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How to Debate Disadvantages. Selecting disadvantages to run. Be strategic in selecting them—a few things to remember— Don’t run multiple disadvantages with the same terminal impact Try and find a DA with an impact that turns the case

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Selecting disadvantages to run l.jpg
Selecting disadvantages to run

  • Be strategic in selecting them—a few things to remember—

  • Don’t run multiple disadvantages with the same terminal impact

  • Try and find a DA with an impact that turns the case

  • Running a DA “because its new” usually is a bad reason to run it.


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Know the Disadvantage

  • Read it

  • Highlight it

  • Practice read it

  • Write the key warrants of each card in the margins


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Overviews

  • Should be prewritten and ready to go before the round starts

  • Overview components

    -Short description of the DA story

    -Probability analysis

    -Timeframe analysis

    -Magnitude analysis

    -How does the DA turn the case?


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Organization when extending the disadvantage

  • Always signpost where your going on the flow. Here’s an example, “off the 2AC # 1 first, second,” ect… This makes the debate easy to flow for the judge, and a clean debate means less change for judge error.

  • Don’t be the debater who says, “here’s some impact extensions,” randomly in the middle of the flow.

  • Divide the DA into its three natural components: uniqueness, link, and impact.

  • Try and read extensions to each component of the DA in a specific section of the flow. For example, you could read all your uniqueness extensions while answering the first “non unique” argument the 2AC makes.

  • You don’t want to spread link arguments all over the flow, because it confuses the judge and your opponents, and will only lead to a sloppy debate, that’s hard for the judge to analyze.


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Read the 2AC Evidence

  • Why not? You have the time to do it, especially if you are the 1NR.

  • Judges likes smart arguments kritiking your opponents evidence. It shows that you have brains.

  • Evidence quality is frequently not the best, so don’t let your opponents get away with it.


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Read New Scenarios

  • If possible, you should always be reading new link and impact scenarios in the negative block.

  • Why?

    -Improves your chances of winning the DA.

    -Puts a ton of pressure on the 1AR


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How to handle the impact/link turn debate

  • If the 2AC just impact/link turns the DA, make them pay for this misguided decision.

    -Spend 7-10 minutes on the DA in the block. This is a prime opportunity to functionally end the debate, so do it.

    -Read their evidence and kritik it

    -Extend your evidence

    -Play some defense against the turns

    -Read more impact scenarios

    -Make sure the 2AC read uniqueness for their link turn


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Kicking out of a DA—Why?

  • Eliminates a cheap way for the Affirmative to win

  • Going for all the disadvantages in the block means none will be extended well. Depth is better than breath.

  • Makes it clear to the judge that the DA is now out of the round

  • Good debaters do this—so you should too


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How to kick out of a DA

  • First—identify if the 2AC reads any add on advantages. You always need to answer add on advantages, even if you are kicking the DA. This is a common mistake.

  • Second—if the 2AC reads non unique evidence, extend it to kick out of the DA. Example—extend the 2AC #1—that congressional spending is high now.

  • Third—if the 2AC reads no link arguments, extend it to kick out of the DA.

  • Forth—if the 2AC reads no impact arguments—extend it to kick out of the DA. Takes out the terminal impact to any turns.

  • Fifth—if the 2AC just impact or link turns the DA—you can’t really kick out of the DA. Instead, you should take the time necessary to make them pay for it.


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Answering Disadvantages—read it

  • Yes, read their evidence for the DA. Frequently it won’t be the best evidence ever.

  • Maybe their evidence is over tagged as well

  • Point out missing internal links


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Answering Disadvantages—have a frontline

  • Pre round preparation can save a lot of pain and mistakes. You should compose your 2AC frontlines before the round—a few reasons.

    -reduces prep time usage

    -reduces your stress level

    -usually produces better frontlines than on the fly


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Answering Disadvantages—being strategic in the 1AC

  • If you have good intelligence on what your opponents like to run—then prepare your 1AC accordingly.

    -This means reading advantages that solve for the DA impact

    -This means reading pre-empts to the DA in the 1AC.

    -This means reading some type of moral obligation advantage in the 1AC.


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Answering Disadvantages—Generic Impact Takeouts

  • You don’t have to have specific answers to every impact out there—going generic can work and save time.

  • U.S. economy isn’t key to the world economy

  • U.S. economy is resilient

  • Recessions don’t cause wars

  • Declines in hegemony don’t cause wars

  • Great power wars won’t happen

  • Deterrence checks any risk of nuclear conflict

  • This strategy works better with “small” affirmatives.


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Answering Disadvantages—Using Impact Calculus

  • Moral obligation to solve for AIDS, women’s rights, disease, outweighs the DA impact

  • Judge shouldn’t evaluate low probability impacts

  • Affirmative shouldn’t be held responsible for the actions of intervening actors


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Answering Disadvantages—Diversity is good

  • Make a diverse set of arguments in the 2AC. Read non uniques, no links, no impact, turns, case outweighs, ect…

  • Have a mix of cards and smart analytical arguments in the 2AC frontline


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Answering Disadvantages—using uniqueness to take out impacts

  • Its easy to have uniqueness to take out generic impacts, like U.S. hegemony low now or U.S. economy in the tank now, or U.S. is losing the WOT now.

  • Might even want to place some in the 1AC if time allows.


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Answering Disadvantages—case outweighs impacts

  • You should always make “case outweighs” analysis on the DA. If you win that the case outweighs the DA, then you could be losing the DA 100% but it doesn’t matter. That’s a good place to be in. Consists of three things—

  • First—Magnitude—the case impacts are larger than the DA impacts. Its all about the body count.

  • Second—Timeframe—the case impacts come before the DA impacts. Quicker is sicker.

  • Third—Probability—the case impacts are more likely to occur than the DA impacts.


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Answering Disadvantages—Don’t just impact or link turn! impacts

  • It may seem tempting to do so—but 99% of the time it’s the wrong way to go. Why? It’s a numbers game. You probably have around 2 minutes to answer the DA in the 2AC, while your opponents have 13 minutes in the block to answer it. If the negative is smart, they’ll put out so many answers that the 1AR can’t catch up.


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Answering Disadvantages—More key information impacts

  • Uniqueness overwhelms the link—uniqueness evidence is so good that there’s no way the plan can overcome it

  • In cross examination—focus on one area of the DA to destroy and take out. Don’t forget to then make these arguments in the 2AC.

  • Read your best answers first. Time is always short in the 2AC, and you might not have time to get beyond your first six answers. I’ve seen this happen way too often.


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