Student Congress Debate/Conclusions

Conclusions in Congress are often underrated by competitors, but are extremely important in the organization of one's speech. Debaters should keep a relatively accurate mental clock, so that in the last 15-20 seconds of the speech there is time for a solid conclusion. Running out of time and being gaveled down without a conclusion can impact the scoring of a speech, particularly in the "Organization and Unity" category. The conclusion can, and should, be either memorized or extemporaneous. When writing a conclusion, keep in mind the three R's: Restate claims, Rephrase thesis, and Refer to introduction.

Example: (for A Bill to Ban Anonymous Campaign Contributions)

Introduction: Imagine a string puppet, dressed in a suit with a red or blue tie. The strings that control its movements are so fine that they are barely noticeable to anyone who just takes a glance. The puppet seems to make its own decisions; where to go, what to say, even how to present itself. However, hanging just above the puppet is the puppet master, controlling its every motion with fine, but very durable strings. Imagine that this puppet controls our government. This is precisely what is happening with transparency in campaign contributions; those who support the legislatures’ campaigns become those legislatures’ puppet masters. We must affirm this bill to require campaign contributors to remain anonymous to reduce the impact campaign donors have on our government, and for the sake of our legislatures.

Conclusion: We mustn’t cut the strings that control our string puppets. Rather, we should hand the controller to the American people, and allow them to urge the right decision along to better our government. I urge you all to stand in strong affirmation of this bill to require campaign contributors to remain anonymous, as it will decrease the influence of contributors on government officials and benefit those officials in office.

In the conclusion, the claims were restated in the rephrased thesis, and a connection was made back to the introduction. For this particular speech, the conclusion was effective in continuing the analogy made in the introduction, which is a key method of persuasion.