Debate and the Real World: Research

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One of the most valuable skills debaters develop is the ability to research. We're not talking about your everyday research for high school term papers, where you only have to focus on building basic understanding of a topic and sharing an opinion on the situation. In debate, you build comfort with masterful, creative research that uncovers hidden biases in an article that could make it unreliable, that identifies new angles to a topic, and that ensures you become a true expert in the topic.

If you are debating about immigration, for example, it's pretty easy to find straightforward research that would be find for a term paper: numbers of immigrants, countries of origin, visa types, famous immigration arguments for and against. A debater, however,  reads and pushes through this surface level information to find deeper insight. They might find speeches from presidents around the world about opinions regarding immigration outside the US. They might uncover seemingly unrelated motivations for visa types.

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This drive and the practice of working to find finding for better information and more understanding translates into success in college, graduate school, and any career track. Most jobs -- Program Manager at a tech company, Attorney at a successful firm, Independent Plumbing Contractor -- require problem solving and learning new things. The ability to think about key questions in creative ways and then dive deep to find reliable information to answer those questions and sets debaters up to achieve success, whatever path they may choose.