Guidelines for Judges
DEBATE EVALUATIONS ARE DUE ONE WEEK AFTER THE DEBATE IN CLASS.
LATE DEBATE EVALUATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
ALSO NOTICE THAT THAT THERE TWO PARTS TO THE DEBATE EVALUATION. (1) THE EVALUATION FORM WITH ITS EXPLANATION OF YOUR POINT ASSIGNMENTAND (2) THE SUMMARY OF DEBATE POINTS MADE BY EACH OF THE DEBATERS WHOM YOU ARE ASSIGNED TO JUDGE. FAILURE TO DO THE SECOND PART OF THE DEBATE EVALUATION WILL RESULT IN A C- OR WORSE GRADE.
1. To begin, fill out the top of the Debate Rating Form, putting in the Debate Topic and Side that you are evaluating.
2. Put in your name as the evaluator.
3. Make sure that you correctly give the names of the debaters whom are you evaluating. There may be some debaters whose names are not on the schedule but who have been added when they joined the class late.
4. After you assign points for each of the 5 categories, justify your assignment of points for each of the debaters, making clear which category you are giving the justification for and which debater.
5. The two most important categories are (A) and (C).
1. When you justify your point assignment for (A), state exactly the reason (or reasons) given by the debater. You can say something like “X gave a clear reason for her side, using the Principle of Respect for Persons and saying that stores that advertise liquidation sales when the prices of the goods inside at not at a liquidation price are misleading customers and so are violating the Principle of Respect for Persons. Do not simply say “X gave a clear reason for her position.” Such a comment does not justify your point assignment.
2. When you justify the point assignment for ( C ) pay particular attention to whether the debater connected his/her reason to some moral principle or at least to a general principle that is relevant to his/her side. For example, X showed knowledge of the topic by connecting her claim that private goods ought to rank higher in value than public goods because people have to work harder to get them. And she pointed that it is reasonable to place more value on what is hard to achieve than what is easier to achieve. On the other hand, if X only made the first claim but not the second about what it is reasonable for a person to value, then indicate that there was some lack of knowledge insofar as the debater did not show how her reason related to a more general moral or rational principle.
3. If the student’s reason is not clear, then say exactly why it is not clear. For example, a judge might say that X’s reason only shows that public goods fall behind private goods in production but not whether they ought to fall behind or be less valued.
4. If the student does not show knowledge of the reading that correlates with the debate topic, say specifically what knowledge their presentation omitted or misstated. For example, Galbraith argues in “The Dependence Effect” that advertising creates wants in us. So if a student says that we are not forced into wanting private goods, this shows he/she has not read or clearly understood Galbraith’s position.
5. Also with respect to (A), if there are some good reasons that you can think of and the debater missed, indicate what they are. This shows that you know how to support the side that you are judging. And I’m grading you on that. Likewise, if there is a question put to the debater which he/she does not adequately answer. This shows the debater’s lack of knowledge of the topic. But to justify this lack of knowledge on the debater’s part, you need to say how specifically the question should have been answered, since I am using your debate evaluation to grade your knowledge of the topic.
6. Be sure to give some evidence to show that the debaters cooperated or did not cooperate on their presentation.
7. Be sure to give an adequate, clear overall summary of the debate points made by each debater on the side that you are giving. This is a summary that is in addition to the justification of points, although some of the information pertaining to the justification is likely to be repeated in the summary. But the summary should be more detailed than the justification.
8. Judges will be graded on the following:
a. Shows that the debater did or did not give one clear reason for his/her position.
b. Shows that the debater did or did not display knowledge of the topic.
c. Shows that the debaters cooperated on the division of labor.
d. Speaks truthfully to items (B) and (D). But does not down grade a speaker for having an accent, reading from notes, or being less competitive in his/her presentation. The point of the debate is NOT to win but to present a credible case for your side.
e. Display accuracy in your summary of the debate points.