This is the third in a series of articles about the history of plans in policy debate. The first article explained the early history of plans, covering the 1910s to the 1960s. The second article discussed the era beginning in the late 1960s and ending in the mid-1980s. This article covers one of the significant developments in the late-1970s and 1980s: extra-topicality.
As plans continuously expanded during the 1970s to include ever-greater details about implementation and enforcement, negative teams were forced to search for new strategies that would push back against this trend. In assessing these developments in an article in 1981, Edward Panetta summarized the state of debate during this era as follows:
Throughout the years debate has been a constantly changing process. Essentially, time limits have been the only static element in an activity that has in many ways changed radically. Today, for example, the comparative advantages case and turnarounds to disadvantages are accepted practices in the activity. These changes in the process have had the effect of increasing the probability of affirmative victory. The debate community has also continuously selected broad topics which tend to concede yet more ground to the affirmative. It is often very difficult for negatives to find a counterplan which is generic or nontopical under a wide topic.
Often the innovations in the debate process result from a perceived imbalance in the activity. The comparative advantages-case, turnarounds, add-ons and broad topic have evolved because there was a need to increase the likelihood of affirmative victory. These changes in the activity have attained their objective.
At the championship level of high school debate it is not uncommon to find the affirmative winning a decisive percentage of rounds. This imbalance is heightened in rounds judged by college debaters. Often the negative debater finds him/herself dumbfounded by a judge’s decision. Many judges vote affirmative in instances either when the affirmative has minimal significance or because of a negative failure to win a disadvantage.
The time has come to rectify this imbalance, and increase the likelihood of negative decisions. The negative must attempt to regain the ground lost to the affirmative because of changes in debate.
Two negative approaches proved particularly effective. The first — extra-topicality — was raised in an NDT Final Round for the first time in 1976. The topic for that season was Resolved: That the federal government should adopt a comprehensive program to control land use in the United States.
In the NDT Final Round, Georgetown presented the following 523-word plan:
Initially we would like to express our pleasure at being here [Boston] in our bicentennial year and appreciation for this opportunity to uphold for the last time the national debate proposition, examples of which will be found in the following plan.
One, structure: A National Land Use Commission will be established. The Commission will consist of recognized experts from relevant fields appointed by the affirmative team and Unger. The Commission will be self-perpetuating with reasonable retirement dates imposed as well as munificently salaried. It will be provided with all necessary staff, data, research facilities, and monitoring and protective devices to carry out its mandate. If necessary, food and population subcommissions, similarly structured, selected, and endowed, will be created.
Two, powers and duties: The National Land Use Commission will possess minimally sufficient powers, including graduated foreign aid cut-offs where necessary, to control land use in the United States to accomplish the following. (A), Food: (1), the Commission and its subcommissions will provide minimally adequate diets or dietary supplements for 500 million people. Such food will include food-fortification, including vitamin A where necessary. In addition, complementary medical provisions may be undertaken. Graduated, grain-intensive, compensated food conservation and for federal land-based production increases and for mandated, compensated private production increases will be utilized where necessary. (2), A world food reserve of 20 million tons, to be allocated in times of emergency, will be gradually created and maintained through the above mechanisms. (3), Allocation will be legally based upon minimization of starvation and malnutrition and their adverse impacts, consistent with all other plan provisions. Special focus will be placed upon mothers and young children. Appropriate authority will be assigned to provide the necessary material for distribution, storage, and transportation. (4), Recipient nations will be encouraged to take all reasonable steps to achieve agricultural self-sufficiency where environmentally and demographically appropriate-distribution on the basis of plank IIA3. (5), Temporary or permanent phaseout war conditions are met. (G), International and voluntary agencies may be utilized to distribute food as authorized as well as to conduct spot checks to inspect for dietary adequacy and other relevant plan provisions. If necessary, the capabilities of such agencies may be supplemented or replaced by direct Commission action. Institutional feeding distribution may be employed where appropriate. (B), Population: Birth control devices, family planning programs, necessary information, personnel, and outreach programs will be provided to recipient nations if necessary. (C), Exemptions may be granted based upon reasonable availability of food and/or environmental factors.
Three, finance: The progressive use of the tax system, national lotteries or deficit financing, or some appropriate mix [will be used to finance the plan].
