It’s John from Debate Academy and today you will be learning the resolution, the plan, and their relationship.
Knowing the basics about the debate topic for the year is essential to focusing your research, staying on topic, and pointing out when your opponent isn’t. All of these skills will translate into you winning debates!
The Resolution is the central topic that is debated all year. It would be impossible to have an in-depth debate if we did not have a resolution because predicting your opponents arguments would be too difficult. Since the resolution is so important, programs across the U.S. vote to determine the resolution.
The Plan is the specific, proposed action that the affirmative team suggests should be done. You should think of the plan as the affirmative’s “thesis” for the debate round in the same way a persuasive essay has a thesis. It is the main argument that the affirmative team will be defending for the entire debate round and it is usually one sentence.
The plan should fit under the main topic of the resolution. Think of the plan as a proposed action that represents an example of the resolution. It would be incredibly challenging for the affirmative to defend the entire resolution.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the plan, resolution, and their relationship, let me show you some examples.
Let’s continue with our Subway/McDonalds example from the previous lesson:
Resolution: We should go eat.
Plan 1: We should go eat at Subway.
Plan 2: We should go eat at McDonalds.
Both of these plans are acceptable because they fit under the general topic of going somewhere to eat. Each plan, however, focuses on a specific place to eat and so supports part of the resolution, but not the entire thing.
Let’s try a harder one.
Resolution: The government should take action to solve pollution.
Plan 1: The government should fine companies that have excessive sewage.
Plan 2: The government should give money to companies that recycle.
Both of these plans are acceptable because they fit under the general topic of the government stopping pollution.
So to recap: the resolution is the central topic to be debated all year, the plan is a specific action under the resolution.
That’s all for this lesson. Congratulation on taking the next step to become a successful policy debater. I’ll see you in the next episode.