Greenhill Fall Classic

2016 — Addison, TX/US

Sandy Berkowitz Paradigm

Revised April 11, 2018

Sandy Berkowitz

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN), where I teach communication and coach Public Forum, World Schools, Policy, and Congressional Debate. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

I debated policy in high school and college and began coaching in the early 1980s. In addition to the events listed above, I have coached and judged Lincoln Douglas, Extemp, Oratory, Rhetorical Criticism/Great Speeches, Informative, Discussion, and (and to a lesser extent) Interp events, at variety of schools in IL, NY, NC, MN, MI, ME, and CA.

Public Forum

Fundamentally, I believe that PF provides debaters with opportunities to engage and debate key issues of the day before experienced debate and community judges. It is useful and important to understand and adapt to a judge’s preferences. So, for me:

General issues

--The crux of PF is good solid argumentation delivered well. Solid arguments are those that relate to the resolution, are well organized, well warranted, and supported with quality evidence that is explained.

--Good analytical arguments are useful but not normally sufficient. If you make an argument, you bear the responsibility of supporting, explaining, and weighing the argument.

--I flow. But, clarity is your responsibility and is key to a good debate.

Evidence Ethics

--Evidence is critical to building good arguments and that includes warrants. Use academically rigorous and journalistic sources to support your arguments. Offering a laundry list of 5-10 names with few warrants or methodology is not persuasive.

--Proper citation is essential. That does not mean “University X” says. A university did not do the study or write the article. Someone did. Source name and date is required for oral source citation. Providing qualifications orally can definitely enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of your argument. The complete written citation (including source name, date, source, title, access date, url, quals, and page numbers) must be provided when asked in the round.

--Exchange of evidence is mandatory when requested. There is not infinite prep time to find evidence. If it takes you more than a minute to find a card when asked, or all you can provide is a 50 page pdf, then I will disregard it.

--Paraphrasing is not as persuasive as reading cards and using the evidence appropriately to develop and deepen your arguments.

--If you have misconstrued evidence, your entire argument can be disregarded.

--Evaluate your own and your opponents’ evidence as part of your comparative analysis.

Strategic issues

--Extending arguments goes beyond authors and tag lines. Extend and develop the arguments.

--Narrative is key. Debate is inherently persuasive. Connect the arguments and tell a story.

--It is in the best interest of the second speaking team for the rebuttalist to rebuild their case. If the 2nd speaking team does not do that, they likely yield the strategic advantage to the 1st speaking team.

--Avoid Grand becoming yelling match, which is not useful to anyone.

--Clash is critical. It is vital to weigh your arguments, which is best to begin before the final focus. Write the ballot in the final focus.

Delivery and Decorum

--PF, and all debate, is inherently a communication activity. Speed is fine, but clarity is absolutely necessary. If you unclear or blippy, you do so at your own peril.

--Be smart. Be assertive. Be engaging. But, do not be a bully.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Finally, have fun and enjoy the opportunity for engagement on important questions of the day.

World Schools

Worlds is an exciting debate format that is different from other US debate and speech formats. It is important for you to understand and adapt to the different assumptions and styles of Worlds. Content (the interpretation of the motion [definitions, model, stance], arguments, analysis, and examples), Style (verbal and nonverbal presentation elements), and Strategy (organization, decision making, engagement, and time allocation) all factor in to the decision and should be seen as critical and interrelated areas. Some things to consider:

--As Aristotle noted, we are influenced by both logos and pathos appeals, which you should develop through both examples and analysis. Thus, narratives are critical. Not just a story to “put a face on the motion,” but an overall narrative for your side of the debate.

--Motions are, in most cases, internationally, globally focused and your examples and analysis should reflect that.

--Have multiple, varied, and international examples that are used not only in the first speeches, but are also developed further and added in the second and third speeches to be more persuasive.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

--POIs can be statements or questions and are a key element of engagement during the debate. Questioners should be strategic in what to pose and when. Speakers should purposefully choose to take POIs and smartly respond to them. Typically, speakers will take 1-2 questions per constructive speech, but that is the speaker’s strategic choice.

