DebateDrills Summer Intensives

The DebateDrills Summer Intensives is a month long virtual summer debate workshop for students who want to rapidly improve at debate while maintaining flexibility. By leveraging our in-house teaching curriculum, championship-winning methodology, and powerful software students work 1-on-1 with world-class instructors from anywhere and make huge strides in improving their debating. 

In this innovative and individualized program, students explore new skills and topics, dive deep into topics they struggled with during the previous season, and work in structured learning progressions that are designed and guided by subject matter experts. 

"At other camps and programs, I encountered coaches and Instructors who taught debate material in group settings and moved on. DebateDrills’ Summer Intensives offered me 1-on-1 time with Instructors who are not only subject matter experts but also sincerely passionate about their areas of expertise, and this made all the difference."

- Max Perin | Student 
 


A past alumni of the program, Parker Whitfill, subsequently went on to win the Tournament of Champions, widely considered the most difficult and prestigious tournament in the United States. He summed up the program as follows:

“The main difference between DebateDrills’ Summer Intensives and other residential debate camps is the focus on drills and skill improvement. DebateDrills’ Summer Intensives was 75% drills while other residential camps I had attended were closer to 25%. Large residential debate camps simply don’t have the logistic capacity to drill with every student for multiple hours a day. I could focus on the stuff that really matters: rapidly improving my execution of nuanced, high level skills that would be crucial in the most important rounds of the year. 

A major benefit of DebateDrills’ Summer Intensives is that it was personalized. Even the smallest camps have around a 1:4 instructor to student ratio. Working with DebateDrills allowed me to tailor the curriculum to my own needs, instead of arbitrarily being put into a lab where debaters come from all parts of the country and have very different weaknesses. Because traditional debate camps have such a diverse group of students in each lab, they tend to focus on broad skills that will help every student in the lab, which is an inefficient method to teaching a one on one competition like LD debate.” 
 

Curriculum

Our approach to debate education is holistic and detailed. The backbone of our teaching curriculum is informed by four pedagogical commitments: 

  • Commitment to 1-on-1 tutoring and deliberate practice
  • Commitment to reading and understanding relevant academic literature
  • Commitment to watching and learning from previous debate rounds by practicing relevant speeches
  • Commitment to technical mastery and execution of topics and skill sets that consistently appear in high-level competitive debates. 

  •  

Our curriculum is structured around five common argumentative focus areas that students should have familiarity and mastery over. Material covered in each focus area includes the principles of argumentation critical to that field of argumentation, strategic decision making in complex debates specific to that area of argumentation, and learning how to execute and respond to core arguments and strategies within that area of argumentation. Depending on the package purchased, each student chooses 1 to 5 of the areas below to focus on for the duration of our Summer Intensive. Click on the fields of argumentation below to explore what learning them from us entails! 
 

This track focuses on helping students who have minimal exposure to national circuit debate. The major topics that are covered include: 

  • How to flow
  • How to increase reading speed (i.e. spreading) 
  • How to increase impromptu debate speed 
  • Understanding common jargon and navigating resources online
  • Basics of debate strategy
  • Introduction to research 
  • Introduction to basics of policy debate, critical debate, philosophical framework debate, and theory/T debates function on the national circuit
     

This track focuses on helping students hone and refine their skills in modern-day policy cost-benefit analysis debates. Topics vary based on student skill level, but focus on execution of common strategies and skills, including but not limited too:

  • Impact weighing
  • Link weighing
  • Answering extinction scenarios
  • Writing and answering tricky counterplans
  • Writing strategic affirmative positions  
  • Defending and answering permutations 
     

This track focuses on helping students hone and refine their skills in modern-day critical debates. Topics vary based on student skill level, but focus on execution of common strategies and skills, including but not limited too: 

  • Giving the 1AR using a materiality framework
  • Going for and answering identity based Ks
  • Going for and answering “high theory” based Ks
  • Going for and answering the Cap K
  • Giving the 2AR against Ks, common K tricks
     

