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Mission: Teach the Novice

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Alright, I've found a partner!


Now I've just got to teach him everything.


I'm starting with an intro to the speeches and what they are.

Then all about aff.


Then neg:


-on case


-counter plans


Then flowing.

Then moving on with speech making in general.

Then to spreading.

Then to materials.

Then to attire.




Am I missing anything?

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Claim: This is what your argument is (i.e. trade solves wars)

Warrant: This is why your argument is true (i.e. trade causes nations to become interconnected, which means that the nations would be bad fo both nations if they went to war).

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teaching flowing after different speeches

the more flowing is drilled into novices minds, the smarter they'll be.

As a lab leader said 2 years ago "On the way back to ToC a few years back, i asked my juniors what they learned, and what they said surprised me, they said "All great debaters actually flow, and even if you're going to the ToC, if you don't flow, you won't win."

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Do you really need to teach someone how to dress nicely? I guess you could try this.


There's a difference between teaching a novice and making him your tool. Sometimes the two can be used simultaneously, but one has more of a short-term success rate and the other is more long-term thing. If what you are looking for is to make him your tool, you really only need to teach him to spread really fast and to flow, although flowing might not even be necessary because you could write the 1NR and 2AR for him (unless he will be double-ones, in which case it would be the 1NR and the 1AR). Make sure you have more than one laptop so that you can hand him the second part of his speech while he's talking. He'll pick it up as he goes, and eventually he'll kind of understand what he's doing.


The other approach is to go through the long and tedious process of actually educating someone. This obviously requires a lot more work on your part. However, unless this is your senior year and you absolutely have to make it to the TOC, this is the way to go. Start by introducing him to the topic. The arguments will come from there. Make him think. You can't possibly teach him everything there is to know about debate, and, chances are that you don't know everything there is to know about debate. Flowing is absolutely essential, but the spreading can wait. Debate is a lot more about practice than theory, so, once he understands the arguments that you guys are running, he'll begin to learn everything else if he's attentive and dedicated. A lot of what he learns will be from seeing you give speeches, make files, and prepare for tournaments.


EDIT: If you need tips, look at some of the threads in the Novice Center forum.

Edited by aburo

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Claim and warrant?


I was never taught those.


those are the first things i think all debaters learn as novices..

but anyways, here is the basic gist of it.


an argument is composed of 3 things: a claim, a warrant, and evidence (maybe impact too).


a claim is a statement or an assertion. for example, "poverty is bad" is a claim.


a warrant is a reason that supports the claim. often a warrant is preceded by the word "because." so, "poverty is bad" is the claim, then a possible warrant could be "because its dehumanizing."


and evidence is pretty straight-foward, its a quote from an expert, study, etc. that supports your claim and warrant.


generally, you would want to impact your argument, this would allow the judge to have a compelling reason to vote on that argument (you can do this via impact analysis). so, "poverty is bad" is the claim, "because its dehumanizing" is the warrant, and an impact would be "dehumanization leads to genocide."


hope that clears it up...if not feel free to ask any questions.

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To my mind, I'd think having never been taught a claim and warrant would be a hit against your qualifications to teach someone else to debate.


Where did you end up, Lee's Summit? I don't know the coach or any of the debaters, but I'd think they could help with basics.

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i just clicked on the link on the original post....and what the fuck? a $1500 tux and a $75 tie? damn! i dont know much about fancy attire, but even i know thats a rip off.


I definitely agree. Those clown costumes are a much better deal. ;)

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Oh gosh you guys have it all wrong.


Polyvore is a site where you can create outfits, but nobody actually buys them! I made it as a reference, you know?

Just so they'll know what's expected.


And you've got to understand, I've had some whacko partners before...

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One of the 3 hardest skills for novices to pick up is flowing. I would do some flowing drills.


Planet Debate also offers a free policy debate text which was just released in July 2009.


I would suggest he/she explore some of the files at the Open Evidence Debate Project.


Finally, the free videos at Debate Central (@ the University of Vermont) and

the videos at Planet debate from camp. In fact, Debate Central has videos which can help provide (decent) models for debate and can help provide practices for flowing. For debate lectures specific to this resolution, I like the debate camp lectures that GA Forensics links to.


The point is day by day to get better by learning more, reading more, watching more, and practicing more.


There are also coaching resources at Debate Coaches.org which can help you with creating more drills to help you and your partner improve.


I would focus on teaching your novice your affirmative, then the negative answers to your affirmative. I would then focus on helping your novice learn to debate 2 or so arguments on the neg. Perhaps a K, if that works in your region. Make sure to cover framework and permutations.

Edited by nathan_debate

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