As a rule, I dislike running Topicality. I always kind of thought it was an annoying argument. Whenever people explained to me how to run Topicality, they always said it should be an A Priori, off-case argument. In other words, it says "they did something bad, so they don't deserve to win." People typically run it with weird impacts too, like "education" or "research burden." The standard frame for a T argument is this:
1. Standard: Aff's plan should uphold the res.
2: Violation: Aff's plan not Topical
3: Impact: Education/Research burden/Unfair advantage for the Aff team
I dislike this structure exceedingly for three reasons: one, it's kind of whiny. Why complain about how the other team is being mean, and so you ought to ignore their whole case and vote neg? Seems kind of like an argument from outrage. Second, these are lousy impacts. If these are the impacts to Topicality, does that mean that Aff deserves to lose if they run a crazy squirrel case (since it damages eduction, etc.)? Third, these are not even the main point of why a case should be Topical anyway. A case should be Topical because otherwise the Aff case is pointless, because it has no support for the resolution they themselves claim to uphold.
Another big problem with T in general is that judges all hate it. They think it's too technical, and I really don't blame them. I always hated T. And then I thought: Why not just run T as an ON-CASE argument? The structure would be something like this:
1: Aff stated that they are trying to prove the resolution true
2: If Aff doesn't prove the res. true, they should lose (BoP)
3: Aff's case is great, but it has nothing to do with the topic, and so it does NOT prove the res. true
4: Aff should lose because they have zero arguments/evidence to support their position
This structure avoids useless arguments, is very straight-forward, and I think judges wouldn't mind it so much. It doesn't argue that that the judge should "punish" the other team, and ignore their case completely, it simply states that the Aff team does not fulfill their burden of proof, so they ought to lose. It's totally on-case. If I run T this year, I want to structure it liek this
Then I realized: this is the same way LDers run T! LDers don't ever do this whole "a priori" off-case structure for T, they just say "their value/criterion/whatever has nothing to do with the topic, so they haven't proven their side of the resolution." Why can't TPers do the same? Why do we have to use all this technical jargon?
Any thoughts? Maybe I'm way over thinking this...
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