Forensics Event Description

Overview

The CCSF Forensics Team participates in 16 different types of Speech and Debate activities (AKA "events") that break down from four basic categories:

Read the brief descriptions below and then consider watching some exemplars.

Limited Preparation Speaking

Students prepare and deliver organized, supported, and original speeches in a short period of time, conveying a clear and supported message that addresses the topic/question.

  1. Impromptu Speaking requires a speaker to choose between one of three topics and craft a clear and supported response. Topics may include maxims, quotations, lyrics, objects, or other creative topics. Speakers will have a total of seven minutes for both preparation and speaking, beginning with receipt of topics. Minimal notes are permitted. View the Impromptu Guide for more details.
  2. Extemporaneous Speaking (EXTEMP): Extemp is similar to an impromptu speech, but allows for more preparation time and requires the use of sources. Competitors will be handed a slip of paper with 3 current event topics (often questions). In thirty minutes, students prepare a 7-minute speech on a recent current event, using minimal notes. Students reference collected files about the assigned topic during the 30-minute preparation period, incorporating 6-8 sources in each speech. Students who excel in extemporaneous speaking are aware of domestic and international issues.

Debate Events

Students research current events, construct, defend and attack cases, and learn procedural rules.

  1. Policy Debate (POLICY) is an evidence-based form of team debate between 2 teams comprised of 2 debaters, and includes cross-examination. This format explores a yearlong topic about whether or not the United States federal government should formally adopt a specific international or domestic policy. The resolution for 2017/2018 is “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should establish a domestic climate policy, including at least substantially increasing restrictions on private sector emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States.”
  2. Parliamentary Debate (PARLI) is a formal contest of wit and rhetorical skill between 2 teams comprised of 2 debaters each. Participants have 15 minutes to prepare their arguments on a resolution handed to them by the Speaker of the House.
  3. Lincoln Douglas Debate (NFA-LD) is an evidence-based form of debate with a yearlong topic. Unlike parli debate, this is solo debate. The resolution for 2015/16 is resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase restrictions on bioprospecting.

Platform Events

Students research, craft, memorize and deliver an original 10-minute informative, persuasive, or after dinner speech on a unique and socially significant topic. Multiple citations (using primary sources) must be cited in the speech. Notes are not permitted. Maximum time limit is ten minutes. Audio-visual aids may or may not be used to supplement and reinforce the message.

  1. Informative Speaking (INFO): An original factual speech, by the student on a realistic subject to fulfill the general aim to inform the audience.
  2. Persuasive Speaking: An original speech by the student designed to inspire, reinforce, or change the beliefs, attitudes, values or actions of the audience.
  3. Speech to Entertain/After Dinner Speaking (STE/ADS): 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 nightclub act, impersonation, or comic dialogue.
  4. Communication analysis (CA): An original speech by the students intended to broaden the audience's understanding of communication processes by applying a theory of communication to an interesting artifact.

Oral Interpretation Events Unit

Students deliver a 10 minute memorized performance of literature, utilizing effective verbal and nonverbal communication to tell a story.

  1. Dramatic Interpretation (DI): A cutting or cuttings, which represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. Poetry and prose cuttings are prohibited. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is ten minutes including introduction. The introduction and/or transitions must develop a theme inherent in the cutting(s).
  2. Programmed Oral Interpretation (POI): This event is to consist of a unified presentation made up of two selections of different genres (i.e. prose, poetry, plays). A student may use the works of one or more authors. The selections must develop a theme. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is ten minutes including introduction. An introduction and/or transitions are required and a theme inherent to the chosen selections is mandatory.
  3. Poetry Interpretation: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play and prose cuttings are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is ten minutes including introduction. An introduction and/or transitions must develop a theme inherent to the cutting(s).
  4. Prose Interpretation: A selection or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play and poetry cuttings are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is ten minutes including introduction. An introduction and/or transitions must develop a theme inherent to the cutting(s).
  5. Dramatic Duo (DUO): A cutting or cuttings from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters by two students. Material may be drawn from any genre of literature. No costumes, props, lighting, etc., are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and focus should be offstage and not to each other. Maximum time limit is ten minutes including introduction. The introduction must develop a theme inherent to the cutting(s).
  6. Reader's Theater (AKA Interpreters' Theatre) is defined as interpretation of literature by a group of oral readers who act as a medium of expression for an audience. While Interpreters' Theatre is both oral and visual, the emphasis is on the oral interpretation of the printed word and its resultant effects on the minds, emotions and imaginations of the listeners/viewers. The audience should have the feeling of a unified whole in which each performer at all times contributes to the total effect desired. The audience must have a sense of production being interpreted from a manuscript. Director, performer, and judges should be allowed freedom to exercise artistic, interpretive judgment; however, manuscripts must be interpreted from during the presentation. Suggestions in contemporary or ensemble dress may be used. The literature should determine the nature of this suggestion, although costuming should not be a focus of this presentation. Readers may stand, sit, or both and may move from one reading stand or locale to another so long as the movement is consistent with the ideas or moods of the literature and the director's concept. The time limitation for the performance is twenty-five (25) minutes. An additional 2 minutes shall be allowed for set-up and take-down of material.