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March 8, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

How to argue framework against critical arguments

Running framework as the 2ac is different strategically from doing so on the negative against performance team.

Figure out what the other team is actually willing to defend. Each performance team approaches their aff a little
differently….as such you have to approach answering it differently. This sounds like a simple concept….but you
have to pay attention to those details & those nuances.

Heres some questions you want to think about when constructing your argument:
• What would debate look like in their world or framework?
• How would that effect the education & type of education?
• Is it fair?
• Does it increase clash or allow for substantive clash?
• What sorts of research burdens does it set up?
• What are the political effects of their project & their way of doing debate? (although it might be easier to think about these in terms of identity or culture or social affects rather than political ones–because when we think about politics we tend to think about them in national capitals or specifically DC rather than one on one enagements)
• What are their assumptions about how the world works? How debate works?

List out the arguments you’ve already heard here in 2 columns. Think which arguments will answer those arguments. If it helps….create a real flow sheet. This shouldn’t be too hard because there are 4 to 6 core arguments on each side.

Beyond that its about tying these questions back to viable theory impacts. Then I would suggest looking at your theory impact filters. Realize though they are going to use their impact claims & identity claims to trump your theory (ie is this good education if its racist, sexist, etc…. Those questions might also implicate the procedural fairness of a resolution which is politically skewed.) So being able to access the types of arguments they are making–how it may actually be net worse for the causes they are advocating for. Defending the resolution & keeping to an established resolution may prove as helpful skills for people who are advocates for these people groups.

Use analogies, examples, and metaphors. Particularly the first two will help provide clarity & substance to your argument. In a world of theory–debates can get muddled. Using analogies & examples & logical or intuitive extrapolations of their argument can help provide clarity and precision to your argument.

Oh…and you need to defend your framework. This isn’t just a matter of their framework bad. You have to prove:
1. Their framework bad
2. Our framework is better (or at least significantly challenging their criticisms of your way of doing debate)

If you look at this argument as an issue of burdens.

Like preparing any argument in debate you should do the following:
1. Brainstorm. Unpack those ideas. Maybe in short bursts (if you’re familiar with free writing–this would be free writing based on your individual ideas to provide them with substance or clarity…..or even to frame them in a way thats more strategic or pre-empts the other teams argument.
2. Use case lists. (aka the online high school debate case list).
3. Use files from Open Evidence Project. I would suggest focusing on older files. I’m not a fan of the files that were put out this year.
4. Use old flows from QUALITY framework debates. (notice the word quality—although obviously you still need to prep the bad arguments….because you will hear them too).
4. Integrate & block
5. Finally…think about the end game & create impact filters that you can win. I think the best way to win these debates is leveraging the values the other team is already espousing (diversity, minority viewpoints, positive political change, or whatever)


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