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University of Texas at Austin
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Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

Email:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

2017-2018 Prose Categories

Prose Category A Restrictions

Material chosen for use in Category A of Prose Interpretation shall meet the following restrictions: (A) All selections shall be published, printed material; Internet materials shall be published concurrently in hard copy; (B) Selections from plays, screenplays, movies and documentaries shall not be used in this category; (C) Speeches shall not be used in this category; (D) No contestant shall use the same theme/subject matter nor the same writer in more than one category in the contest; (E) No contestant shall use selections from the same literary work more than one year at UIL State Meet; and (F) Selections shall be read in the English translation; however, incidental use of foreign language words and phrases in any selection may be used as in the original.

Category A: Examining Our Changing World

The goal of this category is for the performer to examine his or her changing world in order to inform the audience about a societal change and its impact on the performer. Societal change refers to a significant alteration over time in behavior, cultural values and norms. In this category, the contestant shall perform a single literary work of prose or excerpt of a work designed to increase the audience’s knowledge of a contemporary societal change occurring in the performer’s world such as, but not limited to: education, family, personal relationships, career choices, minority struggles, or community issues. The purpose of the performance should be to inform, not persuade.


The prose shall be a single literary work, fiction or non-fiction, written by one author. The literature shall be published in hard copy. Works co-authored or by anonymous authors are not permissible. The author and theme/subject matter used in this category shall not be used in Category B of prose.


The introduction shall include the title and author read and should be used to identify and inform the audience of the societal change and its impact on the performer, without taking a stand.

Documentation Requirements

In order to meet category restrictions, the contestant shall provide proof the selection is published in hard copy. Examples of acceptable proof include the original published source or a photocopy or online printout of Library of Congress cataloging information. If the selection is drawn from a literary collection, the contestant shall supply the original source or a photocopy of the table of contents that designates the title of the book and proof the selection is included in that book, such as a photocopy of the first page of the selection. A printout from an online source proving the selection is included in the published collection is acceptable. Social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) are not acceptable forms of formal documentation). Printouts of online documentation shall include the URL of the website downloaded in the header or footer. See the UIL Prose and Poetry Handbook and the Official UIL website for detailed information about acceptable and unacceptable documentation.


In addition, the contestant shall prepare and provide for the contest director and each judge a hard copy of the UIL Prose A Documentation online form that lists the theme of the performance, as well as title and author included in the performance, for the purpose of insuring that no theme/subject matter or author is being used in both categories.

Bibliographic Information

Students are urged to take to the contest site the original published source of the selection.

Prose Category B Restrictions

Material chosen for use in Category B of Prose Interpretation shall meet the following restrictions: (A) All selections may be published, printed material, online material or transcribed material; (B) Speeches, plays, screenplays, movies, documentaries, radio shows may be used in this category; (C) No contestant may use the same theme/subject matter nor the same writer in more than one category in the contest; (D) No contestant shall use selections from the same literary work more than one year at UIL State Meet; and (E) Selections shall be read in the English translation; however, incidental use of foreign language words and phrases in any selection may be used as in the original.

Category B: Taking A Stand

The goal of this category is to develop a literary program that supports a position using different types of literature to make a persuasive argument. The contestant shall read a minimum of two different types of literary sources but no more than four sources; however, the majority of the program must be prose in nature. For this category only, prose types include fiction, nonfiction, news sources, speeches and essays. In addition, for one of the sources, contestants may use a script from a movie, documentary, television show/movie, radio show, play or monologue (see limitations below). All selections shall be by different authors. Literature by co-authors is allowed. Only one anonymous author is allowed. The purpose of the performance should be to persuade, not only to inform.


Contestants shall not use poetry, song lyrics, musicals, jokes, commercials, blogs, plays written in verse or novels in verse. The selections may be woven. The intent of this category is not to encourage originally authored material but to give the contestant the freedom of expanding prose to include different types of literature in a performance program. However, original verbal transitions may be used within the program.


In the introduction, the performer shall take a stand on an issue with the intent of persuading the audience. The introduction and/or transitions shall state the types of literature used in the program and include all titles and authors. If the program is woven, the contestant shall state it in the introduction and the different selections should be distinguishable through interpretation. The authors and theme/subject matter used in this category shall not be used in Category A of prose.

Documentation Requirements

All selections may be published, printed material, online material or transcribed material. The contestant shall prepare and provide for the contest director and each judge a hard copy of the UIL Prose B Documentation online form that lists the theme of the performance, as well as titles and authors included in the performance, for the purpose of insuring that no theme/subject matter or author is being used in both categories. No proof of publication for Category B is required.