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Logical Links

What is logical linking?

Logical linking is a concept very closely related to analysis. In analysis, you prove your ideas by explaining a series of ideas that lead to the conclusion you are hoping for. A logical link is a connector between pieces of analysis. This can also be applied to connecting more than one argument together to form a larger picture, or when presenting complicated refutation.

Beginning debaters tend to speak on whatever points they can think of. This often leads to disorganized arguments, which get increasingly problematic as you advance in debate categories. Working on logical linking is something that could be expected of high level intermediates and open students, but can be worked on by anyone who is practiced at basic analysis. 

Logical links in your analysis are important for a few different reasons:

It helps you win rounds

When your analysis is stronger, and more developed, it makes it more difficult to refute, and easier for your judges to believe. 

It helps develop your whole case

Even if debaters would like to avoid it, often times the arguments in a case will be at least partially dependant on one another. The stronger you make the analysis of one argument, the more likely your other arguments are to succeed. Tips on logical linking

Logical linking can occur anywhere in your analysis, but is more important when connecting two lines of analysis: your development, and your impacts. 

  1. Develop a basic line of analysis that sets the stage for your impacts. This analysis needs to have good links. (Resolution: THW have mandatory organ donation) 
    • In our society, there is a lack of will to donate organs.
    • This has mainly been due to low education on the subject, and the amount of effort it takes to sign up to be a donor.
    • This has caused a massive shortage of organs for people to receive.
  2. Next, you want to link that final piece of analysis to its impacts. 

Because of the shortage of organs, there are not enough of them to reach everyone who is in need of a transplant. This causes a lot of unnecessary deaths due to ignorance, and apathy. 

An activity to try and practice linking and analysis is writing out every step of your analysis on separate sticky notes or pieces of paper. Once you have done this, try ordering your analysis so that each step builds to the next one. After this, make sure you write your impacts, and build your analysis backwards. Have the final piece and find which sticky note makes it true, and then find what note makes the next one true, so on and so forth. 

How can I practice at home?

Building your own arguments

  • Pick a motion and outline your basic argument- make sure that each new idea in your argument gets its own line on your page. Better yet, try writing each idea on its own sticky note so you can rearrange them easier.
  • Examine the basic structure you've designed
    • Does your argument have a purpose/objective? Is it clearly stated at the beginning?
    • Does your argument have an overall impact? Is it clearly stated at the end?
    • Does each idea you wrote down serve a specific purpose to help prove your point, or were they just things you could think of?
    • Are your ideas in an order that has each claim laying the groundwork for the next claim? Reorganize them if not.
    • Are there any gaps or assumptions where you haven't sufficiently proved something? Add in analysis to close those gaps
  • Modifications to increase the difficulty
    • Try reducing the amount of time you give yourself to write the argument
    • Practice with harder motions
    • Send your argument to a friend who will try to refute it. How could you have prevented those attacks when writing your argument?

Fixing existing arguments 

  • Watch a debate online and take notes on the argument a speaker gave.
  • Examine the links in their arguments as if you were the opposing speaker looking for flaws
  • Restructure the argument to make it stronger and more convincing

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