Norms Regarding Disclosure: Citations or Full Text?

There is an interesting discussion occurring on the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association Forum (the successor to the long-running and incomparable MN Debate Web) about the debate community’s norms regarding disclosure of citations. Dan Kauppi, the debate coach at Eden Prairie High School, proposes that the existing norm in favor of disclosure of citations be replaced with a norm in favor of disclosure of the full text of evidence.

Here’s an open question for the community: Why is it a convention that teams should be obligated to give cites to their opponents after a round, but not the full text of the cards?

If we believe in open exchanges of evidence that has already been used in the interests of improving the quality of future debates, why do we force each other’s squads to go through the time waste and hassle of finding the original source materials when it’s just as easy to copy and paste the card in its entirety as it is to send someone “Smith, ‘Article Name,’ 76 Journal of Expensive Access 274, 1993?” To the extent that disclosure of evidence previously used is beneficial (increases equity, allows for more in depth debate and preparation and research), those advantages are much better accessed by just handing over the evidence.

While some might not be persuaded by the “it takes too much time to look up” argument, figuring that part of the value of the debate is in learning research skills (regardless of how tedious that may be), I think another more serious issue is one of resource access. Lending privileges at university libraries, access to journals, Westlaw, and/or Lexis are all extraordinarily expensive and out of reach for most squads.

I’m not so concerned with cites that just have a webpage attached, but in my experience a lot of teams purposely cite to difficult sources (and I’ve seen camp lectures this year where the instructors tell students to choose sources that are hard to look up). A norm which includes cite disclosure but doesn’t require card disclosure really makes research unnecessarily difficult when you have expensive database access, and impossible when you don’t.

A very easy solution to implement would just be the purchase of a simple sheetfed scanner to be used after the round for whatever relevant evidence the debaters want for later examination. In addition to solving all the problems I mentioned above, it would save the requesting team the time and delay of waiting for opponents to fulfill requests for cites, and save those getting the requests the hassle of fulfilling them.

The responses to Kauppi’s initial post have been varied but mostly against the proposed change in norms. Do you have an opinion either way regarding this issue? Should teams be willing to share the full text of evidence they have read in debates instead of just a citation? Please take a look at the MDTA thread and share your thoughts.

26 thoughts on “Norms Regarding Disclosure: Citations or Full Text?

  1. Whit Whitmore

    “the time waste and hassle of finding the original source materials” is what makes policy debate special. Rigorous research is the only thing that sets us apart from other forms of speech and debate. Being able to research is a skill that every debater should leave the activity with. To quote Kamal Ghali, a former Emory great, “Research is good. If teams have to research, then they have experienced one of the joys of competing in intercollegite [sic] policy debate.”

    Research IS time intensive and it IS a hassle. That’s why I don’t want you to have the fruits of my labor. I hate to play the socialism bad card, but there is no incentive to do work when it has to be given away after the first round it is read.

    Expensive access is a red herring. I haven’t paid for journal/database/lexis access in years. Get some friends to hook you up with passwords or pool your resources with other squads to get a group rate on lexis codes (you can get a code for around $50/year).

  2. Michael Antonucci

    Man, reading some of that old thread breaks my heart. It really does. There’s a lot more in that December archive.

    Look, the Morris variant shouldn’t even be controversial. Maybe research is sweet. Typing in first and last words into Lexis to replicate someone’s shell is *totally* brainless.

    **That isn’t research.** It’s busywork.

    Making your own position – researching answers – extending the project for competitive reasons – that’s research.

    Going on opencaselist and replicating with painful searches? Necessary, but annoying. It’s like scouting. These shared mechanisms in debate should maximize thinking and minimize raw labor inputs.

    If you’re opposed to anything that allows debaters to minimize duplication – not research, but duplicative busywork – because everything should be as difficult as possible…well, then you should also oppose

    –the open caselists

    –the open evidence projects

    –and, er, your job? I think you do a demonstrably brilliant job with both Michigan and Woodward because you cut a lot of cards and help to inspire them to do the same. If we grant the premise that providing research cheats students… I’m not totally sure where that leaves either you or me, Whit. Nowhere good. I prefer to be kind to both of us, and assume that giving students some materials actually really does help and inspire their own additional efforts.

  3. random college debater

    I think there are a couple good reasons for a norm against sharing the full text of cards. First, I think it’s beneficial for people to replicate the research, because the search for the evidence may produce other related articles or turn the researcher on to a new website or journal or think tank that’s useful on the topic. Second, it provides a check on dishonesty and human error. Sometimes cards get cut out of context, and regardless of the motivation, looking up the article and having to re-read portions of it to find the card create a built-in context check that can open avenues for smart argument indicts that zap the utility of poorly or unethically cut evidence.

