High School Resources

These lessons are designed and geared toward High School students participating in Speech and Debate. Read the details below for specific information about each lesson, and stay tuned for future High School content to be added to the site.

Argumentation 101

Best For: Extemp, Platform, and Debate

Argumentation is among the most fundamental aspects of this activity. This lesson begins with defining argumentation and the theory behind the practice. Then, we explore how to craft a strong thesis, how to support claims, and how to structure an argument. Finally, we discuss tips in constructing a good argument.

Writing 101

 Best For: Platform Events

Writing is a skill we develop, not one we are born with. That means we need to learn how to become good writers, and we are here to help. This lesson covers key insights, tips, and exercises for improving your writing. Overall, we should all be writing with word economy in mind, active voice, and sentence length variety. We also discuss the importance of grammar, the use of the word “society”, and the significance of reading out loud while writing. Using these strategies can make your writing more dynamic, and your performance therefore more engaging to watch.

The Dos and Don’ts of Non-Verbal Communication

 Best For: Extemp, Platform, and Debate

This three part series details non-verbal communication. Watching part one will give you an understanding of some of the accepted standards of pace, volume, and vocal fillers, giving you an understanding of how to vocally deliver your speech. Part two provides information on gesturing, the basic rules, and how to find the gestures that are right for you. Finally, part three of this series details how to put these lessons into action, while bearing in mind facial expressions and tone.

Understanding Subtext

Best For: Interpretation Events

This lesson gives a detailed look at the concept of subtext. Subtext is used by performers to attach underlying meaning to the words they are saying, altering one’s delivery to give a more nuanced performance. By watching the video, performers learn the theory behind subtext, an application through an example, and then finally some exercises to practice on your own. 

Open Source Resources

Best For: General Research Across Events

Doing research can be hard, and it gets even more difficult if you need to come up with a way to pay for it. In this video, you’ll learn how to get quality academic research, books, and coaching resources for free. Watch the video and use the corresponding resource guide to access the tools discussed.

Open Source Resource Guide

High School Disqualification Guide  

Best For: Any High School Speech Competitor

This lesson breaks down the disqualification procedures used by the National Speech and Debate Association, the largest organization for High School Forensics. Disqualification procedures are set-up to ensure competitors are abiding by the rules and meeting the underlying integrity of performance. Students will find rules and regulations across speech events for this video, and should follow-up with the corresponding links to the NSDA documents this video references.

HS Disqualification Resources