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How do you write arguments?

BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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8/24/2011 11:13:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?

I'd like to reply to your post but why should I reveal my hand when you haven't revealed yours? :)

Blackvoid, YOU tell us how you write your arguments lol!
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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8/24/2011 11:29:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:13:39 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?

I'd like to reply to your post but why should I reveal my hand when you haven't revealed yours? :)

Blackvoid, YOU tell us how you write your arguments lol!

Oh sorry, forgot we were in a high-stakes poker game :)

I used to write arguments fast and within a couple sittings, but in the last month or two I've lost a bit of motivation and can't focus on a debate for an hour straight. So I tend to write chunk by chunk atm.

Also, you should join our intellectual discussion of movies and candy bars:

http://www.debate.org...

Its very informative :)
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/24/2011 11:37:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
For all except the easiest debates, I read the opponents argument and then think about it overnight. Sometimes I'll write a few random paragraphs immediately to get the thought process started, but those paragraphs almost always end up being rewritten. It's not necessary to think about the debate explicitly, the subconscious builds a thread and processes it in the background. think this will work for most people.

One exception is when an opponent forfeits and I want to get the clock running again to get the debate finished. Even then it's worth thinking about whether all the opponents arguments were answered and if it's worth adding more. Sometimes opponents reappear in the next round, so it's worth piling on.

When writing the response sometimes its good to copy the headings forst to define an outline of the response. That helps avoid dropping points.

In editing down a response that's too long, the first to go are nifty points that really don't really address the resolution. Next to go are introductory sentences that st the stage for the argument. When space is tight, I don't tell people what I'm going to say.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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8/25/2011 12:08:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:29:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
At 8/24/2011 11:13:39 PM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
At 8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?

I'd like to reply to your post but why should I reveal my hand when you haven't revealed yours? :)

Blackvoid, YOU tell us how you write your arguments lol!

Oh sorry, forgot we were in a high-stakes poker game :)

I used to write arguments fast and within a couple sittings, but in the last month or two I've lost a bit of motivation and can't focus on a debate for an hour straight. So I tend to write chunk by chunk atm.

Okay. I agree with RoyLatham as I copy the headings. If I am posting opening arguments, I make the headings for each point including sources and bold them. I do the formatting before actually writing anything as it keeps my thoughts organized. Then as I think of more points, I add them in. I make sure to edit things if I think of better arguments. If it is too long, I first shorten all the sources with biturl, then change all instances of "my opponent" to "Con". Then I would shorten the headings to one or two words.

Also, you should join our intellectual discussion of movies and candy bars:

http://www.debate.org...

Its very informative :)

I don't know if you were kidding or not when you sent me to a thread started by someone who is widely known to be a troll. I was able to make an interesting contribution nevertheless.
BlackVoid
Posts: 9,170
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8/25/2011 1:12:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/25/2011 12:08:41 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:

I don't know if you were kidding or not when you sent me to a thread started by someone who is widely known to be a troll. I was able to make an interesting contribution nevertheless.

No, we are literally talking about movies and candy bars. Look at the first and second page. Its the ultimate anti-troll tool.

Anyway, I'll elaborate a bit more on mine since you two were fairly detailed.

For me, and I'd expect for most people too, it doesn't take long to actually think of an argument or rebuttal. Most of my time is spent putting it in the right words so that the viewers can clearly understand it. I think its extremely important that you make your argument as clear as possible so voters don't have to decipher what you're trying to say.

I don't really make outlines, I just refute and format the points whenever I get to them.

If there's an argument I dont know how to refute at first, I wait until I think of something rather than skipping and coming back later. This prevents me from forgetting about it. Usually if I go away for an hour or two, something will come to me when I come back. Thats probably the subconscious thing Roy mentioned.

If there's an argument or concession I think can win me the debate by itself, I make sure to list it twice. Once in the contention where the point was made, and once at the very end so its fresh on the voter's minds.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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8/25/2011 2:56:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't usually have a pattern. Sometimes it's immediately. Sometimes I wait tell the last minute.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
YYW
Posts: 36,282
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8/25/2011 7:14:11 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?