    Antonucci said it’s brainless work, not real research, and that it’s time consuming. I think that’s a double bind – if it’s time consuming, the debater’s probably having to try multiple searches, which means actual research effort is being done. The same people for whom that is less educational will be the same for whom it is easier and goes faster – older debaters and coaches can do this kind of replication pretty efficiently. Younger debaters may struggle a little and take a little more time when trying to replicate research, but I think that’s the same reason why it’s good practice – if it’s a little hard at first, but routine later, that’s research skill development.

    I think there are some reasons why this might not be true universally – such when teams lack access to the research sources required for such research replication, or when access to coaching or inexperience are factors. I think this can be solved by a team sending cites and including in that email something along the lines of “if you have any trouble accessing these articles, let me know and I can send you the full text” and then doing so if asked.

  4. Michael Antonucci

    The learning curve on this exercise plateaus almost immediately.

    Once you learn to do this cite retrieval exercise five to ten times, you’re done. You learned everything you’re going to learn from it, and you should have learned it in high school. This is equivalent of doing algebra problem sets for four years when, hopefully, you’ve moved onto calculus. Mindlessly doing first-last word searches over and over again is a learning exercise for the bottom of the class in an activity that caters to the intellectual top.

    I’ll address your line-by-line, but I confess that your post sounds very “debater-ish” – I actually don’t think you believe all these arguments. I think you’re subpointing for the sake of subpointing.

    “First, I think it’s beneficial for people to replicate the research, because the search for the evidence may produce other related articles or turn the researcher on to a new website or journal or think tank that’s useful on the topic.”

    1. You don’t need card replication as the incentive for this. Finding NEW cards is the incentive, because that wins rounds.

    2. When you make debaters do mindless crap, you’re actually reducing the amount of available time they have to do this sort of higher level work. There are only so many labor hours in a day.

    “Second, it provides a check on dishonesty and human error. Sometimes cards get cut out of context, and regardless of the motivation, looking up the article and having to re-read portions of it to find the card create a built-in context check that can open avenues for smart argument indicts that zap the utility of poorly or unethically cut evidence.”

    Competition does that. Are you honestly contending in good faith that full text disclosure will discourage people from looking up these articles? It wouldn’t discourage me.

    Look, you HAVE A TEST CASE on both of these arguments. Opencaselist and the NDCA open evidence project DID a version of this already. Did debate collapse? Did people stop working and cross-checking cards? Did a variety of programs both small and large, new and old, express their gratitude for these labor-pooling efforts?

    “Antonucci said it’s brainless work, not real research, and that it’s time consuming. I think that’s a double bind – if it’s time consuming, the debater’s probably having to try multiple searches, which means actual research effort is being done.”

    No, that’s not a double bind. Consuming time means labor intensive. Labor intensive is not synonymous with intellectual engagement. Here’s a thought experiment – let’s assume I hide a sweet card inside of a safe. You have to use a sledgehammer to get to it. It will take about an hour of swinging the hammer to get there.

    What did you learn during this process? SMASH OPEN GRAAA. SMASHING! And you spent an hour learning it.

    “Difficult” and “educational” are not synonyms.

    “The same people for whom that is less educational will be the same for whom it is easier and goes faster – older debaters and coaches can do this kind of replication pretty efficiently.”

    Any coach who does this sort of mindless replication without saying FML over and over needs her/his head checked.

    “Younger debaters may struggle a little and take a little more time when trying to replicate research, but I think that’s the same reason why it’s good practice – if it’s a little hard at first, but routine later, that’s research skill development.”

    If you are anything approaching smart, this process should get annoying quickly. I agree that everyone should be able to do this. They can, however, acquire all of those skills in the process of looking up articles for context checking WITHOUT making it mandatory out of sheer atavism and petulance.

    I hope this isn’t too harsh, but really. The trend on this is clear; let’s all move onto the next step.

  5. Stefan

    An edebate post I made last year:

    Just interested in discussing this part:

    Would it be so bad if we all agreed (I’m not taking about taking it against
    the opponent’s will) that debaters would allow those parties requesting the
    specific cards to just be given the whole card as available?

    I judged two HS debates this weekend where the teams just gave me their
    entire 1AC on a jump drive when I requested an outline. There is clearly
    some norm for this at least somewhere in debate.

