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Debate Mentoring

Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:23:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
One of the more common things I hear about in the comments sections of debates and on the forums is newer members mentioning how they think they suck at debating or how they wished they could be better.

Whelp, time to get good.

In the spirit of major essays finishing up and a general desire to analyze different debates, I'm offering my services to newer/noobier members who want help to become a better debater. This is what I'm willing to do:

When you're signing up for my help, you sign up with the link of a debate that you have completed in the past, is in the voting period, or you are in the process of completing. I'll walk through arguments presented within the round and discuss how the arguments are interacting, the strategic value of certain arguments and the easiest ways to win the debate given the arguments presented. I'll discuss errors made within the debate with you, either on your end or your opponent's end, and show you ways that you can capitalize on those errors if they're on your opponent's end, or how to shore up and fix the errors if they're on your end.

Given that if I get swarmed with 20 of these I'll get a little overwhelmed, I'll be taking requests three at a time, meaning that I'll analyze three debates and work through them with debaters before I move onto new debates. More than three people are willing to sign up, but first come first serve.

For those of you who are just looking for general tips on how to improve your debating, I can throw out a few things I see a lot that, if fixed, could improve your ability to debate:

1. Understanding what the point of your arguments is really important. What do I mean by that? Every argument you make in a debate has an impact on the debate, and since this term gets thrown around a lot I'll be really clear by what I mean by an impact. An impact is the explanation of why your argument matters in terms of you winning the debate at hand. Whether that takes the form of how because workers become disinterested in working harder a minimum wage harms the job market which is bad for a nation's economy or how because criminals are less likely to commit a crime if the cost of getting caught is the death penalty that capital punishment deters crime which makes a society safer and more prosperous, any and every argument that you make should have an impact to it. Understanding what the impact of your argument is and learning on how to craft arguments with the biggest impacts greatly improves your chances of winning.

2. Your word economy is really important to being able to craft the best possible argument. While, idealistically, we can spend as much time as we want being as eloquent as possible in the presentation of our arguments, pragmatically that isn't possible. We have a character limit here on DDO, and learning how to work around it to present the most, and best, possible arguments in that space is vital. Yes, I'm looking at you pleasantries at the beginning of your rounds and unnecessarily formal speech within the debate. It sounds nice but at the end of the day, nice speech doesn't actually refute arguments or strengthen link stories.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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3/24/2015 9:34:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM, Zaradi wrote:
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:


1. Wylted (The drunk driving debate)
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:39:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:34:21 AM, Wylted wrote:

Sounds good. Poke me when that gets started and I'll keep up with it.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
Arcanas
Posts: 198
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3/24/2015 9:40:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM, Zaradi wrote:
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.

I haven't done a debate yet, but can I sign up?
ClashnBoom
Posts: 886
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3/24/2015 9:41:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM, Zaradi wrote:
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.


1. Wylted
2. Clashnboom
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

If anyone in this site needs it its definitely me.
I will change my sig weekly. Week 4.

Fun fact of the week
Clumsy alien Jar Jar Binks was introduced in The Phantom Menace for comic relief, but he was initially a two-faced mercenary who was to betray Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Master played by Liam Neeson.

Joke of the week:
Nerd 1: "Why can't you trust atoms?"
Nerd 2: : "Cause they make everything up!"
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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3/24/2015 9:41:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:39:24 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:34:21 AM, Wylted wrote:

Sounds good. Poke me when that gets started and I'll keep up with it.

Okay
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:42:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:40:50 AM, Arcanas wrote:

I haven't done a debate yet, but can I sign up?

Sure. Just make sure to let me know when you've started one so that I can keep up with it.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:43:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:41:22 AM, ClashnBoom wrote:

If anyone in this site needs it its definitely me.

Any debate in particular?
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
ClashnBoom
Posts: 886
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3/24/2015 9:46:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:43:09 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:41:22 AM, ClashnBoom wrote:

If anyone in this site needs it its definitely me.

Any debate in particular?

No, just need mentoring maybe some pointers and criticism.
I will change my sig weekly. Week 4.

