Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Forensic Assignment: Rules in a Oxford-Oregon Debate

Rules on an Oxford-Oregon Debate:

Format of Debate - Oxford-Oregon TypeThree Speakers from each sideFirst Affirmative - Constructive SpeechFirst Negative - Interpellation of the first affirmative SpeakerFirst Negative - Constructive SpeechFirst Affirmative - Interpellation of the first negative speakerSecond Affirmative - Constructive SpeechSecond Negative - Interpellation of the second affirmativeSecond Negative - ConstructiveSecond Affirmative - Interpellation of the second negativeThird Affirmative - Constructive SpeechThird Negative - Interpellation of the third affirmativeThird Negative - Constructive SpeechThird Affirmative - Interpellation of the third negativeRebuttal of the Team Captain of the Negative SideRebuttal of the Team Captain of the Affirmative SideDurationConstructive Speech: Minimum of five (5) and maximum of seven (7) minutesInterpellation: Five (5) minutesRebuttal Speech: Three (3) minutesIssues for DebateA. Whether or not it is Necessary? (Necessity)B. Whether or not it is Beneficial? (Beneficiality)C. Whether or not it is practical? (Practicability)Criteria for JudgingA. Evidence - 25%B. Delivery - 30%C. Interpellation - 30%D. Rebuttal - 15%The judges, based on their discretion, shall have the authority to determine who will be the Best Speaker and Best Debater. The winning team shall be determined by the majority decision of the Board of Judges.Guides for Constructive SpeechSpeech types of Constructive Speech may be:1. Reading Method2. Memory Method3. Extemporaneous4. Mix method of memory and conversational or dramaticPoise, gestures, audience contact and voice projection are highly recommended.Rules on Interpellation1. Questions should primarily focused on arguments developed in the speech of your opponent. However, matters relevant and material to the proposition are admissible.2. Questioner and opponent should treat each other with courtesy.3. Both speakers stand and face the audience during the question or Interpellation period.4. Once the questioning has begun, neither the questioner nor his opponent may consult a colleague. Consultation should be done before but as quietly as possible.5. Questioners should ask brief and easily understandable question. Answers should equally be brief. Categorical questions answerable by yes or no is allowed, however, opponent if he choose, may qualify his answer why yes or why no.6. Questioner may not cut off a reasonable and qualifying answer, but he may cut off a vervous response with a statement such as a “thank you” “that is enough information” or “your point is quite clear” or “I’m satisfied.”7. A questioner should not comment on the response of his opponent.8. Your opponent may refuse to answer ambiguous, irrelevant or loaded questions by asking the questioner to rephrase or reform his question.
Rules on Rebuttal SpeechA. Rebuttal speaker should point out clearly the fallacies committed by his opponent stating clearly what particularly statement or argument constitute said fallacy.B. If not familiar with the fallacies of logic, the debater may counter arguments directly by stating what arguments or statement is incorrect or false.
Role of the ModeratorThe moderator of the debate has the following duties:1. To reveal the issue involve the debate;2. To rule on points of clarification about the issues or questions and answers made during the Interpellation; and3. To see to it that the debate is orderly and follows the rules of parliamentary procedures.Role of the Timer1. To time the speakers and debaters accurately;2. To give the speakers a one-minute warning with the ringing of the bell once before his/her time is up.3. To prevent the debaters from exceeding the time allotted to them by ringing the bell twice.Tips on Interpellation and RebuttalCROSS EXAMINATION
The cross-examination period of a debate is a time when the person who is not going to speak next in the constructives questions the person who has just finished speaking. Consider cross examination an information exchange period - it is not the time to role play lawyer.
Cross examination may serve six objectives:
To clarify points
To expose errors
To obtain admissions
To setup arguments
To save prep time
To show the judge how cool you are so they WANT to vote for you.
Most debaters tend to ignore the value of good cross-examination. Remember, 30% of the entire debate is spent in cross-examination -- it should be a meaningful and essential part of the debate. If nothing else, debaters tend to underestimate the importance that cross-examination may have on the judge. Cross-examination will indicate to the judge just how sharp and spontaneous the debaters are. Invisible bias will always occur in a debate round and judges would always like the sharpest team to win. Good, effective cross-examination of the opponents can play an important psychological role in winning the ballot of the judge.