This track focuses on helping students hone and refine their skills in modern-day philosophical debates. Topics vary based on student skill level, but focus on execution of common strategies and skills, including but not limited too: 

  • Constructing and defending consequentialist frameworks 
  • Constructing and defending non-consequentialist frameworks 
  • Learning how to identify and efficiently answer tricky frameworks 
  • Reading and defending against critiques of analytical philosophy
     

This track focuses on helping students hone and refine their skills in modern-day theory and topicality debates. Topics vary based on student skill level, but focus on execution of common strategies and skills, including but not limited too: 

  • Answering and defending conditionality 
  • Answering and defending plan-inclusive counterplans 
  • Answering and defending topicality 
  • Answering and defending paradigm issues (e.g. non bi-directional aff paradigm issues, drop the debater vs drop the argument, reasonability vs competing interpretations, RVIs)
  • Impact weighing abuse (e.g. fairness vs education, aff theory vs neg theory, multiple shells vis a vis one another) 
  • Identifying and answering “tricks” (e.g. skepticism, permissibility triggers, descriptive frameworks, floating PIKs, etc)
     

This track focuses on strategies and techniques to improve debating on traditional NSDA style debate circuits. Topics vary based on student skill level, but focus on execution of common strategies and skills, including but not limited too:

  • Value, value criterion, contention model of debate
  • How to defend and refute popular frameworks
  • Argument delivery
  • How to analyze argument content
  • Strategies that maximize persuasive appeal in front of parent judges
  • How to write strategic cases for traditional debates
  • How to give powerful rebuttal speeches 
  • Establishing and maintaining room presence
     

 

Unlike other summer workshops, we orient our instruction, tutoring, and seminars using the previous season’s debate topics (especially the TOC topic). Each track has beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions, and depending on the students Individual Learning Assessment, we craft a strategy and plan of attack for each student custom to their needs.

 

Features

Offerings

 

We assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses to design learning progressions unique to their individual weaknesses. Assessments include audio recordings of specific speeches from debates online and drill material we have created, a written diagnostic, and a 1:1 call in mid-May where we run each student through a series of drills to more precisely understand their current skill set 
 

Based on the results of the ILA, each student will do intensive, structured 1:1 tutoring with instructors who are subject matter experts 

Our seminars are similar to “lectures” at debate camps, with our in-house twist: we pre-record the lectures and release them in advance. This gives students the opportunity to take notes, press pause/rewind and listen to the lecture multiple times before a live Q&A and analysis of an online debate round that illustrates key concepts reviewed in the lecture portion of the seminar
 

A core method of the DebateDrills’ teaching philosophy is having students watch and practice speeches from high-caliber debates online. Each student will be asked to record and send in specific speeches from carefully selected debates that will help accelerate their understanding of key topic areas identified from their ILA. Students receive 2 rounds of video feedback on each round they do speeches from, ensuring optimal improvement 
 

We record targeted mini-lectures and curate readings customized to each student’s skill level and interest to help them understand the concepts that are reviewed in every tutoring session. This provides students the opportunity to synthesize important content information prior to applying it with their instructors.

Modeled after our record-shattering Club Team, all Summer Intensives students will use Slack (a messaging platform) to discuss debate with their peers in the program and the Summer Intensives Instructors. Students use Slack to schedule practice rounds amongst themselves, ask questions about anything debate related, and create a community of dedicated students and highly accomplished coaches

We curate content files and materials for practicing and mastering various skills and topic-areas. Since we use the previous seasons debate topics to center our education and drills, we ensure students can focus on improving their skills and not be stuck doing mindless research assignments that are unlikely to be useful during the season. Research assignments are specific to student needs and thoughtfully designed to help students tackle specific research weaknesses
 

Why DebateDrills?

Individual Attention

Every student gets extensive 1-on-1 attention in guided and thoughtfully designed methods. We believe there is no substitute for consistent, guided 1 on 1 coaching.

