Constructing a constructive
1 / 21

Constructing a Constructive - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Constructing a Constructive. SCFI 2011 SJK. Lecture Objectives. Understand how to structure and write basic LD constructives Understand the basic components of contention-level argumentation Begin to identify alternative case structures Distinguish between offcase and oncase arguments

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Constructing a Constructive' - aleron

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

Lecture objectives
Lecture Objectives

  • Understand how to structure and write basic LD constructives

  • Understand the basic components of contention-level argumentation

  • Begin to identify alternative case structures

  • Distinguish between offcase and oncase arguments

  • Learn the basic structure of alternative cases

  • Understand how to write alternative cases structures

We ve not yet discussed framework but
We’ve not yet discussed framework, but…

  • How do we combine framework, arguments, contentions, etc., and structure a constructive?

  • How do we know how to identify and debate alternative constructive argument structures?

  • How do we write alternative constructive argument structures?

Basic ld constructives
Basic LD Constructives

  • How do we write a basic constructive?

    • Begin by discovering the implied Value Premises from the evaluative mechanism.

      • Morality

    • Decide what the point(s) is/are that you want to make.

      • Find evidence related to this point

      • Begin to structure contentions

        • NEWS FLASH! You DO NOT need to have three contentions!

    • Select a standard

      • Find evidence that links the standard to the implied VP

    • Add analysis if needed

    • Add underviews, a prioris, etc. if needed

Components of a basic ld constructive
Components of a Basic LD Constructive

  • The beginning should read either “I affirm” or “I negate”.

    • “But, Steve… aren’t we supposed to read a catchy quote and the whole resolution?”

      • No. Stop doing that. Reading a catchy quote is a waste of time and prevents you from making REAL arguments. This isn’t oratory.

      • Reading the resolution is equally silly. We all know what the topic is. If the judge doesn’t judge that often and doesn’t know the topic, tell the judge before hand and write it somewhere for them. This is much more effective because the judge has it for constant reference.

      • Also, enough of this “I stand in strong affirmation” nonsense. Quit it with the rhetoric, stick to the substance.

Components of a basic ld constructive1
Components of a Basic LD Constructive

  • Framework

    • Definitions

      • Stop defining every term in the resolution.

      • The only thing I will advocate defining is the evaluative mechanism, and this should be defined in the VP clause. Sometimes terms will be ambiguous, and this deserves defining. Also, stop saying “other definitions will be provided contextually or upon request.”

    • Resolution Analysis

      • Frame the round.

        • Agent specification

        • Aff and neg burdens

        • Etc.

    • Value Premise – Implied

    • Standard – Means of testing the achievement of your value premise and thus the evaluative mechanism

Components of a basic ld constructive2
Components of a Basic LD Constructive

  • Contentions

    • Can be structured in a couple of ways

      • Thesis

        • Essentially one contention with multiple subpoints (labeled by letter, or not labeled at all) that contain implications that link to the standard.

        • In util cases with one big impact: it is usually a good idea for each subpoint to be one component of your argument

          • A: Uniqueness

          • B: Link

          • C: Internal Link

          • D: Impact

      • Multiple contentions with subpoints

        • Useful if you have multiple large points that require multiple components for each, or multiple util impacts or scenarios (that way you can isolate sections of each argument through subpoints)

In your contentions
In Your Contentions:

  • Label

    • Example: Contention 1, A, Subpoint A, Impact, etc

  • Tagline – the claim of your argument

    • Example: “Targeted killings stop terrorism”

  • Warrants – support for your claim

    • Cards, studies, empirics, analytical logic

  • Impact/Link – why it matters in terms of your standard and the round

Other things to consider in contentions
Other things to consider in contentions

  • Concealing your best or most important argument is a very strategic option.

    • Don’t start with your best link card, and don’t finish with it either.

    • If you have multiple contentions or subpoints linking you to your standards, they put your best argument LAST as a general rule, because when people run out of time, they will miss the last argument.

  • Don’t be afraid to insert multiple links, multiple impacts, etc. to cover more bases. That way you have more chances to win links to the framework.

Components of a basic ld constructive3
Components of a Basic LD Constructive

  • Additional but optional components

    • Underviews

      • Makes some sort of off-case or off-standards argument that is another reason to affirm/negate which functions separately from the framework

        • Could link to alternative framework, or be a priori

      • OR provides additional analysis of some kind that doesn’t necessarily fit in the framework

    • A prioris

      • Reasons to affirm/negate that function pre-standards and are independent from the rest of the constructive

      • Can be placed in the framework or in an underview

Alternative case structures
Alternative Case Structures

  • We will also explore the following types of cases for the purpose of learning to write, identify, and debate these types of arguments.

