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Competitive Debating

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What is Competitive Debating?
AN INTRODUCTORY COURSE ON COMPETITIVE DEBATING SKILLS

Introduction

Debating is about developing your communication skills. It is about assembling and organizing effective arguments, persuading and entertaining an audience, and using the language to convince people that your arguments outweigh your opposition's. Debating is not about personal abuses, irrational attacks or purely emotional appeals.
A debate usually involves two sides talking about a topic (often called a motion). As a competition, teams of debaters attempt to show the adjudicators that they have the best debating skills. Being the best debater does not mean that the debater's opinion has to coincide with that of the adjudicators.
After attending this course and the course on specific debating formats, it is expected that the trainee would be able to conduct their first competitive debate properly.

Understanding Formats

To ensure proper conduct of the debates in a competitive setting, competitions usually enforce what is called a format. In collegiate level competitive debating, these formats are usually based on the debates conducted in a parliament, such as Australian Parliamentary, British Parliamentary, and Asian Parliamentary. Aspects regulated by a format include: • number of teams in each debate; • number of debaters in each team; • duration of speeches • order of speeches; • roles of speakers (what is expected from each speaker); • allowance/prohibition of interjections/interruptions; • issues on making a definition of the motion; • procedure, criteria, and marking scale for adjudication.
Explanation about the above aspects (especially concerning roles of speakers) will be dealt with in lectures about each format. This course emphasizes on elements that are common to competitive debating in any format.

Elements of Debating Skills

The adjudication of a debate usually classifies the different aspects of debating. One of the most common classification is the 3M: Matter (content), Manner (delivery), and Method (structure). This course is related to the Method and Matter part of a debate.

Outline of This Course

1. Cases
2. Arguments
3. Rebuttals
4. Speeches
5. Listening
6. Research
7. Advanced Issues
8. Group Activity

Cases

In competitive debating, it is not enough for a team to simply deliver individual speeches without any structure. A team is expected to bring what is called a case. As in the legal world, a case is the collection of arguments (including facts, examples, and logical explanations) coherently based on a main idea.
A case is constructed to propose (or oppose) the motion given in a debate. In collegiate level competitions, debaters are usually given 15 to 30 minutes time to prepare their debates. During this preparation time, both teams will build their cases. It is this casebuilding process that we would discuss here.

Motion

Motion, also known as topic, is a full propositional statement that determine what a debate shall be about. In the debate, the Affirmative team must argue to defend the propositional statement of the motion, and the Negative team must argue to oppose it. Examples of motions are: • That cigarette companies should not be held responsible for the bad effects of smoking. • That football is overvalued in today’s society. • That American pop culture is a threat to civilization. • That long is better than short.
Please note that a motion should always be in the form of a statement, not question or phrase. "That …" can also be read as "This House believes that …" or "Be it resolved that …". Motions are always for the Affirmative; the Negative would negate the statement, as in "That it is not true that …".

Definition (can ignore this part for now)

Before a debate ensues, the motion that is given must first be defined by the Affirmative team. A definition clarifies the motion. A definition gives a clear description of boundaries to the motion, thereby limiting what the debate will be about into a focused area of discussion. This prevents the debate from turning into a vague and confusing show of unrelated arguments and different interpretations from both teams of what is actually being debated among them.
The definition should take the motion as a whole, defining individual words or phrases only if they have a key role. Out of the definition should come a clear understanding of the issues that will be fought over in the debate.
Always keep in mind that a definition must be reasonable: • it must be debatable (i.e. a reasonable opposition exists); • it must have a clear and logical link to the motion (i.e. it is not a bizarre distortion of the motion).
This is not to say that an Affirmative team may not choose an unusual interpretation of the motion, but they must be prepared to justify it.
The Negative, in general, must accept the definition made by the Affirmative, but the Negative shall have the right of challenging the definition if it does not conform to either of the two requirements set out above. However, a Negative team cannot raise a challenge simply on the basis that their definition seems more reasonable. They can only challenge a definition if they can prove it to be either Truistic, Tautological, Squirreling, or Time and Place setting (see Advanced Issues).
If a Negative team accepts the definition, they only need to say so, and it is unnecessary to restate it. If the definition is accepted, then that definition must stand. The Negative must adjust their case to that definition.