Four, enforcement and administration: (1), Enforcement will be through an independent, self-perpetuating, retirement-mandated agency with full powers including necessary staff, investigative, and penalty provisions. Initial members will be appointed by the Supreme Court and the ABA [American Bar Association]. (2), Judicial review where necessary: The agency will monitor all Commission activities and may remove members for non-, mis-, or malfeasance in office. In addition, severe criminal and civil penalties may be invoked. Offenses will be unpardonable, sentences uncommutable. (3), Attempts to circumvent the letter and intent of this proposal will be treated as direct violations and subject to appropriate penalties. All such attempts will be determined by the affirmative board.
And five, interpretation: Affirmative speeches in this round will serve as legislative directives to resolve questions of plan interpretation.
In the 1NC, Kansas’s first off-case position was a traditional topicality violation. Their second off-case position was a separate Extra-Topicality argument:
I would argue, however, (II), extratopicality. I would argue (A), the case depends on (1), voluntary agencies to distribute the food, and (2), putting restrictions upon foreign countries—upon what the foreign countries do and what the foreign countries do with the food. I would argue (B), they are absolutely extratopical for two reasons: (1), It is not US land—it’s foreign countries. I would argue (2), when it gets to the US land, there is absolutely no control. They are cxtratopical because it is no part of US land. I would argue (C), when they talk about providing vitamin A, that is absolutely extratopical because in no way do they indicate that is a US land use control. It is an extratopical advantage when they claim any nutrition from that.
After the 2AC’s relatively brief response, the extra-topicality argument was barely extended in the 1NR:
On (II), extratopicality: (A), Their plan depends on it; they have to distribute it [food], as I point out below, and they have to give it to the foreign countries. (B), Once it’s there, it is not US land and, also, they have no controls on it. Now, if all these are “comprehensive,” extratopicality is a voting issue.
The “regular” topicality argument was briefly extended in the 2NR, but none of the judges voted on it. Jack Rhodes’s ballot included this explanation of how he evaluated the issue:
I did not vote on topicality or extra-topicality. These tend to be subjective issues, and I doubt that my reaction to them in this debate would conform to the opinions of very many other listeners. I was frankly unmoved by these arguments. I had an instinct that perhaps Mr. Rowland was just going through the motions, that he did not really expect to win on topicality but that it would strategically take the affirmative’s time to counter the arguments. The food case had seemed to me all year long like a reasonable (if a bit tiresome) interpretation of a wide-open proposition. I had the most sympathy for Mr. Rowland’s “red herring” argument, in that I do feel that the debate community had persistently ignored the implication of the generic term “land use” all year long; but the affirmative response was reasonable, and I could not envision voting on pro forma topicality arguments at this late date when I had found the same case topical on many previous occasions.
King Schofield’s ballot drew similar conclusions:
Concerning extra-topicality: The affirmative definition that “land use” includes “the purpose for which the product of the land is used” is never questioned by the negative. The affirmative definition of “comprehensive” as anything pertinent to achieving purposeful use of the product of the land is also never adequately questioned. The first negative rebuttalist claims this definition is ridiculous because one topical plan plank can justify extra-topical plan planks. I fail to see why the definition of comprehensive is unreasonable merely because its meaning makes otherwise extra-topical planks topical. There are other responses to extra-topicality which the negative ignores but the definition of comprehensive is enough to give extra-topicality to the affirmative.
David Wagner’s ballot did not address extra-topicality, but included this observation about the role that the topicality arguments played in the debate:
It should be noted initially that the selection of rebuttal arguments significantly narrowed the focus of the debate. Mr. Rowland abandoned his original organizational scheme and most of his topicality and significance challenges. Instead, he isolated three plan-solvency arguments and one disadvantage for detailed consideration. The other rebuttal speakers followed a similar pattern. Those issues which the negative chose to argue were expanded upon in the rebuttal speeches. This “sandbagging” put pressure on the first affirmative rebuttalist, who was required to cover substantial negative arguments in haste. This tactic worked extremely well for Kansas. It forced Georgetown to debate those issues which Kansas felt confident in winning while giving the negative the necessary time to provide a detailed refutation of affirmative responses.
