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Changing Debate Styles

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How does one change debate styles from kritikal to policy? Is it difficult? How long would it take? Etc.? I am willing to put in a lot of effort and time, as long as they pay off.

 

I want to be more well-rounded, so I am working on "policy" stuff at camp. Feel free to give me any tips.

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If you're well versed in kritikal debate I can't imagine the shift to policy will be particularly difficult. Read and watch stuff on this site as well as in lectures about strategic concessions and decisions - you tend to have to deal with those sort of fast decisions (and faster recognition!) during policy debates. Think about how you can most strategically kick out of arguments even (because you kicking out of a DA doesn't necessarily mean that it can't be helpful to you in the 2NR - some arguments can cross to other flows). The biggest obstacle is probably being super technical, as well as getting used to case-specific research for your counterplans and disads and case updates. I know personally that's my least favorite part of it, is having to do massive amounts of research and card reading&highlighting. But once you've read and highlighted your 1K+ pages of negative offcase stuff, you can typically reuse a lot of that evidence for the next few years if you're not a senior. And the backfiles of course leave a legacy so that's nice for the next generation of debaters.

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When I first started the activity, I was taught a very tech-oriented approach to debate, so it wasn't too hard for me to switch between critical and policy debate. I think the biggest thing is that there's a whole new set of arguments and concepts to learn in policy debate that k debaters just don't need.

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The most important part is focusing on being more technical and figuring out how to go for those other arguments. Watching and having rounds where you go for T/CP+DA/DA+Case, will also help because it'll make it easier to know the arguments, while not giving up strategic utility. Make sure that even if you plan to go for a policy 2NR, that you don't throw out strategic choices in the meanwhile. If you want to go for a CP + Politics, but the 2AC answers to the K are weak, it's better to learn how to make good decisions in the long run.

 

Also, how little policy are we talking, is it like you have never read an argument that was not a K in round, or is it that you have some experience in other areas, but you like going for critical arguments in most/all rounds?

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