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The Forensics Files Institute - Online


Week 1: July 5th–11th (Novice Skills & LD Labs)

Week 2: July 19th–25th (CX Lab)


Registration Deadline: July 1, 2020

(Registrants will be limited to maintain staff/student ratio,

so please register ASAP.)

General Information

Overview. TFFI Online is a debate camp for campers who are entering grades 8-12, and are between the ages of 13-18. 


Online Tuition: $395 per week. This reduced price covers licenses for online software and lab costs to pay our lab leaders to maintain our small lab leader to camper ratio so that each camper gets the attention and individualized instruction they need. Registration is limited to maintain our staff to camper ratio, so REGISTER HERE TODAY!

More About Our Staff: 


Tim Cook: Mr. Cook coaches and teaches at Salado High School in Texas, and has decades of experience teaching all levels of debaters. He has coached multiple successful debaters on the UIL, TFA, and TOC circuits. He has been inducted into the TFA Hall of Fame and is a legend in the Texas speech and debate community. 

John Anderson: Mr. Anderson has consulted for UIL State; consulted and judged since 2012; and himself qualified for TFA State in 2012. Mr. Anderson assists with our Lincoln-Douglas Debate lab and helps students in developing skills they need to be competitive and successful in any debate circuit. 


Cara Beth Nichols: Ms. Nichols teaches and coaches at Round Rock High School in Texas.  At TFFI, she helps with our Novice Skills Lab and with camp administration. She has been an integral part of the success of TFFI in creating a safe and productive learning environment for our campers.


Julian Erdmann: Mr. Erdmann has coached since 2009; consulted numerous state medalists in UIL, and had numerous teams qualify for TFA State and NSDA. He has coached in all circuits, helps run tab at NCFL. He competed all 4 years of high school, and received numerous awards throughout his career in all the debate formats. 


Chris O'Brien: Mr. Obrien has worked with teams that have qualified for TFA State and NCFL nationals. He has taught basic argumentation and speaking skills, and worked with all ranges of novices of varying styles of speech and debate. He competed for four years in high school, qualifying and medaling at UIL State as a quarter-finalist and semi-finalist. He qualified for TFA state both his junior and senior year, as well as NSDA. He has worked with small schools competing in UIL and TFA across the state in various events over the past five years, helping teams make appearances at various elimination rounds of UIL state, including multiple appearances at both semis and finals.


At TFFI, our goal is to ensure campers are prepared with the skills to compete on all circuits, UIL, TFA, NSDA, and TOC. To achieve this goal, we hired an exemplary staff with a vast amount of experience coaching and competing on all these circuits.  

Novice Skills

Our Novice Skills Lab is one of a kind. For debaters who have just started and not committed to any particular debate event, our Novice Lab focuses on skills to be used in every debate event. They will learn about the various styles of debate, fundamental researching skills, case writing, extending, impacting, weighing, clashing, flowing, and speaking.  Students will have multiple opportunities to practice and master each of these skills as well as watch and flow various rounds in other labs so they can knowledgeably select the event in which they ultimately decide to compete.  Students will leave with all the skills they need to be able to begin to compete prepared as soon as the school year begins.


LD/Value Debate

In our LD lab, students will work on a topic selected from the list of potential NSDA topics, one that is highly likely to be selected in the upcoming school year.  Students will then begin with an excellent, in depth, introduction to the topic that provides an overview with analysis of ground for both sides.  Students will then learn how to approach the topic from both traditional and progressive perspectives.  We plan to put the value in their experience in the value debate lab so they will write an affirmative case, a negative case, theory and topicality shells, and affirmative and negative blocks.  Students will have the opportunity to practice debate to hone all their basic skills and improve speaker points.  Students will leave excited for the upcoming year, confident they can prepare for any topic, adapt to any judge, and ready for any topic. 


CX/Policy Debate

In our CX lab, students will learn to debate stock issues, plans, counterplans, disads, and kritiks, and learn to  adapt to any judge.  Students will begin with an excellent and in depth introduction to the topic that will introduce them to the strengths and weaknesses of each side.  Students will work on the new topic researching and writing affirmative cases, disads, counterplans, topicality shells, kritiks, and solvency arguments to what will be the most predictable affirmative cases they will encounter in the coming year. Students will also have an opportunity to practice debate on the topic. Students will leave ready compete prepared in the upcoming topic with new friends and support network for their future debate career.  


PFD/Public Forum Debate

In our PFD lab, students will work on a topic written and selected specifically for them by our staff. This topic will be one we think covers an issue that could well be a topic area the NSDA selects for the forthcoming year. Students will begin by listening to an excellent topic lecture. Students will write pro and con cases on this topic, research evidence that will help to answer their opponents. Students will learn to weigh evidence from multiple perspectives including recency, context, expertise, methodology, and more. Students will hone their crossfire skills so that they are ready to impress their judges as polished, poised, polite, and prepared. They will learn to be perceptually dominant and how to adapt to multiple judging styles. Students will leave ready to prepare as soon as the NSDA releases their topic in August.



Extemporaneous Speaking

In our Extemp lab, students will work developing skills to make them successful on all formats: Persuasive, Informative, Domestic, and Foreign. The Extemp lab staff will work with students on presentation skills, memory tricks, constructing speeches, topic research, team coordination, and the rules of extemp. Campers will get significant experience practicing speeches to refine their skills to make them more self-confident, better speakers, and stronger competitors locally and, if they choose, state-wide or even nationally. 


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