I have gotten some questions about 1AR blocks so I wanted to go through an example.
Let’s say you want to extend conditionality bad in the 1AR. I think if you dedicated about 1 minute to a theory argument like this you are in the optimum area where
-it is credible/you can go for it
-it won’t detract too much from the substance
-the 2NR will have a dilemma in how to allocate their time/can’t blow it off
In that one minute you are probably able to say between 200 and 250 words. In those words you need to accomplish the following
-explain your offense
-explain voting issue
-answer negative arguments
To do this effectively you need to be efficient, you need to allocate your words carefully to spend more words on important arguments/less words on less important arguments.
One of the keys to this balance is explaining just enough- enough so that you have explained the warrant and the 2AR can credibly go for it, and nothing more- no superfluous jokes/examples/repeating etc.
To illustrate, lets take the argument that conditionality mirrors the real world where people make multiple proposals/can stop advocating them.
Here is what a student of mine wrote in their 1AR block after a lecture on conditionality:
-Not real world- debate has time constraints and we talk fast
-no impact- competitive fairness outweighs real world mimicry
-real world political costs to flip flops- should be costs in debate
This is pretty good, efficient, gets the point across. It could be nit picked in a variety of ways but instead lets go through what is good here
1. Embedded clash- the first argument begins “not real world” clearly explaining what the set of arguments is referring to
2. Efficiency- pretty word efficient, no real repetition, some cuts could be made but light years ahead of the norm.
3. Arguments are separated out- this makes it easier to decide how many to make based on time allocation factors. Though you may only ever read 1, having 3+ arguments for each point will make sure you are prepared for when you have to push all in on theory in a tough debate.
Some other miscellaneous tips
-having good brief “tags” to your arguments makes them more flowable- one good thing about embedded clash is it basically forces you to do thiss
-your own speaking rate/clarity may dictate that 200 words is way more than possible -that just means you have to be more efficient and pick and chose better. Winning on theory doesn’t necessarily mean you win every single line by line argument, it means that you win enough so that the general direction is in your favor and you win why the arguments you are ahead on outweigh the ones you are behind on.
-Ideally, you should squeeze in some impact calc- focus on education and say why it outweighs fairness or vice versa. Why does aff ground o/w neg ground? What speeches were affected and why are those speeches important? These kind of issues are things judges often resolve first and then filter the rest of the debate through them.
So with all that said, if you would like to write a conditionality 1AR in 250 words or less and post it in the comments I will give feedback to those that look like they gave it the old college try/incorporated the above insights.