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Debate – Typical Day

Debate camp was an overall amazing experience, I wish it wasn’t over. I learned so much about debate and had the best lab leaders. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t learn something new. I loved having tons of practice debates and the lectures we had were amazing. A lot of the lectures really shaped my perspective on how I view debate. My lab was amazing and I think I really have become a better debater. I am so grateful to have had this experience. – 2017 Cherub


The below schedule is from 2022. The schedule for 2023 will be outlined here once it is finalized. 

Sample Daily Schedules The following is a draft of daily schedules from the different phases of the 2022 institute. The schedule is designed to be flexible, allowing us to modify the amount of daily instruction to avoid student and staff burnout, which is a particular concern in a distance learning environment. Please note, the time listed are in Central Time, and students are expected to conform to this synchronous central time schedule. This schedule is subject to change for 2023.

Example Daily Schedule – Week 1

9:30-10:45 AM – Topic lecture #1, live via Zoom, with time for questions & answers

11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Topic lecture #2, same format

1:30-2:30 PM – break-out groups, each instructor delivers setup instructions for the afternoon’s activity

2:30-3:30 PM – students prepare speeches, instructors are available to answer questions

3:30-5:00 PM – students deliver practice speeches, instructors give feedback

5:00-5:30 PM – lab groups discuss argument research assignments and divide labor

Evening – students work on argument research independently, with instructors available via Slack to answer questions from 7:00 to 9:00 PM  

Example Daily Schedule – Weeks 2-5 

9:30 AM-12:00 PM – practice debates via Zoom

1:30-2:30 PM – students prepare and deliver reworked final speeches from practice debates and receive instructor feedback

2:30-4:00 PM – students work independently or in small groups on argument research, with instructors available via Slack to answer questions

4:00-5:00 PM – lab groups meet via Zoom to discuss progress on research assignments and go over work-in-progress files together

Evening – students watch a pre-recorded lecture video, prepare a speech, and record themselves giving that speech. Instructors are available via Slack to answer questions, and review speech recordings as they come in, providing written feedback  

Example Daily Schedule – Week 6 The last few days of the institute will be devoted to an institute-wide tournament. The days before the tournament will be devoted to finalizing the institute’s arguments and evidence, as well as tournament preparation.

The Northwestern Debate Institute Faculty strives to create an Institute-long curriculum schedule that provides students an engaging debate experience through a varied set of activities each day to maximize both education outcomes and student enjoyment of the activity.


Debate Division  –  Application Information and Deadlines  –  Tuition and Fees  –  Scholarships and Financial Aid  –  FAQ’s
Typical Day  –  6-Week Policy Debate  –  4-Week Policy Debate  –  Debate at Northwestern  –  Faculty Bios