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2AC's

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What problems are you currently having with your 2ac?  In general, the two things I've found to be most important to keep in mind in the 2ac is organization and time allocation.

 

The 2ac needs to contain case extensions and answers to every argument in the 1nc.  If you have time, you can sometimes read an extra advantage, but you're generally better off developing a few arguments well than having a large number of partially-developed arguments.

 

As for structure, always start with case; your aff is your main source of offense throughout the round, so it's pretty important to keep it alive.  After that, answer their arguments in order of threat level.  In general, this means you start with topicality (if you drop it you lose the round no matter what), followed by counterplans that claim to solve all of case, followed by kritiks (if you drop them, the neg will probably win the round, even if it's technically possible for you to win), followed by advantage counterplans, followed by disads (worst case, if you drop a disad, you can still try to outweigh it).  Note that this order isn't absolute; some people say you should start with topicality before going on to case, and if you know that your opponent really wants to go for an argument, you can probably prioritize it a bit more highly than you otherwise would.

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#1 way to improve 2ACs: Frontlines. You should have a frontline for every off-case Neg position you can anticipate, and if you hit one you haven't anticipated at a tournament, write a frontline before the next tournament. I see this problem even among strong schools and teams; last year, pretty decent teams in Chicago were still scrambling to shuffle cards together to respond to a China DA. In most rounds, the majority of your 2AC should be prewritten.

 

What should be in your 2AC? What BobbyTables said; you must answer every Neg argument and extend the 1AC. Preferably, at least 3-4 points on each T violation, at least 6 points on each other off-case, and as much as you need to on-case.

 

How to structure your 2AC? I disagree with BobbyTables here: I'd put off-case first. The reason is that if you're properly prepared, it's easier to speed through the off-case positions first. It's also where you're more likely to have prepared responses, which sound stronger out of the gate. Meanwhile, as long as you say something to keep the 1AC in play on case, the 1AR can extend cards read in the 1AC. Skip or undercover a T, CP, K, or extinction-level DA though, and you probably lose the round regardless of anything else that happens. I might consider going the other way if I'm running a K Aff and am planning to win on discursive impacts outweighing whatever Neg runs, but for policy cases, I'd put off-case first. And I do agree that T/theory should come before substantive off-case.

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I've actually been having some questions about this too. For example the negative team reads T, K, K, CP, DA, and 2 Minutes of Case. What is the best 2AC strategy as in how much time should you spend on each argument? I've had some difficulty dealing with this because when I practice spreading getting through all my blocks takes me almost 12 minutes. 

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How are some ways to improve the 2AC?

The best way to improve speeches are to redo them. Also knowing the aff like the back of your hand will be extremely useful. And flowing the 1NC well and using c-x to write in answers that are in your 2AC blocks and analytics that you spontaneously think of. You should really start prepping the 2AC as your flowing the 1NC.

What should be in the 2AC?

​What everyone said above is accurate. I think you should really clash the case against off case positions.

How should the 2AC be structured?

The best 2AC's I've seen were usually in the order of T/Theoretical arguments, Case, K(if ran), DA(if ran), then CP(if ran). I highly recommend this method because it organizes the arguments from most vital to answer to least. You do want to make an effort to at least say something on each off case, but I have definitely seen rounds won without answering a CP, DA or K. If you are still wining solvency on the impacts to your case, you can outweigh a DA or a K if your doing good on framework.  The key is to keep the case alive and try to suppress theoretical voting issues. Also an brief overview is helpful and should be the place where you clash you case and whatever off case they read. you should also answer things in the 1NC order, it helps the judge and will most likely boost your speaks.
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How should the 2AC be structured?

T, Case, Offcase in order of likelihood the neg goes for them. 

 

Certain types of argument go together, which can help with coverage. For example, an actor CP + politics NB - if win politics, the CP doesn't matter nearly as much because it's net benefit is gone. Same with "case + K" and "da + case". Pretty much always win case. 

 

You should try to STOP all negative advocacies. Solvency, Theory, Offense, Perms. The sketch of an outline to an actor CP, for example, should be:

 

1 - Doesn't solve - US key - extend evidence from 1AC. 

