Learn Public Forum

9/6 brief update: Hey y'all, obviously haven't updated this site in a while. Have some free time now, and I'll be fleshing out some of the pages, adding some more, getting through a long backlog of the questions, and finally finishing some of the larger longer-term things I had planned for the site. Check back!

Site navigation

This site is grouped into general areas of debate learning.

  • "Debate basics" covers the fundamentals of debate, what you need to know to learn the format.

  • "Debate tools" has pages about different online and physical tools you might use in debate.

  • "Advanced" generally covers information that can help you improve, both in- and out-of-round.

  • "Resources" has some other stuff to help you, including links to other helpful sites.

About

This is a site I made to help people learn about public forum debate. I decided to do this for a few reasons. First, I learned debate on a team that was entirely student-taught, and while I was lucky enough to have dedicated enough captains during my freshman year, many may not, and some might be learning PF entirely without a team to help them out. But while it's aimed at those without access to resources or wide help, people with dedicated, professional coaches could still learn a thing or two from this website! Second, I was privileged enough to attend national debate camps for three summers, but again, many don't have that access. I learned a lot from those camps, and a lot of the information and knowledge I was able to gain is put back into this website to help people learn. Finally, while initiatives like PF Videos and Beyond Resolved have drastically increased access for people looking to learn about public forum, a lot of the information you can learn is dispersed and not as readily available on the internet, so I hope this website can organize a lot of the skills and techniques people use in debate to help people learn.

The other big thing this website has is a question form for you to ask anything about debate. When I was trying to learn about debate, I had a ton of questions or uncertainties about the things people were talking about, but there wasn't a really open forum to ask them anonymously. I was worried about being called stupid for not knowing something, or people giving me misinformation that I'd never realize was wrong until much later. Through this form, you can ask any question, and be sure someone who is at least OK at PF is answering it.

I highly encourage you to share around this website as much as possible! If you want to share a specific heading in a page, you can hover over the heading and a little gray icon will appear, which you can click to copy a link to jump to that heading on the page. The more people you share information with, the more this website can help. If you have anything you think should be added at all, message or email me! Hope this helps!

Coming soon!

  • Recording of research process, finding cards and making arguments

  • Demo round with explanation

  • List of debate-related terminology

  • Annotated prep