Are there alternate definitions available that affect the effectiveness of their proposition?

The key to LD is CLASH. In order to clash with your opponent, you must directly refute the arguments they present. LD is a very structured and organized form of debate, your attacks and speeches must be structured as well. The easiest way to stay organized is to flow your opposition’s constructive and then “go down the flow.” This simply means that you attack your opponent’s arguments in the order they present them. Start with the proposition, did they clearly identify their claim? Could you tell what the argument was in the introduction or did you have to guess or assume what their stance was? Were there terms in the proposition that they failed to define? Did they provide credible oral citations for their definitions? If not you should ask them to provide them. Are there alternate definitions available that affect the effectiveness of their proposition? Do you disagree with the way that they have defined a term? This is stasis of definition. Provide evidence to demonstrate that another definition is more applicable. Do you agree with the way in which they stated the propositon and defined the terms but disagree with the evidence they provide in the main points to further their argument? This is stasis of fact. Provide evidence to the contrary. Show that your research is better or more recent or credible – contradict their information. What if you agree with the definition, the facts of the case but you disagree with the importance of or the impact of the proposition. For example, you listen to a debate about how millenials are social media obsessed – you agree with their definition of millenials, social media and obsessed and based on the definitions of the term, you agree to some extent with their proposition. You find the evidence that they provide to illustrate their point to be factual and relevant. However, you disagree with the claim that all millennials are social media obsessed. Further, the advocate tries to make the correlation between that obsession and depression and you disagree with the connection. This is a stasis of quality. Questions of quality refer to the quantitative and qualitative significance of the proposition – is it serious? Does it affect many people? Are the consequences great? Stasis of Policy occurs when you find you agree with the definitions, facts, and the quality but disagree with the solution provided if a policy proposition. If you believe a different solution would be better, offer that competing narrative.

Once you establish a point of clash you should move on to refuting the main points. Remember to clearly identify which argument and specifically, piece of evidence you are referring to in your rebuttal. For example, say “My opponent’s first contention is _____. She states in the first subpoint that ________. This is wrong because _______.” It’s important that you be that blatant because your judge cannot flow the round if they don’t know where you are on the flow. There are several steps to attacking an argument. It is not simply enough to say that your opponent is wrong. You must show WHY the argument is flawed and then IMPACT this. Impacting means showing how they cannot win the argument now because this point is necessary for it. Without an impact, you can rarely win debate rounds against good debaters.

There are many ways that you can refute an argument. You may identify any of the above points of clash (you can have more than one) and you can identify fallacies included in the construction. One thing to remember to create an effective rebuttal is that you must include credible outside support -just as with your constructive. You should find contradictory evidence rather than just offering your opinion against an argument. Start with an opinion but support it with hard evidence.

Your rebuttal should be typed and does NOT need to be recorded. There is no minimum – just as with the constructive assignments, you should thoroughly refute the argument. Piece by piece, part by part you should attack the constructive. This might take some students 4 paragraphs and it might take others, 4 pages. Fulfill the assignment requirements rather than a page minimum.

Return to YOUR debate #1 Constructive to complete a rebuttal of YOUR OWN assignment. Here is where you play the devil’s advocate by taking a turn on the other side of your propositon.

Please upload a file to submit your rebuttal (NO Google Docs Please!) or you may enter your rebuttal in the text box provided.