Policy Debate

Policy Debate

Comparative Impact Calculus

Impact calculus is important, but is often done so poorly as to be functionally worthless. The following is not an impact calculus: The disadvantage outweighs the case: A) timeframe – it happens faster B) probability – it’s more likely C) magnitude – it ends in extinction! Congratulations, you have defined timeframe, probability, and magnitude and you have told me nothing.

The Even-If Statement

One of the most powerful argumentative strategies available to debaters is actually one of the simplest. We will explore the nature and significance of the even-if clause, demonstrating how it can be used to trap opponents and give multiple options when it comes to pulling out the arguments needed to win.

Understanding Debate as a Chessboard

Every debate consists of numerous flows containing dozens upon dozens of arguments made by both teams. In fact, the vast majority of arguments in a round will have little bearing on the ultimate RFD. Some are simply gateways to winning other arguments. Others are completely irrelevant. In this way, debate rounds function a lot like chess. There is the board, the debate itself.

Responding to Kritiks

To become an expert debater, it is necessary to learn how to both run and answer kritiks. If a debater is absolutely adamant about exclusively running policy arguments, too bad. Kritiks still need to be learned because these will be encountered at literally every level of competition where lay judging has fallen by the wayside.

Arguing Topicality - A General Negative Overview

Topicality is a love-hate relationship. I love going for it and hate answering it, and many debaters feel the same way as well. I do not have any particular desire to discuss something I hate. So we will focus on how to argue topicality on the negative, starting with the 1NC and working our way down from the block all the way to the 2NR.

The 1NC:

Conquering the 1AR

Not everyone agrees that the 1AR is the hardest speech to give in debate, but with only five minutes to answer thirteen minutes of arguments, it is by far the most time pressured. Maximizing the strategy and efficiency of the 1AR is key to writing the judge’s ballot.

Generic Strategies

Generic off-case positions are essential to good debaters. We will explore how to use them correctly in this article.


Personal Qualities and Resources of Great Debaters

Welcome to Policy Expertise! As with any event, sitting at home and waiting for results while the national tournaments happen can be frustrating. After all, only the best in the country can participate. While graduating seniors have moved on to the life beyond high school, those who remain have a whole new year of debate to look forward to.

Policy Debate Semifinals (Part 2)


"Carabelos/Craddock (AFF) vs. Byrnes/Griffith (NEG) in the semifinal round of the 2009 NCFCA Region 3 Invitational. Josh Craddock is Cross-Examined after the 2AC and delivers the 2AR."

Policy Debate Semifinals (Part 1)


"Carabelos/Craddock (AFF) vs. Byrnes/Griffith (NEG) in the semifinal round of the 2009 NCFCA Region 3 Invitational. Josh Craddock delivers the Second Affirmative Constructive of the round."

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