Comment on Resources for New Members

Author: bsh1 ,

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  • bsh1
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    So, I recently posted a thread, akin to the one on DDO, which aims to give new members, including those new to debate, some resources to help them navigate the site and debating more generally. 

    I am posting this thread to get feedback on the resources which I've included. Should things be added or omitted, for instance? Is there some way to improve the thread I created? Feel free to comment.

    Here is a link to the thread in question: https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/346
  • Smithereens
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    --> @bsh1
    maybe a paragraph on how to debate, put simply. You could just cover setting up the debate and some etiquette. 
  • bsh1
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    --> @Smithereens
    What would you suggest be included in such a paragraph?
  • Death23
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    I'm pleased with the new website. Kudos to whoever made it.
  • bsh1
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    --> @Death23
    That'd be Mike. 

  • Smithereens
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    --> @bsh1
    Notify them that the debate starts in Round 1, they should use the description section to define terms and outline what their position is and what position a prospective challenger is expected to debate. A debate argument should be formatted with paragraphs, use subheadings to denote arguments and use inline citations whenever sources are being cited. Debaters should be conscious of the reader's perspective, as they are the voters. Making things easier for the reader goes a long way towards presenting a professional argument. You could include little things like placing rebuttals before arguments or summarising the opponents arguments succinctly if rebuttals are being placed after so the reader doesn't have to refresh their memory by scrolling up. For technical debates you could recommend or link to one of the standardised essay formats. All arguments should be proof-read for spelling and grammar as well as conciseness. 

    Etiquette includes things like ad hominems, not posting images of text to circumvent character limits, not using comments section to store arguments or sources without mutual agreement, formulating a decent RFD when voting etc. Newbs should be advised against Votebombing, how to report poor conduct, vote trading is not acceptable etc.

    If you wanted to go one step further you could include fundamental debate philosophy that all debaters should be aware of. Fallacy for example is best avoided by conceptualising one's argument as a syllogism and identifying if the conclusion follows strongly from the premises. If not, the argument is either weak or fallacious. 
  • Smithereens
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    this one is entirely optional but is a solution to one of the most common stalemates that occur in a debate: what do you do when neither side agrees on the definition.

    IRL this happens a bit and many incompetent debaters will completely ignore their opponents material in favour of using their own definition for the topic. The solution is that the prima facie definition is correct unless contested, and when this is contested and both sides disagree, both sides should use arguments such as "even if his definition were correct, his argument still fails because..." and then also present the material that your definition would require. This way the debate still goes on as there is a ground where things are being contested, which is essential to have a debate in the first place.
  • Tejretics
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    --> @Smithereens
    A lot of your suggestions on fallacies and structuring arguments/rebuttal are there in the "Official Guide to Debating and Tournaments" linked in post #2 of the thread in question.
  • bsh1
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    --> @Smithereens
    A section to that effect was added.
  • Death23
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    --> @bsh1

    Query: Was Juggle's permission obtained prior to making this website? It strikes me as a derivative work of DDO.
  • bsh1
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    --> @Death23
    Personally, I have no clue. I think it's certainly different enough, if you ask me (a non-lawyer). But, DDO is dead anyway, and what's really valuable about DDO is its URL, not its layout, so I doubt that Juggle could reasonably claim any injury, since no one would use DDO anyway given the spampocalypse going on over there.