Instigator / Pro

NSDA Point format vs DART 7 point format


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

Pro will argue NSDA (national speech and debate) format is better than current dart format: 40% content, 40% style, and 20% strategy.

Con will argue the 7 point format is a preferable voting standard to determine a winner for the debate.

I think based on current setup, dart equivalent would be 3 arg 2 sources = 70% content, 1 conduct 1 s&g for 20% style, and strategy is worth 0%.

Round 1
My main argument will be that Style should be worth just as much as Content, unlike current DART format.

Recall that NSDA defines style as: When points are awarded for style, judges are focused on the delivery of the speech. The debater must speak clearly, effectively, and use an appropriate rate of speech. Additionally, proper use of hand gestures, facial expressions, and overall body language are awarded appropriately for the style category.

Since Gestures/facial/body language is not visible on DART, we will just consider the tone and expression of the text -- in specific, spelling grammar and the way they address the opponent.

Let us consider the extreme situation where I lose Conduct and even Spelling and Grammar. I misspell every other word so much so you can just barely read it through the garbled text, and not only so, I insult my opponent endlessly, emotionally attacking them to bully them and make them give up with intimidation. 

Do you genuinely think this is a good debate or acceptable? If they felt disheartened and frustrated, the emotional obstacles could potentially stop them from debating. The "Content" portion of Debate Art is so powerful you wouldn't even need to win sources -- 3 points argument means you could sacrifice all matter of respect, leaning purely on how savage you can speak and what tricks you have up your sleeve. Indeed, if Con can argue that DART should allow me to completely misspell my argument and throw countless damaging insults and distract from the debate, then Con would win the debate. Even if Con argues most persons are respectful and correctly spell their arguments, I could still arrange my arguments in a haphazard way that makes it difficult for Con to parse, and still win if my arguments seem more convincing overall. A good layout makes the debate easier to read and vote upon. Due to the limited population of DART users, wouldn't it be best of both worlds if we focused on the way the speech is delivered?

My secondary argument will be Strategy. Currently, DART commits no points towards this. However, this is clearly very important, and hidden in most debates. For example, if we had a Gun control debate regarding US policy, perhaps the main arguments would be second amendment, the effectiveness of gun control, and the impacts on the civilians. However, most people might get absorbed in just arguing who is winning in the argument, rather than tell us how important the argument actually is. In any country but US, second amendment would not even be in consideration. Hence the Debaters would have to consider how heavily the Victims consider the Right to Bear Arms. By focusing on whether an argument is relevant is or not, the Strategy point could give an interesting twist to normal debates. 

Notice how I spent most of my characters on the most important arguments, regarding that Content is just as important as Style. This reflects the style choice with Strategy worth 20%. If Strategy does not exist, then it would be harder for debaters to naturally ask, is this issue current? Is this issue important? Strategy improves your overall debating quality in a way that DART doesn't offer. We could argue back and forth about a minor issue and it might be left in the dust, while the main issue remains at large. This way, Strategy forces us to argue about the things that actually matter, instead of wasting time on small things.
Style should not be worth just as much as content unless all areas of style are clearly outclassed on top of sourcing.

As a counter-contention to Pro's major contention, I think the beauty of the 7 point system is that it respects that style matters but limits how much it counteracts content.

The fact is that if debater A rudely and barely coherently demolishes the case of debater B on a topic, A always should win unless B also had better sources and/or better usage of sources on top. This is the fundamental premise of the 7-point system.

A ruder, superior argument must win, always unless it is faced with superior sourcing on top.

The 7 point system most times is about evening out leads, letting poor style and poor sourcing eat away at a better argument edge, such that if others vote the other way the better style and sourcing enables a victory. That suits the open vpting system of DART brilliantly.

