The Most Important Word in Cases

By: Young Seol, Brown University  2014 “On balance, people should not run cases that end with ‘preferable to the status quo.’ Caveat: Opp cannot countercase, tight call, or win.” — Robert Colonel, 1st Team of the Year, 3rd Speaker of the Year, Yale ‘13 There is one word that every debater should know when it […]

Dealing with Short Speeches

By: Russell Leibowitz, Brandeis University 2014 Being able to get good speaks against an undertime speech is a valuable skill on APDA. It enables you to move higher in the bracket and avoid hitting stronger teams until later in the tournament and helps boost your chances of getting speaker awards and breaking high. Below are […]

In-Round Communication Tips

By Russell Leibowitz, Brandeis University  2014 One of the most undervalued debate skills is being able to work well with a partner. Unfortunately, it’s not something that can be easily taught or explained, but rather is something that develops from doing consistent practice with another debater. There are however some ways you can work to […]

Responding to a Counter-Case

By: Adele Zhang, Barnard College 2015 Counter-cased rounds can sometimes get a bit messy and confusing. The main thing to do is to think hard about the counter-case and ask any questions that you may have. It is important that you understand the counter-case fully, what exactly it does and how it differs from your […]

New Material in the PMR

By:  Jodie Goodman, Swarthmore College 2016 When I’m PM’ing, I like to start working on crystalizing the round as early as the Member of the Opposition’s speech. That’s when I have a feel for the story of the round and how both sides contribute to it. Even while outlining the last speech, however, it’s important […]

How to Flow as the MG

By: Michael Norton, Brandeis 2016 Introduction: The MG position is one that is highly flow dependent. Not only is the MG speech one that is delivered almost directly off the flow, meaning that the MG must keep a meticulous flow, but the MG has an obligation to maintain a flow for their partner, who is […]

Status Quo Calls

By: Alex Mechanick, Brown University, ’15 What is calling a case “status quo”? Status quo is a Latin phrase meaning “the state in which”, used to reference the present state of affairs – the way things are right now.  One of the only strict rules APDA has is that the government team loses the round […]

The “Question-Based” Rebuttal

By: Alex Alifimoff, Stanford University 2015 There are a number of schools of thought on how to give proper APDA rebuttals. Being an excellent rebuttalist is a skill that most debaters work most of their careers to perfect, yet never fully achieve. I am certainly not an exception to this rule, and the style that […]

Leader of Opposition Constructive – Basics

By: Allison Douglis, Yale University 2015 The Leader of the Opposition’s Constructive The Leader of the Opposition’s Constructive, or the LOC, is an eight-minute speech that immediately follows the Prime Minister’s Constructive (PMC). As the second speech of the round, and the first speech for the opposition, it ideally should provide a clear, thorough, and […]

Introduction to Points of Clarification

By: Young Seol, Brown University 2014 Points of Clarification, more commonly known as POCs, are questions the Opposition team asks the Government team after case construct has been read but before the start of the actual Prime Minister’s Constructive (or PMC). According to a new rule, timing for the PMC generally does not start until […]