The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Twenty hours in essay hell


On November 11 and 12, 14 students were excused from class to work in what Byron C.(10), describes as a “debate lockdown, where, from 7:45 to 5:00, we were basically writing and researching nonstop, no FLEX or free periods or breaks, with about 35 minutes for lunch at noon.”
In a first for Taipei American School, two TAS teams, led by Mr Brundage and Dr Coburn-Palo, recently made the top 64 teams in the world for the International Public Policy Forum 2013 competition.
IPPF is a competition where student teams debate resolutions via written essays, allowing for debates to transcend oceans and borders. Hundreds of teams enter each year, with the top eight teams eventually travelling to New York for some face-to-face debate. TAS is one of the four schools in the competition to have two teams make it this far. A total of fourteen TAS students have spent the past few months writing debate essays on this year’s resolution: “Resolved: As a last resort, unilateral military force is justified to minimize nuclear weapons proliferation.”
While both teams were ecstatic to have qualified for the top 64, it also meant they only had a total of five days to produce their next 2,800 word essay, complete with citations from academic journals and a fully outlined framework. Before finally submitting to the judges, each essay requires countless edits and proofreads, turning a ten-page essay into a 20 hour nightmare, for students and coaches alike. While at first a daunting task, the debaters prevailed. Another A Team member, Annie C. (11), sums up the intensity of the competition, stating that”you know you’ve maxed out on nerdiness once you start missing school to write debate essays.

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