Affirmative - the debaters who are arguing in favor of adopting the resolution.
Argument - A way of presenting persuasive information in a structured form
Attitudinal Inherency - Attitudes within the status quo preventing attainment of advantages within the
present system.
Bright Line Standard - A topicality argument that suggests the affirmative should define a clearly
identifiable boundary between topical and non-topical cases
Burden of Proof - The affirmative’s responsibility to prove a need for adoption of the resolution.
Clash - To provide direct opposition or argument
Constructive Speech - The first speech given by each debater in a round.
Contention - The rationale for a need for change. (A harm in the present system is expressed as a
Cost-Benefit Analysis - A broad policy analysis measuring the benefits of the policy versus the cost.
Counterplan - A non-topical solution to the affirmative case presented by the negative team in
conjunction with accepting the affirmative rationale for change.
Criteria - Standards or objectives that form the basis for establishing or evaluating policy. In L-D
debate, a criterion is a standard by which a statement may be judged.
Cross-Apply - Arguments applied to more than one area
Cross-examination Debate - A debate format having a questioning period between the constructive
Disadvantage - A harm resulting from the adoption of the affirmative plan
Disadvantage Shell - The outline of a disadvantage given by the first negative and developed by the
second negative.
Elimination Rounds - Debates involving the top teams (determined by the preliminary rounds).
Elimination rounds usually involve quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals. The winner of each successive
round advances; the loser is eliminated from the tournament.
Evidence - All printed material used as reference and support material in a debate. This includes
statistics, quotations, facts or examples, and expert testimony or opinion.
Extemporaneous Speaking - Speaking without the benefit of a prepared manuscript
Extra-topicality - Gaining the affirmative rationale through mechanisms other than those required by the
Fallacy - A false or mistaken idea
Fiat - The affirmative right to state that the affirmative plan will come into existence for the purposes of
debating its workability and potential disadvantages.
Flip - Using an opponent’s position to prove the opposite
Framer’s Intent - The types of cases the author(s) of a resolution envisioned on a topic.
Generic Arguments - Attacks that are relevant on a variety of topics.
Harms - Needs or contentions presented by the affirmative team as rationale for change.
Inherency - The barrier that keeps the status quo from achieving the affirmative case rationale.
Limiting the topic - This refers to the affirmative’s right to select the issue to be discussed in a debate. It
is impossible to cover all aspects of a given problem. The affirmative singles out, with the case, which
problems will be discussed.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate - A debate with a single debater on each side using a proposition of value.
Negative - The debaters arguing against the adoption of the resolution.
Negative Presumption - The concept that the status quo is effective and beneficial until proven
otherwise by the affirmative.
Novice - A first-year debater
Overtime - Speaking beyond the allotted time
Overview - Arguments not directly refuting case arguments which are given before or after specific case
Plan - The affirmative’s proposed method of implementing the resolution
Policy Debate - A debate, usually with two-person teams, on a policy topic.
Prima Facie Case - The concept that the affirmative must present sufficient evidence and analysis to
warrant acceptance of the resolution prior to counter arguments.
Proposition of Fact - A debate topic that calls for a determination of facts.
Proposition of Policy - A debate topic that argues for or against a particular course of action.
Proposition of Value - A debate topic that centers on a values conflict.
Qualitative Significance - Significance which is not necessarily measurable, but which will improve the
quality of a system.
Quantitative Significance - A measurable, numerical form of significance.
Rationale - The reasons for adopting the resolution
Rebuttal Speeches - The second speech given by each speaker in a debate round.
Refutation - Evidence and argumentation that deny the validity of the opponent’s position.
Round - One complete debate
Secondary Source - A source which reprints previously published material.
“Should” - Ought to but not necessarily will be done.
Significance - The importance or scope of an issue
Solvency - The ability of the affirmative plan to solve the needs or gain the advantages
Speaker Ranking - Points on a debate ballot that are awarded to each speaker on a comparative basis
with the performance of the other speakers. The best speaker receives a 1, etc.
Specialized Dictionary - Dictionaries that index only those words related to a specific field such as law,
medicine, political science, or economics.
Status Quo - The present system of programs, laws, and policies.
Topic - The subject for debate
Topicality - The concept that the affirmative case and plan must deal with the subject for debate and
prove why the topic should be adopted.
Uniqueness - The term for inherency in a comparative advantage case. The status quo must not be
capable of obtaining the advantages; they must be unique to adoption of the topic.
Utilitarianism - A doctrine that what is useful is good
Value - A concept or ideal which makes some judgement.
Voting Issues - The reasons why a judge decides to give the decision to one team instead of the other
Workability - The ability of the affirmative plan to function.