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Resolutions and Arguments

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James Bunker

on 12 September 2016

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Transcript of Resolutions and Arguments

Put together a speech covering three things did this summer.
The things you want to do (those will function as your distinct arguments).
Work on presenting this information to the class using the 5 point method we’ve discussed.


I want you to keep or develop your own speaking style.
Idiosyncrasies indicate authenticity, while robotic performances convey detachment.

General Tips:
Eyes: Scanning Audience
Volume: Hitting the back wall
Cadence: Vary (fast during support, slow during into, preview, claims, and conclusion)
Hands: Use them
Body: Stand Tall

Speaking Style

Here you review for your audience what you have accomplished in your speech.
Run through the claims that you proved using the same technique as in the preview section, enumerating and stating the claims.

Universal Structure

A brief explanation of what you’re going to be doing in your speech.
For our activity, you should give the (clear, concise, & thesis-driven) claims that you are going to prove throughout your speech.
Nothing more, nothing less.

Universal Structure

What motivates you to speak at this gathering
A grabber (fact, dilemma, joke, quote, anecdote, etc.) that points toward your topic and/or develops presumption for your side.

Universal Structure

Listening is more difficult than speaking
Structure helps make your speech more logical and understandable to your audience

Why Structure Matters

Relevance: Is evidence closely related to topic?
Bias: Is source objective or trying to make specific argument?
Recency: Questions the age of evidence at hand?
Accuracy: Is evidence correctly presented?
Applicability: Can quotation be applied to debate itself?
Sufficiency: Is there enough evidence to support claim?
Completeness: asks whether or not the evidence gives a completed picture of the issues at hand
Verifiability: asks if the evidence is authentic. Does the quotation match the quote from the source?

Principles of Strong Evidence

Does the article:
Talk about the topic I’m debating?
Identify some particular problem or propose a policy change?
Come from a reputable source?
After you find articles ask:
What are the major problems in the current system?
What solutions have I found to solve these problems?
Are these solutions worthy of further investigation or case development?
What is the best argument for this resolution?
What is the best argument against the resolution?

Research Questions to Ask

Where Do I Find Information and Evidence
CQ Research
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Lexis Nexis
U.N. Declaration of Human Rights
Where Else?
It depends on what?

Public Forum Research

Argument by cause is the application of cause and effect
If one thing is done something else will happen as a result
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Taking away food stamps from the poor who do not work hurts children

Argument by Cause

An analogy compares one thing or idea with another to claim similarity
This can be a powerful argument
An analogy is used in immigration debates is that immigrants are like chocolate chips in a cookie. While the chocolate chips make the cookie taste good (immigrants are beneficial) too many chocolate chips can alter the cookie and make it a chocolate bar. Thus a good balance of cookie to chocolate chips is important.
Useful for making abstract policy debates understandable

Argument by Analogy

An argument by sign claims that one thing indicates another
Where there is smoke there is fire.
The presence of dark clouds is an indication of rain
Often these arguments are circumstantial
If the situation has occurred numerous times in the past the argument by sign can be effective

Argument by Sign

Gains its credibility from the person who originally made the argument
For example, if the inventor of the watch were to say that the prime purpose of a watch is to tell time, the argument that watches are intended primarily as jewelry would be undermined

Argument by Authority

There are six specific argument types useful to debaters

Argument Types

Develop two arguments for following resolutions: pro/con

There should be a ban on offshore drilling.

English should be the official language of the United States.

There needs to be new regulation that restricts illegal digital downloading.

The Affordable Health Care Act should be repealed

For the United States the Benefits of Nuclear Energy Outweigh the risks.

Motion: TH would ban the Death Penalty.
(Good) Claims in opposition:
1) The Death Penalty is a just punishment.
2) The Death Penalty is socially beneficial.

Exercise: Construct two good claims in favor of the death penalty.

Good Claims

Bad Claims

What they do:

Indicate the point your argument intends to make the audience accept.

How to make them effective:

clear, concise, thesis-driven.

Building Blocks of Arguments

Argument Example

Statement a debater wants the audience to believe
Evidence that indicates someone other than speaker agrees with the claim
The impact tells you why the audience should care about the
It’s the So-What

What is an Argument?

Resolutions of Policy

Call into question some reality

Require teams to confirm truthfulness of resolution

Resolved: The big box retailers benefit the communities in which they are located

Resolved: The costs of attending college outweighs the benefits

Resolutions of Fact

The resolution is the focus of every debate round.

It tells us what to expect to hear about and what debaters should talk about during the debate

It is the topic of the debate

Pro team argues affirmatively for the resolution

Con team argues against it


1. All debates focus on a ______________________
2. There are three different types of resolutions name two.
3. Identify the three elements of arguments
4. In public forum the sides of the debate are ____and____
5. Name an effective speech delivery technique you can use


Argumentation Lecture

Connect the distinct arguments you just reviewed to your general effort to propose or reject the motion before the house.

Universal Structure

Body of Speech
Here you get into the meat of your speech
As you enter into your individual arguments
begin by enumerating,
re-state the claim,
and then proceed to the warrants and impacts.
Repeat for each argument

Universal Structure

What is the “burden of proof”
Debaters cannot make unsupported assertions and expect the audience to believe his/her statement
Each argument must be supported
Burden of Proof to Overcome the Presumption
Presumption begins the round in favor of the team opposing the resolution because it is assumed the resolution is not needed
Burden of Rebuttal
First speech from proponent should offer a compelling defense of the resolution which fulfills the proponents burden of proof an overcomes the presumption against the resolution


Uses a rule of law or a law of nature to argue
Gravity exists
What goes up most come down

Arguments by Principle

Mosquito netting is needed to protect against malaria.

According to the World Health Organization mosquito netting reduces the risk of
contracting malaria by a factor of ten to twenty.

Thus, 500,000 lives could be saved in Africa each year if mosquito bed nets were
provided to African families

Argument Example

Resolutions of Value

Argument Structure
Arguments have three parts
Claim: Dogs are Better than cats
Warrant: A study by the Academy of Veterinarians found that
2/3 chose dogs as their preferred pet compared to
Impact: Therefore by selecting a dog you are more likely to be
a satisfied pet owner who enjoys raising your pet
Question hierarchy of ideals without the application of these beliefs in actual policy

Compares conflicting values and requires you to rank order one value over another value

Human rights out to be valued over national security

Private property ought to be valued over public safety

Public high schools should prioritize vocational education over college preparatory education
Ask debater to change some law or propose a specific action by the government
Ask debater to prove whether a policy will be more desirable or less desirable in the future
Resolved: The United States should increase assistance to persons living below the poverty lin
Resolved: Gun control laws should be significantly changed
Motion/Resolution: The US. Government should ban the death penalty
(Bad) claims in favor:
The death penalty causes harms to individuals that they do no deserve and therefore violates important rights

The death penalty, contrary to popular opinion, does not actually save the State money when compared to life imprisonment

How Do You Win an Argument?

Resolutions and Arguments
Full transcript