Lincoln douglas debate intro


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Lincoln douglas debate format introduction

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Lincoln douglas debate intro

  1. 1. Snapshot Tutorial
  2. 2.  Lincoln-Douglas Debate is a VALUE debate, meaning it is a debate about what ought to be rather than specific policy.  It is usually a topic regarding the conflict between the rights of the individual opposed to the rights of the larger society.  The topic changes every two months; it is chosen by the National Forensic League.
  3. 3.  A round of Lincoln-Douglas Debate is the debate of one person from one school arguing against a person from a dif ferent school.  At a debate tournament, each student will debate at least 3-4 times. The larger the tournament, the more rounds will be guaranteed.
  4. 4.  During a typical tournament, debaters will argue both sides of the topic.  Usually, each debater will be assigned the affirmative side for two rounds and the negative side on two other rounds.  A Lincoln-Douglas debate round lasts about 45 minutes. The times for the various speeches are very structured, as are the purposes of the speeches.
  5. 5.  6 minute Affirmative Constructive (AC)  3 minute Negative Cross Examination  7 minute Negative Constructive/Rebuttal (NC)  3 minute Affirmative Cross Examination (questions/answers)  4 minute Affirmative Reconstructive/Rebuttal (1AR)  6 minute Negative Reconstructive/Rebuttal (NR)  3 minute Affirmative Reconstructive/Rebuttal/Crystallization (2AR)  It helps to memorize: "6 - 3 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 3"
  6. 6.  6 minute Affirmative Constructive. This speech is prepared ahead, rehearsed and should be perfectly timed. It is a presentation of the affirmative's position and establishes his/her stance.  3 minute Negative Cross Examination. The Negative asks for clarification, asks for repetition of certain points, and tries to set up the affirmative to admit damaging information.  7 minute Negative Constructive/ Rebuttal. This speech really has two parts: The first part is a written, rehearsed speech that builds the negative case and is about four minutes long. In the second part, the negative must attack his/her opponent's points. The attack takes the last three minutes.  3 minute Affirmative Cross Examination. Now it's the affirmative's turn to question the negative, asking for clarification and trying to lead him/her down an ivy-covered path to destruction.  4 minute Affirmative Reconstructive/Rebuttal. The affirmative doesn't have much time here, so she/he has to talk fast. She/he must go down the flow (outline) of the argumentation, hitting any arguments against her/his own case and then attacking each of her/his opponent's arguments. Again, two parts: Rebuild and Attack.  6 minute Negative Reconstructive/ Rebuttal. This speech has three parts: Rebuild, Attack and Crystallize: about two minutes to rebuild any arguments against the negative's own case; two minutes to attack the affirmative; and two minutes to summarize the voting issues for the judge.  3 minute Affirmative Reconstructive/Rebuttal. This is a very short speech--time only to argue the most important points, attack the negative's voting issues, and crystallize the affirmative's own voting points.
  7. 7.  Our Team subscribes to publishers who create DEBATE BRIEFS  A Brief is a collection of evidence, arguments, current topic analysis, definitions, etc.  Briefs are helpful, but remember that other teams may also have these collections  Evidence can also be found on the internet, but only use CREDIBLE sources (NY Times, WA Post, etc.)
  8. 8.  You will need to write TWO speeches: the affirmative (6 min.) that says that the resolution is true and the negative (3-4 min) that says that the resolution is false.  You will use your affirmative speech in two of your debates and your negative speech in the other two debates.
  9. 9.  Step One: The Resolution. The resolution is a statement of the topic of the debate. The entire debate is a test of the validity of this statement. Therefore, wording and semantics are crucial. Each important word must be defined from different angles.  After a brief opening paragraph using the resolution as the thesis statement, or in the case of the negative, its antithesis, you will state your definitions.  Step Two: The Value Premise.  Remember that we said that Lincoln-Douglas Debate is a VALUE debate about what ought to be, right?  Each debate speech will center on a value that you choose as the cornerstone of your position. I know this seems very, very vague.  Let’s clarify using a simple analogy:
  10. 10.  Pretend the Resolution is:  Resolved: A cheeseburger ought to be valued above spaghetti. vs.  Before you can start arguing about which of these two yummies is the more valuable, you need to figure out what yardstick to use to measure them: Is it Good Taste? Nutritional Value? Ease of Preparation? Aesthetic Presentation?  The yardstick you choose is called your Value Premise. Naturally, you will choose the yardstick that you think will help you win!  If you're debating for the cheeseburger, you might take "Good Taste" as the most important value; if you're taking the side of spaghetti, you might claim that "Nutrition" must be the value by which to measure foods.  In this debate, the affirmative might claim that if food doesn't taste good, no one will eat it. The negative might claim that nutrition is prime and that if it's not good for the body, it's not good food. From this example, you can see that the debate should go back and forth.