    I was somewhat surprised how willing they were to give the whole 1AC, but in
    end I probably could have reconstructed the entire thing in less than 10
    minutes since all of the cards were from online sources anyhow.

    This just saves silly rote work and would probably make debates even better
    — a) you could spend more time working on arguments than doing this, b) you
    could read through the context of cards before debates — it would prevent
    people from winning with crappy cards just because you don’t have time to
    really evaluate them in the real time pressure of the debate —

    Also, you could quickly increase the part of the card that was in size 2
    font so you could see what the rest of the article was talking about…

    A2: Common objections

    1 — It would cause free riding — a) No, you can’t take someone other
    team’s DA cards, read them, and win a debate. If you can, you can probably
    beat just most teams anyhow, b) you can do this now — it just takes an
    extra 10 minutes to get the rest of the text of the cards from online

    2 — It would mean people would have to cut better cards because cards could
    would get “called out” faster — yes, I agree

    3 — If you read a card that someone else cut, you are responsible for it
    and you don’t know it isn’t cut out of context — true, if you were to just
    read it in another debate you would assume the risk of it (that’s your
    choice) and debaters read tons of cards they don’t cut themselves now

    4 — People would stop researching. C’mon, you’d still want to go back and
    read your opponent’s articles to better understand the arguments. There is
    no research shortage in debate — perhaps a time/information management
    overload, but not a research shortage.

    5 — It would get out of control — “Please jump me every card you read in
    the debate” — This is a serious concern, especially since most teams
    wouldn’t be able to do it quickly. The fact that Whitman could do so could
    put them at a relative disadvantage.

    I suppose this may seem somewhat radical, but handing over the cite and the
    first few and last words of the card just so someone can go insert the rest
    of the text they want in less than 1 minute per card seems at least worth

  6. Scott Phillips

    This is just open source good in disguise. I am all for it, teams who work hard will find new ways to channel their “dynamis” and get an edge. However, to contend that this would not in any way discourage many people from doing work is naive at best.

  7. Michael Antonucci

    It is not “just open source good” and there’s no disguise. There are a lot of distinctions. Your conflation would lump together the NDCA Open Evidence Project with mandatory fulltext preround disclosure. That would be a really silly grouping. This is equivalent to saying “single payer health care is just communism in disguise! COMMUNIS’! PAGANS! LIBERAL ELITE!”

    In some sense, maybe, but distinctions matter to smart people.

    Are you arguing a slippery slope or actual functional equivalence?

    No one’s been discouraged from doing meaningful work by existent projects that provide an evidence base (opencaselist, openevidence, card-cutting coaches). If you are going to conflate, you’ll have to go after the two most popular electronic debate resources and Whit Whitmore.

    Debate’s a competitive activity. People who are low-commitment will currently buy their evidence, and skate by one way or the other (often by switching to PF). They’ve just made that choice given a range of extracurricular activities, and educators kinda have to live with it at some level. People who really want to win will work their ass off in any system. I can’t imagine the top of the circuit abandoning research. You would have to cut off their fingers to stop them from cutting cards. It’s in their blood.

    If the only work we can convince the middle to do is the repetitive busywork of looking up first and last words, then the activity is not that intellectually valuable.

    Thanks again (to you and your entourage) for the Dropbox, by the way.

  8. random high school coach

    The idea that looking up cites, reading articles from which others’ cards have been cut, and determining the quality of the argument isn’t a mindless exercise, and a high school student’s time isn’t so valuable that it should be spent exclusively cutting new arguments and new positions. The average high school debate hasn’t mastered the research skill just like they haven’t mastered how to write essays, solve complex calculus problems, or prove high level physics theorems. If they had, they’d never be challenged in any of their classes.

    If a student has difficulty obtaining the text of a source using the cite, have them or their coach contact the team or team’s coach that cut the card for help. Aside from that, the comprehensive scanning and sorting of new evidence run at tournaments on a weekly basis is little more than tedious or an opportunity to challenge students intellectually.

  9. Michael Antonucci

    I apologize, but I don’t totally follow the above post.

    Are you saying that high school students’ time isn’t valuable? I think they disagree.

    Look, there’s a finite amount of time that people are going to spend doing debate work. Maybe it’s 18 hours a day. Maybe it’s 30 minutes. Either way, our collective time should not be spent doing stupid, repetitive things.

    If it takes you more than a week to master the following:

    – log onto Lexis, Google, Google Books, Google Scholar
    – punch in keywords
    – find card
    – duplicate card

    I think that something broke down on either the learning or teaching side.

