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Topic & Core Files


This year's debate topic is: 

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

Core Files - available at! 

You can find Core Files on this year’s google classrooms! Reach out to if you need to be added, or if you’d like a copy of the core files sent directly to you.

In order to foster an equitable environment for Dallas ISD students as they learn the basics of debate, DUDA produces sets of topic research to guide debater's approach to the topic, known as "Core Files." 


The following areas will be the focus of this year's Core Files for Policy Debate (WSD does not utilize Core Files): 

  • Fall - whether or not the US should ban fracking

  • Spring - to be announced a little later...


Required use of Core Files

  1. At DUDA events, students are generally required to use only the arguments and evidence contained these files. While it constrains unique approaches to the topic, our decision to limit the spectrum of arguments is aligned with a national consensus among urban debate leagues. The time, expertise, database access, and financial burden required to produce well-researched files is substantial. As a result, we choose to pursue the most equitable approach to fostering debate access - even if it trades off slightly with depth of engagement with the topic. Some DUDA teams have expressed interest in original research, which may lead us to expand the divisions which may read evidence from outside the Core Files. 

  2. The 2021-22 season will begin with 3 exceptions to our Core Files restrictions at DUDA Events 

    1. High School Varsity Debaters - students in this division (who have ample experience in the activity) compete without evidence restrictions all year long. They may use the Core Files, but they should be prepared for any argument related to the topic. 

    2. High School Junior Varsity Debaters - students in this division will see evidence restrictions lifted beginning at the 3rd tournament of the year. Teams may continue to use the Core Files, but they should be prepared for any argument related to the topic. 

    3. City Championships - at City Championship events in the Spring, students in all divisions (including MS Beginner/Advanced and HS Novice/JV) are encouraged to independently research updates to the arguments contained in the Core Files.

Highly motivated students who wish to debate without Core File restrictions should coordinate with their coach to explore competition options outside of Dallas ISD. However, DUDA is currently unable to financially support teams at these competitions (as entry fees can become quite costly). 

How to use the Core Files

The Core Files are specialized tools intended to help students engage complicated and controversial topics from many perspectives. At first glance, they may be intimidating or overwhelming. Please refer to the Student Workbook on our Campus Resources page for step-by-step help navigating the files!

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