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                 Speech and Debate




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Questions? Contact Jim Hanson, Web Person



How to Ask and Answers Questions in IPDA


1. Face the judge—you are trying to convince the judge, not your opponent

2. create a line of questioning—you said this, right? Doesn’t that mean x? If that is true, that shows y, right?

3.”where did you show” “what proof did you provide for the argument ” . . .

4. be assertive but not aggressive/don’t make personal attacks

5. don’t be defensive—try to feel, act, and show you are calm and collected


1. Face the judge—you are trying to convince the judge, not your opponent

2. no pause before answering—try to answer right away

3. don’t just answer yes-no—add on explanation; get out of just responding to their questions—use their question as a chance to repeat key points in your case

4. watch out for lines of questioning and where they are leading—avoid admitting things harmful to your case

5a. if asked “what proof did you provide” try to respond with what you did show (avoid admitting that you did not provide proof)

5b. If they press further, say “make that argument in your next speech and I will respond” (allowing you to respond and to not admit you failed to prove an argument)

6. don’t be defensive—try to feel, act, and show you are calm and collected




For practice:

--with another debater (or several other debaters), ask questions and answer questions about your cases and your rebuttals.

--maybe ask your parent(s)/guardians questions about the death penalty.

--think of a flawed argument—a weak argument with poor support. Now, ask a question about it.

--read a short article or short section of an article about the death penalty and ask a question about it to yourself.


Examples of questions to ask:


--ask them about missing proofs

Where did you prove ______________?

Eg Where did you show anyone after 2000 and DNA tests has someone been wrongly convicted of a crime?


--ask them about arguments against their case to see how they will respond

Eg How is it moral to kill someone to show that killing is wrong?

Eg Won’t removing the death penalty just mean dangerous prisoners will be left in jail?


--ask them to compare arguments

Eg Where did you show deterrence is more important than racism and killing innocent people?


--ask to point out contradictions

Eg You said vengeance is good but then you also said life imprisonment is cruel. Isn’t that a contradiction—I mean if life imprisonment is cruel—doesn’t that satisfy your belief in vengeance?


--ask them to explain their evidence/arguments

Eg How did they conclude 4.5 times as many African Americans were given the death penalty? Did they consider the type of crimes?


--ask them about their conclusions

Eg Do you really think we should kill people because it might lead other people to be deterred from killing?

Eg You’ve claimed several innocent people might have been executed in the past. Does that really mean we should end the death penalty today?






Team Links

Bellevue College

Facebook Bellevue College Speech and Debate Info

Team Only Facebook Page



External Links

Climb the Mountain Speech and Debate Foundation

IPDA Debate

NPTE Debate

NPDA Debate

Questions? Contact Jim Hanson, Coach and Web Person

Jim Hanson, Speech and Debate Coach



Jim Hanson’s Other Web Sites

Jim Hanson Whitman    Jim Hanson NDT Rankings    

 Jim Hanson NPTE     Jim Hanson LinkedIn     Jim Hanson Facebook


Jim Hanson West Coast Publishing    Jim Hanson Forensic Friend   

 Jim Hanson PlusTab       Jim Hanson NW Forensics     Jim Hanson Profile

Jim Hanson Debate Rhetoric Forensics Whitman