    If, as a coach, you feel this is a very valuable skill, you can simply devote a session or two to cite duplication, right? You don’t need to make it mandatory for everyone and dump hundreds of collective hours into this because you think might merit an hour or two and don’t feel like drawing up a simple FAQ and worksheet. Stop making everyone spending dozens of hours on this because you’re being lazy as a teacher.

    The communitywide inefficiency on this question is striking.

    The taboo on fulltext profoundly disrespects our collective time.

  10. gulakov

    I’d support a literally open SOURCE evidence database instead of trying create a norm for people to give away the full text of all their read evidence.

    I think the argument from the Antonucci Side that is persuasive to me is the one about the time lost looking through databases to find the citation. What I’d propose as a solution to this is a debate community central repository of the original sources for evidence. It would be hosted on a wiki, perhaps as part of the opencaselist, and anyone could start a page containing the full text of the journal or article or book chapter they got their evidence from. If there is widespread support for this, I could easily write a Word add-in that enables you to select the first and last words from a cite, click “fill in cite” and the app would sync with our community database and fill in the rest of the card.

    The advantages to this essentially involves that it would not require a change from the status quo for teams who prefer the partial text model. It would not pressure anyone into a new practice or implicitly label anyone as anti-educational. Some teams might perceive strategic disadvantages to giving up all their text (especially from a hard-to-find database) and would resist. The discrepancy in expectations can be awkward (ie, I email you for the full text 1ac, you send me the plain text of each card, then I send you three more emails: first saying “I expected the underlined versions,” then saying that “what I meant was underlined as in the way you’d highlight it to read in the round”, and finally saying “I couldn’t find the original source for these cards, to save me research time in my case neg against you please send the original source for every card too, thanks.”) Obviously some people just would not want to disclose past the point of “how we underlined it” or so on. Under this model, they wouldn’t have to. A team could easily get the full text of your card even if you use only partial disclosure.

    The way it would look like is that teams would still use the same type of disclosure format (first & last words) as they do now (which has the other advantage of making it easier to skim through outlines), but if they were for open source evidence, they would have had uploaded their original articles to the wiki as well. They only need to do this one time instead of everytime they wish to share cites. Another important thing – you’d only need to upload the full source once *per article*, which means that even for teams that do not open source their evidence, someone else can upload that team’s sources to the wiki – if that article has not already been uploaded by an open source team. This model empirically works: in high school, many 1ac are constructed from some camp evidence, so before I went to recut cites I’d often run it through a custom search engine that I restricted to just that years camp evidence; secondly, there is a forum on (it’s a bit hard to find, to block it from google indexing) with over two thousand full texts of popular debate and philosophical books and journal articles, I often search there when I need to look up a card from a common debate critical book.

    Additionally, it would help those who are new to debate or those who are just interested in public reading about the topic. But it would avoid incurring the very true disadvantages that SP has pointed out. For new debaters, it is hard to do research and find good articles. When I started I didn’t know how to find good articles online; what was very helpful is reading the “topic cites” that posted before the year. However, if the full card with underlining was given, I think many new debaters would just copy that instead of reading through the card or full source to underline themselves. I feel underlining is important for those new to debate research because it forces people to recognize which keywords are used in debate and how to find articles containing them. I feel like this would actually encourage new debaters (and others as well) to do more work in two ways: first, many debaters would actually like to read and cut more interesting articles but for them the barrier is that they have a hard time finding the articles and give up – this repository would be a great location for full text of excellent debate articles suggested to you by the best teams; second, underlining – when a debater “fills in” another teams cites, they would still have to do the work of underlining it, which assures they’re using it to understand the argument better and not free-ride. While it is possible under Antonucci’s proposal to just un-underline/un-small-size card-by-card before sharing your frontline, that seems to take too long and there’ll inevitably be disagreements and infighting over whether underlining/highlighting has to be shared or not, etc. I also think that open sourcing the literal evidence sources is a model more likely to be adopted by more teams. When you’re posting “here’s great article on the topic I found, I’d like to share it with the debate community” that feels like you’re contributing to collaboration in an awesome academic community; whereas if you’re asked to post your full 1nc shell, that seems more like being asked to give up parts of work you’ve done so that everyone can profit – which is much more likely to be perceived as a strategic loss and thus not adopted by many.

