Each debater is cross-examined by an opponent after he/she has given the constructive speech.
The appropriate order is on the “Order of Speaking” and “evaluation” forms attached.
The major purpose of the cross-examination in debate is to test the validity of the opposition’s information. The purpose of Cross-questioning is to:
- Find fault in the opposition’s evidence wherever possible
- Weaken the opposition’s evidence if it cannot be destroyed
- Extract any new evidence that may prove useful to the examiner
- Expose the opposition member if he/she was untruthful or distorted information
- The affirmative team uses cross-questioning to isolate the negative team’s objections to the proposition.
- The negative team uses cross-questioning to find fault in, and weaken the affirmative team’s case.
Ask clear, well-developed questions in order to clarify or challenge the respondent’s constructive speech.
Ask questions phrased in a courteous manner. Allow the respondent to answer and avoid any arguing. A respondent who tends to answer in a lengthy fashion may be politely “cut off” with a “thank you”.
The respondent should answer his/her questions clearly and specifically in order to reveal a solid understanding of the issue and to ward off any attempts to undermine, or weaken the evidence presented. Avoid arguing or asking a question of the examiner, unless clarification of the examiner’s original question.