--Importantly, carry things down the bench. Answer the arguments of the other side. Rebuild and develop your arguments. Engage in comparative analysis.

--Third speeches should focus the debate around clash points or key questions or key issues. Narrow the debate and offer comparative analysis.

--Reply speeches should not include new arguments. But, the speech should build on the third speech (especially in the opp block), identify key voting issues, and explain why your side has won the debate.

Be smart. Be articulate. Be persuasive. Take the opportunity to get to know other teams and debaters.

Policy and LD

I judge mostly PF and World Schools. But, I have continued to judge a smattering of Policy and LD rounds over the last few years. Now that you may be concerned, let me be specific.

Overall, I believe that rounds should be judged based upon the arguments presented.

--Clarity is paramount. Obviously, my pen time is slower than it was, but I do flow well. Roadmaps are good. Sign posting and differentiating arguments is necessary. Watch me. Listen. You will be able to tell if you are going too fast or are unclear. Reasonably clear speed is ok, but clarity is key. For most of my career, I was a college professor of communication; now I teach communication in high school. I strongly believe that debaters should be able to communicate well.

--Do what you do best: policy based or critical affs are fine. But, remember, I do not hear a lot of policy or LD rounds, so explain and be clear. Having said that, my area of research as a comm professor was primarily from a feminist critical rhetorical perspective. In any case, you bear the responsibility to explain and weigh arguments, assumptions, methodology, etc. without a lot of unexplained theory/jargon.

--Please do not get mired in debate theory. Topicality, for example, was around when I debated. But, for other, new or unique theory arguments, do not assume that I have current knowledge of the assumptions or standards of the theory positions. It is your responsibility to explain, apply, and weigh in theory debates. On Framework, please engage the substance of the aff. I strongly prefer you engage the methodology and arguments of the aff, rather than default to framework arguments to avoid that discussion.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

--Last, and importantly, weigh your arguments. It is your job to put the round together for me. Tell a good story, which means incorporating the evidence and arguments into a narrative. And, weigh the issues. If you do not, at least one team will be unhappy with the results if I must intervene.

Finally, I believe that Policy and LD debate is significantly about critical thinking and engagement. Better debaters are those who engage arguments, partners, opponents, and judges critically and civilly. Be polite, smart, and even assertive, but don’t be impolite or a bully. And, have fun since debate should be fun.

Daniel Garrison Paradigm

Not Submitted

Shania Hunt Paradigm

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Audra Langston Paradigm

Background

I am a debate coach and familiar with all formats of debate. 

Judging Paradigm

I'm a policy-maker at heart. Decisions will be flow-based focusing on impact calculus stemming from the question of the resolution.

If I'm not flowing, I'm either not buying your current argument or not appreciating your speaking style.

Play offense and defense; I should have a reason to vote FOR you, not just a reason to vote AGAINST your opponents.

 

Style:

Manners

Yes, manners. Good debate is not rude or snarky. Do not let your primal need to savagely destroy your opponent cost you the round. Win with style and grace or find yourself on the wrong side of the ballot. You've been warned.

 

Speed

Speed is not a problem with me, it's probably more of a problem with you. Public Forum is not "Policy-lite" and should not be treated as such as far as speaking style goes. The beauty of PF should not get lost in trying to cram in arguments. Many times spreading in PF just tells me you need work in word economy and style. Feel free to speak at an elevated conversational rate displaying a rapid clarity that enhances the argument. 

 

Organization

Speeches should follow the predetermined road map and should be signposted along the way. If you want an argument on the flow, you should tell me exactly where to flow it. If I have to make that decision for you, I may not flow it at all. I prefer your arguments and your refutation clearly enumerated; "We have 3 answers to this..."