  11. 11.  The value is achieved through certain Criteria.  After you state your value premise, you will name the criterion or criteria that you will use to achieve the value.  For example, for the value of Nutrition, your criterion might be the Four Food Groups, as set up by the U.S. Dept of Health, Education and Welfare.  Step Three: State arguments as main points. You will need two or three main points. The cheeseburger affirmative might be:  Value: Common Good  Criterion: Quality of Life  Contention One: The cheeseburger provides one of the basic needs of mankind, according to Maslow's hierarchy of basic needs.  Contention Two: The cheeseburger provides nutrition from all four food groups.  Contention Three: The cheeseburger provides advantages that the negative cannot provide, including portability and ease of use.
  12. 12.  The spaghetti negative might be:  Value: Life  Criterion: Nutrition  Contention One: Spaghetti provides a high standard of nutrition needed for life.  Contention Two: A cheeseburger is fat-filled and therefore fails to provide nutrition.  Step Four: Use evidence to back up each point. Evidence can consist of quotes, reasoning, or analogy.  Step Five: Find a good opening for the speech. This can be an apt quote, startling statistics, or interesting example.  Step Six: Time the speech. (Six minutes for the affirmative exactly. About three to four minutes for negative.)
  13. 13.  At the beginning of a round, they will post a listing of the debate rounds. This is called the Pairings. It will show your name, your opponent's name, your judge, the room number, and what side you are--aff or neg.  Write down your side and the room number. If you forget, you'll have to walk all the way back to the pairings.  Your audience is usually only one person--the JUDGE. If you don't make the judge respect you, you don't win the round.  Try to figure out what the judge will respect, and give it to her/him. Most judges like friendly, helpful kids who act as if they enjoy debating. Judges can be coaches, teachers, former debaters, community leaders, or parents.  Judging is hard. A judge has to listen carefully, take good notes, and sometimes give time signals all at the same time.  Just like students in a classroom , judges have other things on their minds that sometimes cause their attention to waiver. Therefore, plan to repeat yourself. Just because you said something once does not mean that the judge heard it.  The judge will fill out a BALLOT explaining the debate and why she/he made the decision about who won.
  14. 14. AC (6 min. speech) V: C: 123 NC (3-4 min. speech) V: C: 12 1AR Rebuild your case and answer attacks (2 min.) NR Attack (2 min.) Rebuild (2 min.) AR Brief attack of NR position Brief support of Aff side Notes on cross ex period NC (2nd part) Attack on AC (line by line, 3-4 min.) 1AR Attack NC line by line (2 min.) Crystallize the round Give VOTERS (2 min.) Crystallize Give VOTERS The judge and both debaters will outline everything that is said in the round. This outline is called in debate jargon a FLOW. The paper is called a FLOW CHART. Each person's flow chart will look a bit different, but it should be neat and easily read.
  15. 15.  When you go into the round, the judge will sit in a student desk in the center of the room. The affirmative will use a desk in the front left; the negative will use a desk in the front right, although this is not a rule.  You can rearrange the desks a bit for your comfort, just put them back before you leave the room. You can take a bottle of water, but no food or drinks.  Be pleasant and nice to your opponent, but be a bit suspicious until you know them. A few debaters can be sneaky and mean. Don't tell them anything that you don't want used against yourself or your team.  The judge will ask you for your school code, name, and what side you're on. The school code is assigned at registration. Sometimes they will want you to write this on the board; sometimes they will ask you to fill out the top of the ballot with this information; sometimes they will just ask you casually.
  16. 16.  You should already have preflowed your own speech on your flowchart before going into round.  In the few minutes before the round starts, you can organize your flowchart, take out any note cards you might need, and focus your attention on your particular stance.  The affirmative will stand, make eye contact with the judge to make certain he/she is ready, and read his/her speech.  Debaters typically keep their own time on a stop watch  At the end of the speech, he/she will say, "I now stand ready for cross examination." The negative will rise, stand beside the affirmative and begin to ask cross examination questions.  They do not look at each other. Instead they look at the judge.
  17. 17.  Each debater will have 4 minutes of Preparation Time that they can take whenever they like.  Usually the negative takes 2 minutes his/her cross-ex and then another 2 minutes his second speech.  Usually the affirmative takes 2 minutes before each of his/her rebuttal speeches.  The negative will then ROAD MAP for the judge what he/she intends to do. He/she will say, "I will first read the negative case and then attack my opponent's ridiculous position." (Not really-- don't really say "ridiculous"--just think it.)  Then he/she will read the four minute speech. Next he/she will say, "I will now turn to my opponent's case." Turning to the flow pad, he/she will attack all the points made by the affirmative, showing why his case is better.  Any points he fails to attack are considered dropped and are given to the other side.  MOST COMMON NOVICE ERROR: Failing to attack your opponent's case!
  18. 18.  Now the debate goes back and forth in the same manner. When it's over, shake hands with your opponent, thank the judge for judging and leave the room.  Both opponents should go out together. It is considered bad form for one to leave before the other.  The judge stays behind to make his decision (or s/he may give oral critiques). Be careful of what you say when you leave the room. If the judge hears you say that you think you lost, it might persuade him that you did.  Now you can go purchase some really “good” food at the snack bar!