Musical’s House Of Learnage #1

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December 23, 2013 by Musical

Hello Sweetie!

Welcome to the first ever episode of… Musical’s House Of Learnage!

On the chopping block today is one of my favorites.

Parliamentary Debate: Building a Case


Let me use something familiar to begin with. Arguing. Although Debate is quite far from it, to my knowledge this is the closest thing that you know much about. Everyone argues, be it siblings, or strangers, or friends, or anyone else I missed– they have had an argument sometime in their life.

So, when you are about to argue, you must first find something to argue about. Much like arguing, Debate has an almost unlimited array of possibilities to debate about. (What you are going to ‘argue’ about is called a ‘case’.) The only ‘un-use-ables’ are either inappropriate content, or specific knowledge. Though, it is easy to use the good stuff, and still have a great case.

Now, when building a case, you need to fill out a kind of ‘form’ to make a strong case. Here is an example.

1. Resolution/R: This House Should Shoot For The Stars

2. Definition/D: Family X should buy clothes at a local thrift store

3. Criteria/C: Cost Benefit Analysis

4. Value/V: Saving Money

5. Need 1/N1: Family X is large and needs to save money.

6. Plan 1/P1: Family X should visit their local thrift store and buy clothes for cheap.

7. Benefit 1/B1: Family X can use the money they saved on something else

Now let us dissect it.

1. this is the first part of the helpful form. “Why do you need this ‘Resolution’, and what does it mean?”

res·o·lu·tion  (rz-lshn)

n. A resolving to do something.
So, this ‘resolution’ is something you have to accomplish in creating the Definition. Often times the Resolution is very poetic, and you could either use it as a very vague guideline, or very straight and literal.

 2. This is the second step in making an awesome case. The Definition is what the entire debate is about, something to whet your appetite, and get the argumentative juices flowing. Think of it like a title, a preview. It is also a little bit about how you are going to use the Resolution, but not much, because that will be covered in the ‘Plan’ section.

3. Criteria is the next step.

n. pl. cri·te·ri·a (-tîr) or cri·te·ri·ons

A standard, rule, or test on which a judgment or decision can be based.
It is a rule, and to help the judge make a decision. It is on what terms the judge will judge you. There are many Criteria’s in parliamentary.
The one I used as an example is quite popular, and the first I learned. Here is what it is: Cost Benefit Analysis. This means that the judge will analyze the cost to benefit ratio.
The next one I learned is: Best Plan Wins. I won’t be talking about that right now though, because I think I have tortured you enough. 😉
4. This is a big tie-breaker, the piece that makes-or-breaks your case. Choose wisely. What it means is: what factor you value most in both the judging of the cases. It is just as important as the others, if not more.
5. The ‘Needs’. You can make as many ‘needs’ as you need, only I would say, don’t use any more than necessary. A ‘need’ is exactly what it sounds like, it’s what makes this plan need to happen. It’s the why behind whole case.
6. The ‘Plans’. Like the ‘needs’ in that, you can use as many of these as is necessary. A ‘Plan’ is: what you are going to do, and how. This is the time to elaborate on the Definition.
7. The ‘Benefits’. (You can use as many as necessary.) These are the added benefits of doing your plan. “Not only will this defeat the problem, it will help in these ways as well!”

Keep being crazy, but also live dangerously, and eat your veggies.



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I'm a spunky, fun-lovin' 13 year old. I live on a 10 acre mini-farm, with my 5 siblings and 2 parents, Dad, Mom, Russian Panda, Shorty, Alfred, HH, and Klingon, the newest member to our funny little clan. Everyday (since January 2013) I have been wearing a tophat and or bowtie, sometime everyday. I'm hoping my New Year's resolution will last. :3

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