Be dynamic. Have questions and be ready to go, answer questions actively and with confidence whenever you can. The image you project will be very important to the audience/judge. This is the one opportunity the audience/judge has to compare you with opponents side-by-side.
1. Ask a short Q designed to get a short A2. Indicate the object of your Q3. Don't telegraph your argument, don't make it too obvious.4. Don't ask Q they won't answer properly."So, we win, right?"5. Make Q seem important, even if it is just an attempt to clarify.6. Politeness is a must -- emphasize the difference if they are rude.7. Approach things from a non-obvious direction. Then trap them.8. Mark your flow/notes as to what you want to question them about.9. Avoid open ended Qs unless you are sure they are clueless.10. Face the judge/audience, not your opponent.11. CX answers must be integrated into your arguments made during a speech.
1. Concise A.2. Refer to something you have already said whenever possible. This is safe.3. Answer based on your position in the debate so far. Keep options open.4. Don't make promises of what you or your partner will do later.5. Qualify your answers.6. Be willing to exchange documents read into the debate.7. Answer only relevant questions.8. Address the judge.9. Try and not answer hypothetical Q. If they demand, say you will give a hypothetical A.10. Signal each other, don't tag-team.11. Don't say"I don't know,"say"I am not sure at this time...."
Most debaters, coaches, and judges would agree that rebuttals are the most difficult and yet the most important parts of the debate. Not only is there less time within each speech, but each debater has to sort through all of the issues to determine which ones are the most important ones! What a debater does or does not do in rebuttals will decide who wins the debate. Very few debaters (especially beginners) can hope to extend everything that happened in the constructive speeches. Debaters don't have to do that and just because a team may have dropped a point or an argument is not an automatic reason to vote against that team. What matters is the type of argument that is extended or dropped in rebuttals-this will determine the winner of the round.
Think about these four issues when rebuttals happen:
1. Which arguments have more weight at the end of the round?2. Which outcomes (disads, counterplans) are more likely given lots of internal links?3. What about time frame-what happens first?4. What about the quality of evidence?
Here are some other helpful hints:
1. Avoid repetition. Don't just repeat your constructive arguments. Beat the other team's arguments and tell the judge why your arguments are better.
2. Avoid passing ships. Don't avoid what the other team said. You must clash directly with their responses.
3. Avoid reading evidence only. You must be explaining and telling the judge why these issues win the debate.
4. Avoid rereading evidence that has already been read in constructives. You can make reference to it by referring to it, but don't re-read it.
5. Avoid"lumping and dumping."Don't try to go for everything. You can't make 12 responses to each argument in a few minutes.
6. Be organized. Don't jump from issue to issue at random. Be specific and logical about winning issues.
7. Don't be a blabbering motormouth. Speak quickly but not beyond your ability. If you speak too fast, you will stumble and not get through as much.
8. Don't whine to the judge about fairness or what the other team might have done that you think is unethical. Make responses and beat them.
9. Don't make new arguments. You can read new evidence but you can't run new disadvantages or topicality responses. You are limiting to extending the positions laid out in the constructive speeches.
10. Use signposting . Make sure the judge knows where you are on the flowsheet. This is not the time to lose the judge on the flow.
11. Use issue packages. Organize your arguments into issue packages. Choose arguments which you want to win. Don't go for everything. Extend those arguments that you need to win.
12. Cross-apply arguments. If you dropped an argument in a prior speech that you think was important don't act like your losing. Cross-apply arguments you made somewhere else in the debate to answer it.



