What is a Case?
- a connected series of arguments (claim &
ground & maybe warrant) which collectively prove a proposition.
- a large assertion in need of proof.
- a proposition and reasons for assent.
- examples: the Declaration of Independence, a
lawyer's summation to the jury, a scientific (or
other scholarly) article.
- presumption - what is assumed to be the case before
argument. status quo. Examples:
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Accepted theory. Current policy.
- Burden of proof - belongs to the opponent of
presumption (the affirmative team). The obligation to prove something, to prove
sufficient reasons for change. Burden of Rebuttal - falls on
the negative team IF the burden of proof is met.
- prima facie case - one that meets burden of proof, thus,
it shift the burden (to the opposition's rebuttal).
A prima facie case is sufficient to convince prior to rebuttal.
- fiat - If the proponents of a case (affirmative) can
show that something "should" be done, fiat power assumes that the
agents of action identified by the proponents of change will do all
that is necessary to carry out the proponents plans. For instance,
negative teams cannot argue, "Congress will never pass such a
bill." or "This would be unconstitutional."
Fiat power assumes that if a case is proven (adopted) then everyone involved
will act as needed to support the actions required to carry out the
Requirements of the prima facie
The case must show:
- Topicality -
(i.e. affirmative arguments are directly relevant to
- (of problem and benefits)
- Inherency - (that your case has an intrinsic, not accidental, connection
to the issues or problems or solutions
developed in your approach to the proposition)
- of a problem
- solved by
- plan (actions you
mandate), which is
- necessary to
research on a debate topic, ALWAYS focus on finding grounds for proving
the "Requirements of the Case."
Analysis of Propositions.
"should" means "it
ought to happen" not "it
- The five Ss of problem solving
- state problem
- search for information
- sift information for importance, relevance etc.
- solicit idea for solutions from various sources
- select the best alternative