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20 December 2009

Koc WUDC Debating Guide: Second Proposition

Should we have an extension?

What is an extension?
An extension is new constructive argument, OR deeper (read 'better') analysis of an argument that has already been made. Calling it ‘an’ extension is slightly misleading, because it implies you need one new thing. This is false. Extension does not mean any new argument: an extension must be a substantial contribution to the debate, which clearly distinguishes you from the team that preceded you. It could deliver several small, but vital arguments. Rebuttal can count as new material, and may indeed be sufficiently important to be credited as extension.

Should I ‘signpost’ my extension (i.e. indicate that I regard a specific part of my speech as ‘extension’)?
Probably. Your judges will be trying to assess you on the content and quality of what you said, and should not penalise you for failing to label what is actually substantial new argument as such. Nonetheless, there is no harm in making their life easier by highlighting the importance and novelty of your contribution. Conversely, if you signpost as extension that is in reality just rehashing an argument which has already been made, without substantively improving the quality of the argument, it doesn’t count as an extension.

Can I change the model that first proposition gave?
No. The proposition bench is analogous (unlike the opposition) to two parties in coalition. You must follow where they lead.

Even if first proposition was really stupid?
Even then. Bad luck is a fact of life. Do remember, however, that you will get credit for rescuing a bad case. Also bear in mind that if certain aspects of the definition are particularly uninspired, it may be possible to retreat slightly from those aspects (into, for example, a more extended treatment of underlying principles) without knifing (i.e. contradicting the first team on your side).

What should I do in the summary?
Summarise the debate. This is (probably) not a chronicle of everything that happened in the debate –such an approach is unlikely to shed new light on what has happened. Rather, it is supposed to be an identification of the significant points of contention around which the debate has occurred, and an explanation of why your side has triumphed in these areas. It is unlikely that there are seven such points of clash, andyou do not have to have at leastthree (for example, many excellent summaries divide material into two areas: questions of principle and practicalities). It may be important to respond, briefly, to whatever mutilation Second Opposition has wreaked upon your partner’s extension. Do NOT bring any new arguments, even if the rules of British Parliamentary allow this. New examples, deepening arguments, drawing out the logic of a particular point in already given arguments are allowed, but new arguments indicate that you have not planned your team’s approach to the debate.

This guide is from the briefing published by the adjudication team of Koc Worlds 2010. The adjudication team is Can Okar (CA) Josh Bone (DCA), Julia Bowes (DCA), Suthen Tate Thomas (DCA), Will Jones (DCA), Handan Orel (ACA), Ozan Mert Ondes (ACA). This document is based on one drafted by Anat Gelber, Daniel Schut and Will Jones in 2007 for the Amsterdam Open.

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