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3 Tips For Using Evidence in Public Forum Debate.

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1. Analyze the evidence that you introduce.


The NHSDLC encourages competitors to build contentions using both logic-based and evidence-based warrants. However, a statistic alone will not persuade the judge that your contention is correct. Instead, you should analyze the evidence that you introduce. You can do so by considering the following questions:


1)Why does this evidence matter to the debate? Clearly explain how the evidence supports your contention. For example, many CON cases reference a 2013 Oxford study called “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerization?” Is computerization the same as Artificial Intelligence? You should explain how the study is relevant to your contention.

为什么这个证据对这场辩论是重要的?你需要清楚地解释证据如何支持你的论点。例如,很多CON case中都参考了2013年牛津大学的研究报告“就业的未来:工作多么容易受计算机化的影响?”计算机化和人工智能是一样的么?你应该解释清楚这个研究报告与你的论点有何关系。

2)Why is this evidence believable? Oxford is a world-renowned university, so it is safe to assume that the scholars of the study are credible. But if competitors are using evidence from a less-known source, they should explain to the judge why it is trustworthy.


If debaters disagree about these questions, that disagreement becomes another issue within the round.


2. Cite your evidence.


In written cases, competitors must include an in-line citation when quoting. You are also allowed to paraphrase evidence, meaning that you you put the original evidence in your own words. You must also use a citation when you paraphrase evidence.


The NHSDLC recommends that you use footnotes or the Author-Year system for in-line citations: place the author and year in parentheses at the end of the sentence. If you use the Author-Year system, you must also have a list of sources at the end of your case.


The following is an example of how to paraphrase and cite evidence:

According to two Oxford scholars, self-driving car technology will be cheaper and safer than human drivers in the near future. Therefore, transportation companies will replace human drivers will self-driving cars (Frey and Osborne, 2013).



3. You can request to see your opponent’s evidence during your preparation time.


You can ask to see your opponent’s evidence or their entire case. Crucially, you can only make these requests during your own preparation time - not your opponent’s.


When one debater asks to review evidence, their opponents must accept the request. While you do not need to share the entire article, you must share the paragraph from which the quote or reference is drawn. It is a good idea for debaters to have their evidence saved as a separate computer document, or printed out, so that it can be quickly given to the other team.


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