Themes in Global Systems – Fall 2020
We will run a debate around the second theme for this course: IT and societal impact. For the debate,
you will prepare and submit an individual outline and debate it in class. The themes for the debate will
Privacy, Trust and Censorship
For the debate, you will be provided with one or few initial references(s). The references(s) will be
available in Canvas/Assignments/Debate. Consider the reading(s) as a starting point and search for
further references as needed to enhance your preparation for the debates.
Remember to cite your additional references in your preparation outline and use the APA style for
Preparation Outline (Individual work)
Instructions: A template for the preparation outline assignment is available for you to use. Check
Appendix 1 “Preparation Outline Template”.
In any debate, you are presented with a motion. A motion is a statement, and opinion that is made
about a specific topic. In a debate, two opposing teams discuss two views:
– a team supports the motion that is stated. That team is called the proposition team
– a team opposes the motion that is stated. That team is called the opposition team.
For each one of the debates, you will be assigned to prepare an outline for either the proposition or
opposition team, but not for both. Usually, you will be alternating between an opposition and a
proposition team. Check Canvas/assignments/debates to find out which side you will be assigned to for
In the preparation outline document that you have to hand out before the debate, the over-arching
goal is to present a reasoned defense of your position that would assist you in supporting your claims
solidly against someone who disagrees with you. Your outline must clearly achieve the following:
– Justify and defend your position, and
o You justify your position by finding arguments to support it. Each argument must be
accompanied by examples, or statistics, or a reference to a study…
– Critique and reject the other position.
o In this part, you try to think about what argument the opposing team may come up with
to counter the three arguments you have stated in support of your position? We call
them “counter arguments”. For these counter arguments you try to find examples, or
statistics or references to kill the argument (this is called a rebuttal). This helps you in
the debate to counter claims the other team is making.
Please be aware that academic integrity demands that each one of you works on his/her own in
preparing for the debate.
Everyone is still free to discuss the topic, or share article links, and so on with other students.
However, if you use anything from another person, please cite it.
You are encouraged to talk about these issues with your classmates and others. Learning with and
from others is great! But you are expected to write your own preparation outline, all while being honest
about any assistance you may have received in doing so.
Appendix 1: Preparation Outline template
Motion: This house believes that it is acceptable for countries to build firewalls such as
the Great Firewall of China. After all, security comes first!”.
Indicate your assigned Position: Proposition/Opposition
Word Count: 1000 words maximum
Introduction (10 points):
1. 3 – 5 sentences where you state your position with regards to this motion.
2. If you are in the proposition team, you must:
o Define the key terms presented in the motion.
o Clarify ambiguities and assumptions from the motion.
Setting up definition and clarifying assumptions is the most important part of setting up your
In the rest of this document, you plan your arguments and counter arguments.
The arguments: Justify and defend your position
You justify your position by finding arguments to support it. Each argument must be accompanied by
examples, or statistics, or a reference to a study…
For this outline, provide THREE arguments with evidence, using this format:
Argument #1, 2, and 3 (15 points each):
– A sentence to state the argument.
Using recommended readings and other resources you will find, justify the argument using one
example, statistics, or a reference to a study….
Counter Arguments #1, 2, and 3 (15 points each):
In this part, you try to think about what argument the opposing team may come up with to counter the
three arguments you have stated in support of your position? We call them “counter arguments”. For
these counter arguments you try to find examples, or statistics or references to kill the argument (this
is called a rebuttal). This helps you in the debate to counter claims the other team is making.
For this outline, provide THREE counter arguments with evidence, using this format:
Rebuttal to Counter Argument:
Using 75-100 words, provide a counter argument that the opposing team may bring against your
argument (1, then 2, then 3).
Provide an example/study/statistic to show that your argument is still valid.
Resources to use:
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