The purpose of this activity is for students to present a complicated academic debate within their own debate. Asher Orkaby assigned students to a position in the debate and had them prepare their arguments before class. The students were paired together and asked to debate JFK's performance during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They based their arguments on readings assigned for the week. After presenting their arguments, the students fielded questions from their classmates.
This paper assignment requires students to adopt the perspective of the U.S. Secretary of State or the White House Chief of Staff in order to synthesize the facts of events leading up to the Cuban revolution and propose policy options to the president.