NSD Online Topic Prep Week (LD)

Online Summer Debate Session

Online, one-week session focused on the 2023-2024 September & October Lincoln-Douglas Debate topic.

Key Info

Aug 8 - Aug 14
Online Platform

6th-12th Grade
LD Debate Focused

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Learn the foundations of debate and argumentation.

Elite Faculty

Our topic sessions are led by the same championship coaches and former debaters who teach at our in-person sessions.

Prepare for Success

Prepare cases and practice speeches with structured feedback from elite instructors, so you have confidence as you enter the competitive season.

Head Start on Competition

Get ahead on upcoming competitions with a week of focused, in-depth topic analysis, research, and argument generation.

Team Environment

For students without robust team support, we provide a structure for preparing a new debate topic just like the best institutional teams do.

Built for Student Success

During NSD’s topic prep week, students jump start their research, understanding, and practice on the September-October LD topic with help and instruction from our premier staff. Students receive nuanced, in-depth topic analyses on the main areas of argumentation on the upcoming topic. Our focus on preparing and researching arguments is supplemented by interactive activities and drills for students to master the execution of high quality positions on the topic. We conclude the workshop with a practice tournament to ensure that students receive helpful practice on the topic with in-depth feedback from our instructors.

  • Perfect for all levels, including beginners
    Whether a student is new to debate or a debate veteran, we have a curriculum track designed for their experience level
  • Learn to be independent
    Our curriculum is designed not only to prepare students for the upcoming topic, but to teach them a methodology for preparing future topics on their own
  • Emphasis on active learning
    Our students do not passively listen to large group lectures; they collaborate, discuss, engage in structured practice, and argue–all in small group settings
Tom Evnen's headshot

Tom Evnen

NSD Director

M.S. | University of Chicago

Sam Azbel's headshot

Sam Azbel

NSD Online Director

B.S. | Bowdoin College

NSD Online Topic Prep (LD) Syllabus

Detailed, interactive topic analysis workshops familiarize students with the topic area, research on the topic, and the main arguments expected to be debated on the topic. In-depth topic analyses provide students an excellent head start on writing cases, learning how to address important arguments, and preparing for the upcoming September/October tournaments.

  • Led by excellent debate faculty, armed with topic knowledge and research
  • Background knowledge on areas of academic research important to the topic area
  • Extensive coverage of each of the main argument areas for the upcoming topic
  • Strategy discussion on how to deploy key topic arguments in cases and rebuttals 

Case construction is a primary goal of the topic preparation. Our expert instructors guide students through the process of constructing cases on each side of the upcoming topic. With structured guidance, students outline, research, and write cases, with faculty assistance and feedback each step of the way. 

  •  Interactive brainstorming to generate and refine the best case ideas
  • Extensive group outlining for important case arguments 
  • Guided research to locate the best support evidence for arguments
  • Feedback from faculty on case outlines and drafts

Expert faculty guide students through group mini debates and argument drills, so that students receive structured practice for improving core debate skills, as well as mastery on the upcoming topic.

  • Structured drill scenarios designed to provide practice on the core areas of debate competency and the core argument areas of the upcoming topic
  • Mini debates isolate key arguments and moments of rounds for focused improvement 
  • Great way to improve familiarity with how debates will look on the upcoming topic 
  • Detailed faculty feedback on what students can do to improve

Students have the opportunity to practice and showcase their new skills in a supportive, educational environment with our end of camp tournament. All students participate in preliminary rounds, and students who perform well also participate in elimination rounds, which also serve as showcase demonstration debates for all students to watch.

  • All students participate in six preliminary rounds, with helpful analysis and feedback from our faculty judges
  • Qualifying students debate in elimination rounds, while other students have the opportunity to learn by watching those rounds and hearing judge feedback
  • “Break out” elimination rounds, so that the top younger debaters have more opportunity to make it into elimination debates
  • Tournament-like structure allows students to familiarize themselves with the real, in-person tournament environment
  • Opportunity to practice competing against top students, with excellent faculty judging

With any camp registration, students receive free access to NSD’s Skill Builder pre-camp curriculum. Skill Builder features stand-alone curriculum modules intended for independent study, built by top faculty. At camp, we want our students focused on the most valuable aspects of our sessions: intensive, interactive instruction that amplifies and deepens students’ existing skill sets and builds new ones, learning deep skills in specialty areas from top faculty, and participating in a supportive learning community with peers. Skill Builder helps students solidify background skills ahead of camp, so students can focus on what matters most while they are at camp.

  • Purposefully built by top debate coaches to help students improve their debate skills through focused, individual work
  • Step-by-step, easy to use modules with tools to improve their debate skills and arrive at camp ready to maximize their improvement
  • Includes drill materials and rubrics for self-assessment, so students can practice on their own
  • Great for students with skill areas they want to improve before camp, and for true beginners who who want an introduction to debate before camp
  • Helps students focus on the most valuable work at camp, not on catching up

NSD Online Topic Prep (LD) Faculty

These debate veterans bring in-depth experience from past tournaments to the classroom, providing invaluable insights that maximize your potential. NSD's instructors are dedicated to providing personalized feedback to help you build confidence with key concepts and skills.

Coming soon!

NSD Online Topic Prep (LD) Schedule

Earlier Session
10:00am - 11:00am
11:00am - 12:00pm
12:00pm - 1:00pm
1:00pm - 2:00pm
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Later Session
5:00pm - 6:00pm
6:00pm - 7:00pm
7:00pm - 8:00pm
8:00pm - 9:00pm
9:00pm - 9:30pm


Topic Analysis
Group Argument Blocking Activity
Lunch
Case Construction Workshop
Mini-Debate Drills

Topic Analysis
Dinner
Group Argument Blocking Activity
Case Construction Workshop
Mini-Debate Drills

NSD Online Topic Prep (LD) Pricing

Online (1 Week)

$795

  • Dates: Aug 8-Aug 14
  • Includes Practice Tournament
  • Select Early or Late Session
  • Payment Due Upon Registration

We are committed to providing low-income students with access to our camp programs through need-based scholarships. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please view our scholarships page.