Department of Communication

History 0601, U.S. History 1865 to the Present

Professor Maurine Greenwald

Class Debate Rubric

This rubric defines the criteria for evaluating class debates. Sample debate outlines and a videotape of a model student debate shown in recitation should help you prepare for the debates. Use this rubric to prepare for the debate and evaluate your own performance. The teaching assistants will use this form to determine your debate grade and comment, as needed, on the features of your debate that need attention.

Understanding the Debate

3. The team clearly understood the debate well and identified all the main arguments.

2. The team identified most arguments in the debate.

1. The team identified few arguments in the debate.

Use of Specific Evidence from the Assigned Readings

3. The debater supported his/her arguments with abundant, well-chosen evidence from the assigned sources.

2. The debater provided adequate evidence to defend each argument.

1. The debater included little evidence or misused evidence.

Use of Ideas and/or Facts from the Lectures

3. The debater supported her/his arguments with abundant documentation from the lectures.

2. The debater provided some ideas and/or evidence from the lectures.

1. The debater included little or no material from the lectures.

Rebuttal Performance

3. The debater responded accurately and persuasively to the other team’s argument(s).

2. The debater only partially addressed the other team’s argument(s).

1. The debater could not rebut the other team’s argument(s).


3. All arguments were clearly tied to one side of the debate in a tight, logical fashion.

2. Most arguments were clearly tied to one side of the debate in a logical fashion.

1. Few arguments were presented in a organized and logical fashion.

Presentation Style

3. The debater consistently used appropriate gestures and tone of voice, eye contact, precise language, and enthusiasm to command audience attention.

2. The debater usually used gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, precise language, and enthusiasm to command audience attention.

1. The debater’s presentation style only occasionally met the standards for effective presentation style.