Forensics & Debate
With a decades-long tradition of excellence, Carson-Newman College Intercollegiate Forensics program compete against students from colleges and universities from across the country. Forensics students compete in both individual events and debate, making ours one of the most diverse programs in the country.
Oral Interpretation Events Dramatic Interpretation: A cutting that represents one or more characters from a play or plays of literary merit. This material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes, including introduction.
Poetry: A selection or selections of poetry of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time limit is 10 minutes, including introduction.
Prose: A selection or selections of prose material of literary merit, which may be drawn from more than one source. Play cuttings are prohibited. Use of manuscript is required. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Dramatic Duo: A cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals. The material may be drawn from stage, screen, or radio. This is not an acting event; thus no costumes, props, lighting, etc. are to be used. Presentation is from the manuscript and the focus should be off-stage and not to each other. Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Program Oral Interpretation: A program of thematically-linked selections of literary merit, chosen from two of the three recognized genres of competitive interpretation (prose/poetry/drama). Maximum time is 10 minutes including introduction.
Limited Preparation Events Extemporaneous Speaking: Contestants will be given three topics in the general area of current events, choose one, and have 30 minutes to prepare a speech that is the original work of the student. Maximum time limit for the speech is 7 minutes. Limited notes are permitted. Students will speak in listed order. Posting of topics will be staggered.
Impromptu Speaking: An impromptu speech, serious in nature, with topic selections varied round by round, section by section. Speakers will have a total of 7 minutes for both preparation and speaking. Timing commences with the acceptance of the topics sheet. Limited notes are permitted.
Public Address Events Informative Speaking: An original, factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience. Visual aids that supplement/reinforce the message are permitted. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
Persuasive Speaking: An original speech to convince or to move to action. Visual aids that supplement/reinforce the message are permitted. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes.
After Dinner Speaking: An original humorous speech whose purpose is to make a serious point through the use of humor. The speech should reflect the development of a humorous comedic effort, not a stand-up comedy routine. The speech is memorized and does not exceed 10 minutes in length.
Communication Analysis: An original critical analysis of any significant rhetorical artifact. Any legitimate critical methodology is permissible as long as it serves to open up the artifact for the audience. The speech is memorized and does not exceed 10 minutes in length.
Parliamentary Debate: Parliamentary debate is a formal contest of reason, wit, and rhetorical skill based loosely on the British model of parliament. Students represent two teams, the Government and the Opposition, and have 15 minutes to prepare their cases either in favor of or in opposition to a resolution which may cover a variety of political, social, economic, or philosophical topics. Debaters prepare for a different resolution each round. Sound reasoning, logic, persuasive communication, and argumentation and debate strategy are encouraged and practiced.