It’s Nick from Debate Academy and today we’re going to learn the three parts of a card, how to highlight and how to gather warrants from evidence.
Knowing the parts of a card will make finding information easier, highlighting correctly will save you time and help focus your argument, and mining for warrants will improve your comprehension in round.
In debate, we organize our evidence and arguments using a “card” format.
They’re called cards because debaters many years ago once used note cards and copied down information from books at the library. A card includes a tag, a citation, and the evidence itself.
A tag is a short summary of the evidence used to make your argument.
The citation includes information about where the evidence is from including the author’s name, year published, author qualifications, and publication.
Finally, the evidence is the direct text from the source.
So a “card” refers to all of the parts of a piece of evidence.
To focus on only the essential parts of the card, debaters underline and highlight. As a general rule, you should highlight half or less of what is underlined. When you are highlighting, you want to consider which parts of the evidence can best be used in the following speech.
Highlight facts, historical examples, or experts to reinforce and support the tag. Work to find a balance between highlighting good points and narrowing down because you are limited by the length of the speech. Check out our model examples below to see quality highlighting.
To recap: a card includes a tag, cite, and evidence. The tag is the summary, the cite is source information, and the evidence is the actual quote from the source. Remember to highlight only the best parts of the evidence that support the tag.
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.