The Theory Bootcamp

A detailed introduction to “debate about debate.” Focuses on efficient strategies to defend yourself against theory and use theory to exclude illegitimate arguments. Introduces more advanced arguments, including topicality and meta-theory. Situates theory in relation to frameworks and Kritiks.

Topics Covered:

  • The function and structure of theory in Lincoln Douglas debate
  • Efficient and strategic theory refutation
  • Understanding and defeating theory tricks
  • Voting issues, weighing, and theory “frameworks”
  • Advanced topics: Topicality, meta-theory, and the role of the ballot



  • July 3-7 at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)
  • July 24-28at 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)

Tuition: $395, includes class webinars, materials and assignments, written assignments feedback, and significant program and file discount opportunities. Or $545 with additional 3 x 40-minute one-on-one drill sessions (flexibly scheduled). Seats limited.

Theory Bootcamp Registration

For our most committed students, we’d also love to offer some significant discounts! All offers are combinable.

1. Bootcamper Discount: For those interested in multiple topics...

  • Sign up for 2 bootcamps and get 10% off everything
  • Sign up for 3 bootcamps and get 15% off everything
  • Sign up for 4 or more and get 20% off everything

2. Referral Discount: If you think our Academy is a great way to learn about debate, refer your friends and teammates! For each program one signs up for, we’ll kick another 10% off one of your bootcamps, up to 100%. All program discounts applied after checkout.

3. Master Toolbox Discount: When you sign up for any program, grab our popular Theory and Philosophy Master Toolbox files with up to 40% off! Just add it to your registration and files will be delivered shortly.

Questions about our programs? Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us! Please also review our cancellation policy. Date/time availability dependent on demand; will reach out in advance if needed.

Drill Package:
Theory Master Toolbox:
Philosophy Master Toolbox:
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Theory Bootcamp Overview

The function and structure of theory in Lincoln Douglas debate

What is the role of theory? What is its structure and how does it compare to other kinds of arguments? Why does theory matter more than other issues in the debate? How do we know what is fair? What counts as a good theory interpretation? 

Efficient and strategic theory refutation

How do you respond to theory effectively, especially on the affirmative? How much time should you spend answering theory in the 1AR? Which parts of theory -- interpretations, standards, voters, framework -- should you focus on refuting? 

Understanding and defeating theory tricks

How do you identify and respond to “frivolous” theory arguments? What are theory “spikes” and what should you do about them?  This lecture will make sure you don’t let the tricks defeat you. 

Voting issues, weighing, and theory “frameworks”

How do you weigh theory arguments? What are “framework” issues in the theory debate? This lecture covers key topics such as competing interpretations versus reasonability, voting issues and reverse voting issues, and punishment mechanisms. 

Advanced topics: Topicality, meta-theory, and the role of the ballot

A flexible lecture that covers topics requested by students or delves into advanced topics as time permits. Includes a discussion of topicality (theory about the debate topic), “meta-theory” arguments, and arguments about the “role of the ballot.” 

Need these skills? Reserve your spot today!

About Our Programs

Our programs are intensive, focused courses designed to help you master a specific and essential debate skill. We're a group of experienced instructors who believe that by carefully designing classes and making them available online, we can guarantee better instruction at a lower cost. To ensure this, all our programs feature interactive webinars with premier instructors, specially designed course materials and metrics, individualized and in-depth feedback, and one-on-one personal coaching.

How exactly does it work?

You'll begin with one of your regular classes with a premier instructor, who will answer your and your peers' questions about an essential topic and tell you what you need to know, all from the comfort of your own home. These'll be group classes so that we can guarantee you will learn from the very best instructor to be teaching the topic. Each class is then followed with homework assignments, designed especially for your course to guide you through the material. You'll receive individualized feedback on each piece of your work. Instructors will be reachable before, during, and after class should you have a question about the material or about your feedback. Finally, if you opt for a drill package, you'll schedule one-on-one sessions throughout the program to practice your new skills with targeted drills. The class is fast-paced but tells you exactly what you need to know – in just a short amount of time, you'll have mastered a new debate skill!

Have to miss a class? Not to worry! All our classes are also recorded should you need it. Seats are always limited to ensure highest-quality instruction. Get the training you need – sign up now!

VC Academy Scholarship

Consistent with our mission, we want to make our programs accessible to all students, regardless of background. Both need-based and merit-based scholarships are available, especially for small schools. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in our scholarship program!