Elyse Conklin ParadigmLast changed 10/19 2:56P UTC
i'm not currently coaching any teams (2018-19) but will be judging occasionally. i have a good base knowledge of the topics and i really don't care about trendy arguments or teams.
i recently graduated from the masters in comm program at wake forest where i coached for two years. i coached whitney young magnet hs 2010 - 2014, walter payton college prep 2014 - 2018. i worked as a research/data analyst for the naudl from 2012 - 2014 and am currently a writing/research specialist for a litigation firm in ann arbor.
i have judged quite frequently for the last six years and am well-versed in most areas and styles of debate. i tend to coach "high theory" teams (whatever that means), but i think in order to be good at debate you have to engage and understand what other people are saying. i am more dispassionate than dogmatic when it comes to substance. good research and sound argumentation matter to me more than anything, though your cap good args better be post-Obama and sound
judge philosophies are deceptive, i would advise you to utilize this page mainly as a stylistic tool, rather than strategic. by this, i mean most of the advice i'm writing will help you improve your speaks in front of me--this isn't here to coach you, dictate your arguments, or give you my thoughts on every type of argument or debate to be had.
i try to reward quality, up to date research related to the topic. i could easily be persuaded that evidence written by individuals who are also in the judging pool of that tournament should not be evaluated.
i'm more willing to vote on presumption because the other side has not given me a coherent, justifiable reason to vote for them. i flow straight down and figure out where arguments interact later in order to record as much content as possible. this works out well as i tend to judge debates with less sheets of paper and long overviews.
i tend to write as much as i can during the debate as i flow, and my deciding process involves identifying the main questions/issues of a debate, how the debate itself answers those questions, and why those answers mean an aff or neg ballot. it would behoove you to identify those questions for me in your final rebuttals. in rounds that aren't close, i can call a winner/loser easily. in close rounds i read the ev, evaluate the args, write an rfd for both sides, and pick the one that i can explain better/is a better decision. i tend to view the debate holistically - generally, your arguments build up to form a coherent ballot. i only pick one technical argument to center my decision around if you tell me to, even technical drops require an explanation of how it implicates the rest of the debate.
i like well-organized intellectually stimulating debates, whatever "category" they fall in. we all make choices. justify them.
don't let my presence deter you from the most strategic 2NR choice. the more aff-specific, the better. i loveeeeee impact turns, of all varieties, regardless of your stance on liberalism.
obligatory framework vs. planless aff section:
if i hear a k aff and am left wondering "...to do what?" i'm happy to vote neg, but you have to outdebate the aff (what a novel idea). i like framework debates that get to the heart of why we do this activity, what communication means, and epistemological questions about what good debates and research processes should look like. debate itself is not a terminal impact, so i am better for ground impacts than fairness impacts. just because "debate is a game" doesn't mean i want to play a bad one. this seems to scare people; while i think my own ethical standards implicate everything i do (pure form, pure content don’t exist!), i also think that means i hold people to high quality standards. meaning, i love voting against planless affs that attempt to avoid hard debates. i write planless affs designed to provide the negative with more than concessionary ground (i swear to goddess, i try), i dont like voting for affs that dont link to things. i like affs that facilitate good debates, not affirmatively biased arguments that no link to things or claim feelings outweigh. but i am also unwilling to fill in the gaps for what certain terms like procedural fairness mean. the procedure of debate now is much different than when i debated 2003-2007.
i think to make framework less bland you should engage some flavors of topicality beyond erickson 3, i think it gets you some more depth on why your model of debate is good.
i think of framework debates in terms of both external and internal offense. what is the meta-impact of the aff/neg in terms of this weird activity and people we interact with, as well as the implications of the resolution in terms of more traditional impacts. i generally find final rebuttals should address both in fw debates. k affs tend to focus too much on their offense and not how their aff implicates debate itself. your aff shouldn't win because it is right about everything and unanswerable, your aff should win because it has good answers to arguments - yes, hard debate is good debate. policy debate isn't necessarily hard or good if you read shitty cards, just like kritikal debate isn't always great either when you read the same card from 2010 every debate.
i could be persuaded by contextual and smart topical versions of affirmatives that don't defend government action, but they should be topical/solve the aff. i generally think affirmatives should have the ability to be impact-turned, but not that the consequences of a plan / policy necessarily always have to be that point of contestation. some affs just cannot be disproven, and these probably make negative strategy difficult. some neg debaters are too lazy to find the offense against say, a cap bad aff, and go one off framework. apparently debate-ability is the new hotness, so both sides should think about what their vision of a valuable debate should look like, and why it matters that i endorse it.
just an fyi, i would not recommend trying to gauge the round based upon my facial expressions. i tend to flow without really looking up or reacting, so just do your thing and i will evaluate it to the best of my ability because i respect the activity and people who work hard. i'm listening, i would prefer not to make a lot of eye contact with you.
i suppose the one type of argument that is an uphill battle for the neg are process counterplans. those rounds are the few i would prefer to vote on theory than "substance." but i have voted for process CPs in the past if you can justify why that particular procedural education is important and predictable for the aff to defend against.
i enjoy when people tell me what my RFD should look like during the last rebuttals. 2NRs that say "even if" and pre-empt the 2AR make me happy.
the words "i voted on the perm" only come out of my mouth if the 2AR spends a good amount of time on it. either really win the perm, or win the aff. it's not fair to the 2NR if you make the perm blippy throughout the debate and i just happen to think they're not mutually exclusive. i need to know the function of the perm, how it solves the links, and if there is a net benefit to the perm. not just that - hey - you could do both, next arg.
please do not read arguments about sexual violence or rape in front of me. gender matters and i'm happy to listen to arguments about feminism, etc. - but RAPE SHOULD NOT BE A COMPETITIVE IMPACT. i write this because i would not feel ok having to decide whether or not one rape outweighs another, whether "rape" outweighs "hegemony," etc. i appreciate discussions about sexual violence, just not in a competitive form that would force me to vote in a way that trivializes something so important. this would cause me extreme emotional distress to the point where i have considered walking out of a round 7 at the TOC and letting tab figure it out. strike me if your fundamental arguments relate to sexual violence, and take the cards out of the speech doc if you are putting together a strategy and i am judging you. ask me before the round if you are unsure (i.e. talking about gender is not the same as a death good debate that comes down to whether or not rape is a fate worse than death).
time your speech, your partner's speech, the other team, and prep. if suddenly it seems like you have given a 12 minute 2AC, i will become even grumpier than usual and dock everyone's speaks .1
if you have any questions, ask me before i actually judge you.