Thursday, January 8, 2015

Open Discussion - Let's Make Better Motions

Debaters often walk out of rounds and complain about the motion. Judges often exit from difficult consensus judging (or even easy) and complain about the motion. To some extent, debaters want to blame something other than their actual performance for their results.

Motions are developed by disparate groups, some skilled and experienced and some not so experienced. Debaters and judges often complain but have very little experience at how difficult it is to set good motions.

The problem is that we have not developed a set of standards by which to make a judgement about the quality of a given motion.

This discussion aims not at solving these problems, but invites people to work on a set of standards that people framing motions can use and that people complaining about motions should refer to. As debaters we need to be able to give strong reasons for our opinions. Let us develop these standards.

GLOBAL DEBATE invites people to begin a discussion on our Facebook group BETTER DEBATE MOTIONS and below in the comments section. Comments will be examined and for the most part approved (software sales do not seem relevant and this is a world of spam) and as there is a consensus I will try to synthesize (with the help of others) a set of standards. We will not always agree, but we can come to a consensus. Judges do it all the time.

The purpose here is not to attack any tournament or adjudication core, but to do better in the future.

But we should do our homework - let us look at what others have said. They may have useful ideas.

A shortlist of places to look includes, in no particular order:

Briefings from previous WUDC tournaments can be found at 

There might be some good ideas in older debate textbooks, many of which can be found here 

Let us begin this discussion. 

1 comment:

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