Theme Line

The theme line is the underlying logic of a team’s case. It is the main instrument of argumentation that is used to prove a team’s stand on the motion. A theme line can be viewed as a ‘Case In A Nutshell’, because it concisely explains a team’s strategy in defending or negating the motion. The theme line of a team must heavily imbue each speech of every team member. It is the main idea that links together all speakers, ensuring consistency among speeches. All arguments brought forward in the case should be based on the theme line.
A theme line is basically an abstract idea, but a formulation of it would make life easier. A theme line should be kept short, and it may take form of words/phrases, a single sentence, or an arrangement of several statements into a logical syllogism.
In formulating a theme line, it is often helpful to ask the question: why is the propositional statement given by the definition of the motion true (or false)? Without further explanation, this propositional statement is a mere assertion, or a statement which is logically unproven to be true. The answer to this question must be an argument which proves the assertion given by the motion (as it is defined).
In most Parliamentary debates, both the Affirmative and the Negative team must have cases. This mean that the Negative team should also have a theme line that opposes the motion (as it is defined) and clashes the Affirmative's case. Usually, the more apparent the clash is, the more interesting the debate is going to be. Failing to clash the Affirmative's case increases the risk of the Negative team losing the debate, because it is the job of the Negative to oppose whatever the Affirmative is trying to say.

Team Split (ignore for now)

Debating is a team activity. One person cannot take all the arguments and become the sole defender of the team's case. Therefore, there is a need to decide on how the arguments should be distributed among speakers. This is called the team split. For example, in an Australasian or Asians Parliamentary debate, the case is split between the 1st and 2nd speakers.
There are many ways to make team splits: • splitting by different aspects, e.g. philosophical vs. practical, political vs. economics, etc.; • directly distributing the arguments to the speakers, e.g. case has 5 arguments/points: 1st speaker will deliver point 1 and 2 while 2nd speaker will deliver point 3, 4, and 5.
In making team splits, consider the time available for the speaker to develop the arguments. For example, a first speaker's split is usually smaller than that of the second speaker's, because the first speaker will also need time to present the outline of the case.
Often there are issues not strongly related to the proof of the case which need to be delivered, such as background information, historical analysis, or elaboration of a proposal. Explaining these issues will also take time, so consider them when making your split.
You should make sure that each individual speech by itself proves the motion. You should not create what is called a hung case. A hung case is when an individual speech fails to prove the motion by itself, but instead requires coupling it with other speeches to be able to finally prove the motion.
In British Parliamentary format, the first speakers of the Closing teams are expected to make what is called an extension of the case outlined by the Opening teams. Making an extension is similar to making a different split (more information will be given in a special lecture for this format).

Arguments

Argumentation is the process of explaining why a point of view should be accepted. It concerns the logic and the evidence supporting a particular conclusion. Use evidence (i.e. facts, examples, statistics, references to experts, etc.) to back up each point you make in your argument. Show how each piece of evidence is relevant and how it advances your argument.
A good paradigm for delivering good arguments is the A-R-E: Assertion - Reasoning - Evidence. First, state the argument. Then, elaborate the logical reasoning of why the argument is true. Then, throw in relevant evidences to back up the argument. Don't forget to link the argument to what you have to prove (i.e. the motion/theme line).
Arguments are not assertions. Assertions are statements that have yet to be proven to be logically true, while arguments must have supporting logic and evidences showing its validity.
Evidences support an argument, but they do not replace the argument itself. A logical explanation must still be provided in order for the argument to work. You cannot argue by examples alone. Similarly, something that an expert once said is not guaranteed to be true.
Aspects that adjudicators look for in a good argument are: • relevance — link everything back to the topic; • consistency and internal logic — don't contradict yourself or your teammates, avoid logical fallacies, etc.; • clarity — arguments should be easy to understand; • effective use of evidence — evidence must be relevant, always prefer stronger evidence, etc.; • organization — structure your arguments.
One skill of good debating is being able to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument and to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument. The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premises and whether those premises are true.

Rebuttals

Rebuttal is the process of proving that the opposing team's arguments should be accorded less weight than is claimed for them. It may consist of: • showing that the opposing argument is based on an error of fact or an erroneous interpretation of fact; • showing that the opposing argument is irrelevant to the proof of the topic; • showing that the opposing argument is illogical, i.e. it involves some form of logical fallacy; • showing that the opposing argument, while itself correct, involves unacceptable implications; • showing that the opposing argument, while itself correct, should be accorded little weight, i.e. it is unimportant;
As with arguments, assertions do not equal rebuttals. Just as teams must show how and why their own arguments are valid, so they must show how and why the opposition's arguments are invalid: • an argument may be wrong in fact or logic — if so, say how and why it is wrong; • an argument may contradict their theme line, or something else a speaker on that team has said — if so, point out where the contradiction lies; • an argument may be true but completely irrelevant — if so, point out how the argument is irrelevant (irrelevant arguments are often called red herrings).
It is not necessary to rebut every single point and fact raised by the other side. Single out their main arguments and attack those first. Savage their theme line and show how it falls down — and show why yours is better! Apart from argument-by-argument rebuttal, you should also try to provide a general rebuttal for the whole case of the other team.