 

Framework and Definitions

The framework (and definitions debate) should be an umbrella of fairness to both sides. The framework debate is important but should not be over-limiting to your opponents. I will not say "impossible" here, but winning the round without winning your framework is highly improbable. I am open to interpretation of the resolution, but if that interpretation is overtly abusive by design, I will not vote for your framework. That said, I caution your use of abuse stories. Most abuse arguments come off like whining, and nobody likes that. If a framework and accompanying definition is harmful to the debate, clearly spell out the impacts in those terms. Otherwise, provide the necessary (and much welcomed) clash. Most definition debates are extremely boring and a waste of time.

 

 Final Focus

Your FF should effectively write the RFD for me. Anything less is leaving it up to my interpretation.

 

Good luck, and thank you for being a debater.

 

 

Leandra Lopez Paradigm

Leandra Lopez
Director of Debate at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, FL
Debated at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart (4 years) and then in college at the University of Miami (3 years) and University of Mary Washington (1 year)

The affirmative should read and defend a topical plan that is an example of the current resolution. Advantages should stem from the theoretical passage of that plan.
Critical affirmatives with a plan text are fine.

Truth > tech. There is nothing more persuasive than the truth. While it is obviously true that in debate an argument that goes unanswered is considered “true”, there still has to be a logical reason behind the argument to begin with.

Topicality and conditionality are reasons to reject the team. Other theory arguments are typically reasons to reject the argument.
The negative should not read more than two conditional positions, and I can be persuaded that even that is too much.

Critiques should link to the plan, as opposed to the advantages. Alternatives typically have serious competition problems and solvency deficits. The more the negative does to deal with these issues, the better

If the 2NR goes for a CP or a critique, I assume the status quo is NOT an option unless the 2NR specifies otherwise.

Evidence quality over quantity.

Flow.

It is an uphill battle to persuade me of the following-
-Debate is bad.
-Minorities are incapable of/do not want to do traditional policy debate. This is always an odd one for me because then I have to wonder if I was in an alternate universe those 8 years I debated. Seriously, this argument will offend me and speaker points will reflect.
-Death is good.
-Pragmatism is bad.
-Socialism/Communism is good. No.

Please be respectful – of your opponents, your partner, the judge, the classroom.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Mitali Mathur Paradigm

*UPDATE: I haven't judged a debate in a year, so go a little slower please

About me

I debated for Greenhill School for 4 years
I also was a member of USA Debate for a year
I currently attend Georgetown University

General Comments

  • OVERVIEW STUFF:
    • I view rounds through a comparative worlds paradigm.
    • Don’t be racist/sexist/homophobic/unnecessarily rude in round or ever.
    • Give your opponent a copy of your case if they ask – printed, flashed, e-mailed, or via a viewing laptop - this could affect speaks if your opponent asks and you say no
  • THINGS I LIKE:
    • when you talk about the topic
    • when you make your advocacy clear and aren't shifty
    • when you talk about real world issues
    • overviews that explain how I should evaluate the round/prioritize issues
    • weighing with explanation, not just the jargon of magnitude, probability etc.
    • Extensions– I think 1ARs can have a bit more leeway, but make sure warrants and impacts are clear – author names alone don’t cut it
    • A good CX. CX is binding and I’ll pay attention.
  • THINGS I DISLIKE:
    • racist/sexist/homophobic/classist/offensive arguments and comments
    • arguments that say any action is permissible
    • too many spikes or really long underviews that aren’t related to the topic. If you are aff and concerned about a side bias, write an aff that uses the entire 6 minutes with substantive arguments
    • misrepresenting evidence and reading strawperson cards. If there is an evidence ethics challenge, I will read the article and the piece of evidence in question. If you make the challenge, you are staking the round on it.
  • SPEED:
    • Go as fast as you want but don’t sacrifice clarity
    • Please slow down for interpretations and advocacy texts
    • Slow down for spikes/underview type stuff


Framework
I never was a framework debater myself. But, if you are a framework debater, don’t shy away from your strengths in front of me, just be extra clear and do a lot of interaction and weighing if it's a more complex framework and it should be fine.

Case Debate
Totally fine. A framework is just a way to evaluate what impacts matter. Tell me what impacts matter and what piece of offense applies under that.