We are constantly encountering people trying to persuade us to buy products and services, accept political judgments, change our behavior, vote for a candidate. As students you will have to write persuasively to influence your readers. When you graduate you will need to write a resume and persuasive cover letter. In your career you will have to motivate employees, justify expenses, influence clients, and suggest reforms to local politicians.Persuasion -- the attempt to influence readers' views and opinions -- is perhaps the most important writing you will attempt in freshman English. Sales representatives persuade, lawyers persuade, executives persuade. The ability to state an argument, influence others, and explain a point of view is critical in almost every business and profession.In developing a persuasion paper, consider your audience carefully, anticipating possible objections and addressing them in your paper. Consider which of the three appeals -- logic, emotion, ethics -- will be most effective.Logic -- which uses facts, statistics, evidence, surveys, interviews, or scientific tests to support a point of view. An extensive review of court proceedings, excerpts from trial transcripts, and expert analysis of evidence might persuade an appeal court to order a new trial for a criminal defendant.Advantages: provides evidence needed for major decisions, especially group decisions.Disadvantages: can be boring and require a high degree of attention on part of the reader.Emotion -- which uses images, sensations, or shock appeals to lead readers to react in a desired way. A television commercial featuring suffering children accompanied by an 800-number might persuade viewers to make donations.Advantages: often produces immediate resultsDisadvantages: has limited impact, can backfire, provides limited factual support for readers to share with others.Ethics -- which rests on appealing to shared values to motivate. A football coach might persuade players to see themselves as role models to children and not drink or swear in public.Advantages: can be very powerful because often the writer is addressing an audience who agrees with his or her values.Disadvantages: depends on readers sharing the values of the writer. An appeal by a Muslim cleric may have little effect on Catholics or Buddhists.To be effective, writers often use more than a single appeal. Essays frequently mix factual support with emotional appeal based on human interest. An article on homeless children might use the narrative of a single homeless boy to attract attention then provide statistics to illustrate the severity of the problem and outline possible solutions.ADDRESSING READER OBJECTIONSPerhaps most challenging is attempting to persuade a hostile audience, people you anticipate have negative attitudes toward you, the organization you might represent, or the ideas you will advocate. Although no technique will magically convert opponents into supporters, you can overcome a measure of hostility and influence those who may still be undecided with a few approaches:Openly admit differences -- instead of attempting to pretend there is no conflict, openly state that your view may differ from your readers. This honest admission can win a measure of respect.Responsibly summarize the opposing viewpoints -- by fairly restating your opponents' views, you force your readers to agree with you and demonstrate your fairness.Avoid making judgmental statements -- do not label your reader's ideas with negative language. Use neutral terms to make distinctions. If you label your ideas as being intelligent and your readers' as being naive, you will have difficulty getting people to accept your points because in the process they will have to accept your insults as being valid.Point to shared values, experiences, problems -- build common bridges with your audience by demonstrating past cooperation.Ask your readers to keep an open mind -- don' t demand or expect to convert readers. But almost everyone will agree to try to open minded and receptive to new ideas.Work to overcome negative stereotypes -- play the devil's advocate and determine what negative stereotypes your audience may have about you and your ideas. Then work to include examples, references, evidence in your presentation to counter these negative impressions. SELECTING TOPICS FOR PERSUASIONEffective persuasion depends on selecting workable topics. In general, avoid topics like gun control, abortion, and capital punishment -- unless you can develop a new angle. Avoid repeating arguments you have heard on television or read about in newspapers or magazines.