Fun fact of the week
Clumsy alien Jar Jar Binks was introduced in The Phantom Menace for comic relief, but he was initially a two-faced mercenary who was to betray Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Master played by Liam Neeson.

Joke of the week:
Nerd 1: "Why can't you trust atoms?"
Nerd 2: : "Cause they make everything up!"
WillYouMarryMe
Posts: 247
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3/24/2015 9:49:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM, Zaradi wrote:
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:


1. Wylted (Drunk Driving debate)
2. Arcanias (to be decided)
3. WYMM (GMI debate w/ thett)
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.
BLAHthedebator
Posts: 982
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3/24/2015 9:49:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:24:13 AM, Zaradi wrote:
If you would like for me to analyze and mentor you through one of your debates, feel free to toss your name down below:


1. Blah (if the time comes)
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to tack on another spot if it fills. Be sure to include the link of the debate you want me to look at when you do.
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas...
Is...
Youuuuuu
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (No Link Yet)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
BLAHthedebator
Posts: 982
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3/24/2015 9:55:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:51:03 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:49:48 AM, BLAHthedebator wrote:

Any debate in particular?

Something like "Resolved: Debate noob-sniping should not always be frowned upon"

The resolution is getting there....
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas...
Is...
Youuuuuu
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:56:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:55:32 AM, BLAHthedebator wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:51:03 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:49:48 AM, BLAHthedebator wrote:

Any debate in particular?

Something like "Resolved: Debate noob-sniping should not always be frowned upon"

The resolution is getting there....

Let me know when you have the debate you want me to analyze then.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
BLAHthedebator
Posts: 982
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3/24/2015 9:57:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:56:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:55:32 AM, BLAHthedebator wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:51:03 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:49:48 AM, BLAHthedebator wrote:

Any debate in particular?

Something like "Resolved: Debate noob-sniping should not always be frowned upon"

The resolution is getting there....

Let me know when you have the debate you want me to analyze then.

Okay, thanks.
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas...
Is...
Youuuuuu
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
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3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 9:59:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Thanks.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
ClashnBoom
Posts: 886
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3/24/2015 10:15:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
If I challenge you to a debate and ask you to mentor me does that mean free win for me?
I will change my sig weekly. Week 4.

Fun fact of the week
Clumsy alien Jar Jar Binks was introduced in The Phantom Menace for comic relief, but he was initially a two-faced mercenary who was to betray Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi Master played by Liam Neeson.

Joke of the week:
Nerd 1: "Why can't you trust atoms?"
Nerd 2: : "Cause they make everything up!"
Zaradi
Posts: 14,125
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3/24/2015 10:27:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 10:15:47 AM, ClashnBoom wrote:
If I challenge you to a debate and ask you to mentor me does that mean free win for me?

No LOL. I'd debate you and then after the debate concluded I'd walk you through the debate and analyze it as if I hadn't been the one debating.
Want to debate? Pick a topic and hit me up! - http://www.debate.org...
bluesteel
Posts: 12,301
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3/24/2015 11:12:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:23:03 AM, Zaradi wrote:
One of the more common things I hear about in the comments sections of debates and on the forums is newer members mentioning how they think they suck at debating or how they wished they could be better.

Whelp, time to get good.

In the spirit of major essays finishing up and a general desire to analyze different debates, I'm offering my services to newer/noobier members who want help to become a better debater. This is what I'm willing to do:

When you're signing up for my help, you sign up with the link of a debate that you have completed in the past, is in the voting period, or you are in the process of completing. I'll walk through arguments presented within the round and discuss how the arguments are interacting, the strategic value of certain arguments and the easiest ways to win the debate given the arguments presented. I'll discuss errors made within the debate with you, either on your end or your opponent's end, and show you ways that you can capitalize on those errors if they're on your opponent's end, or how to shore up and fix the errors if they're on your end.

Given that if I get swarmed with 20 of these I'll get a little overwhelmed, I'll be taking requests three at a time, meaning that I'll analyze three debates and work through them with debaters before I move onto new debates. More than three people are willing to sign up, but first come first serve.