Policy Args
Love them

  • COUNTERPLANS
    • I love a well thought out CP
    • I'm fine with PICs as well
    • When you debate CPs, make at least one cleverly worded perm and explain how the perm functions (solves all offense, mitigates the link to the disad etc.)
  • DISADS
    • make sure there is real uniqueness!!!!
    • specific links based on specific affs will make me like you more
  • Ks
    • I prefer specific links over general links that can be re-used
    • Make sure you can defend the alternative and can EXPLAIN what it means
    • I’m fine if you have a role of the ballot/role of the judge – but if there is a counter ROB/ROJ, do some weighing


Theory

  • For me, fairness is not a terminal impact, but it is an internal link to other impacts that are important
  • There is no “spirit of the interpretation,” there is just the interpretation
  • Don’t read stupid theory arguments over the smallest technicalities. I’ll be expressive so you can tell what I consider to be reasonable. I’ll evaluate it, but your opponent won’t have a high threshold answering it.


Topicality

  • T is determined through the plan text.
  • A good T argument should have a specific interpretation and carded evidence
  • I’ll be impressed if you answer T with specific, carded evidence and do some weighing

Tiana Menon Paradigm

Not Submitted

Ryan Nelson Paradigm

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Renard Roy Paradigm

Relatively speaking, I am a old school Policy judge-Stock Issues, Slower Presentation (if you are gulping for air, especially the double gulp, you are speaking far too fast) and most importantly Topicality (PLEASE debate the Resolution in its entirety, don't pick one of 2 words and head off to left field). CPs are welcome, Ks not so much (always interesting but MUST relate to the topic and ultimately result in a policy/solution. Closed CX please.

Shane Stafford Paradigm

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum, World Schools, Policy, and Congressional Debate. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

Public Forum

Fundamentally, I believe that PF provides debaters with opportunities to engage and debate key issues of the day before experienced debate and community judges. It is useful and important to understand and adapt to a judge’s preferences. So, for me:

General issues

--The crux of PF is good solid argumentation delivered well. Solid arguments are those that relate to the resolution, are well organized, well warranted, and supported with quality evidence that is explained.

--Good analytical arguments are useful but not normally sufficient. If you make an argument, you bear the responsibility of supporting, explaining, and weighing the argument.

--I flow. But, clarity is your responsibility and is key to a good debate.

Evidence Ethics

--Evidence is critical to building good arguments and that includes warrants. Use academically rigorous and journalistic sources to support your arguments. Offering a laundry list of 5-10 names with few warrants or methodology is not persuasive.

--Proper citation is essential. That does not mean “University X” says. A university did not do the study or write the article. Someone did. Source name and date is required for oral source citation. Providing qualifications orally can definitely enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of your argument. The complete written citation (including source name, date, source, title, access date, url, quals, and page numbers) must be provided when asked in the round.

--Exchange of evidence is mandatory when requested. There is not infinite prep time to find evidence. If it takes you more than a minute to find a card when asked, or all you can provide is a 50 page pdf, then I will disregard it.

--Paraphrasing is not as persuasive as reading cards and using the evidence appropriately to develop and deepen your arguments.

--If you have misconstrued evidence, your entire argument can be disregarded.

--Evaluate your own and your opponents’ evidence as part of your comparative analysis.

Strategic issues

--Extending arguments goes beyond authors and tag lines. Extend and develop the arguments.

--Narrative is key. Debate is inherently persuasive. Connect the arguments and tell a story.

--It is in the best interest of the second speaking team for the rebuttalist to rebuild their case. If the 2nd speaking team does not do that, they likely yield the strategic advantage to the 1st speaking team.

--Avoid Grand becoming yelling match, which is not useful to anyone.

--Clash is critical. It is vital to weigh your arguments, which is best to begin before the final focus. Write the ballot in the final focus.

Delivery and Decorum

--PF, and all debate, is inherently a communication activity. Speed is fine, but clarity is absolutely necessary. If you unclear or blippy, you do so at your own peril.

--Be smart. Be assertive. Be engaging. But, do not be a bully.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Finally, have fun and enjoy the opportunity for engagement on important questions of the day.