censorship of the Internet
why readers should monitor their cholesterol
taxing Internet commerce
why America should/should not restrict immigration
sex education
why consumers should protect their computer files
need for stalking laws
why America should/should not have national health
television violence
drunk driving laws
why Americans should donate organs
welfare reform
why companies should provide employee daycare
mandatory car insurance
why America should/should not pay its UN dues
school choice
why NATO should/should not intervene in internal
school prayer
political campaign reform
why smokers should/should not be able to sue
legalizing marijuana
tobacco companies
GETTING STARTEDCONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCERather than select a political or social controversy, review your personal experience. Have you had dealings with a college, employer, customer, neighbor, or government agency that revealed a problem or called for action? You may wish to argue for better daycare, a centralized financial aid office on campus, better security at a local mall, or more computers in the college library. These topics will force you conduct individual research rather than relying on items you have read in the press or seen on television.* Avoid topics that are so emotionally charged that you cannot be objectiveDO NOT MISTAKE PROPAGANDA FOR ARGUMENTEffective argument is based on reason. Don't assume you can convince readers by hurling accusations, statistics, and quotes taken out of context. Avoid insulting remarks. * Read your paper aloud or use peer review to examine your argument for unsupported claims or inappropriate statements.LIMIT THE SCOPE OF YOUR ARGUMENTA short paper may not allow you to fully address all aspects of a complex subject. You may make your task easier by clearly defining the scope of your paper:Apex Engineering should provide basic daycare for full time employees working first shift on weekdays.People who began smoking after cigarette packages and advertising were required to post the Surgeon General's warning against smoking should not be allowed to sue tobacco companies for smoking-related illnesses.CONSIDER YOUR READERS Address the needs, biases, and knowledge base of your readers. Consider their likely attitudes toward your argument and the type of evidence they will need to accept your point of view.STATE YOUR THESIS CLEARLYArgumentation requires a clearly worded thesis. Although your thesis may change as you work on your paper, a clear working thesis gives your first draft focus.STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING ARGUMENTATIONUSE MORE THAN ONE APPEAL Because each appeal has advantages and disadvantages, it is better to use more than one. Blend logical, ethical, and emotional appeals in your essay.USE MODES SUCH AS NARRATION, COMPARISON, DIVISION AND CLASSIFICATION, OR CAUSE AND EFFECT TO ORGANIZE IDEASYou can compare pro and con statements using comparison and contrast or use narration to relate a case or incident.PLACE YOUR STRONGEST POINTS AT THE BEGINNING OR ENDINGRemember that reader attention is strongest at the beginning and end of a paper. Do not place your most important arguments or evidence in the middle of the essay where readers may overlook it.REVIEW YOUR PAPER FOR LAPSES IN CRITICAL THINKINGRead your paper carefully to determine if you maintained critical thinking. Look for evidence of logical fallacies or weaknesses:* Absolute statements. Although it is important to convince readers by making a strong impression, avoid making absolute claims that can be dismissed with a single exception.* False dilemma. Avoid overdramatizing your case by offering readers only two alternatives, such as stating. We must approve school choice or see an an entire generation of children condemned to illiteracy. Most readers will immediately recognize the weakness of such an unrealistic argument.* Basing arguments on personalities. Don't presume that readers will be impressed by citing endorsements by famous people. The fact that a celebrity or single expert supports your argument is not convincing evidence. Don't attack the personality of opposing authorities or reject an idea because someone controversial supports it. National health care, for example, were tenets of both Nazism and Communism.* False Analogy. Comparisons form weak arguments. Although they may useful to illustrate an idea, they rarely provide convincing evidence. The fact that an educational policy works in Japan does not mean it will work in the United States. The fact that Prohibition failed to curb alcohol consumption does not mean that crack should be legalized. * Hasty generalizations. Make sure that any conclusions are based on sufficient evidence and not coincidence or simple circumstance. The fact that you spot a fellow student walking into a liquor store on Monday, leaving a bar on Tuesday, and buying a six pack on Wednesday does not prove that the person has a drinking problem or even drinks alcohol at all.* Begging the question. Avoid assuming elements that must be proven. You cannot argue, "The outmoded computer systems must be replaced," until you prove that the system is indeed outdated.
ARGUMENT AND PERSUASION CHECKLISTBEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR PAPER, REVIEW THESE POINTS1. Is your message clearly defined?2. Does your paper meet reader needs? Do you provide the support they need to accept your thesis?3. Do you support your views with adequate evidence?4. Do you anticipate reader objections and alternative points of view?5. Do you balance the strengths and weaknesses of logical, ethical, and emotional appeals?6. Do you avoid overstated, sentimental, or propagandist appeals?7. Do you avoid preaching to the converted? Will only those who already agree with you accept your arguments?8. Do you make it easy for undecided readers to accept your position without feeling manipulated or patronized?9. HAVE YOU TESTED YOUR ARGUMENT WITH PEER REVIEW?
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