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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:03 pm 
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I am participating in the Cleveland Comeback tournament. I have never competed in Lincoln Douglas before. I'm reading through the sourcebook and trying to get a feel for LD. I did TP in another league for a few years, so I'm used to competing at tournaments. I don't have a coach or anyone to practice with. What tips do you have for preparing for LD?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:38 am 
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A few tips (not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination).
1. Budget your time well. In LD you have far less time than in TP, so make sure you are ruthlessly efficient with your time management.
2. As a consequence of that, only run winning arguments. You don't have time for arguments that don't have an impact. Don't get caught up in minor arguments without impact.
3. Make sure that you impact your arguments. It's not the same as TP impacting, though... explain why the argument is significant/what the philosophical implications are. Ex: Don't say that equity requires redistribution of wealth and leave it at that. Show the judge why that's a problem (think justice, human rights, etc.).
4. Do NOT run a Source case without editing it heavily. The Source cases are far too long -- in prior years, Source Affs have been 9 minutes long.
5. On Neg, if you do decide to run a Neg case, make sure it is no longer than 3-4 minutes MAX. You need to have plenty of time for direct ref. That's the one thing I hated the most -- when Negs would run a 7-minute neg case and ignore Aff's case. Make sure there's actually clash between your arguments and your opponent's arguments.
6. If your value and your opponent's value are basically the same thing, please please please don't get into an argument about which value is higher. Just roll with it. You can easily win using your opponent's value. You probably won't win if you spend all your time fighting about some inconsequential difference in your values.
6(a). A generic example of this -- if you are running the value of life and Neg runs human rights (defined as life, liberty, property), roll with HR and show how only Aff protects HRs. Don't argue that life is a superior value to HRs (unless you have managed to find some exceedingly compelling justification for doing so, but I've never seen one) because you will lose. There were many times where I was that Neg, and Aff would try to fight that battle against me. It was a battle they couldn't win, but they spent time on it that they should have used to beat me on other arguments. If they had just accepted my value of HR, they could have beaten me by showing that only they can protect HRs.
7. Remember that whenever there's a judge in the room, you are on stage, including during your opponent's speeches, during prep time, and during the 2AR if you're Neg. Always be professional and remember that you are always being judged, even if it is subconsciously by the judge.
8. LD doesn't use evidence the same way TP does, but you can't just assert whatever you want without support. If someone does that, point out the fact that they had no warrant for that argument. LD arguments should have warrants for them, which is basically some reason why the argument is true. It could be logical reasoning, a historical or current example, an analogy, a court case, quotations, etc. The list is nearly endless. Bottom line: make sure you tell me why I should believe you.

FWIW, when debaters ask for my judging philosophy, I generally tell them that I want the round to be organized so that I can flow it, that I want to see warrants for arguments, and that I want to see impacts for arguments.
Hope this helps!

Source: NCFCA alum of 5 yrs, LD and 9 speech categories over my time (broke to quarters at Nats in LD and Q'd to Nats in speeches). Now I do moot court (simulated appellate argument) and mock trial.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:43 am 
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Sorry to double post, but a couple more things I just thought of:
1. If you're from CCA/CCO (not really sure which one it is), make sure you ask Mrs. Cantey or someone else at check-in to explain LD's double-flighting and how timing works.
2. If you're on G+, you can send a request to join the R6 G+ community, and the R6 LDers community. I like to think we're pretty helpful on there. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:17 pm 
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Research definitely. Put some reality behind your philosophical ramblings. Judges don't want to hear about Immanuel Kant or Aristotle, they'd rather hear about how McDonald's cut their Heinz contract because the former Burger King CEO became the CEO of Heinz.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:06 pm 
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I too shall provide a list!

a. There's already been a lot of emphasis on the switch between TP to LD. Other good advice can be found in this article here and the billion other debate blogs/youtube channels/coach sites.

b. Even though I have fours years debate experience, I've never TP'd. Therefore I'm not sure of how many of these things you already know. Anyway, here's some general rules:
- Don't spread
- Like it was said earlier, LD is far less organized than TP, so tag and be clear.
- There are a lot of "feels" in LD whereas in TP there are a lot of "facts". Find the balance between being dry and being too pathos-driven. When writing your case, try to make it an even three-way ratio of quotes and stories/ to hardcore evidence and logic arguments /to basic explanations and organizational/ground-building things.
- Use your pre-tournie time to create a document of all the potential values that could be ran against your case and brief them all. For example, in Stoa, the big one this year for the second res is going to be Justice. I have arguments pre-prepared against Justice, no matter which definition they use. This is extremely helpful for LDer's since its, as the name implies, a value-centric debate. Already having ammo against the core of your opponent's case is crucial.
- If there are example cases in the sourcebook you're using, brief them. People will probably be running the or mutants of them a lot so early on in the year.

Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:17 pm 
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Just some thoughts. Please take them or leave them depending on what best fits your personal style.

1. I find spreading on neg is helpful.

2. Focus on the values. At least in the NCFCA, if you can take out a value, you can take out the rest of the case in 20 seconds or less.

3. Be nuanced. Don't take absolute philosophical positions if you can avoid it. Don't let your opponent force you to do that.

4. Prove your points. At least in my experience, very few LDers actually prove their points. Conversely, watch for this in others and point it out.

5. Don't be afraid to question fundamental assumptions a lot of NCFCA LDers make. Assumptions like: human rights can be forfeited, there is a hierarchy of rights, rights can be justifiably limited, etc.

6. Know the difference between utilitarianism and deontology. If you know the difference between them and the arguments for and against both, it's easy to drop most LD cases into one of those two.

7. Judges, in my experience, prefer utilitarianism. Most would kill you if you said that, but based on my ballots, that's the case.

8. Have 1 or 2 applications that have emotional pull and that you know like the back of your hand. Pull these out and hammer them home.

9. Make sure you have plenty of emotional tug. From my analysis, what helped me win rounds was not logic but emotion.

10. A lot of NCFCA judges will vote against big government without a second thought. Try to move the debate away from that.

11. Do what makes you comfortable. If this is your first time doing LD, I would suggest experimenting, running crazy things, and generally having fun. You may not break, but you'll learn a lot by what you did wrong (and what you did right).

Hope that helps!

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2012-2013: LD, 14th at Regionals
2013-2014: LD, 2nd at Nationals
2014-2015: LD, 1st at Regionals

https://contendacademy.com


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:57 am 
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I'll add a few things in here...

1) Don't make unwarranted claims. A lot of LDers think that because you don't need evidence for everything means you don't have to back up what you're saying. If a statement isn't common knowledge (few are), then make sure you either give back up or logical analysis to prove your point.

2) Impact arguments. So often, LD gets into this theoretical realm and judges really lose sight of the point. If you get theoretical, make sure to bring it back down to how it affects the round, your value, the real world, etc. Basically, make your argument matter.

3) Don't forget to refute. An annoyingly common trend in NCFCA LD is to drop almost all arguments that the opponent makes and to claim you responded to it. If you can make a general argument that addresses a case or speech, great. Make sure you tag it as such. But, if you can actually go line-by-line down the flow, it's going to be incredibly hard for most LDers to cover it all, because they aren't used to that style. I spread on both aff and neg when possible because LDers don't usually know how to handle that and I can still impact arguments. But, if you feel more comfortable just addressing their case as a whole, then that's fine too. Really, however you can do it (through spreading, general responses, etc.), just make sure you do actually refute.

4) Make everything come back to your value. This goes back to the impact point. The entire point of LD is values. So don't forget your value, and the value clash, during the round. If you just focus on your value, and how every argument affects it, then you'll be fine.

5) Control your emotions. Rebuttals in LD can often be abusive. At the prep table, try to control your facial expressions when this is happening. In NCFCA especially, judges want polite debates. And making nasty faces back at the table really rubs them the wrong way. I know this seems insignificant, but I've lost rounds because of my strong facial expressions back at the table and it's something I've had to really work on.

Anyways. Those are a few tips I can think of now. LD can be a lot of fun. So just relax and if you have an urge to use a wild analogy, go with it. Because there are some of us who can't come up with them.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:57 pm 
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1. Does spreading mean speed read or to throw out many arguments?
2. What does an LD brief look like? What I have now is a few pages of anecdotes and stories that support equity over freedom or vice versa. Should I be gathering blocked quotes as I find them?
3. When making historical or current event examples, do I need quotes to back them up? In CCA TP, if you say Iran has elections people question the truth of that.
4. With abusive rebuttals is this referring to emotional bashing or new argumentation? Is it possible to spike that?
5. My personal style is to try to use logos over pathos. Even in TP, I find pathos heavy teams to be compensating for a lack of research with emotion heavy arguments. In LD, are appeals to pathos expected?
6. Are you allowed to ask for the affirmative case? Is it beneficial to do so?
7. Generally, how should prep time be allocated before speeches? Should it be saved for rebuttal prep?
Thanks to everyone for the assistance.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:38 pm 
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lukeskywalker wrote:
1. Does spreading mean speed read or to throw out many arguments?


Depends on who you're talking to. The term I hear most in my circles is "speed and spread," which delineates between pure speed-talking and the act of spreading (putting many arguments on the flow). I would earnestly advise you to not speed as much as possible in LD. Judges tend to dislike speed talkers (except for alumni, who for the most part can handle or even like speed). Spreading is perfectly ok though, as long as you do it ethically. Putting many high-quality arguments on the flow is good, as long as the judge can actually understand them and write them down. When in doubt, though, put quality of arguments over quantity of arguments.