For me it varies on the debate, and how much time I have on my hands. If I know that I have a lot of stuff coming up in the next few days (as I do now) I will probably just get it done. I suppose that if I were stumped though, I would think about it until I came up with a way to counter it. When I typed the response to our debate right now I was actually in one of my classes, and I was tremendously bored in addition to the fact that I know I had a hectic few days coming up so I just tackled it. I would encourage you to think about what you post before you post it though, unless you are confident in your response because it is always annoying when I go back and think "Man... I wish I had have said [reason x] instead of [reason y] because [reason x] would have been a heck of a lot more effective."
Tsar of DDO
CD-Host
Posts: 20
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8/25/2011 10:52:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
In the middle rounds I have 3 things going on:

1) An overall direction I want to take the debate in that I decided on prior to accepting. Often as I've been doing research I've learned new stuff. So call this the "work it in" material.

2) Refutations of opponent's points / defense of my own. Keeping active arguments alive with simple points.

3) New arguments where I'm worried about losing ground or opponent landed a blow.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/25/2011 11:00:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:37:15 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
For all except the easiest debates, I read the opponents argument and then think about it overnight. Sometimes I'll write a few random paragraphs immediately to get the thought process started, but those paragraphs almost always end up being rewritten. It's not necessary to think about the debate explicitly, the subconscious builds a thread and processes it in the background. think this will work for most people.

One exception is when an opponent forfeits and I want to get the clock running again to get the debate finished. Even then it's worth thinking about whether all the opponents arguments were answered and if it's worth adding more. Sometimes opponents reappear in the next round, so it's worth piling on.

When writing the response sometimes its good to copy the headings forst to define an outline of the response. That helps avoid dropping points.

In editing down a response that's too long, the first to go are nifty points that really don't really address the resolution. Next to go are introductory sentences that st the stage for the argument. When space is tight, I don't tell people what I'm going to say.

This.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
randolph7
Posts: 307
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8/25/2011 11:52:42 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/25/2011 11:00:38 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/24/2011 11:37:15 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
For all except the easiest debates, I read the opponents argument and then think about it overnight. Sometimes I'll write a few random paragraphs immediately to get the thought process started, but those paragraphs almost always end up being rewritten. It's not necessary to think about the debate explicitly, the subconscious builds a thread and processes it in the background. think this will work for most people.

One exception is when an opponent forfeits and I want to get the clock running again to get the debate finished. Even then it's worth thinking about whether all the opponents arguments were answered and if it's worth adding more. Sometimes opponents reappear in the next round, so it's worth piling on.

When writing the response sometimes its good to copy the headings forst to define an outline of the response. That helps avoid dropping points.

In editing down a response that's too long, the first to go are nifty points that really don't really address the resolution. Next to go are introductory sentences that st the stage for the argument. When space is tight, I don't tell people what I'm going to say.

This.

*this
"ahh but i have indeed found the burdon of truth the, muffs have found it. oh mothy dear dear mothy"
seraine
Posts: 734
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8/25/2011 11:59:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I basically read my opponent's response, think about it for a little bit, and then write the whole thing in a couple days during one sitting. I really should get started on my drug legalization debate...
Hello-Orange
Posts: 81
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8/25/2011 4:49:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/24/2011 11:02:43 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
I've been curious recently as to how different people write arguments in a debate, because some people tend to take more or less time to post than others.

For instance, once you start a rebuttal, do you write your whole response right there/ASAP? Or do you write a paragraph, come back later, write another paragraph, and go from there? Or maybe write until you lose motivation, then come back later? Etc.

Also, what if you're stumped on an argument for a while? Do you just sit there until you think of something, or come back to it later in the day?

It all depends for me.
If I'm instigating a debate, I usually take a really long time to do it. But if I'm responding to a debate challenge, or if it's a rebuttal round, I usually get through with them pretty quickly.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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8/25/2011 11:18:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I usually read my opponents response and write my rebuttal in one sitting (I hate stopping half-way). I use my gut feeling when typing. If something doesn't feel right, there is always a reason. I will keep exploring my thoughts until I find the words to express it. Most of the time after typing my response I will read it a few times making sure my sentences are worded to properly make my point, and then submit. But if my gut tells me something is wrong, or if I am not getting that comfortable feeling that my argument is easily stronger then my opponents after finishing, then by that point I am usually tired and will leave it for the next day with a fresh mind.

Roy is right, the subconscious does seem to stay at work and develop a better understanding over time. I think waiting that extra day to post is always beneficial, but most of the time I am just too impatient to wait.