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Kirito

How to become good at debate?

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I am just curious to get some input in this, as well as get some advice. My partner and I are sending in our apps to seven week for this summer, but I want to go above and beyond to be competitive. What is some good advice for the technical aspect of debate? Is it possible to give advice for the evidence gathering side? (we come from a small squad so that does have an impact.)

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Cut (a lot of) cards

 

Flow (a lot of) college debates from youtube

 

Practice spreading... a lot

 

Practice reading through evidence quickly, flowing the warrants, and extending those warrants... (you guessed it, a lot)

 

Those are in no particular order, in fact I think that the last is the most important for moving from novice/jv to varsity debating.

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Take a few arguments and get extremely good at them. Cut them yourself and ALL BY YOURSELF and then learn the ins and outs of them and you will start to pick up the finer details of the arguments 
So like 1 or 2 Ks 1 or 2 disads 1 or 2 cps etc..  

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On the technical stuff, the best thing you could do is keep good flows and go through them after the round. Figure out where you went wrong, what you should have done differently. Do rebuttal redos. Record yourself, figure out what you do wrong (ie double breaths and wasting time saying things like "um" and "ah") and practice speaking in an effort to not do those things.

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Cut (a lot of) cards

 

Flow (a lot of) college debates from youtube

 

Practice spreading... a lot

 

Practice reading through evidence quickly, flowing the warrants, and extending those warrants... (you guessed it, a lot)

 

Those are in no particular order, in fact I think that the last is the most important for moving from novice/jv to varsity debating.

This so much, emphasize "a lot" in your mind. Getting good at debate doesn't happen overnight, it takes practice and practice over and over again. Improving never stops. 

 

I would recommend if you're still in the younger area of debate (soph, junior year) cutting cards seems to be one of the best ways to get better. The more you understand evidence, warrants, etc. the better you get. Practicing is obviously important as well. A huge problem is something Ktricks points out, warrants in extensions. If you can get good and be very smart about listing and extending warrants, you'll get good at the key later speeches, and judges will love you. A lot of teams do tagline extensions unfortunately, and getting good at quick warrants is crucial to beating them out.

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Oh god I'm in college now and I had my outrounds recorded @ Santa Clara so I could be one of those db8ers that people flow from. 

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This- http://the3nr.com/2010/11/03/random-speaker-point-improvement-tips/ ,

this-  http://the3nr.com/2010/10/21/so-how-do-i-get-better-at-debate-answering-debates-toughest-question/

and this- http://the3nr.com/2010/11/16/getting-better-at-debate-tips-for-developing-a-personal-debate-curriculum/

 

In terms of speaking, it comes down to practice.  Practice speaking every day- reading your blocks, giving practice speeches, rebuttal redoes, topicality, theory, etc.  You can't get better if you don't practice what you will do in-round.

 

You said technical stuff:

  • Theory: Read through that theory file of yours every day. 
  • Flowing- you can practice by watching the news, other debates, etc.
  • Read through ALL your cards.  I'm serious about this.
  • Line by line- practice!
  • Clarity drills.

In terms of cutting cards and compiling evidence, if you are committed, and want to succeed in debate, you will put in AT LEAST an hour or two to debate each day.   Generally, if you spend two hours a day, you'll want to practice speaking for 30-45 min, cut cards for 1 hour, and set goals and organize for the rest.  The more you cut cards, the faster, more efficient, and effective you will become.

 

If you cut evidence for 1 hour daily, plus extra on the weekends, we're looking at around 10 hours, per week.  An hour's worth of research should yield you anywhere from 5-10 pages of evidence depending on the difficulty of the arguments and your researching ability- that's 50-100 pages of evidence a week, per person.  As a small squad, you'll want to have both specific strategies, as well as a few generic arguments, to round out your preparations.  Work together, and know your evidence.

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