CASECONSTRUCTIONA University of Hull Debate Society Presentation
What is Case Construction?• Your side of the table’s case is their overarching argument, what they are trying to do in the debate.• Each team will have their own sub-case that they will be trying to impress upon the judges.• All of a teams arguments should support their sides particular case, whilst particularly highlighting their own team’s case as the superior, or that their arguments do more to assist their side’s case.
An Example• Take the Motion: THBT parents, where concerned, should install spyware to monitor their children’s online activity.• Prop has a number of options for their case. Their case may be that they want to protect children.• To win that case, they must prove that this will protect children and why that is a good thing, so their arguments will be: It will dissuade online predators; it will allow parents to intervene if they’re concerned; children are vulnerable and require protection etc.
An Example (Continued)• Prop may also set up their case as primarily to catch online criminals (this is a weaker case though)• For that case, they need to prove that these online criminals are a danger to society and that this mech will make a difference.• Their points will be; spyware will allow the police to trace these criminals; it will provide more resources for the police; these criminals can be paedophiles and will harm society so need to be caught etc.
The Basis of a Case• When constructing your case, you must first ask some fundamental questions.1. What are we trying to prove? – Op in death penalty debate only need to prove that the death penalty is wrong, they do not need to come up with an alternate solution to prevent crime, for example.2. What is our case line? – A case line can be hard or soft (or batshit, but we have that covered at Hull) and a good debater can recognise when to use which one. A hard line in an aid debate probably won’t work, but could work in a death penalty debate.
Build A Pyramid Nuance your case Why is the other side’s case wrong/weaker? What are the biggest harms/ benefits of your case?What is the goal you are trying to achieve? What do you have to prove?
Prep Time• Think about the motion, what do you need to prove? – Write down what your ultimate objective is.• Write down your points, and ask yourself whether they help to discharge your burden of proof.• Communicate with your partner, ensure that all of the points that your team will make support your case.• Write down your points clearly! Expand upon the ones you will use in prep time (especially if top half)
The Importance of Structure• The clue is in the name, construction. You must follow a clear and logical argument through your case.• Lay the basic foundations of your and then build upon it, and let your partner conclude it.• Address any weaknesses in your case when they. Don’t throw in random rebuttal, address it when giving the relevant point.
ExerciseSplit into partners. Each team will be giving a motion and a side (prop or op). They have 5 minutes to identify their burden of proof and what their case and case line would be.1) THW create public housing for the poor in wealthy areas2) THW use targeted assassinations as a tool of foreign policy3) THBT from Reception onwards all education should be gender neutral4) THW punish poachers of endangered species in the same way as murderers5) THW require prospective parents to acquire parenting licenses prior to having children
THE DEBATE Thw BAN MALE Circumcision forunder 18’s, except for medical reasons