Daniel Bozik’s ballot was similarly silent on the topicality issues, but it agreed with Wagner’s observation about “the spread:”
Strategically, the negative team used the “spread” to prevent the affirmative team from spending adequate amounts of time on the major issues. Given a different pattern of time allocation on the part of the affirmative team, there certainly could have been more concrete answers presented to the above disadvantage. However, the inability of the affirmative team to substantively respond to the disadvantage in the second affirmative constructive speech kept them from dealing with the intricacies of the argument. Then disadvantage was carried by the negative team because the mechanisms of the affirmative plan could not be demonstrated as capable of neutralizing the effects caused by the plan.
The decision was a 4-1 for the negative; they won that the Beef DA outweighed the case. The dissenting judge’s ballot (Thomas Kane) did not address topicality.
Extra-topicality was raised as an issue again in the 1977 NDT Final Round. Again, it was not the most important issue at the end of the debate. This time, the affirmative from Georgetown defeated USC on a 4-1 decision. The topic was Resolved: That the federal government should significantly strengthen the guarantee of consumer product safety required of manufacturers.
Georgetown defended the following 589-word plan:
On behalf of James J. Unger, Augustus Owlsey, and Jack [Walker], I support the national debate proposition, several independent examples of which are found in the following policy proposal to be enacted and maintained through all necessary federal and Constitutional means.
One, an independent, self-perpetuating, munificently-salaried, affirmatively appointed National Consumer Motor Vehicle Safety Commission will be established. Members will be removable by the Supreme Court for mis-, mal-, or nonfeasance in office, with mandatory retirement at age 60. Commissioners will be provided with all necessary staff, information, administrative services, legal power, and funding minimally sufficient to carry out the legal mandates of the plan.
Two, commencing on June 1, 1977, all newly-manufactured automobiles operating within the United States will be required to have installed Commission-approved, maximally balanced, effective airbag restraint systems consistent with all other plan provisions. Such installation procedures will be initially phased in over a three-year period, supervised and scheduled by the Commission on a graduated, technical-feasibility basis.
Three, commencing on June I, 1977, all relevant manufacturers will be legally required to offer free and reasonably convenient maintenance and reinstallation of utilized airbag systems. Manufacturers may be required to offer incentives to the public to undertake such actions.
Four, the Commission will undertake ongoing, comprehensive, independent, competitive research into all aspects of motor vehicle transportation safety. It will be fully empowered to require the removal, installation, maintenance, and use of seat belts, sequential reminders, and passive restraints on the basis of cost-benefit analysis and other relevant inputs. Affirmative airbag provisions are exempt from removal. The affirmative board will have legal authority to ensure that current requirements cannot be reduced in terms of safety effectiveness.
Five, proposal compliance costs for domestic and/or foreign manufacturers and related industries may be financed through Commission- approved, federally-funded, long-term, low-interest loans and/or grants upon adequate demonstration of need. Full consultation and cooperation with foreign manufacturers [will be provided].
Six, the Commission will undertake national, on-going programs of publicity and education on all matters of motor vehicle transportation safety, with particular emphasis upon the desirability of airbags, seat belts, and any other Commission-approved devices. The Commission will be empowered to assure the accuracy of conflicting sources of information.
Seven, financing will be through an appropriate, Commission-determined mix of progressive taxation, deficit spending, program reduction, and efficiency savings. Funding cannot exceed amounts minimally sufficient to carry out board mandates—total annual amount not to exceed $5 billion.
Eight, enforcement will be through specially-funded, independent prosecutors. Full investigative and enforcement authority will cover all staff and Commission members. Severe, unpardonable sentences and fines for all violations of any provision, including attempts at circumvention, [will be provided]. Any investigations and information obtained by the affirmative board in the completion of its duties will be legally restricted to that purpose. Other communication will be legally prevented.
Nine, all Commission decisions will be subject to priority review in federal courts with the burden of proof upon the appellant. No preliminary injunctive relief will be available. If necessary, special Commission-appointed courts may be created especially to deal with liability suits arising from the mandates of the plan. In all liability suits, total court costs will be borne by the losing party. Governmental compensation may be given to manufacturers for court judgments, except in cases of negligent behavior. All Commission decisions, including mandation of airbags, will not constitute precedent for liability suits arising from manufacturer actions prior to said decisions.
And ten, affirmative speeches will serve as legislative history for the specific purpose of resolving all questions of plan interpretation.
In his written decision, Bill Henderson explained how he evaluated USC’s topicality arguments:
Theoretical Issues: The affirmative proposed a topical policy. Since no current law regulates airbags, the negative argued that the policy did not “strengthen” regulations. The affirmative responded adequately by noting that regulations existed upon automobile safety, and that by establishing an additional requirement, their policy strengthened existing regulations.
