Summer/Fall 2021 Contact

All listed times on this site are Pacific Time.

Zoom contact for all meetings:
Topic: CCDU Meetings – Summer/Fall 2021
Meeting ID: 873 673 7540
Passcode: CCDU2021

There are 3 tracks to help guide your decisions about events to attend:
Track A – For those new to debating
Track B – For those experienced in other debate formats and new to the BP and SJD formats
Track C – For returning members of the Debate Union

Orientation/Information Sessions

Orientation/Information sessions for those unfamiliar with the Debate Union. Attend any of the following orientation/information sessions to learn about opportunities for intercollegiate debating, professional communication, educational outreach, and participating for course credit:

Friday, August 6, 7:00-7:45 PM (Track A, B)
Monday, August 9, 7:00-7:45 PM (Track A, B)
Sunday, August 15, 3:00-3:45 PM (Track A, B)
Tuesday, August 31, 8:00-8:45 PM (Track A, B)
Monday, September 6, 2:00-2:45 PM (Track A, B)
Monday, September 20, 7:00-7:45 PM (Track A, B)

Thursday, September 23, 8:00-8:45 PM (Track A, B)
Monday, September 27, 7:00-7:45 PM (Track A, B)

Competitive Debate Format Training – BP format/Debate Demonstration

Learn the British Parliamentary impromptu debate format (majority of debate opportunities are in this format):

August 9, 8:00-9:00 PM (Track B)
August 18, 8:00-9:00 PM (Track B)
Sunday, September 5, 4:00-5:00 PM (Track B)

August 11, 6:00-7:00 PM (Track A)
Sunday, September 5, 2:00-3:00 PM (Track A)

Thursday, September 23, 6:00-7:00 PM (Track A, B)
Monday, September 27, 7:45-8:45 PM (Track A, B)

Demonstration Debate
August 11, 7:00-7:45 PM (Track A, B)
Format demo – Topic: This House believes that US military withdrawal from Afghanistan does more harm than good.
Attend any practice after September 1 for a debate demonstration

Debate Instruction Workshops (BP)

Tuesday, September 7, 7:00-7:55 PM (Track A, B) – Public Speaking for Debate, Argumentation (ARESR), Topic Categorization and Interpretation
Monday, September 13, 6:00-6:55 PM (Track A, B) – Public Speaking for Debate, Argumentation (ARESR), Topic Categorization and Interpretation
Monday, September 13, 7:00-7:55 PM (Track A, B, C) – Counterplanning
Tuesday, September 21, 9:00-9:55 PM (Track A, B, C) – Public Speaking for Debate, Argumentation (ARESR), Topic Categorization and Interpretation
Thursday, September 23, 4:15-5:10 PM (Track A, B, C) – Counterplanning
Thursday, September 23, 5:15-6:00 PM (Track A, B, C) – Public Speaking for Debate, Argumentation (ARESR), Topic Categorization and Interpretation
Sunday, September 26, 2:00-2:55 PM (Track A, B, C) – Critiquing
Sunday, September 26, 3:00-3:55 PM (Track A, B, C) – Writing a Case
Sunday, September 26, 4:00-4:55 PM (Track A, B, C) – Counterplanning

Debate Practice (BP format)

All practices will use impromptu topics, although the difficulty of the motion will be set by the experience level of participants.
Register for a Fall 2021 practice debate slot with an email to Maya Kurkhill,

Practice Times; effective September 27 (please use prior announced times for this week). Practice is scheduled for 1:45 hours. Please be on time for sufficient time for the debate and comprehensive feedback.
Mondays, 3:00 PM and 4:45 PM
Tuesdays, 8:15 PM
Wednesdays, 4:45 PM and 6:30 PM

Sample motions for previous Fall 2021 practice debates
This House believes that reality television does more harm than good.
This House would substantially restrict First Amendment free speech.
This House would lower the voting age to 16.
This House would abolish the Olympic Games.
This House believes that it is unethical to have children.
This House believes that it is unethical to use Facebook.

Competitive Debate (SJD format)

Learn the Social Justice prepared topic debate format (8-12 tournaments annually in several aligned formats, including Social Justice Debates, Lafayette Debates, Society of Professional Journalists Debates,  International Humanitarian Law Debates, and other tournaments using the original and modified SJD format):

August 18, 7:00-8:00 PM (Track A, B, C)
Sunday, September 5, 3:00-4:00 PM (Track A, B, C)
Training for forthcoming SJD debating – TBD week of September 27

Debate Outreach – Judge Certification (PDP format)

Learn the Debate Union’s proprietary debate outreach format for middle schooling high school debating. Used nationally and internationally. Learn the format, 2021 rubric, and updated judging norms for in-person and online debating. All PDP judges must complete certification for eligibility for competitive judging. All Debate Union members interested in outreach support (workshops, summer instruction opportunities, etc. must satisfactorily complete certification).

Thursday, September 9, 6:00-7:15 PM

Online –
Please view the presentation on the PDP format, judge certification for the 2021 PDP championships, and download the accompanying documents on rules, rubrics, judging.


Edward Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within
(2nd Edition, 32-page pamphlet, $7, paperback,


Edward Tufte, Visual and Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Making Decisions
(32-page pamphlet, $7, paperback,

Additional review and information on Tufte

Edward Tufte is an expert in the field of information design. A professor emeritus of political science, statistics, computer science, and art at Yale University, his texts offer a pointed criticism of popular methods of graphic illustrations (e.g., PowerPoint), as well as establish techniques for the effective use of statistical and related design. These texts will introduce readers to sophisticated approaches to data illustrations and design thinking.

Laurian Vega, ‘Tufte is Dead; Long Live Tufte’

Ann Jennings, ‘Jennings on Tufte, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative’


Roland Barthes, Mythologies
(New edition, $10, paperback,

Additional review and information on Barthes and Mythologies

Roland Barthes, French social and literary critic, influenced the development of semiotics, structuralism, literary theory, communication, and post-structuralism. He taught philosophy and social/cultural criticism at a number of French universities. Barthes emphasized the active role of the reader in the ‘production’ of a text – as he noted in Image–Music–Text in 1977, “the death of the author is the birth of the reader.”

Andrew Robinson, ‘An A to Z of Theory Roland Barthes’s Mythologies: A Critical Theory of Myths’

Marco Roth, ‘Roland Barthes: Myths We Don’t Outgrow’

Michael Robbins, ‘Revisiting Roland Barthes’ Mythologies’


John McPhee, Draft No. 4 – On the Writing Process
($10, paperback,

Additional review and information on McPhee

John McPhee, professor of journalism at Princeton University, is an author of more than 25 books and scores of essays (he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker for more than five decades), as well as a pioneer of creative non-fiction. A 4-time nominee and 1999 winner for the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-fiction, his books include a wide range of subjects, from travel and biography to the environment, aeronautics, and sports. Draft No. 4 features McPhee’s analysis of the writing process.

Sam Anderson, ‘The Mind of John McPhee’

Tyler Malone, ‘John McPhee: Seven Ways of Looking at a Writer’