Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Show me clear structure in your arguments. Signpost everything clearly and highlight your impacts. Tell me how to weigh the round and lay out clear voting issues in the 2NR/2AR, the final foci, and the PMR/LOR. Be inclusive. Make sure your opponent(s) are okay with your rate of speed, work to help them understand your arguments, and just don’t devolve into insults and bigotry. Bigotry will result in an automatic loss for the offender(s). Otherwise, please be competitive, intelligent, and considerate.
I’ve been active in the forensics community for 10 years now. I’ve been a competitor, a judge, and a coach, and have experience in PuFo and Parli at the high school level, and NPDA and CEDA at the college level. Outside of forensics, I have an MA in National Security Studies from CSUSB. My specialties are in WMD strategy and East Asian comparative politics.
To me, goal of the round is to synthesize and disseminate knowledge. This activity is meant to prepare you for higher academic discourse, and good academic contributions are original, intelligent, and comprehensible. Thus, my general expectation for competitors at all levels:
1. Show me that you’ve done YOUR OWN research into the topic. To be clear, I don’t expect you to have prepared for the debate all by yourselves. Of course we rely on our teammates, and sometimes victory briefs, to help write and research cases. However, there is a difference between using these means as tools, and relying on them completely. Good cases will demonstrate an excellent command over the topic area and contribute an original idea which synthesizes the research presented in the round. A lack of understanding of the topic, your research, or your entire case will make a loss very likely.
2. Show me that you are an excellent critical thinker. Do not just present me with 600 of other people’s research papers. Give me some original analysis. Respond well to your opponents’ arguments. I don’t expect you to have prepared for every possible contingency, but I think good debaters are clever enough to find ways around that issue. Evidence isn’t everything (even in Policy). If you provide me and your opponents with evidence with little to no analysis, you will very likely lose the round.
3. Show me that you can clearly, concisely, and coherently communicate a cohesive and complex idea. Gut-spreading a nuclear war-extinction impact at 500 wpm for a healthcare topic is none of these things. I will not flow arguments like this. Generally, the longer the link chain you need to prove an impact, the less likely I am to vote on it. Contrived and counter-intuitive impacts derived from pure theory communicated incomprehensibly do not good academics make. For the sake of making good arguments that can enlighten the uninformed while contributing intelligently to the discourse, please make clear and coherent arguments. Please present cases that cohere without long, convoluted, and/or purely theoretical link chains. In regards to speed, specifically, I will accept spread in some cases (please see “preferences”).
· Debate as a game. Debate is a game where the objective is to synthesize and disseminate knowledge in the round. I can't fact-check everything you say in the round, so I defer that duty to you. To synthesize knowledge there needs to be clash. I highly prioritize direct clash in my decision calculus because you don't create knowledge by merely claiming your position. By clash, I mean providing evidence and analysis which directly addresses your opponent's contentions. It means putting your opponent's case within the context of your own. What makes both sides mutually exclusive? Where are they mutually inclusive? How does your thesis surpass the opposing antithesis? To disseminate knowledge, I need to understand what you are trying to communicate. If you are going to spread, that's fine, just make sure that I can read your case. To this end I highly value structure. Arguments need to flow in a logical order, I should be able to intuit how links fit together, and impact calculus should be as transparent as possible.
· I like theory and straight-up debates equally. That being said, I still expect kritiks to be intelligent, original, and comprehensible. Carry your K all the way to the end of the debate; commit to it. Don't just read one sentence long blocks and call it a day. Show me you have an in depth understanding of the literature you are reading or I will drop the argument. Same goes for theory and topicality. Interpretation is always a prior question. That means that kritik, theory, and topicality take priority over case, and if you can successfully prove them for your side, I drop the opposing case and you win the debate. on the flip side, if you fail to prove your interp issue and you have no case coverage, then you will lose the debate.
· PICs are fine so long as NEG adequately shows how the counterplan isn't just a permutation of the AFF plan.
· I’m fine with speed ONLY so long as your opponent(s) are also good with speed. Keep in mind that I flow on paper, so it will be a little more difficult for me to flow the debate in its entirety if you spread.
· Signpost EVERYTHING. I want you to really walk me through the structure of your shells and contentions. This is less to show me that you understand the structure of arguments, and more to help me with my own flow. Really, anything you can do to make my evaluation of you easier is a big plus.
· I love stock issues. I’ve noticed that stock issues have fallen out of favor in a lot of high school leagues (in my league, anyway). Nonetheless, I think good cases really do need to address significance, harms, inherency, topicality, and solvency. I expect competitors to zero in on these issues if their opponents lack them in their case. I really like to vote on stock issue
· Tell me a link story. Don't just read blocks and assume I'll know how to put them together. Give original analysis and go through the process of establishing that the premise of your contention/advantage is true, then walk me through how your premise leads to a terminal impact. In other words, what are the external links that prove your premise true? What are the internal links that lead to a persuasive and significant impact? Please do terminalize your impacts and give me some clear and concise calculus with which to weigh your impacts.
· Tell me exactly how to weigh the round. I’ve seen weigh too many people drop their weighing mechanisms, not fully understand what a value criterion is, and straight-up not tell me why they should win the debate. Please do not be these debaters. Please understand your weighing mechanisms, values, etc. and give me a clear list of voting issues at the end of the debate.
· Hate and bigotry lead to an automatic loss. If you espouse hate speech, belittle your opponent period, or otherwise judge or attack them or anyone else for anything other than the quality of their arguments, I will drop the debater.