In novice debate and any introduction to argumentation course students are taught the Toulmin model. In short the Toulmin model states that “Arguments must follow logically and therefore contain a claim and warrant”. Novice debaters are taught this with an emphasis because they prolific for their ability to advance claims but struggle to explain their warrants (AKA when you ask parents why are you grounded? Because I said so).
The discussion about analytical arguments (quals indicts, etc) being insufficient to win debates stems from a failure of the Toulmin model (in a debate context) and from debaters who unconsciously stick to it to the T(oulmin). Layne, Ellis and Rajesh were all like “but guys we make the analytical args and judges don’t vote on them” and then Roy, Scott, Whit and others are like you don’t make them well and the conversation ended.
Being the revolutionary debate mind that I proclaim myself to be, I am going to explain my revision of the Toulmin model which I can guarantee will give you 5-10 more wins next year. The revision sounds simple but is oh so devastating. The revision states this “Arguments must follow logically and therefore contain a claim, warrant and implication.”
The reason the Toulmin model is insufficient as written is because if both teams advance an argument with a claim and warrant absent some reason to prefer, one cannot resolve the issue. Take for example a LOST politics Uniqueness debate.
Neg: LOST will pass, Senate Republicans recently jumped on board due to some concession
Aff: LOST won’t pass- Obama has backed off support because moderate democrats won’t give him the votes.
Who wins? The aff or the neg? Both teams have read equally good (or poor) evidence on the issue which advances a claim and warrant and both have come up with 2 completely different expected results? When judges talk about unresolved issues or the need to intervene it is usually due to the failure of debaters to implicate their arguments
My revision of the Toulmin model is something some debaters do from round to round but do not do enough on a consistent basis. The implication component is not like plan causes nuke war judge, but rather a reason to prefer their argument over the other teams. If in the LOST example the aff were to expand their argument to “LOST won’t pass Obama has backed off support because moderate democrats won’t give him the votes, prefer this because there are more moderates who have backed off then republicans who currently support LOST so there are still not enough votes to pass LOST”, the aff would be in much better shape then the initial explanation
By providing that extra “spin”, “analysis”, “jive” or whatever other adjective you decide to label it with debaters are not just making a good argument but telling the judge how they should evaluate contested issues in the debate. Its one thing to say “our evidence is from a prof theirs isn’t prefer it”. It is another thing to say “If this debate comes down to the sustainability of capitalism then you should decide it solely based on the authors quals because in the context of the sustainability of capitalism a professor of economics with a PHD in the field and years of research and studying is more qualified then a message board card.” In both examples the warrant is the same, our evidence is more qualified then yours but in the second one the debater has implicated the reason quals are important.
The 2NR and 2AR are about producing distinctions which will win you the debate, your extension of claim and warrant will only get you so far. This implication component is particularly important for the aff on disads and the negatives on advantages. It is one thing to be able to extend a smart defensive argument on a lame disad or bad add on, but when implicated well these arguments are no longer “just defense” but TOTAL Takeouts to the disad that diminish the probability of the da drastically (see my older post on defense for more on tht) The next time you extend a analit or defensive arg ask yourself if you’ve explained what the judge should do with this argument if you win it. If you have not then do not expect this argument to get full weight.
For those skeptics (see almost all hs debaters) Scott is right when he says bully judges, tell them how to decide. Debate just isn’t about who can read the best and most cards in the alotted time. Be smart with your arguments and take your debating to the next level. Whether a judge includes in their philosophy or not if they vote on defense or analyticals or what not is kind of irrelevant. If a 2nr or 2ar is full of distinctions, reasons to prefer and well implicated arguments any decent judge will reward that.