2 - Condo bad and PICs are worse - voter for fairness and education. 

3 - Their actor smells bad - smelly actors disad outweighs. 

4 - Perm do both, do the counterplan, do the aff then counterplan, consult china about the perm. Solves best. 

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Also, if you have extra time, read cards answering how you *think* they will spin an argument (particularly critiques), so that you are still one step ahead of the negative and they can't get you with their k tricks.

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T, Case, Offcase in order of likelihood the neg goes for them. 

 

Certain types of argument go together, which can help with coverage. For example, an actor CP + politics NB - if win politics, the CP doesn't matter nearly as much because it's net benefit is gone. Same with "case + K" and "da + case". Pretty much always win case. 

 

You should try to STOP all negative advocacies. Solvency, Theory, Offense, Perms. The sketch of an outline to an actor CP, for example, should be:

 

1 - Doesn't solve - US key - extend evidence from 1AC. 

2 - Condo bad and PICs are worse - voter for fairness and education. 

3 - Their actor smells bad - smelly actors disad outweighs. 

4 - Perm do both, do the counterplan, do the aff then counterplan, consult china about the perm. Solves best. 

 

Accidental downvote, hand slipped. 

 

Meant to upvote this it's pretty legit. 

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If you have time, you can sometimes read an extra advantage, but you're generally better off developing a few arguments well than having a large number of partially-developed arguments.

 

One thing to note if you're going to read an add-on advantage: don't call it one. Even if your block or header or whatever is titled it, remove it from the speech doc and don't otherwise bring attention to it - just read your cards about how you solve the relevant impacts of your add-on advantage. Anything else is like broadcasting to the other team that you're about to explode a package bomb in the 1AR; instead just slip it in and hope the block doesn't figure out what you're about to do.

 

Really good advice in this thread! Helpful because I might have to swap to being a 2A next year.

Edited by dancon25
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Most of the people on this thread have been recommending the same basic things - that being case first, then off case.  Case should answer all of the 1NC and extend the 1AC.  Offcase positions should have prewritten frontlines.  Offcase should be in order of threateningness.  All of this is great advice.

 

The only thing people seem to disagree on is whether or not T or case should be first.  Personally, I think case should always be on top.  This is because I think it is important to always start with offense - the 1AC is what is going to win 95% of aff debates which makes it the #1 priority for the aff.  That's the message you want the judge to get, and its easiest to do that by starting with it.

 

Also, it is very very unlikely that you would ever accidentally spend 8 minutes on case and drop T.  T should always be the first off case answered, which makes it nearly impossible to drop.  

 

tl;dr: case before T cause its your best offense and you probably won't drop your first off case position anyway 

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I'm gonna go ahead and agree w/ everyone saying put case before T but i will diverge and say case doesn't have to be first, if you hit a K that is k-ing your epistemology, or reps i'd say answer that first as its what justifies your ability to access your best offense in the round. Also, on the T issue, the reason i say T should probably be second is because with it being a mainly theoretical issue every word counts. As such, if its the first thing you read the judge isn't used to your voice and may miss something big (i.e. reasonability that gets dropped in the block) that you explode in the 1ar but, because they couldn't quite catch it you lose. All because that was your only answer you extend to T thinking its an easy win because they dropped it. 

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I was taught case, T, CP, DA/K

 

Usually try for at least one add-on

 

Politics usually gets the lowest priority

 

EDIT: to everyone saying "off case before case": you're gonna get your shit rocked in most (if not all) competitive college tournaments. Unless you don't care about the aff after the 1nc.

Edited by ARGogate
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Eh, I'm a firm believer in structuring the speech heirarchically.  Procedurals first (T/theory), then ontology/epistemology/ethics (may include some case if you have these things, order of these things if more than one is an issue will depend on what your framing is), then empirical and political analysis.

Edited by Squirrelloid

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EDIT: to everyone saying "off case before case": you're gonna get your shit rocked in most (if not all) competitive college tournaments. Unless you don't care about the aff after the 1nc.

This 1000x. Putting T anywhere other than "after case" is like blood in the water for most college varsity teams. 

 

Eh, I'm a firm believer in structuring the speech heirarchically.  Procedurals first (T/theory), then ontology/epistemology/ethics (may include some case if you have these things, order of these things if more than one is an issue will depend on what your framing is), then empirical and political analysis.

Procedurals/T first, since they're silver bullets but after that you should organize the off in order that they're likely to go for them. The "t then k then case + da" order is too rigid and will lose you debates that flexibility might win.

 

For example, I've never gone for a politics disad - ever. Couldn't really tell you how to go for it - I've never seen one I thought wasn't ridiculous.

 

I've gone for a K or T (or impact turns) almost all of my 2NRs. It's smart for a team that's hit me before to undercover politics and cover it last because I'm bad at it. Even if I wanted to go for politics, then we're back in their wheelhouse not mine. In contrast, my 1NC on <x kritik here> was usually five to seven long-ish cards - that telegraphs the probability that the K will be exploding in the block.  A good 2AR should severely cover the K and leave politics a little light. 

 

The inverse is also true - if you have a team reading a clearly throwaway K, then condense your answers and read 13 uniqueness thumpers on politics. 

 

I was told T second so that the judge gets used to your voice/spreading before digging into the issue. 

In college varsity your spreading should be clear from the start - and you should be watching the judge to see if they find it unclear. 

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This 1000x. Putting T anywhere other than "after case" is like blood in the water for most college varsity teams. 

 

 

Procedurals/T first, since they're silver bullets but after that you should organize the off in order that they're likely to go for them. The "t then k then case + da" order is too rigid and will lose you debates that flexibility might win.

 

For example, I've never gone for a politics disad - ever. Couldn't really tell you how to go for it - I've never seen one I thought wasn't ridiculous.

 

I've gone for a K or T (or impact turns) almost all of my 2NRs. It's smart for a team that's hit me before to undercover politics and cover it last because I'm bad at it. Even if I wanted to go for politics, then we're back in their wheelhouse not mine. In contrast, my 1NC on <x kritik here> was usually five to seven long-ish cards - that telegraphs the probability that the K will be exploding in the block.  A good 2AR should severely cover the K and leave politics a little light. 

 

The inverse is also true - if you have a team reading a clearly throwaway K, then condense your answers and read 13 uniqueness thumpers on politics. 

 

 

In college varsity your spreading should be clear from the start - and you should be watching the judge to see if they find it unclear.

 

I'm not in college but it cam be difficult to start clear + a lot of judges flow on computers so sometimes you can't see where they're looking, if they're typing, and you definitely can't tell what they're doing on said computer, so it's difficult to know off the bat

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In college, it's normally assumed that you already masters all the basics. That includes 90+ percent clarity. In every speech.

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In college, it's normally assumed that you already masters all the basics. That includes 90+ percent clarity. In every speech.

I felt soo tempted to mark this as the best answer for the thread.

 

F*ck it. I'm doing it. Snarf or admin, if you feel like it, change it.

Edited by Phantom707
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In college, it's normally assumed that you already masters all the basics. That includes 90+ percent clarity. In every speech.

Touché

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Know the literature on your aff.....both aff and neg.

 

Have a 2AC with lots of offense (presumably multiple forms if possible)

 

Know their probable end games (i.e. Various Ks or Politics and counter plan, etc...)

 

Own impact level uniqueness--try or die

 

Figure out how to get time tradeoffs somewhere.  

1) Intuitive link turns

2) Cross apps from the affirmative

3) Try or die & other ways to answer arguments quickly and effectively on the case

 

Practice, practice, practice

 

Watch great 2acs.  Reflect on the strategies and copy the good/great ones.

 

Competitive intelligence.  This one is pretty huge.  Use the wiki and tournament experience to your advantage.  This ensures your aff and 2ac is always getting better.

 

Know your weaknesses.

 

Under-views if necessary

 

Affs come with built in advantages (ie aff literature vs. neg arguments.....know how to take advantage of these).

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