Debate Topics | National Speech & Debate Association

The following debate topics have been adopted by the National Speech & Debate Association.

Cross-Examination Debate Topic

Policy Debate – 2021-2022 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.

Water Resources Debate Topic Evidence 

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Water resources debate topic

Novice Case Limits for the 2021-2022 Policy Debate Topic

  • Substantially strengthen federal surveillance and standards for lead in drinking water.
  • Substantially limit the use of hydraulic fracturing by energy companies in the United States.
  • Substantially strengthen federal standards for agriculture-related runoff into lakes and streams.
  • Substantially increase the protection of wetlands in the United States.


Policy Debate – 2022-2023 Topic

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its security cooperation with the nato/" 1081 rel="nofollow" target="_self">North Atlantic Treaty Organization in one or more of the following areas: artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity.

NATO Debate Topic Evidence

Proposed Novice Case Limits for the 2022-2023 Policy Debate Topic

  • Ukraine Flag Storm Clouds 1 300x169
    NATO debate topic

    Artificial Intelligence: Restrict development and/or use of Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs)

  • Artificial Intelligence: Increase use of swarming autonomous drones to counter the Russian threat
  • Artificial intelligence: Establish a program of regulatory oversight of artificial general intelligence
  • Biotechnology: Ban the use of germline genetic engineering in humans
  • Biotechnology: Substantially increase funding for vaccine research
  • Biotechnology: Establish a cabinet-level National Biodefense Directorate to address Biological threats to humans, animals, agriculture, and the environment
  • Cyber: Ban offensive cyber operations
  • Cyber: Designate space systems, services, and technology as a critical infrastructure sector
  • Cyber: Establish U.S. privacy protections in cyberspace consistent with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation
  • Cyber: Increase STEM/computer education programs in U.S. schools


Lincoln-Douglas Debate Topics

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – 2022 March/April Topic

Resolved: In a democracy, a free press ought to prioritize objectivity over advocacy.

Free Press Debate Topic Evidence


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Lincoln Douglas debate topics

Lincoln-Douglas Debate – Novice Topic

Resolved: Civil disobedience in a democracy is morally justified.

Civil Disobedience Debate Topic Evidence


Public Forum Debate Topics

Public Forum Debate – 2022 March Topic Area: Sustainability

Resolved: In the United States, the benefits of increasing organic agriculture outweigh the harms.

Organic Agriculture Debate Topic Evidence


Public Forum Debate – 2022 April Topic Area: East Asia

Resolved: Japan should revise Article 9 of its Constitution to develop offensive military capabilities.

Big Questions Debate Topics

Big Questions – 2021-2022 Topic

Resolved: On balance, societies benefit from religious belief and practice.

Societies & Religion Debate Topic Evidence