Do's and Don'ts of POIs

Published: Feb. 20, 2021, 12:20 a.m. | Author: benw


  • Take at least one POI during your speech
  • Finish your sentence or thought before taking a POI
  • Stop a POI if the person saying the POI has gone over 15 seconds or you understand their point: make sure to be polite and say, "Thank you, I understand your point"
  • If you are uncertain whether you have time to take a POI, respond to the POI with, "I'll take your POI after my point" and continue reading your case
  • Answer POI's with evidence or reasoning
  • Be polite when turning a POI down: either use a hand motion to decline or say, "No thank you"


  • Wave down every POI the other team gives: if you do, it shows the judge you don't know the topic well enough to think on your feet and answer a question brought up by the opposing team
  • Immediately continue reading your case after the POI has finished: try and answer the POI with reasoning or evidence
  • Stop mid-sentence to take a POI: always finish your thought or sentence before taking a POI and let the person giving the POI know that you'll take it after you finish your point
  • Pass the POI onto your next speaker: always try and come up with an answer to a POI, but in a worst case-scenario it's ok to say your next speaker will answer the POI
  • Leave a person with a POI standing for a long time: quickly decide if you want to take their POI or decline it

Research Tips

Published: Feb. 22, 2021, 2:57 a.m. | Author: benw

Where do you start when you receive a new topic? This can be a tricky question when you're new at debate. There are many different ways to start researching a topic. Here's some advice on how to begin searching your topic:

1. Start with background information on the topic. Before you jump straight to looking for affirmative and negative points, it's important to have a firm grasp on what the actual topic is. Let's take the sample topic, "Ecotourism does more harm than good". To start, you might just put "ecotourism" in your search bar. This search will yield definitions and websites discussing the topic. Read through some websites until you understand why there's controversy surrounding the subject.

2. Once you have enough background information, start creating a basic outline for your research with claims for your three affirmative and three negative points. To do so, you might search pros and cons of the topic. Going back to the ecotourism topic example, a good search would be, "Ecotourism pros and cons". Multiple websites will pop up with points for both sides of the topic. Make sure to visit a couple of reliable websites and read through different points. This method will ensure that you choose the points you feel the strongest about. 

3. After completing an outline of your points, go back and specifically search for evidence for each point. You might do this by copying and pasting your point into the search bar, or inputting key words of your point into the search bar. This search should allow you to quickly find specified research for a specific point.

4. While doing specific research for your points, keep your eyes out for good grabbers and definitions. You'll also want to write impacts for your points and at the end think of a weighing mechanism that benefits your side. Make sure to keep track of your sources!

Hopefully, these tips will help when you're beginning to research a new topic. 

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