Speeches

Although good casebuilding is a prerequisite to a good debate, it is the speeches the adjudicators are going to mark. Since the aspects of Manner will be dealt with in a separate lecture, here we are going to concentrate on the Method of individual speeches as well as the team as a whole.

Individual Speech Structure

An effectively structured speech will have the following features (neither compulsory nor exhaustive): • an interesting opening which captures the attention of the audience or helps it to warm to the speaker; • a reasonably clear statement of the purpose and general direction of the speech; • a logical sequence of ideas which shows a clear development of the speaker’s argument; • a proportional allocation of time to the speech as a whole, and to each major point, which enables the objective of the speech to be accomplished; • a conclusion or a summary of the major points made in the speech.
A good paradigm on structuring individual speech is signposting. When you want to say something, first you say what are the points that you are going to present, then you deliver those points, then you close it by saying what were the points that you have just brought up.
Time management is a crucial factor to a succesful presentation. Especially, avoid undertime and overtime speeches, because they will cost you points (in Method).

Role of Speakers

Roles of speakers mostly depend on the format. However, there are some common characteristics of certain roles of certain speakers which will be briefly discussed here. A more comprehensive explanation of the roles of speakers will be given in separate lectures about the formats.

First Speakers

The first speakers establish the fundamentals of their team's cases. This involves outlining the case, i.e. providing a definition (if Affirmative) or accepting/challenging the definition (if Negative), presenting the theme line and team split. After the first speakers have spoken, the main direction of each team’s case should be apparent.
However, it should be noted that 1st speakers also must deliver substantive arguments supporting their case (i.e. the 1st speaker's split). The 1st Negative speaker must also present some rebuttal to the 1st Affirmative speaker.

Middle Speakers

The middle speakers usually deal with substantive arguments, plus a little bit of rebuttal against the previous speaker. This really depends on the format, though, so it will be explained in separate lectures about each format.

Rebuttal Speakers

Although rebuttals are also done by substantive speakers (except the 1st Affirmative), most formats provide a role of rebuttal speaker (also called the whip), which usually falls on the last speaker.
The role of the rebuttal speakers is simply this: Attack! Rebuttal should ideally be carried out on two levels: on a global level (teamwise), a rebuttal speaker should attack the opposing team’s whole case, pointing out the major flaws in argumentation and logic. On a more detailed level (speechwise), a rebuttal speaker should be able to point out the mistakes of each individual speech.

Reply Speakers

The role of Reply Speaker is excusive to Australasian and Asian Parliamentary debates. Either the first or the second speaker of each side may deliver the reply speech. The Negative team delivers the first reply speech. Reply speakers give a recap of the debate and a convincing biased adjudication.
A reply speech is a review of both your own and the opposition's case. It represents a chance for the teams to show their arguments in the best light and to summarize the flaws in the opposition's case. The aim is to emphasize the major points made by your own team and to show how these contributed to a logical progression of argument in support of your theme line. At the same time the flaws in the opposition's argument must be outlined. This can be done point-by-point, or by taking a more global approach to the arguments. Both are effective if well done, so find the summary style that suits you best. However, the latter style is often more effective in light of the limited time frame.

Listening – Very Important!!

While the spotlight of the debate is always on the speaker having the floor, it does not mean that the other debaters are free to take a break. Although you may use the time to further prepare your own case or speech, you should also make sure that you listen attentively to the speech being delivered. Apart from that, some format allows some kind of interruptions toward the speaker having the floor.

Listening to Speeches

Contrary to popular beliefs, good debaters are good listeners. If debaters do not listen to the other side's speeches well, they will not be able to clash and rebutt the other side's case and arguments effectively, and they will not be able to respond to the dynamics of the debate.
Failure to listen well may cause a debater to incorrectly reiterates the other side's arguments. This is called misrepresentations and is considered a cardinal sin in debating, because you're supposed to fairly oppose the other side by what they said, not by what you thought they said.
Debaters should not make too much noise that may disturb the speaker having the floor. Violation of this rule is called heckling, and may incur penalty points (in Manner).

