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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

State Extemp Topics

Informative Speaking Prelims

  1. How has the international community responded to President Trump’s decision regarding the Iran nuclear deal?

 

  1. Why are more and more countries abolishing the death penalty?

 

  1. What has the Michael Cohen investigation revealed?

 

  1. What factors are fueling the rise of political populism in Italy?

 

  1. What are the highlights of Paul Ryan’s political career?

 

  1. What steps can Israel take to curtail the threat posed by Iran to Israeli security?

 

  1. How are American farmers being impacted by the Trump administration’s trade policies?

 

  1. What is the current state of diplomatic relations between North and South Korea?

 

  1. Why is the rate of women dying in childbirth in the U.S. continuing to rise?

 

  1. What are the latest developments regarding Brazil’s political corruption investigation?

 

  1. Hawaii’s Big Island: What is the risk of living on a volcano?

 

  1. What issues are likely to be introduced in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial campaign?

 

  1. How are South Africa’s citizens coping with their nation’s lingering water shortage?

 

  1. Why have American school educators participated in teacher walkouts?

 

  1. What has been the reaction to the United States moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

 

  1. Why did HUD Secretary Ben Carson suspend the Fair Housing Act?

 

  1. Why has Pakistan become reluctant to share intelligence data with the United States?

 

  1. Rising oil prices: What is the impact on the Texas economy?

 

  1. What challenges currently plague India’s banking industry?

 

  1. What course of action has President Trump proposed to reduce prescription drug prices?

Informative Speaking Finals

  1. What legacy did former First Lady Barbara Bush leave?

 

  1. How did Syria become an international crisis?

 

  1. What factors contributed to the rift between Donald Trump and John McCain?

 

  1. The Russian probe: Who has been charged?

 

  1. What factors are fueling the lingering poverty throughout sub-Saharan Africa?

 

  1. In what regions of Texas is the Democratic Party the strongest?

 

  1. What are the inherent political problems that plague Venezuela?

 

  1. How can Facebook rehabilitate its image with privacy-concerned consumers?

 

  1. In what ways is “identity politics” fueling the spread of anti-Semitism in Europe?

 

  1. How is STEM education being promoted by the U.S. Education Department?

 

  1. Earth Day 2018: Why was plastic pollution chosen as the theme?

 

  1. Why are Japanese protestors calling for the resignation of their prime minister?

 

  1. How will the farm bill currently under consideration by Congress affect the SNAP program?

 

  1. What has been learned about the van attack on pedestrians in Toronto?

 

  1. What is the status of Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery effort?

 

  1. What is the state of the opioid crisis in the United States?

 

  1. Why is Wells Fargo still struggling to rebuild its reputation?

 

  1. Why has Argentina’s economy suffered a loss of confidence?

 

  1. Why is EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt embattled?

 

  1. Why is Turkey’s President Erdogan seemingly immune from criticism regarding his nation’s economy? 

 

Persuasive Speaking Prelims

  1. Will Italy’s new government radically change its relationship with the European Union?

 

  1. Are current laws adequate to protect Americans’ online privacy?

 

  1. If the summit occurs, should President Trump raise human rights in his talks with Kim Jong Un?

 

  1. Is the quality of education in U.S. public schools compromised by substandard teacher pay?

 

  1. Is Venezuela a failed state?

 

  1. Is Secretary Ryan Zinke effectively leading the Interior Department?  

 

  1. With new leadership, will change come to Cuba?

 

  1. Are school walkouts over gun violence having any real impact?

 

  1. What issues should Democrats seize upon to best propel them to victory in the midterm elections?

 

  1. Dr. Larry Nassar: Were there systemic failings at Michigan State University?

 

  1. Will U.S. and allied missile strikes on Syria deter further chemical weapons attacks?

 

  1. Has Amazon set the standard for future U.S. retail business models?

 

  1. Is Vietnam’s unchecked economic growth causing alarm among environmentalists?

 

  1. Will safety concerns associated with Space X rocket launch protocol put U.S. astronauts at risk?

 

  1. Should Facebook be held responsible and legally liable for privacy violations of U.S. consumers?

 

  1. Has Nikki Haley become one of the more credible members of President Trump’s foreign policy team?

 

  1. Have Mexico’s leaders failed in their quest to reduce violent crime in their nation?

 

  1. Are Dan Patrick’s political views and objectives too extreme for rank-and-file Texas Republicans?

 

  1. Is Portugal setting the standard in Europe with respect to renewable energy development?

 

  1. Is the political voice of the National Rifle Association becoming less relevant to American voters?

Persuasive Speaking Finals

 

  1. Which of the world’s nations currently faces the worst humanitarian crisis?

 

  1. Should gun control be decided by voters’ elected representatives or federal judges?

 

  1. Is social instability in rural China becoming a concern for the nation’s leadership?

 

  1. Will legal challenges ultimately bring an end to capital punishment in Texas?

 

  1. Will North Korea join the U.S. at the summit negotiating table in spite of Max Thunder?

 

  1. Are we on the cusp of cyber warfare?

 

  1. Does Starbucks have a significant image problem?

 

  1. Was it a good decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

 

  1. Should President Trump be concerned about Robert Mueller’s investigation?

 

  1. What must the federal government do to bring reliable energy services to Puerto Rico?

 

  1. Is Artificial Intelligence a threat to mankind?

 

  1. A Higher Loyalty: Has James Comey’s book helped or hurt his credibility with the American public?

 

  1. Should Daniel Ortega step down as Nicaragua’s leader?

 

  1. Have recent events affected the credibility and reputation of the Wells Fargo Corporation?

 

  1. Is Gina Haspel sufficiently qualified to lead the CIA?

 

  1. Is the farming sector in nations of sub-Saharan Africa in a crisis state?

 

  1. Will the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the constitutionality of sports betting impact the integrity of professional and collegiate sports?

 

  1. Is Haiti’s rampant poverty level the result of neglect on the part of industrial nations?

 

  1. Is the Republican Party likely to lose control of the U.S. Senate in the 2018 elections?

 

  1. Is racism a cause for concern in the United Kingdom today?