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westj

How to write a plan flaw argument

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I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, so if this doesn't answer your question, please elaborate.

 

To identify a flaw in the plan, the framework is relatively simple. First you identify which plank/effect/part of the plan is flawed. Second, you explain in what manner (how) it is flawed (particularly, explain why it won't do what it is advertised to do). Third, you explain how this flaw affects the Aff case (hopefully it significantly weakens the case).

 

Example: Plan is to promote Good Things X and Y by doing A, B, and C.

 

Neg response:

1. Part B won't work.

2. John Doe in 06 says Part B will not help X or Y, in fact it will significantly reduce X.

3. Jane Smith in 08 says Part B will also render Parts A and C ineffective. So Part B causes the plan to have no effect on Y and causes a net decrease in X.

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i think this is his question:

 

Imagine, for example, that a plan uses "their" instead of "there"

 

"Plan: We should eat over their."

 

is the plan now moot because of the grammatical error? If so, how would you structure the argument to prove it?

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i think this is his question:

 

Imagine, for example, that a plan uses "their" instead of "there"

 

"Plan: We should eat over their."

 

is the plan now moot because of the grammatical error? If so, how would you structure the argument to prove it?

Oh, that? I think those arguments fall in the "I'm a huge jackass" line of argumentation that debaters and other persuasive speakers should avoid.

 

Unless the typo/error makes a material change, such that you can't reasonably tell what they mean (e.g. We will sanction that activity.), then there's no need to point that out in the round. It's like when someone is talking and says "farther" instead of "further" and some guy butts in to correct them. Sure that guy may be right, but nobody likes that guy. It's a harmless error because everyone knew what the speaker meant. If you are proofreading someone else's paper, nitpick away, but in the middle of a debate round, the "affect/effect" or "their/there/they're" distinction is not important.

 

Nitpicking and being a dick do not win you points with the judge (even if you are right), so don't waste your time calling the other team idiots (since that's what you're doing, you're basically accusing them of being too stupid to know the difference between what they wrote and what they meant). If you think the error is important enough to call attention to, then either pass them a note or find them after the round is over.

 

So don't be a jackass. Let he who have never typo'd cast the first stone...

Edited by Fox On Socks
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Wouldn't an example be more helpful?

I mean:

1. grammatical errors aren't the only plan flaws

2. even grammatical error plan flaws often win rounds

 

Wouldn't helping out people with examples be more beneficial than just calling an argument stupid?

 

Just some input...

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helping out people with examples be more beneficial than just calling an argument stupid?

No. The reason people still run stupid args in debate is because they get encouraged to run them or some novice hears about said stupid arg and trys to be cool and run it. Calling an argument stupid and making fun of people who run it makes someone, like westj, think about running that arg in the future, and reduces the likelyhood that s/he does so.

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It might be stupid but you should still post the structure so when someone is stupid enough to run it then you can have prepared answers plus some people are good at arguments others find stupid, it shouldn't limit their knowledge because someone has a differing opinion

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No. The reason people still run stupid args in debate is because they get encouraged to run them or some novice hears about said stupid arg and trys to be cool and run it. Calling an argument stupid and making fun of people who run it makes someone, like westj, think about running that arg in the future, and reduces the likelyhood that s/he does so.

 

that's ridiculous. you can preface an explanation with a statement of how terrible it is and still discourage future use. if an argument is bad, you shouldn't have to silence it out of the forum. you're like the coaches that won't tell their debaters what kritiks are because they think they don't belong in policy.

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To be fair, I did not say that typo/grammar arguments are stupid (nor that westj was stupid for asking), I said they are strategically unwise because they come off as mean-spirited (because they often are mean-spirited). I sometimes ran jackass arguments back in high school and thought I was super-cool for doing so, but in hindsight they probably cost us more rounds than they won, and making the other team cry may be fun to brag about on the bus home, but it really isn't that useful as a real-world persuasive skill.

 

I also dispute that these arguments against typos/grammar win rounds "often." Obviously none of us here have enough data to actually prove this one way or the other, but I think that it is more likely that the teams who tend to make these errors are the less-experienced/less-educated teams who are more likely to lose anyway. I doubt that any significant number of rounds are won on account of these nitpick arguments.

 

But Saul is correct that not all of these arguments are nitpick-y. See my "sanction" example above. "Sanction" can be either a good thing (a transitive verb synonymous with "approve") or a bad thing (noun form meaning "coercive measure," like "economic sanctions against a sponsor of terrorism"). If, after a reasonable reading, you don't know which form of the word your opponent is using, then you have two options.

 

If you think the mistake was honest (they didn't realize they wrote it in an unclear way or didn't know of the double-meaning, or other innocent explanation), then I suggest reverting to the "don't be a jackass" philosophy and simply asking them to clarify which meaning they meant in the cross-x.

 

But, if they equivocate in the cross-x, or you think that they intended to be deceptive in writing the plan, then you should treat this as an over-broad or vague argument under in-round abuse. Abuse arguments look almost exactly like Topicality arguments (which makes sense, since T is an abuse argument)

 

First, you need to identify where the abuse is (point out which part of the plan is confusing; the word "sanction"). Second, explain why it is confusing ("sanction has two different, opposite meanings both of which make sense in the Aff plan, but change its meaning.) Third, explain how this hurts you (standard T arguments that would apply, e.g. time-suck, explode Neg research burden, moving target, etc.). Fourth, standards (how vague does it need to be to be abusive, can be combined with Third depending on the circumstances). And Fifth, voters (explain why abuse is a voting issue, you can use the same rationales from your T files).

 

But, as I noted above, the first question you should ask is "do I need to run this?" If you know what they meant, however inarticulately it was expressed, you are better off not running this.

Edited by Fox On Socks

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