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Cross Examination. The Importance of Cross-Examination. Establishes credibility--The dialogue and head to head dynamic create an unique opportunity for the judge to form an opinion about you as a debater and for you to win their trust. Establishes clarity Establishes cracks

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the importance of cross examination
The Importance of Cross-Examination
  • Establishes credibility--The dialogue and head to head dynamic create an unique opportunity for the judge to form an opinion about you as a debater and for you to win their trust.
  • Establishes clarity
  • Establishes cracks
  • Lighten your partner’s load (1AR) and creates prep time.
  • You are not Matlock
body language
Body Language
  • Stand poised next to your opponent
  • Ask question to opponent and then turn and face judge for an answer
  • Don’t bury your head in your notes
  • Don’t stand quietly taking more notes
  • Don’t walk behind your opponent and start talking to their partner
  • Don’t play with pens, timers, etc
prepare ahead of time
Prepare ahead of time
  • Identify what you are going to win the debate on—what are your major args that prove the plan is a good or bad idea?
  • What evidence or arguments of your opponents help prove any of these positions?
  • What questions best lead them to reveal this to the judge?
  • Answer these questions before the round and you will have good cx
kinds of questions
Don’t ask—


Open ended, general questions

Compound or qualified questions

About dropped arguments

Rude questions

Do ask—

Leading questions

Questions that limit

Questions to clarify

Questions that conceal

Questions that repeat

Questions that impose extra burdens

Questions you know the answer to

Kinds of questions
categories of questions
Categories of questions
  • Evidence questions
    • Credibility including author’s quals, date, source, length, etc
    • Consistency including how it fits with other ev in the 1AC or DA
    • Assumptions including whether the non underlined parts point out weaknesses or problems or other root causes or forms of solvency
value questions
Value Questions
  • What is the nature of your value?
  • How should your value be viewed? Through a Utilitarian or deontological framework?
  • Does your value lead to other benefits?
  • Why should be we use your value when other countries or cultures have an entirely different set of values?
  • Daisy: What does your evidence from Hays Watson in 1998 say?
  • John: It says that the Death Penalty works very well and that there is very little evidence of innocent people being executed in the US….
  • Daisy: So your Hays Watson evidence that claims that the death penalty isn’t unjust is from 1998, correct?
  • John: Yes!
  • Daisy: Which means it is impossible that it includes all of the studies done after 1998 that revealed the huge number of innocents that have been executed, correct?
  • John: Um….Yes.
  • John: So…what does your first advantage say?
  • Nate: It says that increasing our health assistance to Africa will help solve a number of diseases including malaria and AIDs and that only our plan will save the lives of millions of innocent children….
  • John: Would you please read to the judge the non underlined part of your second solvency card?
  • Nate: It says that “serious infrastructure changes must be made before the AIDs epidemic can be addressed.”
  • John: and your plan doesn’t provide any funding for infrastructural improvements like improved hospitals or communcation systems, does it?
  • Nate: Well, no.
  • Eddie: What is Utilitarianism?
  • Hays: Well, it is my criterion and it is the most effective way to determine morality because it allows us to view the greatest good for the greatest number of people and really is the most fair system of evaluating the morality of an action.
  • Eddie: Utilitarianism is your criterion, correct?
  • Hays: Yes.
  • Eddie: And you support Jeremy Bentham’s explanation of utilitarianism?
  • Hays: Um…what?
  • Eddie: Well you quote Bentham describing utilitarianism, right?
  • Hays: Oh, Yes.
  • Eddie: How do you reconcile Bentham’s use of ethical egoism with your own value of Justice? I mean, if Bentham says each individual should only assess what is most favorable for them personally, how does that achieve Justice for the whole society if everyone does what they want to do?
  • Hays: Um……
maintaining control
Maintaining Control
  • Choose questions carefully
  • Politely cut off your opponent
  • Repeat the same question or ask another question
  • Never answer a question they ask you
  • Remind them that it is your cross-ex
  • Back off and let the judge take care of it
  • Remember that the judge remembers being crossed themselves
answering questions
Answering Questions
  • Direct and reasonable
  • Be willing to admit ignorance
  • Qualify answers first
  • Take advantage of open ended questions
  • Ask for clarification
  • Point out irrelevant questions