Analysis-Feb-2015 - Warwick Debating Society

Training Session 6 Feb 2015
Why do I need analysis?
• Most of the things debaters say are true (or at
least plausible)
• Therefore both sides are saying competing
true things
• Quality of analysis is how the judges decide
which true thing they prefer
What does “more analysis” mean?
• Making the judges believe what you say.
– They have to believe it is true
– They have to believe it is important
– They have to understand it will work
Example motion
• THW Arm the Police
– This will reduce crime (Prop)
– This will save lives (Prop)
– This will lead to better armed criminals (Opp)
– This will lead to the police being alienated from the
public (Opp)
Add examples
• True things
– American police are armed and there are far more
shootings than in the UK
• Emotive things
– Imagine how you would feel if you were an elderly
lady in a minority community who every day saw
police from the majority group patrolling your
neighbourhood with guns
• Don’t have one really convincing argument
for why something is true?
– Use several weaker ones
• Often people talk around each other so fail to
engage with other side
• Or fail to explain why the things they say are more
important than points from their opponents
• Why life under your side is better than the
alternative option;
• Why the benefits/ harms you give are more
important than those from the other side.
• How can you attack this from Opp?
• Usual cases feature around:
– Solution does not lead to desired "then"
– Then is bad.
• Have to say why then is better than now or
vice versa.
• Often Opposition teams will just explain
problems in Then - without explaining why
those make it worse than Now.
• So even if you prove that there desired Then
doesn't happen you still have to explain why
that Then is worse than Now.
• Both sides of the debate are proposing benefits
that any reasonable person would consider to
be good.
• However there is a zero sum game: both of
these goods cannot be achieved fully, an
increase in one comes at a cost to the other.
• Therefore the debate is about the correct
balance of these principles in a moral or ideal
• Have to prove that your stakeholder is more
important (tends to mean either your group is
larger or is effected to a greater degree in terms
of being either harmed or benefited more than
other groups are.)
• In analysis directly engage with what your
opponents are saying and explain why your
stuff is more important.
• This is particularly important when weighing
up principles.
• Often you are weighing up some harm versus
some concept of freedom.
• Freedom does get taken away in certain
circumstances. Why or why not in this case?
• A lot of this can be solved by simply impacting harms
• As then the other teams can't just shrug it off as not a
• So how do you do that?
– Explain why things are harmful (don’t assume
your judge will just believe something is bad)
– For example, debaters often just state that this
leads to inequality therefore it is bad. But why is
this the case?