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Lesson 9 — Cutting Cards


An important part of participation in any format of debate is learning how to “cut cards.”

“Cards” are simply quotes that are used to support arguments that you make in debates. 

These quotes are called “cards” because in the “old days” back when I debated, debaters would take old fashioned note cards and either write quotes on them from research they found in the library or they would photocopy an article or book from the library and then literally cut the quote out of the piece of paper with scissors. They would then take the cut out quote and paste it onto a note card.

Eventually, debaters transitioned to “briefs,” where they would post an organized series of cards that consisted of a set of quotes on a sheet of paper and then use that set of quotes to respond to arguments.

In Public Forum debate, we refer to those “briefs” as “blocks.”

What is a “Card?”

To get back to cards, a card is simply a quote that makes an argument that you are using to support a claim that you have made in a debate.

For example, if you are making a claim that school uniforms reduce school violence, you might use this

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