For those of you who are just looking for general tips on how to improve your debating, I can throw out a few things I see a lot that, if fixed, could improve your ability to debate:

1. Understanding what the point of your arguments is really important. What do I mean by that? Every argument you make in a debate has an impact on the debate, and since this term gets thrown around a lot I'll be really clear by what I mean by an impact. An impact is the explanation of why your argument matters in terms of you winning the debate at hand. Whether that takes the form of how because workers become disinterested in working harder a minimum wage harms the job market which is bad for a nation's economy or how because criminals are less likely to commit a crime if the cost of getting caught is the death penalty that capital punishment deters crime which makes a society safer and more prosperous, any and every argument that you make should have an impact to it. Understanding what the impact of your argument is and learning on how to craft arguments with the biggest impacts greatly improves your chances of winning.

2. Your word economy is really important to being able to craft the best possible argument. While, idealistically, we can spend as much time as we want being as eloquent as possible in the presentation of our arguments, pragmatically that isn't possible. We have a character limit here on DDO, and learning how to work around it to present the most, and best, possible arguments in that space is vital. Yes, I'm looking at you pleasantries at the beginning of your rounds and unnecessarily formal speech within the debate. It sounds nice but at the end of the day, nice speech doesn't actually refute arguments or strengthen link stories.

The biggest problems people have in debate in general are (in order of importance):

(1) Argument selection

(2) Impact selection

(3) Word economy

#1 and #2 can further be broken down into problems caused by insufficient debate training (not understanding offense/defense and impacts) and part can be explained by insufficient research skills. The main thing I would say to most debaters is simply: those aren't the arguments I would have run. Yes, I can tell you how to have debated better using the arguments you used, but the only way to *really* increase your prospects of winning would be to tell you that you ran the wrong arguments and you should have run better arguments. Even if I teach a debater the best way to run their bad arguments, they'll hit a wall where they can't beat other decent debaters. They can only win using their sub-optimal arguments if their opponent isn't good enough to beat them.

Word economy doesn't matter until you master #1 and #2. If you can't select the best arguments on the topic, it won't matter that you learn to say the same thing in fewer words. That frees up space for you to make more arguments, but if you can't select better arguments, then the freed up space will be wasted on you running *worse* arguments than the ones you originally selected for your case.

I'd rather see someone run one really good argument than 7 bad arguments.

tl;dr As far as teaching techniques, analyzing a debate in the way described above is not always helpful because the problem for n00bs often occurs before the round was even posted (argument selection). And word economy is something to be mastered only after you have mastered argument selection, since freeing up space is useless if you just run more garbage arguments.

If you are going to analyze a debate in this way, the most helpful advice is often what you would have run and why it is more effective, i.e. basically do the same debate yourself and tell them to watch and analyze what you are doing differently.
You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into - Jonathan Swift (paraphrase)
Geographia
Posts: 1,467
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3/24/2015 12:35:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:59:30 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6. Geo: http://www.debate.org... (Starting hopefully soon?)
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Thanks.
Unitomic
Posts: 591
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3/24/2015 1:56:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 12:35:38 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:59:30 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6. Geo: http://www.debate.org... (Starting hopefully soon?)
7. Unitomic: http://www.debate.org... (Yes, I know I dropped an entire case {accidentally of course. I literally punched myself when She mentioned it to me later}. ) : http://www.debate.org... (idk if we can option for two, but I always felt this debate was closer then it should be. Although I take pride in it being my first real debate)
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Thanks.

Well since the likes of Wylted is joining this, I guess there's no shame.
Unitomic
Posts: 591
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3/24/2015 1:58:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
For the second debate, yes I am also aware I won by a distinct margin, and that the only real points the opponent has was from a vote bomb, but I personally feel I should have done better.
simonstuffles
Posts: 35
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3/24/2015 4:43:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 1:56:51 PM, Unitomic wrote:
At 3/24/2015 12:35:38 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:59:30 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6. Geo: http://www.debate.org... (Starting hopefully soon?)
7. Unitomic: http://www.debate.org... (Yes, I know I dropped an entire case {accidentally of course. I literally punched myself when She mentioned it to me later}. ) : http://www.debate.org... (idk if we can option for two, but I always felt this debate was closer then it should be. Although I take pride in it being my first real debate)
8. simonstuffles: no debate yet!
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Thanks.

