]> Charles Percy Snow's arguments critically viewed by Debate rules

SnowVerbal debate

presentations of resolutions:

Oral interpretation of

C. P. Snow's Two Cultures.


Order of teams in the debates
Actors' Speech Description Time
First Affirmative Constructive Seven minutes

Cross-Ex. by a Negative speaker

Three minutes
First Negative Constructive Seven minutes

Cross-Ex. by an Affirmative speaker

Three minutes
Second Affirmative Constructive Seven minutes

Cross-Ex. by the other Negative speaker

Three minutes
Second Negative Constructive Seven minutes

Cross-Ex. by the other Affirmative speaker

Three minutes
First Negative Rebuttal Four minutes
First Affirmative Rebuttal Four minutes
Second Negative Rebuttal Four minutes
Second Affirmative Rebuttal Four minutes
Total elapsed time fifty six minutes


Should a serious challenge to the legality of the evidence used in the round be issued during the debate, the judges will allow the round to finish and return to the judges' room for further direction.

Judges may only request evidence from debaters when its legality has been questioned. They may not call in evidence to reread it. During cross-ex, the questioner may request to see evidence read by their opponents.

All evidence must be returned to the team which owns it at the end of cross-ex.

Full Citations

The first time evidence is read in a round, the debater must read the full citations of that piece of evidence. This includes author, full source title, date, and page number. If that evidence is cited a second time, citations are not necessary. Failure to read full citations will void the impact of the evidence in that debate.

Evidence from Pacey, Pursell and Postman may be given priority in sustaining or refuting Snow's arguments about what challenges we are facing in the world because of technological affects on culture.

Note Taking

Judges are encouraged to take notes. Observers may take notes of the debate to support their verdict and vote.


Making a Decision

Judges will probably use one of these two popular models for judging :

Real Issues Judging Criterion

This criterion claims five voting issues:

  1. Topicality:Does the affirmative plan reasonably adhere to the limitations of the resolution?
  2. Significance:Is there justification to change from the present system?
  3. Inherently: Is there a clear barrier that prevents the present system from solving the problems indicated by the affirmative side?
  4. Solvency:Can the proposed plan solve the problem better than the present system?
  5. Disadvantages:Do the advantages claimed by the affirmative outweigh the disadvantages claimed by the negative?

Policy Maker Judging Criterion

This criterion claims the winning team is the one that presents the superior policy option

The affirmative should win the round if its policy option meets the resolution and gains advantages that outweigh the disadvantages presented by the negative.

The negative team wins the round if it proves the affirmative team's plan is not topical or the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Remember- if time cuts off in the middle of a sentence, finish the phrase.