For the coming months, Ethos is providing free resources for parliamentary debaters. Throughout this “Parli Series”, I’ll be posting either practice debate resolutions or strategic tips and advice for parliamentary debate.
Whether you’re predominantly an impromptu or extemporaneous speaker, a Lincoln-Douglas debater, or a Team Policy competitor, participating and practicing parliamentary debate will help you to greatly improve your ability to formulate a case, speak with clarity and conciseness, and quickly develop arguments using critical analysis.
These skills are especially helpful in very close, competitive debates. In late outrounds at the NSDA National Tournament, the debates were incredibly close, and what allows debaters to most effectively persuade judges of their position when both sides have very nuanced and well-crafted arguments is delivery.
Below are 25 practice resolutions for you to use in your debate club meetings, to brainstorm a case and deliver an extemporaneous speech, or to utilize at tournaments or scrimmages. I’ve included a comprehensive range of topics, from political to personal, in fact, value, and policy forms. None of these are perfectly worded and would appear as a year-long resolution in any of your leagues, but they provide unique areas of clash will benefit your speaking ability.
Resolved: In the United States, majoring in a STEM-related field is over-emphasized.
Resolved: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Resolved: Military conscription is unjust.
Resolved: In a democracy, civil disobedience is morally justified.
Resolved: Current television advertisements do more harm than good.
Resolved: Chain stores are detrimental to the best interests of the American public.
Resolved: In the US criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to be valued above attorney-client privilege.
Resolved: When in conflict, governments ought to value civil liberties over national security.
Resolved: The West ought to prioritize stability over exporting democracy in foreign policy.
Resolved: When voting, citizens ought to value a candidate’s experience over a candidate’s political viewpoints, when in conflict.
Resolved: When in conflict, the preservation of minority cultural values ought to be valued above the preservation of a unified national culture.
Resolved: The United States should normalize economic relations with the Republic of Cuba.
Resolved: The United States should substantially reform its foreign language teaching programs in K-12 public schools.
Resolved: The United States ought to abolish the minimum wage.
Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States should restrict constitutional hate speech.
Resolved: The United States Senate filibuster should be eliminated.
FUN & SITUATIONAL RESOLUTIONS:
You’re walking on the street with a dollar of change in your pocket. You see a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. Resolved: give him a dollar.
It’s the year 3000 A.D. and governmental officials in the United States have successfully created time travel machines. Resolved: The United States government should destroy these machines and blueprints.
Resolved: Disney does more harm than good.
Resolved: Star Wars Episode VII should not have been created.