Debate Commentary

A Pessimistic View of Norms in LD by Salim Damerdji

Many LDers believe that the activity improves with time. The conventional wisdom goes something like this: All else equal, a true argument beats out a false argument in round. Debaters copy and comply with good norms since it’s easier to win theory and K debates when you’re on the right …

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Head 2 Head: Is the Judge an Educator?

This is NSD Update’s Head to Head! Two people will argue back and forth on a controversial debate topic. They are presented with word restrictions and limits on time for when they must submit their responses. The winner will be declared upon the posting of the next “Head to Head.” …

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Announcing the NSD Update Podcast!

NSD Update is super excited to release the first episode of Hutt Up or Shut up brought to you by the National Symposium for Debate. This is a podcast hosted by NSD Staff Sam Azbel and Paul Zhou that will be released every two weeks and will concern debate news, …

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Head 2 Head Returns: Fairness First

After a three year hiatus, NSD Update’s Head to Head Series Returns! Two people will argue back and forth on a controversial debate topic. They are presented with word restrictions and limits on time for when they must submit their responses. The winner will be declared upon the posting of …

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The NSD Flagship Topic is Housing!

We are pleased to announce that the topic that we are going to debate at the NSD Flagship Institute is: Resolved: The United States ought to guarantee the right to housing. Students should feel free to begin doing research and casing on the topic if they wish, but should keep in …

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Official 2016-2017 LD Topic List

1. Resolved: The United States ought to become party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. 2. Resolved: The United States ought to limit qualified immunity for police officers. 3. Resolved: A just government ought to prioritize civil liberties over national security. 4. Resolved: The United States ought …

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An Alternative View of Offense/Defense by Michael Bogaty

An Alternative View of Offense/Defense by Michael Bogaty with significant contributions by Rahul Gosain In recent years, the community has adopted a near-universal paradigm for evaluation of arguments: offense/defense. On any issue up for debate, whether a framework, contention-level argument, or theory shell, only offensive arguments hold weight. Defensive arguments …

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Disclosure and Creativity by Martin Sigalow

Introduction This is the first of a few articles I will write criticizing disclosure as a norm in Lincoln Douglas debate. In this article, I will argue that the practice of disclosure diminishes creativity in debate and therefore prepares debaters poorly for life. I have three caveats to the disclosure …

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An Outsider’s Manual to Kritiks (Part 1) by Salim Damerdji

AN OUTSIDER’S MANUAL TO KRITIKS Part 1: Three Role of the Ballot Arguments Intro It seems like we’ve gotten to a point where the largest ideological divide in the national circuit can roughly be approximated by divergent views of Kritiks[1]. In elimination rounds especially, many judges are considered instant losses …

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