Brief Interjections (ignore for now)

While a speaker has the floor, other debaters might like to utter short phrases (interject) as a form of response to what the speaker was saying (for example, saying "Hear! Hear!" or "Shame! Shame!" to show agreement or disagreement).
Brief and witty interjections are allowed in Australasian, British, and Asians Parliamentary. They are often effective to make the debate more lively. However, abuse of this allowance (up to the point where the speaker having the floor is severely distracted) is considered as heckling and may incur penalty points (in Manner).

Points of Information (ignore for now)

Points of Information (POI) is basically an interruption of the current speech by any member of the opposing side to ask questions concerning points raised in that speech. They are a vital part of a debate and should not be underestimated. Before and after your speech you can't just sit quietly and enjoy the other speeches. You must keep the adjudicators aware of your presence, ideas and argument. POI can be used as a weapon to undermine, and even destroy, a speech.
POI exist in British Parliamentary and Asians Parliamentary formats. POI can only be given during a restricted time period of the speech (usually after the first one minute and before the last one minute).

Presenting

When giving a POI, you are expected to stand up, hold your left hand out, place your right hand on your head, and say "Point of Information, Sir/Mam!" (or something to that effect). You should make sure that you have enough space to stand up quickly and at a split second's notice. If you are rejected, sit down. If you are accepted, you have 15 seconds at the maximum to deliver your POI.
Keep POI short and to the point: try making it in 5 to 10 seconds. Remember that many speakers like to take a POI and then use the time to check what they will say next while half listening to the person offering the point. Once they know what the next part of their speech is they work out an answer to your point. If your point is short, it doesn't give them enough time and is more likely to catch them. It looks bad if they have to stop to think what to say, especially if they have to ask you to repeat it.
Timing is important. If a speaker is in full stride and knows exactly where they are going for the next few seconds, he/she is unlikely to accept a point. Wait for a pause by the speaker and then offer the point. However, do not wait too long because then the point would probably be out of place.
Different people have different styles when it comes to POI. Some people like to virtually barrage opposing speakers with every point which pops into their head. This can be very difficult to deal with and takes some getting used to. The trick is to just ignore it if possible and make your speech. If you decide to use this type of style be very careful. Taking this too far might constitute barracking, which will cost you points.
Most speakers prefer to just wait and see how a speech develops. This involves leaving some weak points go and use just one or two attacking the central core of the speech once it has developed.

Accepting and Rejecting

As for the speaker, you have to make the acceptance or rejection of POI explicit. Do not simply ignore someone who is standing up waiting to deliver a POI — it's impolite and it might also be distracting to yourself. If you are rejecting the point, do so explicitly (either by saying "No, thank you!" or by using hand gestures).
When you are speaking you should accept two to three points. Watch out for good speakers. If someone has killed off every other speaker on your side be careful and don't assume that you can handle them. Try not to accept a POI when you are in the beginning of establishing an argument. Especially for 1st speakers, do not accept a POI before you're finished outlining the case (definition, theme line and team split). Also, if you can sense that your argument is somehow weak or controversial, try to reject POI at that point and accept one when you come to the stronger part of your case.
Always deal with the point that is offered. Never accept a point as true, unless the offerer has made a mistake and it backs up your argument. Always try to dismiss a point as incorrect or irrelevant. A point ignored is allowed to stand and will go against you in adjudication.

Research

In some competitions, you will get the motions to be debated before the event begins, while for some other, you get to know the motions only 30 minutes before the debate begins. In either case, the research that you do before the competition (or in your everyday life) plays a very important role to the success of your debating career.

Sources of Information

There are invaluable sources of information all around. You will very rarely come across a motion which you can find absolutely no information if you look hard enough.

Books, Magazines, and Newspapers

The library might not be your favourite place to hang out, but it surely has tons of information in it!

Follow developments of current issues in news magazines and newspapers. Extract important facts, figures, quotations, etc. from them, either by writing them down on a factsheet/cue cards, or bookmarking/clipping/photocopying and highlighting.

Books and journal magazines might be helpful in increasing your general knowledge about an issue. Reading skills are needed here so that you can filter out just the information that you really need.

The Internet/World Wide Web

It's the Information Superhighway! Do make time to ride on it every now and then, it'll get you somewhere for sure.

