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July 9, 2010 / compassioninpolitics

How to learn about policy debate theory

1) The 3NR. This is actually a perfect question to mail to one of the3nr authors. Realistically, on the list–this is probably the best source and highest concentration of info and insight. (link)

2) Quality Institute Lectures. Berkeley (CNDI), Georgetown, and Emory all have lectures online for free. (just do a google search)
For instance, you can find the economic engagement of Latin American topic videos here.

3) Backfiles. Actual theory files. Also, old 2ac blocks to various arguments. (Old flows too). These are also available on Cross-x as well as the Open Evidence Project (Cross-x is more comprehensive–but may be harder to difficult)

4) Debating the K (this seems to be aimed more at college debaters than high school debaters…even if un-intentionally so)

5) The Rostrum. Old Rostrum Articles, which are available on the NFL site (and I believe the Vermont Debate Central repository for Rostrum)

6) Debate Researchers Guide. Debaters Research Guide (also called the DRG) from Wake Forrest. It comes out each year and is sold by Planet Debate. Here are some of the back issues of the DRG. It can help you see the change in theory arguments over time.

7) Contemporary Argumentation and Debate (published by CEDA…available in EBSCO Host research database which is available at most universities) I stole this one from Bill in the below lecture. Although, I think a lot of this is more for critical debates.

8] Logical Arguments. Oh…and make up logical arguments

9) Ask questions of smart debate people. Talk to others in the community.

I just found this lecture by Bill Batterman who is a nationally recognized coached on an introduction to theory. Batterman suggests specifically reading an article on counterplan theory by Roger Solt from the DRG which is available here (link above). (I think the critique theory article by Mitchell and the reply by Alan Coverstone for the 1995 topic is pretty important as these seem to be read in about 1/3 to 1/4 of K rounds)

Batterman also points out that you will need fairness o/ws education or vice versa (reject the argument not the team, etc…).

Any questions????

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