The negative essentially fused issues relating that intent provision to extratopicality. The “intent” of a statute is employed only when the statute is ambiguous. To deny prompt clarification in an oral activity would render the activity less useful in choosing policy. Yet to extend the opportunity for interpretation significantly would seriously reduce the affirmative prima facie burden. As a result, application of the intent clause should be strictly limited, both in breadth and time when it would be acceptable in a round.
The three provisions included within this question related to liability suits, pollution control, and patent rights. The plan explicitly forbids liability suits and therefore the intent provision is irrelevant. Whether or not the provision is extratopical for reasons beyond the intent clause is not argued in this round. The plan is not explicit regarding pollution control. The affirmative responds to cross-examination that the board power is limited to saving lives currently lost in auto accidents. Regulation of pollution is external to this question, and the plan does not include this power. The plan is also inexplicit regarding patent rights. But the plan does require manufacturers to install airbags. Access to the airbag is within the purview of the board. The affirmative intent is clarified at the first opportunity. Two of the three provisions are acceptable as systematic parts of a program which strengthens consumer product safety as related to automobiles. The third provision is not.
Henderson’s attempt to uphold the need for some degree of affirmative plan clarification without allowing the affirmative to aggressively dodge negative arguments reflected an important theoretical controversy of the era. Extra-topicality — the negative argument that the affirmative plan goes beyond topical action; that while parts of it are topical, parts of it are not — eventually developed into an important constraint on the length and level of detail included in plans.
In their seminal 1980 article describing the policymaking paradigm, Allan Lichtman and Daniel Rohrer explained the concept of extra-topicality:
In arguing that a given resolution should be adopted, however, affirmative teams cannot tack onto their proposal additional policy actions which are extraneous to the carrying out of a resolution. Affirmative debaters cannot use such “non-resolutional” elements of an otherwise legitimate plan as a basis for affirming the resolution. This means that they cannot either obtain positive advantages from “non-resolutional” plan planks or use them to answer objections posed by the negative team. If “non-resolutional” aspects of an affirmative proposal were to play any part in a debate, the affirmative, in effect, would be arguing not for the debate resolution, but for the resolution combined with an additional course of action. An affirmative team defending a resolution calling for tax reform could not, for instance, add a program of public work to its taxation proposals and then use the public works program either to enhance the benefits or reduce the costs of its plan for tax reform. Similarly an affirmative defending the resolution that the foreign policy commitments of the United States should be significantly curtailed could not legitimately add onto a proposal for withdrawing from NA TO the stipulation that America’s welfare programs be expanded through savings obtained from the withdrawal program. (Footnote 12: The affirmative, of course, can claim the advantage of releasing funds by withdrawing from NATO, but cannot, in its plan, stipulate how those funds will be spent.)
Affirmative teams can argue, however, that given adoption of a resolutional proposal, decision-makers will embrace certain additional measures. With appropriate determination of probability the affirmative could then claim advantages from adoption of these non-resolutional policies: for a given outcome of new policy, its advantage [end page 242] would be equal to P (01 | A2) * P (A2 | A1), the probability of getting outcome O1 given adoption of the policy (A2) multiplied by the probability that adoption of the policy would indeed follow acceptance of the affirmative plan (A1). Thus an affirmative team with a plan for withdrawing from NATO could indeed claim advantage from an expansion of welfare spending if it could show some likelihood that resources freed from the withdrawal program in fact would be devoted to welfare recipients.
While that equation may be needlessly confusing, their point was that “non-resolutional” benefits of a plan could be argued only if supporting evidence for their likelihood was offered; they couldn’t be part of a topical plan.
This position was controversial. In a 1986 article, Robert Rowland framed this dispute as one between “realism” and “debatability.” He connected extra-topicality to similar disputes about intrinsicness and concluded that there was not a consensus about either issue:
One area where the requirements of debatability and realism conflict concerns plan specificity. In the real world, policy makers often include specific provisions that are designed to prevent harmful side effects of policy change. The tax code is filled with “plan spikes” aimed at guaranteeing equity and economic growth. However, many policy makers believe that in a debate the affirmative may not defend any policy position that is not either directly resolutional or necessary for implementing the resolution (Lichtman and Rohrer, “The Logic” 242). They claim that to permit the affirmative to move beyond the resolution would create an unfair advantage. The negative, it is argued, cannot advocate resolutional action; therefore, the affirmative should be limited to the resolution. If this were not the case, the affirmative could gain massive advantages from extra-topical plan provisions that have nothing to do with the topic being discussed.
