Tips and resources for researching the current high school debate topic. Includes general debate resources and sources of information on public policy.
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013
We've moved! Several of the links listed below will not work yet. We'll try to get that corrected ASAP.
- K-12 Educators
- National High School Debate Topic
Each year the NFHS Speech, Debate & Theatre Association
(NFHS SDTA) announces a national high school debate topic. According to 44 U.S.C. 1333
, the Library of Congress is responsible for preparing compilations of pertinent excerpts, bibliographical references, and other appropriate materials relating to the annual topic. The compilation is then printed as a Senate document and disseminated by the Government Printing Office. This page lists the compilations that have been disseminated since 1996.
- CQ Researcher
Browse by topic (National Service, Volunteerism, Peace Corps, Armed Forces, etc.) or perform a keyword search. Provides an excellent overview of the topic, presenting a balanced view of all issues involved, a background of the issue, and a bibliography of sources for further research.
- Debatabase: A World of Great Debates
Hundreds of debates mostly written by experienced debaters. They cover topics from Affirmative Action to Zimbabwe, on all sorts of themes, including politics, economics, religion, culture, science, and society. For debaters they may provide useful preparation materials and examples, but the debates can be useful to anyone. Debatabase topics provide both sides of the debate rather than giving just one side of the argument as most blogs, newspapers, and other articles articles are likely to do.
- Debate Central
Links to policy papers, statistics, and research reports. Also includes a topic overview. Browse by subject areas such as Civil Liberties, Democracy, Economy (Impact On), International Comparisons, Military Readiness, and Non-Violence).
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics by monitoring factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Use this site to cut through the spin and verify what is true and what is false.
- LexisNexis Academic
Provides the full text of many newspaper articles, both national and international, under “Guided News Search.” “Legal Research” allows you to search for federal and state cases and laws, law review articles, and law-related news publications and broadcasts.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Intelligent, thoughtfully worded discussion centering on the key issues of our time, such as genetic engineering, environmental policy, prejudice, abortion, health care reform, and media violence. This online resource center draws on the acclaimed social issues series published by Greenhaven Press, as well as core reference content from other Gale and Macmillan Reference USA sources.
- Policy Debate
Online encyclopedia article about policy speech competitions at the high school and college level. Includes background information on the history and organization of policy debates, as well as information on format, style, and strategy.