Amanda Courtney ParadigmLast changed 11/23 11:44A CDT
Debate - When I judge debates based too much on misrepresentation or manipulation, I recommend debaters research the various fallacies I witnessed in the round - most often slippery slope, ad hominem attacks, false dilemma, and straw/steel man - if only to ensure otherwise amazing debaters don't fall back on flawed logic in the future.
Ultimately, it is up to the opposition to detect and decry these somewhat nefarious methods, but I also feel strongly that debate should center on fundamentally-sound logic, whether it's Policy, LD, PFD, or Congress. Fallacies are to debate as cheat codes are to video games: the only ones impressed by that sort of victory are those that don't know better. If either case hinges too heavily on fallacious reasoning, whether the opposition realizes it or not, you will see it noted on the ballot.
Also, it's another unpopular opinion, but spreading seems more often than not to unnecessarily negatively impact an otherwise well-articulated and supported case. Speed for its own sake seems to be the shibboleth of varsity debate, and judges expressing misgivings about it are often chalked up as lay judges. Really, many of us are just of the mind that one should learn to do something really well before doing it really quickly: as is so often the case in life, quantity rarely trumps quality. The side that presents and defends the most sound, organized, and professionally-presented case will win the round!
Visit this link for more helpful info on the fallacies:
Forensics - I tend to reward originality and intensity above almost every other factor. As a competitor in high school, I was awarded first at State the same year I qualified for Nationals in Original Oratory. I medaled throughout high school in various interpretation events before going on to serve as a Student Senator in college. I have always enjoyed and still tend to favor those performances in which the student's own unique ideas and interpretation takes center stage. Cliche, especially after these many years of judging, is a nearly unforgivable sin. POI is my new favorite event. I'd love to see more policy debaters doing extemp, oratory, Congress, and Big Questions. I look forward to this season's competition!