The requirement that the affirmative defend only the resolution often leads to policy conclusions that are unrealistic. The domestic Malthus disadvantage illustrates this point. This disadvantage argues that each American consumes a disproportionate [end page 126] share of the world’s resources and that this consumption will bring on a global cataclysm. The negative uses the disadvantage to argue that we should not reduce the U.S. death rate any further. This argument refutes many affirmative plans which have the effect of saving or extending American lives. While the domestic Malthus disadvantage can be a potent strategic device, it is completely unrealistic. Were real world policy makers to conclude that making smoke alarms safer would have an incremental effect on world resource shortages, they would not prohibit safer smoke alarms and thereby consign a few thousand people to death. Instead, they would implement policies to fix the smoke detectors while also placing tax or other limits on resource consumption.
Although the negative may present unreasonable disadvantages, the affirmative also often presents unreasonable arguments. Many affirmative teams mix hypothesis testing with policy making by arguing that disadvantages must be intrinsic to the resolution. In other words, the affirmative claims that the disadvantage could be solved if the plan were written in a slightly different way which would still implement the resolution (Zarefsky 431). Here, the affirmative draws upon hypothesis testing to argue that disadvantages must inhere in the core of the resolution. They also tie this view to policy models by arguing that real world policy makers would attempt to solve for disadvantageous side-effects of policy change rather than give up on otherwise valuable policy proposals.
Initially, intrinsicness answers may seem to be the perfect counter to unreasonable negative disadvantages. Unfortunately, while strategically valuable, intrinsicness answers violate the debatability assumption of the policy making perspective. It is virtually impossible for the negative to refute every possible means of avoiding a disadvantage. Moreover, use of intrinsicness answers may be unfair to the negative. The affirmative can simply list alternative means of avoiding disadvantages and need not be responsible for any of them.
A final problem relating to plan specificity concerns extra-topicality: there are no clear standards for determining what is extra-topical. When is a plan provision necessary to implement the resolution as opposed to an illegitimate plan spike? Various guidelines have been suggested, but no consensus exists. In addition, it is unclear what happens to extra-topical plan provisions. Some theorists say that, because the affirmative is limited to resolutional action, extra-topical plan provisions simply drop out of the debate or are severed from the remainder of the plan. This view is consistent with realistic legislative rules. Congressional committees cannot consider legislation outside of their jurisdiction. At the same time, the view that extra-topical plan provisions disappear can have the unfortunate effect of allowing the affirmative to avoid negative arguments. If the negative wins the argument that a part of the plan is non-topical and disadvantageous, they may be hurt strategically. The negative may lose the debate because they win the extra-topicality argument and thus lose the disadvantage. Surely it is perverse for the negative to be hurt strategically because they win two important and independent positions.
Rowland’s position was thus quite different from Lichtman and Rohrer’s:
Many of the persistent problems afflicting the various policy analysis models can be resolved quite easily once it is understood that realism is important only so far as it facilitates debatability. Specificity and germaneness are rule of thumb standards for screening out unrealistic policy considerations. Applying these standards can help alleviate problems in debate theory.
First, the requirement that debaters should defend specific plan provisions provides clear guidance on the intrinsicness and extra-topicality issues. The affirmative should be allowed to include anything in their plan. Thus, the affirmative could attempt to spike out any or all of the possible disadvantages. It is unlikely that affirmatives would abuse this approach, because every plan provision opens up a potential disadvantage. Additionally, while the affirmative could include any provision in their plan, they would be allowed to claim advantages only from those provisions that implemented the resolution itself. For example, if the affirmative financed the plan by using funds saved from a ban on the MX, this provision might well be used to defeat a disadvantage. However, unless the resolution dealt with strategic defense, the affirmative could not claim any advantage from the ban on the MX. There is an important difference between claiming an advantage from an extra-topical plan provision and using such a provision to beat a disadvantage. Beating a disadvantage does not in and of itself justify adoption of the resolution. This view of extra-topicality is important because it provides the affirmative with a weapon against unreasonable negative disadvantages (such as the domestic Malthus argument discussed earlier).
