Debate and Forensics Team

The legacy of Missouri Valley Debate and Forensics began again in 2018, qualifying multiple students to nationals in their first year of competition.  Our goal is to continue to grow this team into a competitive force in the Midwest in both Individual Events as well as Debate.  We pride ourselves in being able to coach students from any background, whether you have a wealth of debate and forensics experience, or you’re just curious about academic competition, you’ll have a home here at Missouri Valley.

As we continue to grow the team we look forward to those successes continuing and becoming more numerous, led by the Speech and Debate Coach David Bowers, and Assistant Coach Gage Brookman, the team is looking to grow into other areas of competition.

If you’re interested in joining the debate team please do not hesitate to contact David Bowers (bowersd@moval.edu) or stop by his office (Ferguson 223).

If you are a prospective Viking, check out the FAQs below. If you are a CURRENT Viking, more information is available for you just below the FAQs.


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FAQs About the Debate Team

  • What do we do?

    The team currently competes in Lincoln-Douglas, International Parliamentary Debate (individual limited preparation debate), National Parliamentary Debate (team limited preparation debate) and Public Forum.

    The team also competes in all AFA individual events (Persuasion, Informative, Communication Analysis, After Dinner Speaking, Poetry, Prose, Dramatic Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking and Impromptu Speaking.

    On top of that, we also attend two national tournaments:  Pi Kappa Delta (debate and forensics honors society) and the National Forensics Association National Tournament.

  • What is Lincoln-Douglas?

    Lincoln-Douglas debate on the intercollegiate level is one-on-one policy debate. Typically, the membership proposes several different topic areas which are used for an entire season. The membership votes on those areas, selecting one. The LD committee then proposes several resolutions.

    The Resolution will be released on July 1, 2021.

  • What are Individual Events?

    Flight A Events

    Dramatic Duo: A cutting from one or more texts of literary merit, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The material may be drawn from any genre of literature. This is not an acting event; thus, no costumes, props, lighting, etc, are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

    Extemporaneous Speaking: Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current event, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes are permitted. Student will speak in listed order. Postings of topics will be staggered.

    Informative Speaking: An original, factual speech by the student on a realist subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time is 10 minutes.

     

    Flight B Events

    Impromptu Speaking: An impromptu speech, substantive in nature, with topic selections varied by round and by section. Topics will be derived from quotations. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topics sheet. Limited notes are permitted.

    Persuasive Speaking: An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Multiple sources should be used and cited in the development of the speech. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.

    Program Oral Interpretation: A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two or three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). A primary focus of this event should be on the development of the theme through the use of narrative/story, language, and/or characterization. A substantial portion of the total time must be devoted to each of the genres used in the program. Different genre means the material must appear in separate pieces of literature ( e.g., A poem included in a short story that appears only in that short story does not constitute a poetry genre.) Only one selection may be original. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

    Prose Interpretation: An original or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Focus of this event is on the development of the narrative/story. Play cuttings and poetry are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.

     

    Flight C Events

    After Dinner Speaking: An original, humorous speech by the student, designed to exhibit sound speech composition, thematic, coherence, direct communicative public speaking skills, and good taste. The speech should not resemble a night club act, an impersonation, or comic dialogue. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforced the message. Minimal notes are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.

    Communication Analysis: An original speech by the student designed to offer an explanation and/or evaluation of a communication event such as a speech, speaker, movement, poem, poster, film, campaign, etc., through the use of rhetorical principles. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message. Manuscripts are permitted. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes.

    Drama Interpretation: A cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. The focus of this event is on the development of characterization. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

    Poetry Interpretation: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. A primary focus of this event should be on the development of language. Play cuttings and prose works are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes including introduction.

  • What is Parliamentary Debate?

    Parliamentary Debate is either a 2-on-2 or 1-on-1 format of debate where the resolution changes every debate.  Debaters will have between 20 and 30 minutes to prepare their case for a specific resolution, and then compete against other teams from all over the United States.

  • Are There Scholarships Available / Does it Cost Anything to Join the Team?

    Yes!  We have scholarships available for the debate and forensics team.  Those on scholarship should plan on traveling 3-4 times per semester and regularly attending practice sessions.

    No!  The debate and forensics team is free!  All that we ask is that members work hard and represent Missouri Valley College to the best of their abilities.

  • Who is the Coach?

    David Bowers is the current debate coach at Missouri Valley.  Prior to working at Missouri Valley he worked for the Great Debaters of Wiley College, helping their team to a top 5 finish at nationals.  David has an office on the third floor of Ferguson Hall in room 223.

  • What is the Scholarship Process?

    When applying for a debate scholarship, it is helpful if you can include examples of your debate work. These can include videos of speeches/ rounds, files you have cut, etc. You can email those to bowersd@moval.edu. To request more detailed information about our scholarships, click here.


Current Students

While many students who join the debate team will be recruited out of high school or junior college, you are always welcome to “walk-on” and compete with the team. Regardless if you have previous debate experience or not, we will work with you to help you achieve the goals you have in debate. Feel free to contact David Bowers at bowersd@moval.edu for more information.