Just like a good argument, let's get these sorted.
The topic can contain the main question that is to be argued or can set the bounds for specific points of it to be argued.
For example, a topic can be a statement:
Steroid use in professional sports should be allowed.
Where "is for steroid use in professional sports" is the Yae (affirmative) side.
And "is against steroid use in professional sports" is the Nae (negative) side.
Or a topic can be a question:
Should steroids be allowed in professional sports?
Where "YES" is the Yae or Affirmative (Aff) side.
And "NO" is the Nae or Negative (Neg) side.
Values are core beliefs that guide a person's thoughts, actions, and decisions. Taken as a whole, an individual's values serve as their compass in life. They are an order less specific than the topic and help to keep like-minded individuals in similar spaces. Values exist to prevent the argument from growing larger than the topic. Think of them as "tracks".
Here's an example:
Value: Competitive Integrity Value Description: The extent to which competitors enter into competition without advantages
When deciding whether or not something is a value, ask yourself if the statement "I value (insert your value here)" makes sense.
Then, when describing a value, you should be able to write a description that fits the pattern of the "the extent to which ...." While those aren't hard rules, they are good guidelines when creating values.
The initial statement is the first part of an argument in which the main point or thesis (claim) is presented. This helps to establish the argument and provide a clear and logical basis for argumentation. The statement structure is adapted from the well-regarded Toulmin Model of Argumentation.
It is the main point or thesis that you are making. It is the statement that the arguer wants the audience to believe or accept.
It provides additional support for the warrant by positing sources, statistics, or expert opinions. It is the evidence that strengthens the argument and makes it more persuasive. Even better, you can use warrants across the entire argument.
The reasoning that connects the claim to the topic with support from warrants. The impact statement explains why the claim and warrant matters.
A rebuttal aims to show why the original argument or claim is flawed or incorrect by countering evidence or the reasoning in the impact. You can create warrant rebuttals and impact rebuttals.
These challenge the validity of the evidence or sources used to support the warrant in the argument. Warrant rebuttals aim to demonstrate that the warrant is not valid or reliable and that the claim it supports is therefore also flawed.
For example, if a study is used as the warrant for a claim, a warrant rebuttal may challenge the validity of the study or question whether it is an appropriate source to support the claim.
These challenge the reasoning that connects the claim to the topic.
For example, if the claim is that a new policy will increase economic growth, an impact rebuttal may challenge the assumptions about the impact of the policy on the economy and present alternative reasoning to support a different conclusion.
In a counter argument you can counter warrant rebuttals and impact rebuttals. Unlike rebuttals, which challenge the validity of the claim or warrant of the initial statement, counterarguments challenge the validity of the rebuttal itself. There are warrant counter arguments and impact counter arguments.
These challenge the validity of the rebuttal's evidence or sources used to support it. They aim to demonstrate that the evidence or sources used in the rebuttal are not valid or reliable, and that the rebuttal is therefore flawed.
These challenge the reasoning presented in the impact rebuttal. They aim to show that the rebuttal's reasoning is flawed, and that there are other, more valid ways to make the connection between the claim and the topic.
Counterarguments are aimed at the rebuttal presented by the opposing side, rather than the initial statement. They are used to challenge the opposing side's attempt to undermine the argument presented by the affirmative, by showing that the rebuttal itself is flawed.
Imagine you are talking to a judge, to the jury. This is where the affirmative must summarize the arguments across the statement and make their case as to why it remains.