We do mot have verbal debates much here, style is kind of limited in what it can be.
Round 2
Con still doesn't understand my entire point. I'll extend the Style point to the general idea of having the emotion and the human element within the debate. It's not just about rudeness, it can also include how dry your argument is or what appeal to emotions you have. If I wanted to read the strongest arguments possible, mere facts, a professional research paper that is well written is extremely hard to disprove, but a lot of times doesn't have the conversational ideals that make a debate, a debate. A real conversation between humans often has humor, tragedy, relatable relations of friends and families. Without basics such as these, many debate foundations could not be formed. The lack of the style point not only allows you to disregard the other persons' humanity as a debater, it also encourages the voters to do the same. Con argues a Rude argument should be allowed to win even if it is conniving, intimidating, and rudely treating the other person as a means to an end, but doesn't tell us why. The bigger impacts would be the lack of a real debate forming. As long as we can have the most incredibly rational and powerful arguments, even if they toss aside our enemy, we will still win.

And debate is not merely about treating the other person as a mere means to an end. Contradictions form when the debaters themselves may be vested in the subjects. What if one is a parent of a student and is discussing their son going to the school, worrying about the Gun control impacts on the persons? Indeed, the very appeal of our intimate social relations is very important in any debate. When you are discussing among each other, emotion inevitably impacts the results of the debate. We as humans can be irrational and have things we can't explain. There is the infamous contradiction of how we treat animals poorly for the most part, except our valued pets. It's because of personal attachment that we can relate to the other person. Without style, judging merely by the Arguments' strength, the debaters might as well not come to the debate at all. Just read a machine spit out insults along with difficult-to-refute statistics or research, and become intimidated to lose. 

I remember the interesting debate on whether we should speak Truthful Nonsense or not, from "I can I BB". This feels similar to the debate about Style versus Argument. One point was that even the most innocuous statement, seemingly useless, can still show you care. A "son please tie your shoe" can mean "I love you". So what does it mean when someone states only the most dry facts and even uses Hate Speech to win? This shows a victorious condition where you must speak nothing but the most powerful words, regardless of whether they hurt someone or not. Subtlety is lost in the process. Our actions and our appearances can affect a lot about what others think about us. What is an argument without style? Wouldn't you say it has no argument in reality? Should we not be prudent with our way we act, and address the others with kindness? 

Notice how Con dropped the argument about Strategy. I extend this argument, in hopes that he will address it.
I did not drop any points about strategy at all.y

In the 7-point system, the  more strategic debater will generally win the arguments points. The is because in that system, strategic rebuttals and constructive are part of the arguments.

In the other system Pro is supporting, I can be talking about donkeys vs horses in a debate about space travel and at the very least tie with my opponent.

One cannot simply score strategy, you do not even see all of strategy in a debate. What strategy means in Pro's system is if it followed the rigid format and atructure that judges prefer. Sometimes it is strategic to be mysterious and fluid, mixing constructive with rebuttal, sometimes that is terrible strategy, it comes down to context and the opponent.

The major flaw in Pro's scoring system is that the one with outright terrible arguments can truly defeat the one that logically win the debate if the style and structure appease the judges better. This inherently corrupts what it means to win or lose a debate as instead of winning it via superior argumentation, one can present trash as diamonds and win on the subjective taste of judges alone.
Round 3
I have been too busy so I will just point out con forgot strategy, you still have to argue about relevant topics and allot time correctly to refute enemy. He still hasn’t asserted why argument is more important than strategy and style combined currently. All I have to prove is style and argument are equally important. Cons argument fails as he forgets strategy forces you to stay on topic.
Strategy is entirely involved in the DARt 7-point system. Strategy is included inside of arguments! What does my opponent even mean?
Round 4
I know Strategy is implicitly involved in DART but it's not as obvious, I guess Con might argue that it's innately tied to Argument so can't be separated into a 40-20 ratio, but he still hasn't made an argument about that. I feel the man who has slightly weaker arguments but better style combined with strategy could still win in a different way; since Debate topics might be slanted to favor someone with evidence or simply facts, dedicating enough time to work with your side can show your strength as a debater as well. If one side is difficult to argue yet you dedicated enough time to thoroughly show your ideas, I feel the Strategy wouldn't have to necessarily go to the person who won arguments.

Con has given up addressing my idea that Style being equally important as Argument. I will extend this. A good debate environment is filled with unique style, humor, conduct, and what makes us human. Vote for Pro.
Debating is about arguments interacting and clashing. That is the basis, the foundation and the core clash of a debater.

Style is nice and good to develop simply for the sake of it. That's a lesser part of debating that should only lead to a victory if there's disagreement between judges/voters on who won arguments.