POINTS OF INFORMATION:
Points of information can usually be offered between the first and second time signals (i.e. between the end of the first
minute and the start of the last) by members of the opposite side only.You offer a point of information by standing and indicating
this, usually by saying "point of information" or similar. You can offer as many as you like, but if you offer more than one
in a thirty second spell it may look as if you are trying to unsettle or harass the speaker and you may be penalized.
The speaker may accept or decline the point in any manner they like, but most speakers will take either 2 or 3 during
a 7 minute speech. It is usually not wise to take a pint very early in a speech as it may disrupt your structure before
you have started . taking more than two or three points usually leaves too little time to finish your material (unless you
are running short of things to say) and fewer implies you are reluctant to engage the other side (it may be acceptable
to take only one pint if not many are offered).
If your point is accepted you should address a short questuon, contradictory example or other such gem designed to challege
what the speaker is saying. It must be short (about 10 seconds) and to the point. Many inexperienced debaters
are afraid of taking points of information. Usually this is because they vastly over-estimate the intelligence of the people
they are debating and are paranoid that they themselves are talking nonsense.
There are number of ways to deal with points of information. You candismiss them briefly and then get on with your
speech (if it was a bad or stupid point). You can answer them more fully and dovetail your answer into what you were going
to say next, or answer them and dovetail the answer into a later part of your speech which you can then omit (or refer back
to briefly) when you come to it again. Finally you can simply say that you are planning to deal with that point later
on in your speech and carry on whwere you were. If you do the latter, you absolutely MUST make it utterly explicitwhen you
refute the point later on. You must not use this as a ducking tactic since adjudicators will notice. Points
of information have decided more than one Intervarsuty final I have been in. You must make them regularly (and you must accept
a couple) or you will lose vital method marks.
* Taken from Oxford Union's Rough Guide to Debating.
Elements of the Affirmative case:
- Values -Urgency *Stance/team line
*Parameters * Arguments/Split - Anticipated Arguments
*Absolutely required. Your case will suffer without it.
- Not required but would definitely strengthen your case
Values- In every debate, there are always competing values. When you take a side in a debate,
you implicitly prioritize one value over another. For example, in the debate about legalizing prostitution, the competing
values are pragmatism and morality. In a debate about the death penalty, the competing values are retributive justice and
public safety versus compassion.
Urgency- the urgency of the matter simply answers the question "Why are we even bothering to debate
on this?" You don't want to waste people's time by debating "wouldn't -it-be-nice-if" topics.The world is full of bright ideas
but only a few deserve to be acted upon immediately. You can deliver a sense of urgency by introducing your speech with a
recent development, a brewing problem, a special event,etc. however, this should be very brief. And remember, it is the matter
itself that must be urgent, not necessarily your deliver thereof.
Stance/caseline- The stance will give your team case overall consistency. The stance is simply
the general statement of what your team is arguing in the debate. Often, it is as simple as saying , "Tonight, the affirmative
team believes that.." or saying " the negative team will prove to you tonight that..." All of the arguments that you make
should be consistent with the syance.
Some debaters think that a stance is a clever little one-liner that each speaker gives during their speech, using exactly
the same words every time. This is not what a team line is meant to be! The different speakers may phrase the team line differently-
this is probably advisable as it makes it less repetitive (and hence less boring for your adjudicator).