The debate tends to be a fruit and culmination of major portion of the course curriculum. That is why it is a key litmus test as to the failure (and success) of my teaching, and your learning. Though it tends to be enjoyable and often “fun”, it is placed within our study as a very serious and rigorous intellectual practice with immense potential for synthesis of themes and ideas covered.
- Your comments and contributions should reflect mastery and comprehension of the views, modes and perspectives debated and the assigned readings. In other words your comments should display clarity and synthesis of ideas. Reviewing texts, notes other relevant material comprehensively is obviously inevitable.
- It is not enough to know the views of your chosen side only; you must be able to articulate other views/modes/perspectives equally well and be able to see relationship among them all. It means that you must anticipate and guess the kinds of critique others will make of your position and how you’d respond to that. Better the anticipation, better you’d do.
- You may prepare in groups but each person has to choose one’s individual position independent of the other. It is important that your choice of the position is not a function of your group preparation.
- Do not forget that you need a clear opening statement (no more than 2 minutes) regarding your position and your critique or main problem with the other positions individually.
- All comments have to be succinct and straightforward. In one go, no one can speak for more than a minute.
Typically I take the role of moderator (and mediator). You may be asked to comment on the value of your or someone else’s contribution to the conversation, i.e., evaluate.