How to Win a Novice Policy Debate Round

Policy debate can be a difficult but fun experience. Novice debate may seem easy but convincing the judge is the hardest part. Read up, do your research, and try your best! These tips will help lead you to your victory.

Steps

1. Convince the judge of the merit of your plan. The way to win a novice policy round is to convince the judge that not only is your plan will solve the problem, and the other team’s plan is going to make the current situation worse.

  • The Affirmatives (most commonly referred to as aff. by most debaters) job in the round is to prove that their case works. Sounds simple right? Wrong. To win you have to have a strong, well-built case. Also you have to know the case inside and out. Make sure you know and can explain every one of your advantages and how your case solves (solvency). It seems simple enough until the Negative kicks in.
  • The Negatives (most commonly referred to as neg. by most debaters) job in the round is to prove that the aff.’s case either
    • Hurts the status quo (the current way things are going is a good simple definition for status quo)
    • Doesn’t solve (this is called a solvency take-out)
    • Is morally wrong (this is called a kritik argument, which is uncommon in novice debate)
    • Prove you can do the case better or pass a better case. Now this is a lot to deal with so luckily you wont have to do it all, just choose your strong points and go for them.

2. Know the basic format. Just for any clarification issues the following is the order, name, and time limit for each speech during the round–

  • 1AC- 8 minutes
  • cross examination
  • 1NC- 8 minutes
  • cross examination
  • 2AC- 8 minutes
  • cross examination
  • 2NC- 8 minutes
  • cross examination
  • 1NR- 5 minutes
  • 1AR- 5 minutes
  • 2NR- 5 minutes
  • 2AR- 5 minutes
3. First off (whether you are aff or neg) make sure you not only answer every argument made by the opposing team but extend your arguments through in every speech.

  • The easiest way to do this is called flowing. Flowing is just a fancy way of writing down everything you have said and that your opponents have said against you. Though there is a universal way to flow just find the way that works best for you.
4. Also make sure you read a lot of evidence THAT LINKS. This is very important because if you get up in your speech and read off a lot of evidence that doesn’t go along with what the argument is then the judge will have nothing to evaluate you on and you will most likely lose.

Tips

  • Aff team- DO NOT DROP ANY ARGUMENTS. Any dropped points are free for the Neg team to attack and point out to the judge. Dropped arguments are the most common way people lose debates.
  • Neg team- For any off-case arguments you do, be sure to explain how they link to the aff team’s case. If the aff team drops any points, be sure to point this out to the judge.
  • For final speech, drop your weakest point and explode on your strongest.
  • Dress appropriately. Judges love when you dress nice.

Warnings

  • Don’t cheat
  • Don’t steal the other team’s evidence.
  • Dropping an argument automatically means you concede to the other team’s perspective.
  • You may end up with a college student who knows NOTHING whatsoever about debate, and who judges a round.
  • Judges in novice rounds almost always vote AFF. The neg team must do a REALLY good job of explaining to the judge.
  • Remember it is the JUDGE you are trying to convince. NOT the AFF team. Make sure the judge understands. If they don’t, you will lose.

Things You’ll Need

  • Evidence.
  • a coach or captain to help steer you in the right direction.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 12:45 am and is filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.