Anna Ivanova Paradigm

Last changed 11/29 10:31P EDT

As a judge, I assess the round based on the clarity and persuasiveness of the arguments presented by each team. That means that the ideas used in round should be:

(a) logical. Present me with a clear explanation of potential harms and ways to view the debate. 

(b) convincing. This is where evidence comes into play, but use your cards wisely. Warrants are important.

(c) relevant. The plan presented by the affirmative is the starting point for discussion. If any of the sides decides to go for a critical argument, it must create a significant in-round impact (i.e. I should be able to understand the substance of your kritik and the way my ballot can help to resolve the issue). If it is a policy argument, it should be linked to the plan.

The more you link off-case and case, the better. Engage in the dialogue with the other team, that’s the only way to test the validity of their arguments.



I’m pretty strict when it comes to topicality. That is, I assume that the affirmative should defend the resolution and the real-life consequences of the plan, unless you convince me otherwise. If you tell me that the state is evil, go for it, but you have to prove that any way of upholding the resolution is impossible and/or wrong. In general, the affirmative should have a counter-interpretation and be reasonable.



In order to win on theory, the team will have to prove that the round was unfair. Condo is fine, but can become a problem if you kick an argument in the block. If the negative reads a CP and a K that contradict each other (and the aff points it out), I am more likely to question the solvency of the alternative and will be more willing to vote on the perm.



The two parts of a DA that matter for me are the impact story and the link story. Both should be present in each of your speeches if you want to win the argument. This especially applies to politics: I want to know why the plan will use political capital, switch votes, etc.



Just don’t cheat. The aff is bound by the resolution and by fiat, so super-specific PICs and delay CPs are unfair. Other than that, the neg does have a right to test the solvency mechanism of the plan, but you should have a solvency advocate and a reasonable net benefit to the CP.



It can be a great argument if it is (1) specific to the plan and (2) run well. Questioning the philosophical assumptions of the plan is important, but only if you can show an alternative way to view reality. It applies to all Ks, from Cap to Race/Identity arguments. Simply labeling the plan as a lie that perpetuates eternal injustice is not enough to reject it – you have to prove that the aff specifically causes the harms. As long as you do that, you can retain the alt or use the K as a reason to reject the plan.


General comments:

I think that debate is a great educational opportunity. Non-traditional arguments are more than welcome, if it keeps the debate interesting and fair.

An aside from me as a science major: each of your arguments should be falsifiable. That is, if you say there are invisible unicorns in the room and only you can see them, no one can prove you wrong – but that’s probably not a type of argument you want to use. In the context of the debate space, if you say capitalism is the root of all evil/your 1AC performance enlightened the debate community, there should be a theoretical way for the other team to disprove your claim.



Words are powerful. Do not use arguments in an offensive way. If you make a personal attack on your opponents, you hurt their chances to participate and learn, which gives me a separate reason to vote you down. Be respectful and nice, and don’t forget to have fun!

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Ibis Debates at the University of Miami 12/3/2016 R4 Pine Crest Preparatory GM Christopher Columbus MC Neg
Ibis Debates at the University of Miami 12/3/2016 R3 Christopher Columbus DD Pine Crest Preparatory FB Aff