  11. Peter Nikolai

    Debate often dangerously flirts with copyright infringement. A lot of times, it is really hard to track the instances of copyright infringement that go on in debate, and that’s a good thing. If you create a central database with the full text of every article, book, or whatever read in debate, sooner, rather than later, copyright owners would come knocking on your door.

    Cutting and publishing cards is probably protected by the fair use doctrine. Posting full articles would cross the line pretty quickly.

  12. Michael Antonucci

    I agree with Nikolai. While your proposal has merit, Gulakov, it’s too legally risky.

    (I do not think that the fulltext version of opencaselist is risky – commercial evidence files and databases prove.)

    If a variant of open sourcing is a work depressant, have:

    a. the NDCA Open Evidence Project
    b. Institutes generally
    c. card cutting coaches
    d. the Internet (which makes research easier)
    e. the “tipping point” for Institutes opening everything this past summer

    depressed the overall level and quality of research in the activity? If so, do you think those phenomena should be resisted?

    These projects aren’t wild eyed radical stuff. They’re what’s happening right now. An information based activity can’t stay in an 80s information economy forever.

  13. Nathan Ketsdever

    Certainly there is a norm toward open sourcing among many in the activity, but how can it be widened? What can happen next year to create more open norms in the community in terms of an open case list?

    Is there a way to stop freeloaders or is that just inevitable? (sorry didn’t notice that Stefan generally answered this above)

    Great to see this happening. I look forward to seeing it move forward.

  14. Scott Phillips

    “No one’s been discouraged from doing meaningful work by existent projects that provide an evidence base (opencaselist, openevidence, card-cutting coaches)”

    This is obviously written in an extreme to hyperbolically prove your point, but it robs your argument of any credibility whatsoever. The contention that freely available evidence cut by others has never discouraged “anyone” from doing work is laughable.

  15. Michael Antonucci

    I will attempt to adhere to your standards for rhetorical moderation in the future.

    I agree that the debate is more productively framed this way:

    Have any of those card-contributing projects (cardcutting coaches, NDCA Open Ev, opencaselist) has a net negative effect on debate work overall?

    If you have a position on that, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!

  16. random high school debater

    truth be told, open access to evidence does cut down on research done. good teams exploit it by having their 2ac blocks done for (sometimes) the whole year by going through all camp file negs. bad teams rely upon it (my ex-partner considers “research” downloading the latest from UMich). there’s definitely a happy medium, but it opens the door for people to totally bypass the research that we all agree is so valuable and rely upon other high schoolers’ hard work (but perhaps not so hot files) from summer institutes.

  17. Michael Antonucci

    1. Your arguments would have more cred if you were nonymous.

    2. You aren’t actually debating full-text disclosure vs. cite disclosure, so there’s no internal link even if you win your impact.

    3. Good teams do “exploit” open evidence by writing 2AC blocks. This is high quality work. Good for them. Other good teams will respond to this dastardly “block writing” by either a. writing new positions or b. developing the magical ability to beat a 2AC block. Would you rather that they spend their time WRITING blocks or trying to gossip-scout the range of positions?

    This evolution didn’t make work stop. It made work less stupid. That is why no one rational wants to go back.

    4, Bad teams do rely on camp blocks. However, you confuse correlation and causation. There’s just a certain percentage of the debate population that doesn’t work as hard as the top.

    It sounds like your ex-partner was a lazy sack. If deprived of the succulent fruits of the Michigan Summer Camp, do you think that s/he would have:

    a. purchased evidence from Planet Debate
    b. paid someone to cut cards
    c. said “screw it” and spent the year reading T and Nietzsche
    d. switched to public forum
    e. just lost


    f. changed into a decent researcher?

    Please be honest in your answer. If your partner cared a ton about winning, s/he would have done work. Open evidence does not disincentivize research, although it does make it easier to avoid totally sucking in an embarrassing way.

    I did high school debate in the 90s. Many people did no research. In fact, original research was more rare. Only Olds like me have access to the the CONTROL data in this experiment.

    Encouraging research by making it more difficult and less productive – deliberately withholding information to force additional mindless grunt work – is a totally backwards pedagogical strategy. I haven’t heard anyone intellectually serious even defend this…

    …unless they’re economically invested in IPR “rent seeking.”

  18. Dan Kauppi

    The difference between the reception of my argument on this site and on Minnesota’s board is striking. Needless to say, there will not be a norm of full text disclosure established in Minnesota anytime soon.

    I wonder which teams were handing over 1acs in full. Even ad hoc bilateral full cite trading would be a substantial improvement over the status quo.

