ERIC Number: ED340052
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The "Whole Resolution" as a Negative Theoretical Argument: Pragmatic Considerations.
McGee, Brian R.
Many debate textbooks give few examples of well structured arguments, and often the examples which the books do give are inconsistent with current debate practice. All too often, young debaters learn how to structure and deliver arguments from more experienced teammates, or even from debate competition opponents. The clearest example of uncertainty regarding argument structure and burdens is the argument for resolutional rather than example focus. The resolutional focus argument usually is made by the negative team, in the form of a claim that the affirmative has failed to affirm the resolution in general. By using the relatively common topicality argument as a model, negative debaters who choose to advocate resolutional focus may clearly indicate what the affirmative should do, how the affirmative has failed to do so, and why the failure matters. Some judges, coaches, and debaters deride negative teams who advocate resolutional focus arguments. Sometimes such negative arguments are so poorly developed and explained that they amount to complaints about the inability to apply negative arguments to affirmative examples. However, resolutional focus arguments can be well reasoned and well developed explanations of the gap between an affirmative claim and appropriate argumentative requirements. (Forty-five references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Argumentation Theory; Competitive Argument; Debate Strategies; Debate Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).