Flexible Scheduling

Our approach provides the flexibility necessary for students to rigorously develop debate-specific skills while having the freedom to pursue other activities over summer.

Proven Track Record 

3 Straight TOC Finals Appearances. 2 TOC Championships. The youngest-ever TOC Finalist. 90+ bids. 20+ Round Robin and Bid-Tournament Championships. Our program and offerings are refined to ensure each student in the Summer Intensives receives the same education we’ve provided our most successful students. 

Instructor Expertise

Our coaching staff comes from a diverse background, both argumentatively and pedagogically. Students are taught each topic from a highly experienced instructor who has been trained at the highest levels of academic debate. 

Instructors

Testimonials

"The summer before my senior year, I decided to skip a formal 2 or 3-week debate camp and instead do a personal, one on one Summer Intensive with DebateDrills for 2 weeks. This was one of the best debate decisions I made, and I’d highly recommend you consider doing something similar if you are serious about debate."

Parker Whitfill | Student | 2017 TOC Champion + 3rd Speaker 

"The DebateDrills Summer Intensives Instructors...passion for content fueled countless hours of relentless drilling and facilitated a slow, focused mastery of debate that I have not found at any other program."

Max Perin | Student

"The DebateDrills Summer Intensive offered a variety of valuable resources that really helped me progress with areas of debate I was inexperienced in. The individual, focused training helped me target my weaknesses in debate and rapidly improve through practice."

Ali Ansari | Student

Pricing

Package

Tuition
  • # Curriculum Tracks
  • 1:1 Tutoring
  • Rebuttal Redos of Online Rounds
  • Live Q&A for Seminars
  • Individual Learning Assessment
  • Curated Slack
  • Curated Dropbox + Topic Prep
  • Customized Mini-Lectures

Introductory

$995
  • 1
  • 7 Hours
  • 3 Debate Rounds
  • 2 Sessions

Standard

$2,995
  • 3
  • 21 Hours
  • 9 Debate Rounds
  • 6 Sessions

The Intensive

$4,995
  • 5
  • 35 Hours
  • 15 Debate Rounds
  • 10 Sessions

FAQ's

We field requests and personalize extensively, but ultimately we assign students to instructors based on expertise and availability. We’ve hired top-notch instructors across the argumentative spectrum, and we make sure that you get expert instruction in each focus track you select.

We schedule sessions through our website using our professional booking software. Specific details are sent out to the camp in mid-May.

Absolutely! Our Summer Intensive complements residential debate workshops. We have specifically timed the Summer Intensive so that students can get the best from both experiences. If you are going to a residential camp after the Summer Intensives, we are glad to draft an email to the residential camp director and update them on your progress to help with your lab placement.

Ultimately, it depends on how hard you push yourself. We typically assign two hours of assignments per hour of tutoring. Our average student spends roughly two to five hours a day on debate during the Summer Intensives independent of their 1:1 sessions and seminars, but students can (and have) been more or less involved depending on their schedule and dedication. 

Yes! Our application requires you to select your focus areas. We will assist you in deciding if you are unsure and need advice. Once your tracks are selected, we conduct an Individualized Learning Assessment (ILA) to create specific learning progressions within each focus area based on your strengths and weaknesses, which helps you progress as much as possible, as fast as possible. 

Nope! Our Summer Intensives are available to all students - our Club Team and Summer Intensives do not overlap. 

Our program is designed for 6th to 12th graders interested in competitive academic debate. If this does not describe you, but you are still interested in joining us, please contact us directly to discuss further.

No. We believe that the tutoring you receive is no different from the level of relationship you get with a camp instructor. 

Application

We intentionally limit space to ensure we provide high-quality service. We anticipate having 40 students for our upcoming Summer Intensives. Our instructional team will be top-notch. Our group of students will be capped to ensure that each student gets the individualized attention they deserve. Click on the button below to apply to the Summer Intensive.

 

Get Started