In addition, under this view the affirmative is held responsible for every position they advocate, including plan provisions that are extra-topical. Once a plan or counterplan provision has been presented, the team cannot alter it. In this way, the affirmative has an incentive to avoid unreasonable plan spikes. This requirement is educationally necessary. In the real world, precision is important. For example, a mistake on a legal brief can cause untold misery. And in the real world, it is often very difficult to change a position once you have advocated it. A scientist who modifies a theory suffers a substantial loss of ethos. And in those circumstances where modification is routine (on the floor of Congress for instance) there is no set time limit as in debate. Congress can extend debate on an issue that has been amended.
An additional implication drawn from this perspective is that intrinsicness responses are not legitimate. Intrinsicness responses commit the affirmative to nothing and give the negative nothing to attack. Therefore, they violate the debatability criterion. If the affirmative wants to preempt a disadvantage they should include the provision in their plan and thus give the negative a chance to attack it.
The problems associated with extra-topicality and plan specificity can be solved by requiring both teams to be responsible for every position they advocate. This forces the affirmative and negative to choose carefully those positions that are important. At the same time, it gives the affirmative a means of dealing with unrealistic negative disadvantages while avoiding the further irrationality of intrinsicness.
For Rowland, it was better for affirmative plans to include explicit details than for the affirmative to offer later “clarifications” about the way their plan should or would be implemented and enforced. While these plan details might jeopardize particular negative arguments, they offered the negative access to other arguments based on the additional plan specification.
In Rowland’s example, the affirmative could specify that their plan was funded by cutting the MX (an ICBM), but this would allow the negative to present a disadvantage to cutting the MX. This gave the affirmative a choice: do they specify their funding mechanism in order to “spike out of” the negative’s generic spending DA? Or does doing so leave them too vulnerable to a different, specific disadvantage about their funding mechanism?
Ultimately, it was this realization — that every additional plan detail opened the affirmative up to additional lines of attack — that led to the gradual reduction in the size of plans during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Extra-topicality itself — as a standalone issue — won some debates. But its more important role was strategic. In order to answer extra-topicality arguments, affirmatives responded that “extra” planks increased negative ground. Once they had introduced this claim, it was difficult for them to criticize the negative that took advantage of this “extra” ground by presenting a disadvantage. And once this type of argument became prominent, the common affirmative suggestion that extra-topical plan planks be severed rather than a voting issue lost its persuasiveness. As Rowland explained, it did not make sense that “the negative may lose the debate because they win the extra-topicality argument and thus lose the disadvantage.”
As a result, the affirmative needed to be much more selective about which provisions they included in their plan. While “spikes” were potentially powerful ways to defeat generic negative arguments, they left the affirmative vulnerable to (perhaps even more powerful) specific attacks. Teams reached different conclusions about this risk-reward calculation, but plans generally shortened during this era.
The logic of this strategic pivot — that affirmative specification might make the affirmative’s position more rather than less vulnerable to negative offense — culminated in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the advent of the topical counterplan — and especially the plan-inclusive counterplan. More than anything else, topical PICs ended the era of the detailed plan text and ushered in the modern era of plan writing. I will explain this shift in the next article in this series.
Lichtman, Allan J. and Daniel M. Rohrer. “The Logic of Policy Dispute.” Journal of the American Forensic Association, Volume 16, Issue 4, 1980.
Panetta, Edward M. “The Topical Counterplan: Reasserting Negative Ground.” Debater’s Research Guide, 1981.
Rives, Stanley G., editor. “1976 National Debate Tournament Final Debate: Should the Federal Government Adopt a Comprehensive Program to Control Land Use in the United States?.” Journal of the American Forensic Association, Volume 13, Issue 1, 1976.
Rives, Stanley G., editor. “Final Round Judge Critiques: 1976 National Debate Tournament Final Debate.” Journal of the American Forensic Association, Volume 13, Issue 2, 1976.
Rives, Stanley G. and John K. Boaz, editors. “1977 National Debate Tournament Final Debate: Should the Federal Government Significantly Strengthen the Guarantee of Consumer Product Safety Required of Manufacturers?.” Journal of the American Forensic Association, Volume 14, 1977.
Rowland, Robert C. “The Relationship Between Realism and Debatability in Policy Advocacy.” Journal of the American Forensic Association, Volume 22, Issue 3, 1986.