College Policy Debate Forums

TOPIC COMMITTEE => 2016 - 2017 Topic Committee => Topic started by: Hester on April 13, 2016, 07:23:10 AM

Title: 2016-17 Topic Committee work is underway
Post by: Hester on April 13, 2016, 07:23:10 AM
Hey folks, hope everyone has recuperated from the nationals tournaments and the end of the 2015-16 season. The 2016-17 Topic Committee has begun our work and i will be regularly posting to this page with updates on the process. One does not need to be a voting member of the Topic Committee to make a substantial contribution to the process. Your opinions, ideas, and efforts are welcomed and greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: 2016-17 Topic Committee work is underway
Post by: Hester on April 19, 2016, 07:29:06 PM
With the deadline for submitting topic papers one week away, i wanted to provide helpful advice to all those currently working on a paper:

1) This is not an essay contest, but coherent arguments tend to be the more persuasive arguments.
The Topic Committee is not determining which papers would make the best grade in an English Composition course, so it's okay if your paper is a bit  rough around the edges. Having said that, spellcheck is your friend and ally.
More importantly, make sure to proof read your paper not so much for grammar errors but rather as a double check that it makes a complete argument. Can someone who has not done all the research you have read your paper and understand why debating this topic is a good idea and what it would mean to debate this topic for an entire season in terms of the key affirmative and negative positions.

2) Don't waste space on defining terms unless you are doing so with field-contextual literature. Including random house definitions of "united states federal government" or black's law dictionary definitions of "substantially" in the context of library shelves are not helpful. Focus any lexicographical work on the key terms that make your topic a "topic." If the field literature does define terms that are common in previous resolutions (like the ones referenced above), that is great and you should include them.

3) Solvency advocates (for plans and counterplans) are much more important than terminal impact evidence. The Topic Committee will not be spending much (if any) time discussing whether the Affirmative and Negative teams will be able to claim extinction-level impacts. But we will be discussing whether the proposed topic can sustain an entire year's worth of debates that allow Affirmative and Negative teams to advocate evidenced solutions to the problems they identify. The topic papers that focus on addressing this concern will be most appreciated.