1. Who is
the best debater in the room for this debate? No matter how good or poor the debate you judged was, you should have an opinion as to who the best debater was.
2. The characteristics
of good argument. There should be
order, substance and conviction in the argument. Data is good, but a barrage of facts is not a good argument.
3. The characteristics
of good rebuttal. Does the debater
review the opponent’s arguments and proceed in deconstructing each point? Are there logical scenarios drawn illustrating
the weakness or unfeasibility of the opponent’s plan?
4. The characteristics
of good delivery. Does the debater
speak clearly (addressing the speaker) while looking at the judges? Is the voice varied in pitch, intensity and manner?
5. The characteristics
of a good examiner. Is the examiner
courteous? Are the questions closed and demanding of a limited answer, rather than open and allowing for rambling answers
that consume valuable time? Do the questions get any admissions from the witness that negate the witness’ argument?
How well does the examiner use the information in his/her final rebuttal that was received during questioning?
6. The characteristics
of a good witness. How well does
the witness hold their ground, while giving honest and sincere answers? Does the witness give reasonable justification for
7. The characteristics
of a good debate. First and last
of all THERE MUST BE CLASH!!!
organization and linkage. The rule
of thumb here is to ask yourself two questions:
A) Can I follow this argument?
B) When it was over, do I know what their points were?
In addition, do the debaters
refer to the rest of the argument, not only the opposition, but to their own partner? Working as a team is important, and
so is demonstrating to the judges that they are aware of the whole argument’s proceedings.
9. Poise. Do the debaters seem even and balanced in their
presentations? Can they ignore minor heckles, or better yet, have a snappy retort for the judges to consider?