Binghamton University's English Department offers two undergraduate courses on argumentation and debate in both the Fall and Spring semesters.
Policy Debate (RHET 247/PLSC 281F/WOMN 247) is designed to increase student's public speaking, critical interrogation, and an awareness of debate practices. After the initial material is presented, students will spend the remainder of the semester competing in a tournament against their classmates. The course will use the Cross-Examination Debate Association's national resolution for the topic of debate. For the 2013-2014 academic year that will be "Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing, indefinite detention, offensive cyber operations, or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities."
Argumentative Theory (RHET 354) gives students a more in-depth experience in learning argumentation strategy and debate. Here students will compete in a month-long online tournament against undergraduate and high school students from across the nation and be given an opportunity to travel with the debate team. Students will also learn research and argumentative skills that are essential in all avenues of life. During the course of the semester students will also work in groups in order to host a public debate on campus. Prior enrollment in Policy Debate is helpful but not required.