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University of Texas at Austin
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Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

Email:
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Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

Regional Extemp Topics

Informative Speaking Prelims

1.      Why are teacher strikes gaining momentum in America?

2.      What is the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo?    

3.      Why has the Amazon Corporation become a target for President Trump’s criticism?

4.      Why has Winnie Mandela earned a place in history?

5.      How is federal gun control legislation challenged by the Tenth Amendment?

6.      Why has Russia closed the American consulate in St. Petersburg?

7.      What has been learned about the Austin serial bomber?

8.      How is China responding to being targeted with U.S. tariffs?

9.      What was Linda Brown’s contribution to U.S. public education?

10.    What does the future look like for the U.S. coal industry?

11.    Why is Russia boosting arms sales and foreign aid to nations of sub-Saharan Africa?

12.    What is the importance of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope project?

13.    What is the United States doing to promote human rights on the international stage?

14.    How has Mark Zuckerberg responded to allegations that Facebook allowed for privacy violations?

15.    Why does Romania continue to be plagued by a state of political turbulence?

16.    What has caused the recent turbulence in the U.S. stock market?

17.    What are the most pressing challenges facing Mexico’s political leaders today?

18.    Why is the Arkema chemical facility in Crosby, Texas becoming a target for legal complaints?

19.    Who are the leading voices of the national Walkout movement?

20.    How will Brexit affect relations between the United Kingdom and Ireland?

Informative Speaking Finals

1.     What is the significance of North Korean President Kim Jong-un’s recent diplomatic trip to China?

2.     As Texas governor, what has Greg Abbott accomplished during his initial term in office?    

3.     The Syrian crisis: Why does President Trump appear to be re-evaluating U.S. policy?

4.     What are White House advisor Jared Kushner’s proposals regarding prison reform?

5.     How has food become a political weapon in crisis-stricken Venezuela?

6.     Why was Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin fired?

7.     What have British authorities discovered in their investigation of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

8.     Why is former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens calling for a Second Amendment repeal?

9.     What does the most recent terrorist attack reveal about security issues in France?

10.  What are the leading causes of violent crime on the streets of Chicago?

11.  Why do so many elected presidents in Latin America fail to complete their term of office?

12.   How has U.S. education policy changed under the Trump administration?

13.   What factors are fueling the Biafra separatist movement in Nigeria?

14.   NAFTA negotiations: What does President Trump want?

15.   Why are military agreements with the United States causing protests in the African nation of Ghana?

16.   How is the nation responding to America’s opioid epidemic?

17.   What is the current blueprint for U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan?

18.   What have investigators learned about the cyberattack on Atlanta?

19.   Why has a proposed Nile River dam become a source of contention between Egypt and Ethiopia?

20.   Gerrymandering: Why is the Supreme Court taking on another partisan redistricting case?

Persuasive Speaking Prelims

1.     Does political corruption plague the nations of sub-Saharan Africa?

2.     Where does the White House really stand on DACA?

3.     Should Mexico withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

4.     By signing the latest budget bill, did President Trump jeopardize his Republican support in Congress?

5.     Is violent crime becoming dramatically more prevalent in Brazil?

6.     Are partisan divisions keeping Congress from addressing the issue of prison reform?

7.     Was the U.S. justified in expelling Russian officials in response to the British poisoning?

8.     Is Facebook embroiled in a substantial public relations challenge?

9.     Will quark fusion be a viable energy source in the near future?

10.   Are the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement offering a realistic solution for violence in public schools?

11.   Is Lebanon destined to become the next Middle East hot spot?

12.   Will Texas Democrats favor Lupe Valdez or Andrew White as their gubernatorial candidate?

13.   Should President Trump meet with North Korean President Kim Jong Un?

14.   Should the Veterans Administration move toward privatizing its services?

15.   What action should the government of Sri Lanka take to calm violence between Buddhists and Muslims?

16.   Will John Bolton be a polarizing figure on the White House foreign policy team?     

17.   Should the United Nations consider a major overhaul of its Syria policy?

18.   What should the government do to improve the availability of healthy food for poor Americans?

19.   Does Ukraine continue to face internal political instability?

20.   Was Andrew McCabe’s firing at the brink of retirement justified or an act of retaliation?

Persuasive Speaking Finals

1.     Is North Korea actually willing to give up its nuclear weapons in negotiations?

2.     Will Ted Cruz face a major challenge in his 2018 reelection bid?

3.     What steps must the federal government take to address America’s mental health crisis?

4.     Do major South American nations benefit from free trade within their continent?

5.     Has the bull market run its course on Wall Street?

6.     Is the Trump administration beginning to take a “get tough” stance with respect to Russia?

7.     Gerrymandering: Will the Supreme Court settle the matter once and for all?

8.     Has freedom of the press fallen victim to oppressive government tactics in Kenya?

9.     In the name of school safety, should Texas strengthen its gun control laws?

10.   In terms of diplomacy, is Turkey drifting away from the West?

11.   Are vaccinations essential for the health and well-being of American’s youth?

12.   U.S. – China relations: Has major damage resulted from tariffs invoked by both countries?

13.   Is a political feud looming between Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions?

14.   Is Australia becoming a major contributor to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations organization?

15.  Should public school teachers be allowed to strike?

16.   Is disagreement over details of the Iran nuclear deal contributing to a U.S. / European rift?

17.   Has Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf committed a crime by publicly announcing ICE operations?

18.  Is NATO presently in a significant state of transition?

19.   Will an EPA policy of relaxing vehicle emissions standards result in serious environmental degradation?

20.   Has Libya joined the ranks of countries identified as “failed nation states”?