Lincoln Douglas Debate Case Outline
It is because I agree with (author and qualifications)________________________________________________________________________
in the position that (main idea) ________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________, that I feel compelled to affirm/negate todayâ€™s resolution,
For clarification of todayâ€™s round, I offer the following (if negative put in the word counter) definitions:
Source: _____________________________________________ Definition:_________________________________________________________________
Source: _____________________________________________ Definition:_________________________________________________________________
(follow format for each word you define).
The highest value within todayâ€™s round is ___________________________________________________________________________________.
(The value)____________________________________________ is defined as ___________________________________________________________.
(The value) ____________________________________________ is most important in todayâ€™s round because________________________
The best criterion for evaluating this resolution is __________________________________________________________________________.
(This criterion) _______________________________________ is defined as ___________________________________________________________
It best achieves my value of________________________________________because___________________________________________________
In (affirming/negating) the resolution, I offer the following contentions:
Contention I: (Claim)____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(Warrant: What reasons do you have for making this claim? What evidence do you have to support this claim?
What further explanation of can you give to clarify your position?)
(Impact: How does this claim affect your value or criterion or the resolution itself?)_____________________________________
Contention II: (Second claim here in a complete sentence following same format used in Contention I)
Contention III: (Third claim here in a complete sentence following same format used in Contention I)
Before analyzing my contentions, please observe the following: (An observation is a point of clarification defining
the parameters of the debate; it should not be a debatable point.)
Conclusion Option 1:
I have shown you that (Contention I)__________________________________________________________________________________________
and (Contention III) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For these reasons, we can clearly conclude that (value)_____________________________________________________________________
should be upheld and the (restate the resolution or the negation of the resolution)______________________________________
Conclusion Option 2:
(Author and qualifications)_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
states that (summarizing quote)_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Clearly, we must (affirm/negate) the resolution.
Common LD Terms
Abusive- An argument that leaves no ground for the other side to debate
Affirmative (Aff)- The side of the debate that agrees with the resolution.
Ballot- The evaluation the judge writes after each round declaring a winner, assigning speaker points, and offering
Break- To progress to the final rounds of competition.
Case- The pre-prepared speech that is read in the constructive period.
Claim- The thesis statement of a contention that must be proved by a warrant.
Concession- Admission that the other side is correct on a point.
Contention- Major reasons that are the foundation of a case. Formulated in the constructive speech and then
extended throughout the debate.
Counter Interpretation- A different, and perhaps more appropriate, way of looking at the resolution. This may
involve defining a word or phrase differently.
Criteria- Plural, criterion.
Criterion- The major part of a case that is used to achieve the value.
Cross Apply- The term used when a debater wants to use the same argument without repeating the entire
Cross Examination (CX)- Three minute questioning period.
Crystallization- 1: Giving of voting issues during the last speech. 2: Solidifying of arguments emphasizing impacts
Extend- To repeat an argument during another rebuttal. Used to describe the line judges may draw across the page
into the next column rather than rewriting the entire argument.
Flights- The stacking of two debates in the same room with the same judge in the same round, one right after the
Flow- Special notes taken in each round.
Flowing- Taking detailed notes summarizing the key arguments of the round.
Impact- The part of a contention that explains why an argument matters.
Intrinsic- Of itself. (If something is intrinsically valuable, you value it not because of what it does for you, but for its
Kritik- A distinct argument used in LD and Policy debate that criticizes cultural assumptions made in either the
resolution or a particular case.
LD- Lincoln Douglas debate.
Link- Attachment, relationship.
Negative (Neg)- The position that disagrees with the resolution.
Overview- An overarching argument or observation about the round that comes before any other arguments
during a rebuttal.
Pairings (Posting)- The list put up before each debate round letting debaters know who they will be debating,
where the round will take place, the judge, and the time of the round.
Prelims- The first 3-6 rounds before the break.
Preparation time (prep Time)- A total of 4 minutes used during a round to prepare speeches.
Rebuttal- A speech that argues both for your side and against the side of your opponent. A good rebuttal must
address attacks made by the other side.
Resolution- Statement to be debated.
Roadmap- A statement of what you will be doing in the upcoming speech. Example: I will first be going over the
affirmative case, and then I will move on to the negative.â€
Running- The use of any specific and thematic positions in your case.
Signposting- 1: Noting which argument you are on. 2: Noting what order you will be going in before beginning a
Speaker Points- The rating a judge gives on his or her ballot evaluating the speaking abilities of the debater.
Sub Point- A minor point falling under the umbrella of a contention.
Tag Line- The claim that goes at the beginning of each contention or sub point.
Time Suck- Intentionally taking up extra time so that your opponent will run out of time either with poor and weak
extra arguments or by drawing out arguments in cross examination.
Topical- Policy term that has crossed over to LD. An argument that does not directly address the resolution and is
Value- The judging standard for the round.
Voters- The main issues you would like the judge to focus on when deciding the round. Presented in the last
Warrant- Reasoning that makes an assertion (claim) true.
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