Northwest Forensics Institute
Debate opportunities at NFI are extensive for a one week institute. All levels of competitors are encouraged to attend if they are interested in debating in the upcoming season, or if they just want to learn more about debate. Our focus centers on research skills, critical thinking and practical application of techniques and strategies. We want students to leave camp with a skill set that allows them to continue research and practice with their own coaches to improve throughout the season.
Rather than cannibalizing other camp books and materials to see what will work for this year’s topic, students will learn fundamental research and case construction skills, as well as basic argumentation skills. An extensive examination of the topic and its far reaching implications will start the policy portion of the institute. Time management and presentation skills will also be emphasized.
Novice debaters can expect to leave NFI with a functional case, extensions, three negative positions that can be used in conjunction with Wyoming Novice Policy Debate rules, and theory in all of the stock issues, including topicality.
More experienced varsity debaters will also leave Institute with at least one case of their own construction, several off case positions with links and extensions, theory briefs, including topicality and SPEC arguments, and some critical theory, depending on experience levels of debaters.
All students will participate in a variety of drills ranging from speaking to time management and strategy. Students should expect to participate in practice rounds, as well as the end of the camp tournament.
Debaters interested in LD should expect an in depth discussion of philosophy, topic areas, and basic instruction in value debate, general argumentation skills, and refutation. Clash will be emphasized for the value debaters, with practice rounds based on cases constructed at the institute. Independent research and application of that research to the broader value terms will be a focus of LD instruction. Special focus on what a criteria is, and how to use it in a round, will also encouraged.
Public Forum debaters will get a crash course in current events and their implications on the world around us. Research will be a primary focus for the PF debater, as it is the basis of all PF cases. Presentation skills, case construction and time management will also be central to PF labs. Current national trends in argumentation structure and round development will be covered as well. Students should expect to leave camp with the ability to construct a case with each topic change, as well as in round strategy and application skills.