Public Forum Debate 

Please note: 4n6u is in transition. We are working on getting content up as quickly as we can, but we have very grand plans, and we are a volunteer program. Please be patient with us as we start to get things up as efficiently as possible. 

Public Forum Debate is a two versus two delve into a policy issue.  In this debate, the two teams discuss an issue from both sides. In this debate, the speakers are compelled to present their arguments in a way that is able to be understood by the 'lay' or non-debate judge. 

  • Debate should be logical, well reasoned, and have a well thought out case.

  • Debate should stay within the specified Time Limits.

  • Debate should present two distinct sides or 'clash' on the issue.

  • Debate should be presented with clarity, forethought, and a solid understanding of language.

Key Info to Know 

The topics are worded as 'resolutions,' meaning that the debaters are solving a problem. They do this by advocating a position. 

  • PF Ballots *note - these links are external, clicking them means you're leaving and going to their originating institution.

Hand Outs   

Cross Examination - How to attack it.  - This handout is used to help students get a little more comfortable with the cross ex portion of debate. 

Important Debate Terms to Know - This handout is a solid first look at what some of these things mean. 

Debate Clash Chart - A simple graphic organizer so that students can begin seeing how clash should be presented in round. 

Impact Analysis Chart - A basic chart designed to help students figure out how to weigh impacts in the round. 

Flowing - Taking notes in round is one of the most important aspects of debate. The basics of flowing can be found on our What is Flowing handout.


The Responsibilities

PF is made up of 8 total speeches and 3 crossfires, or cross examination periods. This means that each teammate speaks twice, once for 4 minutes, and once for 2 minutes, making them responsible for a little over 6 minutes worth of content. Each speaker should also be ready to ask questions to help further their cause, and be knowledgeable enough to answer questions in a reasonable manner.