Due to the enourmous amount of information it contains, you should perform directed search for information instead of just browsing through from one site to another without a clear purpose. Use directory services which classify World Wide Web sites according to subject matter, such as Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com). Or you can also perform searches using the numerous Internet search engines available, such as AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com). Be specific when searching; use as many keywords as possible to narrow down your searches. There are also electronic versions of magazines, TV news, and scientific journals on the Net.

Try not to print everything that you downloaded off the Internet, but rather read them first and make notes (maybe using cut and paste) of the relevant and important information. When referring to an evidence that you dig up from the Internet, do not simply mention that you got it from "The Internet". Be more specific, at least mention the organization or institution which provided the information.

One thing about the Internet is that you can often get many different views of the story, including those which may be difficult or impossible to be found in other media. The problem is that not all information on the Net is reliable.

Television and Radio

Watch or listen to the news. Make a habit of it. If you know that there is a documentary, special report or debate on a topical issue why not watch, or listen to, it.

Brainstorming and Discussions

This involves a group of people getting together to discuss a motion and come up with ideas. The group meets in a room and trash out the various issues involved in the topic.

If a brainstorming session is not feasible, do not hesitate to ask other debaters or someone who knows more about the issue for ideas. Just make sure that you don't end up being spoon-fed in building a case for a particular debate!

Discussions are also important when you're doing your research as a team. This ensures coordination of knowledge between all team members.

Making Effective Research

Research is not a blind search for information. It should be directed and well-structured. If the competition uses surprise motions, enlist both current and classical issues then based your research on those issues. If you are doing research as a team, you might like to distribute issues among team members so that each person perform a focused research.

There are some ways to structure a research. One alternative is to use the 4W1H paradigm: answer the questions What — When — Where — Who — How on the issues.

Try not to mix research with casebuilding. When researching, focus on the issue being researched, not on how the information will be used in a debate. Usually, the objective of research is to increase your understanding about the issue, not merely searching for facts and examples.

Advanced Issues

Adjudication – Important!

The following is a very brief discussion on adjudication — the issue of adjudication makes up an entire subject on its own. That is why competitions usually hold a separate Adjudication Seminar for the adjudicators.

Adjudication is the process of determining which team wins the debates. This is conducted by an adjudicator, or a panel consisting of an odd number of adjudicators. There is always a winner in a debate. There are no ‘draws’ or ‘ties’. The speakers are assessed on different aspects of debating skills. The most common classification is the 3M: Matter, Manner, and Method.

Matter

Matter refers to the points, arguments, logic, facts, statistics, and examples brought up during the course of the debate.

Manner

Manner is concerned with the style of public-speaking — the use of voice, language, eye contact, notes, gesture, stance, humor and personality as a medium for making the audience more receptive to the argument being delivered. This aspect will be dealt with in a separate lecture.

Method

Method consists of the effectiveness of the structure and organization of each individual speech, the effectiveness of the structure and organization of the team case as a whole, and the extent to which the team reacted appropriately to the dynamics of the debate.

Definitional Challenges (ignore)

Usually, a debate has only one definition of the motion, that is the definition provided by the Affirmative team. However, there are cases where the Negative has the right not to accept the definition provided by the Affirmative.

Conditions for Definitional Challenge

It is often said that the Affirmative has the right of definition. Though to some extent this is true, one must keep in mind that the Affirmative also has a duty to provide a fair definition, namely a definition that is 1) debatable (a reasonable opposition exists) and 2) has a clear and logical link to the (spirit of the) motion (not a bizarre distortion of the motion).
To ensure that the Affirmative follows the above rule about definitions, there are certain conditions where the Negative may challenge the definition provided by the Affirmative. Conditions for challenging a definition may vary slightly between tournaments/format, but usually they are: • Truistic: These are definitions which are ‘true’ by nature and thus make the proposed arguments unarguable and therefore unreasonable in the context of the debate. If a team defines the debate truistically, they seek to win the debate by the truth of their definition rather than by the strength of their arguments and supporting evidence. • Tautological or circular definitions: This happens when a definition is given in such a way that it is logically impossible to negate it. • Squirreling: Definitions that are not tied down to the spirit of the motion and do not have a proper logical link to the motion will constitute squirreling. ▪ Time and Place-Setting: The subject matter of the debate cannot be confined to a particular time and place.
Be very careful about challenging definitions - only do so if you are absolutely certain that you can justify the challenge based on the above conditions. It is better to be brave and dump your prepared case in favor of tackling the Affirmative on their own terms than to issue an unjustified definition challenge. By the same token, Affirmative teams should try to ensure that their definition is fair.

