speech and Debate." This is a survey course covering argumentation, public speaking, and a variety of debate formats. It also provides opportunities for students to take their content knowledge outside of the classroom and debate against other schools at local and regional tournaments.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the Winnetka campus may choose to specialize in a particular debate format. These students have the option of enrolling in courses specific to Policy Debate, Lincoln-Douglas, Student Congress, Public Forum, or Individual Events. Courses at the Winnetka campus may be taken for minor or major level credit, with the exception of Policy Debate, which is only offered at the major credit level.

Freshman Speech and Debate This course is designed to develop effective speaking and argumentation skills. The yearlong course emphasizes critical thinking, research, collaboration, analysis, and speech writing. Students will practice persuasive and informative speaking as well as several forms of debate: Policy, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Congressional. Although students are not required to participate on the Speech and Debate team, several opportunities are available to those students who wish to attend competitions. This course fulfills the graduation requirement for fine and/or practical arts.

Public Speaking and Strategic Communication  The first semester of this is course centers on the exploration of several communications disciplines, including building effective speaking skills and the preparation, presentation, and critique of a variety of individual speeches. The second semester concentrates on developing and implementing communications strategies that advance the goals and mission of particular private and public organizations. Both semesters emphasize critical thinking, analysis, and practical applications of communication skills. Specific film, television, print, and other media are used as students learn about and experiment with the fundamentals of rhetoric, public relations, and mass communications. Students will learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively through individual speaking and writing assignments and group presentations and projects. The nature of the class enables students to enroll for an entire year or either semester. 

Speech and Debate: Congressional Debate Speech and Debate: Individual Speaking Events Speech and Debate: Lincoln-Douglas Debate Speech and Debate: Policy Debate Speech and Debate: Public Forum Debate

Students in these five courses develop research, analysis, writing, and effective speaking skills throughout the year. Class time is balanced between learning theory and putting theory into practice. Most students in these classes also choose to participate as members of the Speech and Debate Team in interscholastic competition locally, regionally, and nationally.