Competitive debate at the high school and college levels emphasizes spontaneous preparation and in-depth research, as well as high-level discussion about a broad range of social, political, and philosophical issues.
The competitive structure and rigorous nature of debate push students to excel at:
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, award-winners in debate have 22% to 30% higher acceptance rates at top-tier colleges than non-debaters, while debate team captains have 60% higher acceptance rates.
Given the valuable skills debate teaches, it is no surprise that former debaters pursue extraordinarily successful careers in law, politics, entertainment, and academia. Famous debaters include US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Oprah Winfrey, and General Wesley Clark. Recent college debaters have gone on to clerk for the United States Supreme Court, open successful businesses, join the entertainment industry, serve as policy analysts for think tanks, and work in high-profile government positions.
Copyright ©2008, 2009, 2010 Washington Debate Coalition. Unless otherwise noted, pages on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License This site is powered by Movable Type. Photos provided courtesy of Jim Hanson, Al Louden, Colin Hahn, Lewis Silver, and Anjali Vats.