    • Plantext

    • Counterplans

    • Disadvantages

    • Kritiks

    • Overviews

But first
But first…

  • What is an offcase argument?

    • Offcase arguments are constructive arguments that the negative debater makes in the 1NC OR the affirmative debater makes in the 1AR. They are not rebuttal arguments.

    • Almost any constructive-type argumentthat doesn’t have a basic case structure (with standards) is an OFFCASE argument.

      • Theory/Topicality

      • Disadvantages

      • Counterplans

      • Sometimes Kritiks

      • Sometimes other a prioris


  • Advocates a specific policy action that affirms the resolution.

    • Implied fiat – assumes the plan passes

    • Has a specific actor (USFG)

  • Plantexts are divided into “Observations.”

    • Inherency and Harms – describes a problem in the status quo and the associated implications

    • Text – this is the plan itself, usually follows with “I reserve the right to clarify.”

    • Solvency – How the plan solves the problem

    • Advantages – other advantages to the plan

      • Can be listed in contentions or subpoints under one observation

    • Could also include another observation with framework and standards.


  • Like a plantext, but for the negative debater. A CP is an offcase counter-advocacy that competes with the plan while solving for all AC harms.

  • Divided into 4 subpoints:

    • A: Text – what action the counterplan advocates

    • B: Competition – how the counterplan competes with the AC advocacy

      • Negation Theory

      • Net Benefits

      • Textual competition

    • C: Solvency – How the negative solves the entirety of the AC harms

    • D: Net benefits – additional reasons to prefer the CP


  • An negative offcase argument outlining a specific disadvantage to affirming the resolution.

  • Four sections, sometimes A and/or C aren’t needed.

    • A: Uniqueness – explains why the problem isolated in the DA does not exist in the status quo OR that it is very close to happening

    • B: Link – explains why affirming will cause the problem

    • C: Internal link – explains why that problem will lead to some horrible implication or impact

    • D: Impact – explain the impact

Kritik criticism

  • Often post-modern, a criticism of the way the world is in some way, and how affirming/negating the resolution perpetuates the problem or would cause the problem.

  • Could also be an indictment of the discourse of your opponent, his case, or his authors.

  • Can function pre- or post-fiat.

  • Can be an entire constructive (AC, NC) or one offcase (a component of the 1NC). Also could be an underviewafter the AC proper.

  • Can contain a standards-based framework, but doesn’t have to (most don’t).

Kritik criticism1

  • Components of a kritik

    • Framework – VERY diverse in types of arguments, can contain justifications for pre-fiat voting issues, theoretical justifications for the criticism, theory or other spikes, explanations why the kritik comes first, util/deon frameworks, or even basic case-like standards.

    • A: Link – why your opponent triggers the criticism

    • B: Impact – outlines the implications of the K

    • C: Alternative – gives an alternative to the problem that your opponent creates or perpetuates. Often contains voters, though voters can be placed in a separate subpoint.


  • Very diverse in type and function of arguments

    • Most commonly used as a case argument at the top of the AC or NC that answers the entirety of the case.

      • Can have a few arguments or just one

      • Frequently answers framework, but also often answers the contention-level arguments

    • Also frequently posits a competing framework to the one offered by your opponent.

    • Can be a vehicle for a priori or pre-fiat arguments, but usually sticks to the case level

    • Can also be a recap of the important arguments at the beginning of each speech

Wait steve
“Wait, Steve!”

  • “Do I have to follow these templates for constructing cases all the time?”

    • Not at all. A case sometimes does not need all of the components listed above, or may need more. Figure out what the case needs in order to make the point you want to make while providing good linkage to the evaluative mechanism and you will be fine.

  • “But… counterplans are POLICY!”

    • You need to be aware how to identify and isolate specific components of any type of argument you may come across, or you’ll lose rounds.

Improving your writing skills
Improving Your Writing Skills

  • Practice! Write cases as often as you can, and write as many as you can! You will get better and better at creating analytics.

    • Even just sitting and writing arguments helps.

  • Before writing, follow your thoughts in a logical chain. It sometimes helps to create a diagram so that you know what each step in a chain of links is.

    • Example: Osama = terrorism  terrorism kills innocent people  killing innocent people means states have to defend themselves  US justified in defending itself  US justified in killing Osama.

Improving your writing skills1
Improving Your Writing Skills

  • Read! You can find good debate cases online frequently, or in your files that your coaches buy for you, and these can help you figure out how to write analytics.

    • Keep in mind, however, that it is NEVER okay to copy the words of another directly unless you give proper credit.

  • Read your cards! All of the people who write cards are very good writers, and they know how to formulate an argument.