PREP. DEBATE. SWAG.
TENNESSEE SPEECH AND DEBATE SOCIETY
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE – KNOXVILLE
Table of Contents
DEBATE ARGUMENT BASICS 3
Debate Vocabulary 4
NPDA Event Description 5
NPDA Official Rules 7
IPDA and Team IPDA Event Description 9
Government Case Construction 12
POLICY CASE CONSTRUCTION 13
EXAMPLE POLICY CASE 13
Good ‘Ole East TN Policy Case 15
Potential Agents of Action 15
VALUE CASE CONSTRUCTION 17
EXAMPLE VALUE CASE 17
FACT CASE CONSTRUCTION 19
EXAMPLE FACT CASE 19
Judging Criteria/Weighing Mechanisms 21
Opposition - Potential arguments 22
Topicality and other Procedurals 24
Structure and Types of Procedural 24
Commonly used standards 25
Commonly used voters 25
How to answer topicality 26
How to answer ANY procedural 27
Disadvantage (disad, DA) Stucture and Function 28
Example DA 28
Answers to a DA: 29
Counterplan Structure and Function 31
Answering counterplans: 32
Critiques (Kritiks) 34
Kritik Function 34
Kritik Structure 34
How to answer the K 35
Other Potential Theory Arguments 36
How to Run a Fact - Theory 36
Tricot Doesn’t Exist 37
Take a Question 37
Tips and Tricks 38
Flowing/General Tips 39
Example Resolutions 40
Example Ballot 41
Example Judging Instructions 43
20 Tips to Being a Good Debater 45
HOW TO MAKE A DEBATE ARGUMENT
Argument presentation is most critical in second line speeches which attempt to extend initial arguments you have presented. These speeches are challenging in contrast to front line speeches which establish certain positions. Second line speeches require you to respond to arguments made by the opposing team as well as reestablishing your position. Thus, the 1AC, since it is entirely prepared is a front line speech. The 1NC is a mix, off case arguments such as disadvantages are front line arguments
, while case arguments are second line since they respond to case. Every speech after the 1NC is a second line speech.
1) Tell the judge which issue you are going to (i.e. on case, topicality
, the disadvantage etc. Issues include disadvantages, topicality arguments
, divisions on case like harm
, solvency or advantages.
2) Consider giving an overview for your offensive arguments - An overview is a short (10 sec.) summary of the argument. Overviews are useful because they put the arguments you will present thereafter in a framework which may be understood. Overviews are best prepared ahead of time as they will help you understand the issue as well as giving you an opportunity to write the most efficient and best way to explain the issue.
3) Tell the judge, which opposing argument you are answering, refer to the speech, number and label of the argument, e.g. "2AC number 1, non-unique"
4) number and label your argument, your first argument to the opposing argument should be no. 1, the second no. 2 etc. A label is like a newspaper headline, it should be 3-8 words long and contain action words which make the argument easy to remember
5) read evidence (if you have it)
6) explain and impact your argument, this is the most important thing, especially when responding to another team's arguments, you need to explain why your argument is superior and why the argument helps win the round for your team.
HOW TO EXTEND A DROPPED ARGUMENT- Most of your first few debates will involve recognizing that the opposing team has not answered your argument. If it is an argument like a topicality violation or a disadvantage this may be enough to win the round if you can impact the argument.
1) Tell the judge which issue you are going to (i.e. on case, topicality, the disadvantage etc.) Issues include disadvantages, topicality arguments, divisions on case like harm, solvency or advantages.
2) Consider giving an overview for the dropped argument
3) Extend the original subpoints of the dropped argument from the front line speech. i.e “extend subpoint A. our definition, we define either as ____”
4) explain and impact your argument, this is the most important thing, tell why you should win because they dropped your arguments.
Here’s a little list to help you keep up with the new wonderful world of debate. Get familiar with these terms…you will see them again (test) and will use them (debate rounds).
Resolution – formal subject in dispute
Affirmative/Aff – Team supporting the resolution
Negative/Neg – Team opposing the resolution
Constructive – Speeches in debate round where arguments are introduced
Rebuttal – Speeches in a debate round where arguments are summarized
Status Quo – The present system
Disadvantage/Disad – Negative argument saying the Affirmative causes bad things to happen
Normal Means – How things are normally done
Position – an argument
Run – read a position, make an argument
Link – What the Aff does to cause bad things to happen
Brink – Proof that the bad things won’t happen in the status quo
Impact – what the bad things are
Turn – A type of argument that states what the other team said is the opposite (Ex: They say that nuclear war is bad, but we have a piece of evidence saying that nuclear war is actually good. Our evidence “Turns” their argument.
Cards – Pieces of Evidence
Flowing – taking notes in debate
Cross-X – The time in a debate round where questions are asked/answered
Case – collection of arguments supporting the resolution