Quote:
2. What does an LD brief look like? What I have now is a few pages of anecdotes and stories that support equity over freedom or vice versa. Should I be gathering blocked quotes as I find them?


Again, depends on the locality. I personally have taken my traditions from my TP days and translated them to LD, with having full citations and such. Of course, my LD briefs are much shorter than TP briefs (usually around 2-3 pages), so I don't have a Table of Contents. Keep in mind you are already under severe time constraints in LD, so keeping evidence short is key.

Quote:
3. When making historical or current event examples, do I need quotes to back them up? In CCA TP, if you say Iran has elections people question the truth of that.


No. But evidence and quotes certainly boosts your credibility. Of course, you don't need evidence for "self-evident" things, like Obama is the 44th President or the Rwanda genocide happened. What you should have proof for is when you extrapolate applications to support your side.

Quote:
4. With abusive rebuttals is this referring to emotional bashing or new argumentation? Is it possible to spike that?


Both, although most times it's referring to new arguments. You should absolutely, 100% spike any argument you think your opponent may try to present a new argument on. "Judge, my opponent may come up in his final speech and try to respond to this point, but since he neglected to respond to it in his prior speech, it is a dropped argument, and he is not able to present new arguments in his final speech, since I am unable to respond to them." Or, if it's not the issue of a drop: "Judge, my opponent is most likely going to come up in his next speech and say _____, but when he says that, remember _____..."

Quote:
5. My personal style is to try to use logos over pathos. Even in TP, I find pathos heavy teams to be compensating for a lack of research with emotion heavy arguments. In LD, are appeals to pathos expected?


LD is more pathos oriented, yes. But don't let that discourage you. :)

Quote:
6. Are you allowed to ask for the affirmative case? Is it beneficial to do so?


There's no rule stating you cannot do so last time I checked, but it's generally considered bad form to do so. In TP it's standard to ask for the 1AC, but in LD it's frowned upon, because it looks like you need a physical copy of their case as a crutch because you may not have been able to flow it correctly or hear everything the first time.

Quote:
7. Generally, how should prep time be allocated before speeches? Should it be saved for rebuttal prep?

You have only 3 minutes of prep. Try to have as much of what you're going to say in the next speech already written on your flow during your opponent's speaking time. But if you must use prep, generally Neg just splits their prep time evenly between the two speeches, and AFF varies, since he has three speeches. I would suggest at least using some prep time in between speeches (don't go for no prep time), and use just as much as you need. If you NEED to use 2 minutes of prep before your first NEG speech or your second AFF speech, don't feel bad about it.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:33 am 
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SavyAvy wrote:
I'll add a few things in here...

1) Don't make unwarranted claims.
...
2) Impact arguments.
...
3) Don't forget to refute.


^THIS.

What Evan said about avoiding speed is very true. DO NOT speed in NCFCA LD. Even many alumni don't like speed (including myself). Spreading can work, but speed does not. Raising multiple arguments is good, rushing through them -- not so much.

Also, re: prep time, Aff only has 2 speeches that you can use prep time before -- the 1AR and 2AR, so most people usually split their prep time half and half on both sides.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:42 am 
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1. Concerning a negative case. Is it required to have one? Do I need several depending on the affirmative's value?
2. Where do you balance the resolution? Will some debaters be advocating for economic freedom and thus against all redistributive equity? Will they say some equity is good, but only in limited situations? Does the affirmative have to prove the resolution is true or that it is mostly true? At that point, what does mostly true mean? Would you then argue against parametricizing the resolution? Can I argue that intergenerational economic equity outweighs economic freedom?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:10 am 
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1. You do not have to have a Neg case. In fact, I would submit that the most effective way to argue on neg is to run direct ref (with a couple generic points about how the resolution must be false thrown in for good measure).

2. The burden structure is up for debate. There is no rule about that -- you have to persuade the judge that you are meeting your burden and your opponent is not. In general, I would recommend against parametrics (and you never want to use that debate lingo in-round). You theoretically could argue that, but I don't know if that would work well. You'd need some exceedingly persuasive justification for such a limitation on the resolution.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 4:19 pm 
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lukeskywalker wrote:
1. Concerning a negative case. Is it required to have one? Do I need several depending on the affirmative's value?
2. Where do you balance the resolution? Will some debaters be advocating for economic freedom and thus against all redistributive equity? Will they say some equity is good, but only in limited situations? Does the affirmative have to prove the resolution is true or that it is mostly true? At that point, what does mostly true mean? Would you then argue against parametricizing the resolution? Can I argue that intergenerational economic equity outweighs economic freedom?


Good questions.

