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Published by: Dillon Johnson on Oct 21, 2011
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People speak more quickly than you can write, so use symbols to stand for

concepts. Below are symbols we commonly encounter in an argumenta-

tive situation.

Logic symbols

↑ increasing or increases.

↓ decreasing or decreases

= is, or the same as

→ causes or leads to

> greater than

< less than

You can negate these symbols by drawing a line through them. Thus,

you get:

↑ not increasing

not decreasing

≠ not lead to or not cause

Debate symbols

× piece of evidence used by speaker

? no answer to this


∅ assertion that should have been proved

⊗ evidence does not prove argument claimed


The Code of the Debater

Abbreviations Vocabulary

You also will use abbreviations for common debate terms such as these:

AC = affrmative case

AP = affrmative plan

CP = counterplan

DA = disadvantage

H = harm

K = critique

SV = solvency

T = topicality

VI = voting issue

Use abbreviations for common terms in the topic as well. You will have

to develop these on your own. If you are making an abbreviation for the

frst time, try leaving the vowels out; thus, “hospital” becomes “hsptl.” As

you become more familiar with an abbreviation, you can drop out more

and more characters to increase effciency.

The example below shows how you would use symbols and abbrevia-

tions for a simple argument.

“Legislating new mandatory minimum sentences would let

criminals know that they will do time if they get caught,

and so they will think twice about committing more



↑ MM → percep of crims = ↓ Cr

When you combine argument and debate symbols with debate and topic

abbreviations, you are able to quickly write down what your opponent’s

arguments mean in a way that makes sense to you and that you can in-

terpret to the judge.



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