DEBATE-Kansas City has provided debate services to over 9,000 students since 1998. DKC offers middle and high school students the opportunity to compete in policy debate and student congress. This page has resources for DKC students.
We ask all students to complete the: Student Participation Form
NAUDL – National Association for Urban Debate Leagues provides many good resources and files for debaters.
NDCA Open Evidence – National Debate Coaches Association collects and provides free debate files from summer debate camps across the country.
NDCA Open Video – National Debate Coaches Association collects and provides free debate videos on this year’s topic.
Only partially free – Planet Debate – comprehensive debate website. It includes both free and pay resources. When using the links keep in mind that free files are combined with pay files. If you want only free files make sure that evidence link has (FREE) listed next to it.
Debate Central– A free debate resources page that has useful information and evidence.
Cross-x.com- A forum dedicated to high school debate. You will find discussion boards and other debate related information here.
Policy Debate Legal Size Flow Chart from DKC.
General Search Guidance
– Use terms from the debate topic resolution or congress legislation. If you are researching policy debate terms from the year’s resolution are an obvious starting point. If you are a student congress person then use terms and phrases from the legislation you are researching.
– Start general, and then get more specific based on the research. You may start with a broad search, and then as results flow, you will get a better idea of what you are looking for. As this happens, use terms that reappear in useful articles.
– Look for cited works. If you are reading an article, and it references another author’s work, look up the cited work.
– Mine the citations. At the end of many articles the author will have footnotes or citations. These are often very similar research articles to the one you are reading and should be useful.
– Look for Authors. If you get more than article by the same author, Google their name and see what else you can find. Often time’s people will write several works on the same subject.
Research with Google
Google is generally considered the best search engine around. The search tips above directly apply for using Google. In addition, here’s a few other tips:
– Change the Date: After searching you can use the “more search tools” bar on the left to search for on the newest articles. You can limit returns to the last week, month, year etc.
– PDF to Weed Out Junk: Click on the advanced search button below the search box, then use the “file type” tool to limit search returns to only PDF documents. This will weed out potentially undesirable blogs and limit returns to largely academic works.
– Use Quotation Marks: If you know an exact phrase you are looking for, use quotation marks. If, for example, you type – ocean exploration – without quotes the search will return documents that contain those two words anywhere on the page. But if you type “ocean exploration” it will only return pages with those words together.
Research with Google News
If you are looking for the most recent information on a topic then Google News is for you.
– Know the Date: Google News generally limits returns to articles in the past 30 days. To search older articles you need to click “advanced news search” and then you need to click on the “archive search” button. You may need to adjust the achieve dates to keep returns relatively recent.
Research with Google Scholar
Google Scholar searches only academic journals and this makes it very useful. The only problem is that many of the journals require a subscription. To search see the tips from above.
Research with Think Tanks
Think Tanks – This link directs you to a list. The University of Michigan also has a think tank database you can search. listing of think tanks. Thinks tanks are collections of “experts” who write their opinions on various issues. Though some people question the objectivity of many Think Tanks, the evidence they produce can be quite useful in speech and debate. The US Congress often quotes evidence and uses arguments developed in Think Tanks
– Use the Search Function: Almost all think tanks have search buttons. Use the search tool like you would on Google.
– Examine Issues/Areas of Interests: most think tanks cover a variety of issues. They will usually have an issues/areas of interest/areas of research link. Look for the category that aligns with research and browse their information.
– Look Through Publications: Another way think tanks organize information is under a “publications” link. Click on the link and look for publications matching your topic.