2What is flowing?Flowing is a debate term that simply means to take notes. It’s used to follow the debate and know what to rebut and how. From now on, hopefully through a collegiate career, the pen and paper is your best friend, acting almost as a partner during your debate.
3How To Flow Flowing is generally done in about three steps: Divide the paper however it helps youPre-Flow your side of the debateIn round, take quick notes to remind you what to hit in rebuttals
4Step 1The first step is to divide the paper into however helps you. I flow on a single piece of paper, front and back, with six boxes. The first is AFF1, then it’s NEG1, followed by NEG2, then on the back it’s AFF2, NEG3, and AFF3. The CX questions I think of goes underneath their speech points or next to contention numbers. If I’m watching a debate, certain CX questions that I like go at the top next to the AFF if the neg is talking or next to the NEG if the aff is talking. (I’ll show you examples next meeting.) My debate coach taught us to divide the paper into six tiny sections with dotted lines and arrows and lines and such. I will teach you that way at the next meeting also. All in all, every has their own way to divide the paper, because everyone sees things differently. The point is that you have to have a system. You can’t just write things down and hope you’ll remember where they go.
5Step 1 ContinuedAnother popular form of division comes in pre-made templates. Most of the time you create them yourself, since you know how you write the best, but they all have the same idea and shape. Most of the time you can download a template and use it. I do not recommend print-out templates (I think they are frustrating), but if they help then they help.Template Website:
6Step 2“Pre-Flowing” means to write in all of your contention and possible CX questions. It also means to just create a flow before the rounds are posted or to start writing down rebuttals you could bring you. Both the first and second meaning work very well, but the last one generally ends up in loss.
7Step 2 Continued Pre-Flows should look like this (Example Resolution is “Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States Criminal Justice System.”)
9Step 3Write. Write down as much as you can so you know exactly what to have down. At the very least you must have their Value, Value Criterion, and all of their Contention Tags. Most of the time, you want little notes under each contention tag to remind you what their argument was. A lot of the time you’ll use shorthand to keep up.
11Step 3 ContinuedWhat you might have noticed at the top of the template is a space to write down round numbers and room numbers and such. You must write round number, rather your aff or neg, and your opponent’s tournament number which you’ll get at postings. I also suggest to write down your room number, because once you get to the high school, the places you’ll go to when you debate will sometimes be huge. If, when standing and waiting for your judge, you’re able to talk to your opponent, try to get their name and school out of them and write it down too. This is helpful since a lot of schools generally share cases and contentions, not to mention flows.