Our elite Mastership Sourcebooks for NCFCA and Stoa will release soon! Check them out here!

It’s finally out!

Debaters – you can now learn debate from the ground up using normalized language, transferring debaterland to real life genres of conflict resolution, business meetings, and politics.

Coaches and Teachers – you can now teach debate from a classical rhetoric perspective. As Quintillian says, an orator is “a good man, well spoken.” Upside Down Debate teaches how to think deeply enough to deserve to speak.

“Upside Down Debate does more than just teach you how to debate. It makes the all-too-often overlooked connection between academic debate and real life. Isaiah and Betsy first pick apart the fundamentals of debate structure, then follow by steadily building a firm foundation of wholesome debate strategy. I cannot recommend Upside Down Debate more fully as a foundational tool for any aspiring debater.”

Chris Jeub (Founder and CEO of TrainingMinds.org; educator, author, speaker)

“There are dozens of books on how to teach debate, but none that take this type of big picture approach. …McPeak contextually weaves the fundamentals of debate, and the art of rhetoric into practical life applications. The reader will learn not only the building blocks of debate, but more importantly how to debate with integrity and an eye on persuading others in a manner that will serve beyond high school forensics, into college classes, board rooms and even personal relationships.”

TJ Harding (national champion debate coach)

“Listening before speaking, agreeing before disagreeing, letting the evidence inform your position rather than looking for evidence to support your position: these are just some of the skills you will learn from the Upside Down Debate book. For elected officials and individuals involved in political debates, this is a must-read book.”

Bryan Simonaire (Maryland State Senator, District 31)

Sample Chapters

The centerpiece of the book is found in “how to be persuasive,” from chapters 8, 9, and 10. It teaches how to argue from shared assumptions. Take a look!

“Upside Down Debate can help students gain practical skills for debate competition and also provide some re-centering for skilled debaters looking to someday bring their advanced skills back down to earth to engage the real worlds of family, church, community, and of business success and civic engagement.”

Greg Rehmke (Program Dir. at EconomicThinking.org; author; speaker)

Order paperback from Amazon.com. Electronic versions coming soon.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Why Debate? 6

Chapter 2. What is Debate? 23

Chapter 3. Understanding Types of Resolutions 27

Chapter 4. e Roles of Each Side 40

Chapter 5. Owning the Platform Across Formats 49

Chapter 6. Connecting with the Audience 61

Chapter 7. Primary Tool: “The Flow” 72

Chapter 8. How to Be Persuasive (Theory) 101

Chapter 9. How to Be Persuasive (Mechanics) 122

Chapter 10. Make a Case for Something 137

Chapter 11. Intro to Negating 149

Chapter 12. Negating – Offense/Macro-Refutation 158

Chapter 13. Negating – Mitigation/Micro-Refutation 178


%d bloggers like this: