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Research wins debates. It feels great to win on an argument that you have written. You will understand it really well, you will know exactly where all.

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Presentation on theme: "Research wins debates. It feels great to win on an argument that you have written. You will understand it really well, you will know exactly where all."— Presentation transcript:


2 Research wins debates. It feels great to win on an argument that you have written. You will understand it really well, you will know exactly where all of the cards are and you will be able to predict what the other team will read against you. That level of preparation translates into calm confidence that will win debates! Researching is a responsibility of every team member. You can always decline an assignment to focus on school or family but consistently avoiding work impacts your travel priority. Research takes practice. There is a learning curve. Over time, you will know what databases or searches to use and what types of cards are the most useful. Do not be surprised if you have trouble at first. Regular work is the key to success. Get in the habit of doing small amounts of debate work on a regular schedule. You will feel prepared and will generate an impressive amount of work. Even five hours a week will really add up.

3 Your previous experience with research was probably a teacher telling you that you had to have X number of sources for your grade. I want you to think about WHY and WHEN you actually need a source to support your arguments. Arguments need support from expert sources when we want to borrow credibility that we do not have.

4 Official qualifications Experience in the field Recent if the information required may have changed High quality publisher Information used in context Free from bias (having a strong opinion is fine though) Supported by other research Unclear or poor qualifications Unclear author Out-dated information Blog or other random internet source Information warped to fit your purpose Someone who has an incentive to misrepresent the truth Fringe opinion

5 Do NOT use these. The web page looked/sounded really good. The web page cited other people who look qualified. I know that there were qualifications but I went back to find them and the web page seemed to have shut down. This source had a familiar name. My dog ate my qualifications.

6 It depends on what you are looking for: Current events: Lexis database (via library) or Google News (which is awesome but also contains some garbage) In depth articles: Library databases, books Ask librarians or Mrs. Heidt for help Side note: You may NOT use Wikipediafun general reading and often OK but not an acceptable academic source. Consider yourself warned. Similarly, you may not quote from e-mails or blogs written by debaters.

7 Cards got their name because evidence used to be cut out and pasted down in actual recipe cards. Then, debaters moved to cutting and pasting onto paper briefs. Now, we do everything electronically. All files need to be placed into a Word document and e-mailed in. If you find a passage in a book that you need, either scan and OCR or type it in. Why? It is much easier to edit blocks if they are electronic. We will also help you to create a Word template that allows you to automatically create block titles etc.

8 No factoids. Cut cards that have specific uses in rounds, not random bits of information. Always ask yourself how is this card going to be useful in the round? Quality is all that matters. Assume 2 things: The other team will have a good card that says the opposite and yours needs to be better. The judge is calling for the card. Fewer repetitive cards. No more than four pages of the evidence making the same argument. Never cut evidence that is out of context. If an author later disagrees with the claim in a card that you have cut from them, it is out of context. Ask yourselfwould the author agree with this tag? Not the whole position necessarily but the tag? If there is any question, ask a coach, DO NOT turn it out to the team.

9 Recent evidence helps. Never cut evidence off of a debate list-serve, a private e-mail or a debate related blog. Some teams do this, it is cheating and will hurt our reputation. Qualified evidence is better. Staff writers are OK for uniqueness evidence and maybe some other simple claims but better qualified evidence wins more debates. Cut cards that are too long, not too short. Ways to ensure that your evidence represents complete ideas (and therefore arguments) include the following: One sentence cards are useless because they have no reasoning. NEVER begin or cut off a card mid-sentence. Do not cut cards that start with however or but. Include the above paragraph or sentence so that your evidence represents a complete idea.

10 Complete and accurate. Full name of the author, complete date, qualifications (may need to Google these), title of publication, page number if available, cut and paste web address, note database. Format: Last name, date in BOLD (rest in parenthesis). ALWAYS collect cites as you go, never plan to go back and get them later.

11 Use strong languageIf the author makes a good argument, maximize the usefulness of the evidence with a strongly worded tag. This is accomplished by: Avoiding vague words like good, equals, bad, or very. Use more specific language. Very bad should be replaced by 10 million deaths etc. Never state a passive relationship between two things, such as X and Y are both happening. Such passive relationships are not useful in debate; re-tag it to say X causes Y or X prevents, increases or decreases Y. Stay away from debate jargon. A little is OK, especially with affirmative DA answers, but tags that are more story-oriented will do more to catch the judges attention. Do not over-tagFor instance, if your evidence says a disease will impact 10% of the population, do not tag the evidence to claim extinction. Shorter tags are usually better.

12 Does your file represent a strategy? Have you scouted other teams for cites and arguments commonly made against your file? Do you have those issues covered? Have you scouted other teams for good cards that should be part of our file?

13 Make indexes easy to use. Indexes should have clearly labeled sections. For example: a DA could be organized into uniqueness, links, internal links, impacts and answers to aff answers. Remember the header. Imitate other varsity files. Clear block titles. Use a uniform font. Control-A (select all) is your friend, Times New Roman 10 pt looks good. Tailor it a little yourself if you like but make sure that it is uniform and easy to read. Underline ahead of time. Do not waste everyones prep by making the whole squad underline when you could do it once for everyone. Organize the cards from best to worst. People will naturally read what is on the top of the page so put the best ones up there. Eliminate extra returns. It saves paper and looks nicer.

14 Make sure that all of the cards on the block fit under the block title. No random cards stuck at the bottom please. If you have evidence that is not even worth its own title, throw it out. Do not cut off cards in the middle unless the card itself is more than 1 page long. If you simply have multiple cards on a page, use a page break to keep them intact. If a card is a 2 page card, clearly write continues on the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2. Also, put the cite again on the bottom of page 2 just in case you get things shuffled around.

15 Send files to a g-mail account. It will be very handy because it can be searched for content. Title Word docs something obvious like Wind 1AC so that you can find it when you search. Print now or Ellis rules will not be helpful when someone wants the cards.

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