Debates are often very close, and teams can present good reasons with credible evidence for both the pro and the con side. In this case, how does the judge decide who wins and loses?
The frameworks each side puts forward is used by the judges to evaluate the arguments. A framework is a criteria for evaluating arguments or a way to decide who wins the debate. Teams typically say what their frameworks are at the start of their constructive speeches. But you should also justify why your framework is correct, and argue against your opponents framework as you go through the debate.
For example, the Pro side in “The United Nations is no longer important” could say that their framework is whether the decisions of the UN are obeyed by countries, and whether they make a difference to what happens in the world. So they might then use examples like the Iraq war to say that powerful countries can ignore the UN, so the UN is not important.
An example of when frameworks are useful
Let us consider this situation: The PRO argues the UN is not important because it failed to prevent the Rwandan genocide. And cites reliable sources stating that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in the ethnic conflict. On the other hand, the CON argues that the UN was important in stopping the spread of nuclear material. So without the UN nuclear accidents or use of nuclear weapons would have been more likely.
So both teams had strong contentions with significant harms. How does the judge decide which is more important? Which do we care more about Nuclear weapons or Genocide? A framework gives the judge a way to compare the two impacts and decide who wins the debate.
For example, the PRO could use a moral standard as their framework. “Genocide is one of the most evil things that can happen. Failing to prevent it makes the UN an immoral organisation. So it is unimportant to doing what is good for humanity.”
On the other hand, the CON could argue a framework of consequences. “A nuclear attack is one of the most devastating things that can happen. The UN prevented these terrible consequences of nuclear war by using its international power to reduce nuclear arms development.”
It is often useful to directly compare your framework to your opponent's.
For example the Con side could say: “While genocides are awful and should be prevented, nuclear proliferation threatens the entire world. So because it affects more people’s lives it is more important. The Pro side could say: “While the UN is involved in stopping nuclear proliferation, there are many other organisations that can do that. But the UN was created to stop genocides, and no other organisation has it’s ability to intervene. So if it is failing to do so then it has failed at its most important duty.” In this case they are directly comparing the impacts of the two frameworks, and saying theirs is bigger.
Other ways you can compare frameworks are by how relevant they are to the topic, or how closely they match a reasonable person’s interpretation of what the topic means. For example if Con set the framework “if we can prove that the UN has ever done anything that influenced the world, we should win this debate”. That would be a very easy framework to prove. Which would make it almost impossible for the Pro to win. But Pro could respond that normally when people say something is important they don’t normally mean just that it has done something, but how much of a difference it makes compared to other things. And then say that their framework makes more sense so it should be used instead.
比较框架的其他方法就是看它们与话题的相关性，或是看该框架与一个普通人对该话题的理解有多匹配。 例如，如果反方将框架设定为“如果我们能够证明联合国曾经做过影响世界的事，那我们就能赢得这场辩论”。 这个框架很容易证明，并且不会给正方留有转机。但是正方可以反驳说，通常人们说一些事情重要时，并不意味着他们已经做了这些事情，还要取决于这些事情和其它事情相比有什么差别。到时就会说他们的框架更有意义，并且应该使用它。
Some other tips for how to use your framework:
Make sure your framework agrees with your case.
A framework should relate to all of your contentions, or main arguments, in your case. If my framework is based in morality, then all of my points should relate to the moral decisions of the UN in some way. If my points are unrelated to my framework, then those points do not even hold credibility under my case.
Make sure you use your framework in every speech including the final focus.
Remember, the goal of a framework is to help you explain why your arguments are most important. In your summary and final focus speeches, you want to establish that even if your opponents win portions of their case, you still win the debate because your framework gives your arguments a greater priority.
Make sure your framework is broad enough to be fair.
A framework should benefit your case, but also be debatable by your opponents. Imagine a situation where the PRO claims that their framework is based only on whether or not the UN was successful in the Oil-For-Food Programme. Then any time the CON brought up an argument, the PRO simply said that it did not matter because it was not related to the PRO’s framework, the Oil-For-Food Programme. In this case, the PRO’s framework would not be a persuasive framework. So the judge would be very likely to reject it and judge on the opponents framework. So you want to make sure that your framework is broad enough that it looks fair.
That's not to say you can never use a specific framework, but the more specific it is the more work you need to do to justify why it is the most important thing. But a broad framework normally needs less justification. Depending on your arguments it might be a better strategic move to have a very simple framework and explain your arguments well.
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