  19. Talon Powers

    Dan, I think the reason the reception has been completely different here is because they’re completely different arguments. You were trying to argue for your teams to have access to portable scanners to get full pages of arguments. There are many arguments against this that don’t impinge full clear text disclosure. I think if you instead were to argue for a community move towards full clear text disclosure on wikis, you’d likely have much more success with your argument.

    That being said, a movement toward disclosure of this sort would seem to require both some sort of tournament level mandate for teams to do it coupled with some teams willing to make this move unilaterally.

  20. Dan Kauppi

    My verbatim original post starts off both threads, Talon, and it talks about scanners here and at MDTA. I don’t see “complete difference.” Look in particular at Stefan’s (not Steffan) post above – there’s no distinction to be made between the discussions here and there. Just as Mike Steffan points out that “not many people agree with me” in Minnesota, you’re going to have to concede that there are people on my side of the debate here.

    Scanning evidence read by opponents is a much narrower proposal than universal full text posting on wikis – and universal full text posting bites all the work discouragement disads much harder, which is why I don’t buy your advice on how I can make my arguments more successful. Though I’m also down with universal full text posting.

    I guess I also feel like I’m just kind of ahead of you here. In reply #19 on the MDTA thread I pivot to just such an argument as you recommend – disavowing scanners and just defending full (even clear!) text – and the opposition didn’t exactly melt away. Nor did you engage me there afterward on the issue you suggest now here.

  21. Michael Antonucci

    Just to be clear, I personally defend “a community move towards full clear text disclosure on wikis” – not “access to portable scanners to get full pages of arguments.”

    One idea might be better than the other, but they are different. Full disclosure might bite the (bad) work avoidance DA harder, but I think that the

    a. inherent equity in the proposal and
    b. extensive feasibility testing through firstlastword disclosure

    make it a slightly easier proposition to defend.

  22. Whit Whitmore

    I would comment on this issue further, but I don’t want my best arguments to be available on a public forum.

  23. Bill Batterman Post author

    A somewhat related anecdote:

    We started handing the other team the full text of our 1AC before debates toward the end of last year (instead of just the plan + answering questions about advantages). No one that I can remember ever reciprocated, but I don’t think it ever put us at a competitive disadvantage. Most of the time, teams didn’t really make use of the additional information… I think most people just answered for themselves the questions that they would have otherwise asked us (what’s the terminal impact to X, how do you access Y, etc.).

    I really don’t get the secrecy fetish held by so many people in debate. If you’re afraid of exposing your arguments to scrutiny, why do enjoy this activity? I get the competitive impulse stuff, but at some point you’ve just gotta put your cards on the table and debate it out.

    I don’t think anyone should be FORCED to give other teams the full text of their cards, but I would think that most people would be HAPPY TO DO SO if asked by another squad. Marquette, for our part, will share the full text of evidence with anyone that will reciprocate this season.

  24. Berkeley One Note

    I am curious about your opinion on this new norm in the context of smaller, less technical schools with fewer resources (altough I agree with the premise entirely).

    Typically smaller, less “well-off” squads tend to have lower evidence quality, or at least acess to “quality” evidence (lexis, pro-quest etc) – however with the advent of open evidence that would seem to fix this problem (then again, just coming back from camp, I could make an argument as to why it wouldn’t). But wouldn’t that “limit” the amount of evidence the smaller school has? To put it in context, it seems like another squad could easily be “shooting fish in a barrel” when it comes to evidence quality/orgininality. So there are two questions: Do you think this would put a smaller, less affluent squad at a disadvantage? Do you think that the argument of debate merit and evidence comparison spreading throughout the debate community would apply in this context?

  25. Scott Phillips

    Berkeley One Note,

    I disagree with your “small school no resources” arg. There is no way people don’t have access to computers at school. A decade ago I was able to cut cards on a 386 at a school that thought computers were some sort of communist plot. I also don’t see how a lot of freely available evidence would hurt a small squad- it seems it would greatly help them.

  26. Berkeley One Note

    Of course I would agree that people have access to computers. That’s not my point. I suppose coming off reading the evidence comparison article I had this in mind. Why then do schools spend the extra money for expernsive databases when we can just read “freely available evidence” for the entire year? Coming from a big city circuit I debate teams all too frequently with uniqueness evidence from right around the time debate institute let out – and I don’t think it is because they are “lazy” or anything like that. I will grant of course, that there are many reasons why evidence quality is low, but I don’t think that takes away from my orginal question which was could there be a negative in this context to full card citiation, or do you think that would be a remedy to the situation?

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