Well since the likes of Wylted is joining this, I guess there's no shame.
SmallTacos
Posts: 160
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3/24/2015 4:51:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 9:23:03 AM, Zaradi wrote:
One of the more common things I hear about in the comments sections of debates and on the forums is newer members mentioning how they think they suck at debating or how they wished they could be better.

Whelp, time to get good.

In the spirit of major essays finishing up and a general desire to analyze different debates, I'm offering my services to newer/noobier members who want help to become a better debater. This is what I'm willing to do:

When you're signing up for my help, you sign up with the link of a debate that you have completed in the past, is in the voting period, or you are in the process of completing. I'll walk through arguments presented within the round and discuss how the arguments are interacting, the strategic value of certain arguments and the easiest ways to win the debate given the arguments presented. I'll discuss errors made within the debate with you, either on your end or your opponent's end, and show you ways that you can capitalize on those errors if they're on your opponent's end, or how to shore up and fix the errors if they're on your end.

Given that if I get swarmed with 20 of these I'll get a little overwhelmed, I'll be taking requests three at a time, meaning that I'll analyze three debates and work through them with debaters before I move onto new debates. More than three people are willing to sign up, but first come first serve.

For those of you who are just looking for general tips on how to improve your debating, I can throw out a few things I see a lot that, if fixed, could improve your ability to debate:

1. Understanding what the point of your arguments is really important. What do I mean by that? Every argument you make in a debate has an impact on the debate, and since this term gets thrown around a lot I'll be really clear by what I mean by an impact. An impact is the explanation of why your argument matters in terms of you winning the debate at hand. Whether that takes the form of how because workers become disinterested in working harder a minimum wage harms the job market which is bad for a nation's economy or how because criminals are less likely to commit a crime if the cost of getting caught is the death penalty that capital punishment deters crime which makes a society safer and more prosperous, any and every argument that you make should have an impact to it. Understanding what the impact of your argument is and learning on how to craft arguments with the biggest impacts greatly improves your chances of winning.

2. Your word economy is really important to being able to craft the best possible argument. While, idealistically, we can spend as much time as we want being as eloquent as possible in the presentation of our arguments, pragmatically that isn't possible. We have a character limit here on DDO, and learning how to work around it to present the most, and best, possible arguments in that space is vital. Yes, I'm looking at you pleasantries at the beginning of your rounds and unnecessarily formal speech within the debate. It sounds nice but at the end of the day, nice speech doesn't actually refute arguments or strengthen link stories.

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

I understand that my account isn't knew; but I've been rather inactive.
I am groot.
WillYouMarryMe
Posts: 247
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3/24/2015 4:55:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Do I get to be first to get feedback, since none of the other people ahead of me even have their debates finished?
bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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3/24/2015 8:26:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/24/2015 4:43:11 PM, simonstuffles wrote:
At 3/24/2015 1:56:51 PM, Unitomic wrote:
At 3/24/2015 12:35:38 PM, Geographia wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:59:30 AM, Zaradi wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:58:03 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 3/24/2015 9:53:28 AM, Zaradi wrote:
Sign Up List:

1. Wylted: http://www.debate.org...
2. Arcanas: No Debate Yet
3. ClashnBoom: No Debate Yet
4. WillYouMarryMe: GMI Debate w/ Thett (http://www.debate.org...)
5. BLAHthedebator: No Debate Yet
6. Geo: http://www.debate.org... (Starting hopefully soon?)
7. Unitomic: http://www.debate.org... (Yes, I know I dropped an entire case {accidentally of course. I literally punched myself when She mentioned it to me later}. ) : http://www.debate.org... (idk if we can option for two, but I always felt this debate was closer then it should be. Although I take pride in it being my first real debate)
8. simonstuffles: no debate yet!
9. Bossyburrito: http://www.debate.org... (mainly because I'm curious as to why the votes were so polarizing - I want another perspective.)
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Thanks.

Well since the likes of Wylted is joining this, I guess there's no shame.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush