ERIC Number: ED367027
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Topicality Standards in CEDA Debate.
One way to improve topicality debates in CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association) debate would be to thoroughly study the field contextual meanings of propositional phrases prior to submitting them to a vote. Judges need to reward exemplary arguments and "punish" poor arguments by substantially lowering a team's speaker points for presenting such arguments. Well planned topicality arguments are as research-intensive as disadvantages or counterplans and require the same attention to organization and structure. While not a panacea, a reinvigoration of the importance of topicality argumentation could help restore the balance between impact-oriented arguments and case-specific refutational styles. Absent a plan statement, debate critics could evaluate topicality in the same fashion as "extra-topicality" arguments would be evaluated in a policy format. Topicality standard debates are generally not well presented. Confusion arises in two broad areas concerning topicality standards: the host of arguments that masquerade as "procedural" questions; and arguments that are related to the disposition of topicality claims. The nature of standards debates would be drastically improved if judges refused to consider assertions as arguments absent an explicit application of the "standard" to the opposing interpretation. The topic of a recent CEDA debate (regarding implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations) typifies the difficulties faced when propositions are poorly worded. Neither a true policy proposition, nor an explicit question of value, the proposition lurked in the shadows that separate those two realms. (Fifteen notes are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cross Examination Debate Association; Intercollegiate Debate Topic; Topicality Arguments
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).