Definitional Challenge Debate

When a Negative team decide to challenge a definition, the first speaker of the Negative must:
1. State explicitly that they are challenging the definition.
2. Justify that challenge with one of the Conditions (i.e. the existence of the Condition must be proven).
3. Provide an alternative definition of the motion (which must also be reasonable), and then negate it!
4. Build a case based on that negation.

An Affirmative team cannot accept the alternative definition provided by the Negative; they must defend their definition from attacks by the Negative and stick to their case.

Watching a definitional challenge debate is like watching two independent debates: the speakers do not clash each other. This presents a difficulty in rebuttal. Therefore, speakers are expected to engage in even-if rebuttal. Doing an even-if rebuttal is basically saying that even if the other definition is accepted, the case does not stand due to the rebuttals. However, if the definition is truistic, it might be difficult or impossible to do even-if rebuttals. In this case, the rebuttal speakers should concentrate on proving the truism.

Doing a definitional challenge debate is relatively difficult, and the debate also tends to be confusing or even meaningless to the audience and to the adjudicators. Rules about definitional challenge are provided to ensure fairness of the debate; they are not meant to encourage definitional challenge debates!

Bibliography

Alan Swanwick and Christopher Erskine, 1993. Australasian Debating Handbook. Australian Debating Foundation, Australia.

Colm Flynn, 1998. Debating Tutorial Handout. University of Limerick Debating Union, Ireland.
What is Competitive Debating?
GROUP ACTIVITY GUIDELINES

Objective

This group activity accompanies the lecture on "What is Competitive Debating?" in the form of a group casebuilding under a time constraint. It is meant to give a hands-on experience to the trainees in making a case, therefore enabling them to get a clearer picture about the theories taught at the lecture.

Preparation

Grouping should be determined beforehand, each group consisting of 3 to 7 persons with skill levels evenly distributed among groups. One or two Group Leaders should be assigned for each group, preferably with an advanced knowledge of competitive debating skills.
The group activity is started by the Moderator (Lecturer) giving the instructions and the motions to be casebuilt (everyone casebuild for the Affirmative side). Group Leaders then lead their group into their own space. The time to casebuild is 30 minutes, plus 10 minutes for presentation, A timekeeper should remind the groups when time reaches 10, 20,30 and 35 minutes.
The casebuilding assumes a debate of Australasian Parliamentary format (3 speakers; 2 of them has a split). In minimum, the case should be build in the outline level (definition, theme line, and team split). If time permits, groups should try to prepare the 1st and 2nd speeches.

Role of Group Leaders

Group Leaders shall act as facilitator; they should ensure that the casebuilding process is done effectively without feeding the trainees their own knowledge on the Matter.
Group Leaders should ensure that the discussion goes smoothly with the group using their time effectively. When the discussion stagnates, Group Leaders might take some initiative to suggest what the group should be doing.
Group Leaders should try to ensure that the group casebuilds in a structured way. However, at the discretion of the Group Leaders, some form of brainstorming should be tolerated (e.g. for the first few minutes of the casebuilding time).
Group Leaders should keep minimal participation in the discussion, interfering only when really necessary. Especially, Group Leaders should not use their knowledge regarding the Matter. Group Leaders' expertise is only on Method.
Group Leaders should watch for fundamental yet common errors, such as failure to distinguish between definition and theme line, invalid and hung cases, etc. Do not hesitate to give additional explanation about such issues.
When questions are asked regarding debating/casebuilding methods, Group Leaders should answer it in a simple and straightforward manner; remember that time is limited!
Group Leaders should take note on group members that might require special attention, such as members being very passive/uninvolved, too dominating, emotional, etc. and report this confidentially during session evaluation to the Moderator.
After the casebuilding is finished, the Group Leaders become adjudicators, assessing the case made by the group. Do not hesitate to point out flaws in the case, such as flawed logic, unbalanced splits, etc. However, Group Leaders should be constructive and encouraging when assessing the case; try not to make the session a traumatic experience for the trainees!

Assessment and Closing

At the end of the 40 minutes, all groups should end their activity and gather back in the main session room with the Moderator. The Moderator may ask two or more groups to present their case again, this time to everyone. Questions and problems during the session may also be asked to the Moderator at this point. The assessment session should last no longer than 10 minutes.

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