1. Answers to this vary. In Region 8, at least, I know Direct Ref is generally frowned upon. In addition, I find that judges often want to vote for something, and so they'll sometimes just default Aff if Neg only offers refutation. The most effective strategy I've come across is the basic, "Aff advocates for A, I advocate for Non-A and B. Aff must advocate for A and non-B," as opposed to, "Aff advocates for A, I advocate for non-A."

2. New and intermediate debaters tend to, from my experience, pick absolute positions (i.e. "All Economic Equity is bad"). I find that to be a really bad tactic. Taking a nuanced position, where you grant that sometimes the opposing side can be right, tends to make you look far smarter and more careful than your opponent, which is always a good thing.

As for proving the resolution absolutely true....I could rant about that all day, but I won't, so here's the short version: Requiring the Affirmative prove the Rez absolutely true is totally ridiculous. Not only is there vast philosophical disagreement over whether you can prove anything absolutely true, but one teenager in 45 minutes can almost certainly not prove something absolutely true. Most people advocating this position have, in my experience, not thought through the epistemological position underpinning it. In other words, they probably couldn't provide you with a way to know something is absolutely true.

My advice for prepping against this argument is just to read up on the philosophical concept of absolute certainty vs. practical certainty, and how both can be achieved. The argument falls apart if you have a basic knowledge of epistemology.

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2012-2013: LD, 14th at Regionals
2013-2014: LD, 2nd at Nationals
2014-2015: LD, 1st at Regionals

https://contendacademy.com


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:07 pm 
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mendicant2 wrote:
lukeskywalker wrote:
1. Concerning a negative case. Is it required to have one? Do I need several depending on the affirmative's value?
2. Where do you balance the resolution? Will some debaters be advocating for economic freedom and thus against all redistributive equity? Will they say some equity is good, but only in limited situations? Does the affirmative have to prove the resolution is true or that it is mostly true? At that point, what does mostly true mean? Would you then argue against parametricizing the resolution? Can I argue that intergenerational economic equity outweighs economic freedom?


Good questions.

2. New and intermediate debaters tend to, from my experience, pick absolute positions (i.e. "All Economic Equity is bad"). I find that to be a really bad tactic. Taking a nuanced position, where you grant that sometimes the opposing side can be right, tends to make you look far smarter and more careful than your opponent, which is always a good thing.

As for proving the resolution absolutely true....I could rant about that all day, but I won't, so here's the short version: Requiring the Affirmative prove the Rez absolutely true is totally ridiculous. Not only is there vast philosophical disagreement over whether you can prove anything absolutely true, but one teenager in 45 minutes can almost certainly not prove something absolutely true.


Yes. A nuanced stance is the best way to go. To avoid having to prove the resolution is absolutely true, many debaters just say we're only looking at the resolution when the two sides are in conflict. Basically, the resolution isn't asking us to exclude equity or economic freedom, but rather which we value higher in conflict. That's usually really effective and it's easy for judges to grasp.

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And this one!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:13 pm 
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So at this point it seems to me that at least the source cases are structured like this. Economic Freedom allows for the criterion which supports the value. Economic Freedom allows for competition which leads to productivity. As negative, Equity appears to be an end in and of itself. Some sort of neg equivalence to economic freedom would seem to be redistribution.
A. My question is, as negative, should I generally use equity as a value or should I warrant it with justice?
B. Any sort of redistributive tax seems to be a form of equity. Would a 1 percent tax to help the poor be an example of valuing freedom over equity?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:31 pm 
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It depends, among other things, on how you want to define equity. In my region, definitions vary from fair distribution to equal opportunity to fair or equal treatment to (the squirrely) assets.

If you stick with fair distribution, you can point out that fair =/= equal. Something that I've seen done is defining fairness as ensuring that everyone gets what they absolutely need. You can then define fair distribution as the government ensuring that nobody is starving to death or going without clothing because they can't afford it.

re: A. Equity can be either a means to an end or the end itself. Depending on your audience, it's probably going to be more effective to show that equity is a tool that we use to achieve quality of life, human dignity, justice, poverty reduction, general welfare, etc, than to state that equity in and of itself is what we should strive for.

It also depends on how you try to frame the round. You can argue from the point of view of the government either that governments exist to protect rights and freedoms, or that governments exist to protect their people from all threats, including starvation, homelessness, etc. Or you could argue that from the point of view of the individual, freedom that does not violate other rights should be more valuable, or that equity means treating others fairly and justly, in which case you can fall back on the golden rule: do unto others what you would have done unto you.

re: B. A 1% tax to help the poor could be argued as an example of equity. You have to explain why that's a good thing.

Most of the cases that I've seen follow the model that you described. Following that format can help you build a case of your own.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:28 pm 
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So I've found a few quotes saying economic freedom causes equity. In that situation, is freedom considered more valuable because it allows for equity? Or is equity more important because it's the end result?


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