Everyday Debate

Term: Fall 2018, September 4–January 18
Target Grade Levels: Grades 9–10; 11th–12th graders welcome
Instructor: Amy Morgan
Schedule: M/W, 9:30 a.m. EST, 60–75 min.
Price: $295.00

“For what should a man live, if not for the pleasures of discourse?” —Plato


What would you do if you were having a conversation with a friend and realized that you completely disagreed with her point of view? What if your friend wanted to debate you about this issue? Would you welcome such a challenge as an adventure, or would you shrink from it as a threat? This Everyday Debate course gives students debating confidence and opens their eyes to the benefit of debate, disagreement, and discussion in day-to-day life or in a formal debate setting.

This course not only shows students how to conduct informal and formal debates, but also how to develop good arguments by using solid logic and the resources available in their own thinking as well as the world around them. Students employ the techniques of logic and rhetoric, such as the common topics of definition, comparison, relationship, circumstance, and testimony. Additional study of ethos, pathos, and style is also included, as well as a study of debate arrangement. For a closer look at the text used in this course, please follow this link and click “Look Inside”: Everyday Debate and Discussion.

Placement Information: Everyday Debate and Discussion is designed to serve either as a bridge for students in 9th grade and above who are moving from logic to rhetoric, or as a companion to upper-level logic or rhetoric studies. While this course does not have any required pre-requisites, it is designed for students who have already completed a study of the informal fallacies. Students who have a working knowledge of the core content provided in an informal logic course (such as the The Art of Argument) will be ideally prepared for this course.

High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of 1/2 high school credit in speech and debate.

“My daughter has been stretched to think more deeply and to consider both sides of an issue objectively. She has really appreciated the fact that, even as a young teen, she has been given the opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversations about though issues.” —Everyday Debate Parent

*Required Text:
Everyday Debate and Discussion: A Guide to Socratic Conversation, Informal Discussion, and Formal Debate 


*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.


Amy Morgan earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD and continued her education with an M.A. in TESOL/Applied Linguistics at Indiana University in Bloomington. For over 17 years, Amy has taught English to speakers of other languages in the university, community, and private tutoring contexts. Additionally, Amy has enjoyed educating her own two children at home in grades PreK-8 and teaching the K/1 Sunday School class at her church. When Amy’s not doing her favorite thing, teaching (after all, isn’t family vacation even just a bigger “field trip”?) you might find her smiling at the antics of her backyard chickens, cooking family meals, or reading aloud with her family.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.


Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebCam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. WebCam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:


  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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