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My novices are having a hard time analyzing and understanding evidence as well as questions for Cross-examination.

 

How do I help them to be a better debaters.

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are you talking about cx debate as a whole or spec cross-x

 

cross-x is for clarification firstly in the novice stage/period of debate development, if they're novices i dont think they need ot be worried about in depth pwning during cross-x

 

as for evidence, try reading it without the tag, this will help them eliminate any biases or confusion about what it's "supposed" to say

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Honestly..It's just an issue of time and working hard. As far as understanding evidence goes and being able to use it in round, I'd say take the tags off of evidence and have them read the evidence and write their own tag out of round until they get comftorable enough to summarizing ev. to understand it. As far as pwng teams in CX goes, once they can understand alot of the evidence/args, they should get better at knowing which arguments contradict which and how they can make that appealing for the judge (if you're on a lay judge circuit). If not, the post above explains it, CX is for clarification and as long as they're not making radical concessions when they're being crossed then CX should pretty much be a moot point.

 

hope this helps...

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Honestly..It's just an issue of time and working hard. As far as understanding evidence goes and being able to use it in round, I'd say take the tags off of evidence and have them read the evidence and write their own tag out of round until they get comftorable enough to summarizing ev. to understand it. As far as pwng teams in CX goes, once they can understand alot of the evidence/args, they should get better at knowing which arguments contradict which and how they can make that appealing for the judge (if you're on a lay judge circuit). If not, the post above explains it, CX is for clarification and as long as they're not making radical concessions when they're being crossed then CX should pretty much be a moot point.

 

hope this helps...

 

legit

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Well for answering them, its really just a matter of knowing the arguments. If your novices spread they might not really be understanding the cards their reading, especially on neg. So if they dont HAVE to spread, dont have them. Also, being a novice this year i had to learn how to spread and how to comprehend what i was reading at a fast level, i did some excersices that kind of detach your brain from what your reading so that you can be saying the actual words but your mind is thinking of the concept of everything you're saying. Like one excersise is reading something and having the voice in your head say what the word actually is but actually saying something else outloud. Like you could be reading... "Alternative energy will ween us off of fossil fuels, ending the dependence on oil." so the inner voice, or voice in your head is saying the same thing, but out loud your actually saying "1...2...3..4...1...2...3...4..." This way as their reading they can be thinking of the actual meaning behind the card and can easier answer questions about it in cross x.

 

For asking them, at novice stage it should really be just as matter of clerification. But if you feel like they should be really making good use of the time by maybe traping the other team into saying something that links them to a DA or something, tell them to plan ahead, and be thinking of what they need the other team to saying, while the other team is giving their speech. That way they know exactly what what they need to do once cross x starts. If they cant come up with a plan for cross x during the speech, have them ask for prep time before cross x. Some good judges will let you use prep whenever you want... so they can take a little prep before cross x, and talk to their partner and find out what they need to do. If they need all the prep they have, for example if they're only given like 5 minutes and they need all that for actual prep, have them just talk to their partner and figure it out during cross x. they're given three minutes and if you dont really need all of it, you can use a little bit of it at the beginning for "cross x prep". Just be sure that they asked any questions that they would need for actual clarification first, so they dont run out of time to find out things they really need to.

 

Hope that helped =]

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One thing we work on our novices about concerning CX is asking little questions. Most novices want to go for the jugglar and make long-winded questions to "catch" the opponents in, oh, say, contradicting their entire case and conceding the round!

 

We spend time explaining that any opponent worth their salt won't just give in to a single question in CX. What my kids need to do is ask the little questions -- break down the big point into a series of little questions, but save the final punch for the speech. Don't give the opponent a chance to wiggle out of the trap by saying, "Maybe, but . . . . So we work on asking little questions (the kind that seem fairly innocuous) and then piecing those answers together.

 

Another thing we do is have the kids explain their cases (contentions, evidence, warrants -- everything) without looking. They need to know their cases (and major Neg attacks) like the backs of their hand. If they can't tell me right off the bat "What's your 2nd contention, with subpoints," then they won't be able to answer questions (let alone attacks) during CX.

 

Of course, the primary purpose for novices (depending on how novicey they are) is to fill in the flow and clarify positions. But a clear knowlege of one's own position and asking the little questions go a long way to making a more effective CX.

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I would do as many practice debates as possible. For our novices, we, from week 1, begin having them practice debate the hardest varsity we have. While they will of course lose every round, it quickly will make them VERY VERY good and teach them to analyze evidence and become much better. Just be sure to remind them that just because they are losing these debates doesn't mean that are bad.

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im a novice this year but but compete varsity and am doing well...

 

the thing that helped me learn cx was

SPAR..

it helps them think on the run and give them the opputunitty to recieve and ask the questions

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We start out talking about what evidence is, how it works in a round, how to summarize effectively, etc, etc; the basics. Then we give them a packet, just about 5-10 pieces of ev with no tags. We work through the first 2 or three together, then split them up in groups with the varsity and have them discuss in groups what the evidence actually says and how to best summarize it in as few words as possible.

 

Then we move on to full-fledged practice debates. For their first few, we put them against different varsity teams, so that they 1) have the desire to actually beat the varsity (the varsity teams are told to act like d-bags) and 2) so that they know about using evidence in a round.

 

After those, they are pretty well on their way. Of course, it's pretty much up to them on how much they WANT to learn.

 

As for cross-x, we fabricate a piece of evidence, just on any topic. We underline it and have a varsity debater read it. The card always contains an un-underlined portion that leads to a contradiction with the underlined portion, but it's never blatant or ridiculously obvious. So the novice is told to ask to look at the card, and has to continue cx while he is looking through it. When he finds what he's looking for, he cx's about that until he reaches the point he was getting at from the very beginning. It's been pretty effective.

 

A thing that I've noticed is that novices ALWAYS put WAAAAAY too much emphasis in cx. It's important if there's something just plain retarded about the last speech, but otherwise it's pretty much of minimal importance compared to the rest of the round.

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