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August 25, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

A short discourse on pre-written negative blocks

If you can predict an argument, you should probably have a pre-written block if possible. Blocks just make life easier and save prep. They can also help isolate where you have strengths.

Creating blocks is a form of scenario-planning in which you find out things about yourself. It also facilitates a common dialog between partners so both team members can contribute to an argument–as well as add arguments from judges or other sources on an ongoing basis.

But…..I think on a given argument….with a particular argument type:
1) overview
2) high potential opponent arguments (if there is a card in the file thats decent….thats probably one)
3) their offense
4) you also want to isolate out specific cards that are likely to be read–difference makers–which help frame risk or frame decision or frame impact (subsume or turn or access).
5) impact comparison (sometimes this is part of the overview). I would include a line or two for disad turns the case (in the case of a disad).

Given the time it takes to write blocks (1 to 5 minutes) versus research and cut (and everything else you need to do for debate)….I think putting as many of your arguments on paper as possible……

Each time you write a set of blocks…the next time it gets easier and quicker.

Ross Smith on extending case arguments from the CNDI in 2009 may also prove helpful (link)

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