Debate vs AP Literature and Composition
In my school instead of a Language Arts Class, you can take Debate. Would it be better to be on Debate and the Debate team, or should I stick with a hard class like APLAC? I also have the option of taking college English or Business Communications. What's the option for college applications? Thanks!
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As a past debater I found that debate skills benefits of critical thinking, and teamwork have been beneficial in the work environment, college, graduate school and when negotiating a price adjustment for your home based on community demographics. The debate skills also enhances your ability to gather information and your thoughts in structural and organized manner. During debate sessions you are required to prepare informed arguments utilizing reasoning and evidence. Debate teams also improved for confidence in public speaking and knowledge of many topics. On the other hand taking AP Language and Composition is designed to help you become a skilled reader and writer. In some schools students are allowed to study for the AP Language and Composition exam outside of school and sign up for the exam only. Please ask your school if that is possible.
Language Composition and Debate should be very different, if those classes are implemented correctly, IMO. And I don't think they should be mutually exclusive because of that very reason. Language and Composition is exactly what it says -- it should prepare you to use proper structure, language, grammar, organization, etc., of what you originally wanted to say. This is essentially, "How to speak". Debate should be how you originally determine what you want to say in the first place. It should instruct you on how to look at an issue and find the logic in it and how to reason. You can have a brilliantly-logical point to make and still make a mess of explaining or presenting it to others. This is the communication of the logic. But the logic itself -- the precursor of your statement -- may be absolute rubbish or internally contradictory or make unwarranted and incomplete assumptions. You can still do a wonderfully eloquent job of conveying those sloppy thoughts. Listen to politicians for awhile and get an impression of people spouting blather in a smooth-sounding way.
AP classes are very important. They impress college admissions offices and may even help you qualify to take certain higher level classes in college without prerequisites. I did debate for 3 years in high school and absolutely loved but it was not for credit. It was more like being on a sports team or joining any extra-curricular activity. I would say: take as many AP classes as you can, but also be involved in after school clubs and activities.
I would consider taking the AP Language class. While "debate" is a very important skill, the ability to do this will likely be present in several of your other classes (history, government, English), or could be acquired through outside activities such as debate club, model government, etc. AP Lang on the other hand will teach you writing skills that will be relevant for all of your other classes, as well as college. Constructing a successful argument should first be acquired through your writing and critical thinking. This will then help you in your presentation and debate skills as a consequence, as you will be better able to articulate your line of thinking.
Debate. Public speaking and also making logical and legitimate arguments are skills that you can use in almost any field of study. There skills that will help you for the rest of your life in your job but also in life (Who doesnt like winning an argument). AP lit and classes of that level are great and look good for colleges, and will be helpful if your planning on becoming a writer or a teacher or something like that, but for the most part aren't that useful for say a business career. I would definitely take the debate option as it also seems more fun.