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 Post subject: Negative Strategies...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:00 am 
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So. My partner and I haven't really used a specific negative strategy so far.....we've really just divided up arguments based on who we think can deliver the argument the most eloquently. However, I don't think our method is incredibly effective. Over the past few weeks, I've been reading a whole lot about different negative strategies. While it obviously depends on the round, in general, what do y'all think is the best negative strategy for a semi-novice team to use?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:25 am 
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If you can, try to focus on the few best arguments, and win on those. In TP finals of Region 10's first qualifier, the negative team (who have a combined eight years of debate experience) spread out the Affirmative with 5 DAs. The problem arose when the 1AR adequately addressed all the arguments. In the 2NR, it was evident that their strategy had backfired. In addition to making it harder for the affirmative, they also made it harder on themselves. They didn't have time to go over all the arguments in the 2NR, and lost on a 6-1 decision.

Bottom line: The best strategy is to go in-depth on a few main points. :) Many experienced debaters endorse the shell-and-extend strategy, but that's a rather difficult strategy for a team of your experience level. If you can do it, go ahead, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. (My brother and I have a combined six years of debate experience, and we still need to work on it ourselves. :P) So I would hazard a recommendation of something I came up with as I wrote this post. It's along the lines of a mix of shell-and-extend and splitting of the negative. Basically an in-depth splitting of the negative, if that makes any sense. I don't know of anyone who does this in practice, but here's how I envision it to work:

1NC: Focuses on a couple main arguments, and provides warrants and compelling reasons for the arguments.

2AC: Responds to above

2NC: Brings up two or three new arguments with similar structure to 1NC

1NR: Responds to 2AC

1AR: Now must refute all warrants and analysis in five minutes, which can be done but is difficult

2NR: Responds to 1AR; provides strong closing arguments to judge

2AR: Desperation attempts to sum up round fail

Again, I haven't thought about this type of strategy a lot. There is probably a major hole with it somewhere, but I don't know where. We don't do this strategy (we try to go by shell-and-extend), and neither does anyone else I know of, so there's probably a good reason why. :P

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Barndt/Barndt | TACT, R10 | 2012-13
Barndt/Barndt | TACT, R10 | 2013-14
Barndt/Barndt | TACT, R10 | 2014-15
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JohnMarkPorter1 wrote:
I'm inclined to think like Andrew does.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:58 am 
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The Pumaman wrote:
There is probably a major hole with it somewhere, but I don't know where. We don't do this strategy (we try to go by shell-and-extend), and neither does anyone else I know of, so there's probably a good reason why. :P

I don't know of any major holes. I could just be ignorant but I think it's a great strategy. It's simple (for all parties), yet hard for the aff to adequately address. The only thing to watch out for is that the 1N arguments be solid. Of course, all the arguments should be solid, but the 1N arguments are going to have to stand longer and you don't want to be stuck in the 1NR with 5 minutes of speech time and nowhere to go with your arguments.

There is a difference, by the way, between splitting the neg and spreading. If you spread, you split the neg, but just because you split the neg doesn't mean you spread. I typically think of what you described as a "mixed" strategy as splitting the neg and what you described in the opening paragraph as spreading (well, borderline, 5 DAs isn't necessarily a lot depending on how many other arguments there were). I would tend to agree with you that splitting (without spreading) is better than spreading, although spreading is often effective (if not elegant).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:11 am 
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I'm not sure how helpful I'll be since Mallory and I are pretty much at the exact same level of experience as you guys, but I'll try.

1: Be prepared for whatever the case. This isn't exactly strategy, but you need to have briefs on every case that you think will be run at the tournament. But it's more than just that you need to understand the affirmative case and the briefs you have. Think about the logical point each piece of negative evidence is making and think about how that is an attack on aff and how you can frame this.

2: Moving on to specific neg strategies I'd say ignore them and just debate. I'm sure many people have a strategy and they win with it, but putting any single debate round into a box is not a good idea especially at my level or your level. There may be some rounds where you have a lot of decent arguments; that may be more of a split and spread round. There will be some where you have three really good ones and everything else isn't special; that may be more of a shell and extend round. It really should depend on the case and the team you're debating. And you shouldn't box yourself in, if you want to bring a new arg in the 2N go for it; if you want to extend a 1N argument go for it.

3: Be organized. This should be ahead of any specific strategy, because without it strategies don't matter. If you're great at shell and extend, but the judge can't follow your progression it doesn't matter. You need to be able to get up and say I'm going to talk about A, B, C, D, and E, and then actually talk them about and clearly separate them. An example would be: Judge I'm going to present four arguments in this speech. The first is that the design of the Electoral College was well thought out and should be kept, because it still functions today. The second is under Marina's plan Bush would have still won in 2000 and therefore the plan doesn't promote fairness that aff claims. Thirdly we will cover the political shift that this plan will cause in presidential races and how this is fundamentally unfair. Finally I'll talk about gerrymandering and how that will become a factor in presidential elections and why this outweighs any affirmative advantages. That may seem simple, but it really helps to be able to tell the judge what you're going to do and do it.

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Hammy wrote:
Also, Cashley died in a hole. I don't know why you keep trusting him. I mean sure he's super good at mafia and knows exactly what he's doing, but I feel like maybe some game you would just not trust him. :P Props to you Cashley, always making my games exciting.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:04 am 
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CalebAshley wrote:
2: Moving on to specific neg strategies I'd say ignore them and just debate. I'm sure many people have a strategy and they win with it, but putting any single debate round into a box is not a good idea especially at my level or your level. There may be some rounds where you have a lot of decent arguments; that may be more of a split and spread round. There will be some where you have three really good ones and everything else isn't special; that may be more of a shell and extend round. It really should depend on the case and the team you're debating. And you shouldn't box yourself in, if you want to bring a new arg in the 2N go for it; if you want to extend a 1N argument go for it.

This is actually really, really wise advice. At the semi-novice level, the amount of utility you'll get from trying to fit a pattern like splitting the neg, emory switch, shelling/extending etc. will be limited. You're better off focusing on making arguments that make sense.

(However, whenever you start to feel yourself doing lots of basic argumentation skills automatically, you should definitely look into these more advanced organizational techniques.)

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