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January 31, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

How do you think strategically about topicality in policy debate–so you can answer it?

Part I:

You also need to think of in terms of disadvantages to their interpretation.  One key component of topicality is what cases are included vs. what cases are excluded.

• Do those represent the core of the topic?

• Do I have ground under their interpret?  Is the ground fair and/or predictable? (i.e. core DAs, core counterplan)

• [Are their FX or extra violations?]  or conversely does their interpretation force us to be extra or FX.

Does their interpretation hurt aff or negative ground.  Yes, the later actually does happen.  Lets say their interpretation of increase to to build on an existing program.  That destroys their ground, because they could never get uniqueness to their DAs.

Part II:

And this can be in terms of a specific affirmative or in terms of types of affirmatives (or big areas of the topic).  I think these usually break down in terms of the following depending on the resolution or the topicality violation:

1) mechanism or process

2) agency used

4) area and/or people served

The nice part of doing a resolutional breakdown like this for the topic is you can think more strategically in terms of the whole topic:

1) what types of DAs link best to specific aspect

2) writing generic strategies for parts of the topic

3) writing generic solvency dumps or other types of strategy

You may have to read this two or three times to get the full impact, but hopefully its helpful.

Here is the original thread (link)

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