It’s Nick from Debate Academy and today we’re going to learn how to “flow”. Flowing is the basic note taking process that debaters do throughout the debate round. It is by far the most essential skill to learn as a first year debater.
Flowing has two purposes.
First, taking notes on the debate means you can record your opponent’s arguments and refute them effectively.
Second, flowing also means you will see when your opponent has not answered your arguments. When arguments are not answered, we say they are “dropped” and the judge will view them as true for the rest of the round. The round can easily swayed by unanswered arguments. You want to note when your opponents have dropped arguments and avoid dropping arguments yourself.
Here’s how to do it. Take a piece of paper and turn it vertical or up and down. Then draw six lines down the paper so that you have roughly seven equal columns. Then at the top of each column write the speeches in this order: 1ac, 1nc, 2ac, 2nc/1nr, 1ar, 2nr, 2ar. Remember, that the neg speaks back to back in this “block” and so we consider this one long speech. When you’re flowing summarize the tags of the card and analytics. To increase your flowing speed, use shorthand like an up arrow for increase, down arrow for decrease, dollar sign for money, and just shorten words down to less letters. Each “position” has it’s own page including advantages, solvency, disadvantages, and topicality. Finally, in between each argument be sure to put roughly three fingers of space between the next one so you can really discern different arguments.
So to recap: flowing is the process of note taking to help you refute your opponent. To do it: turn the page vertical, make seven speech spaces, use shorthand, and use three fingers of space between arguments.
That’s all for this lesson. Congratulations on taking the next step to become a successful
policy debater. I’ll see you in the next episode.