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Legal Writing . NEU College of Law.

Formal type of Argumentation

Intelligent exchange of points between the
affirmative and negative side
Legal advocacy includes argumentation
and debate
A good training ground for trial practice


Main Objective
- To resolve the issue intelligently at the end of the
Specific Objectives
- To have a comprehensive grasp of issues
- To be able to prepare a case which tackles the P,
N and B.

Objective of Debate

There are different types of debate, but we will be

adopting Modified Oregorn-Oxford type
Also known Cross-Examination/Forensic Debate
- traditional debate format used in elementary, governors
debate, house debate rules, parliamentary debate rules,
high school debate, youtube debate, presidential debate,
colleges and all over the country.

Modifed Oregorn-Oxford

Opposing Sides

The Affirmative proves the

validity of the issue or topic called
the Proposition while the Negative
disproves it.

Opposing Sides

Stated as: Let it be resolved that

Usually about a policy.
Stated in a way that alters the status quo.


Must establish a prima facie case
Must prove all aspects of their case to win
Can not win based on the inability of the
negative to prove its case.
Can set the parameter of the debate


Must destroy either the P, N, or B of the
affirmatives case
Must prove that there is no need to change
the status quo
Can not discuss anything that the
affirmative did not bring up


Aspects of the case

Parts of the Debate


First Affirmative - Constructive Speech

First Negative - Interpellation of the first affirmative Speaker
First Negative - Constructive Speech
First Affirmative - Interpellation of the first negative speaker
Second Affirmative - Constructive Speech
Second Negative - Interpellation of the second affirmative
Second Negative - Constructive
Second Affirmative - Interpellation of the second negative
Third Affirmative - Constructive Speech
Third Negative - Interpellation of the third affirmative
Third Negative - Constructive Speech
Third Affirmative - Interpellation of the third negative
Rebuttal of the Team Captain of the Negative Side
Rebuttal of the Team Captain of the Affirmative Side

Format: Oregon-Oxford

Research (for both sides of the proposition)

Case building
Make an outline
Focus on your objective/role
Write your speech
Rehearse. Do not forget the time limit.
Prepare and anticipate possible interpellation questions

How to prepare for a


1st Affirmative Speaker

I. Introduction
II. State the Proposition
Define important terms
Status quo, and what is wrong with it
Set the parameters of debate

III. State your teams stand on issue

IV. Explain why your stand is feasible and practical, cite
V. Conclusion

Enumerate arguments
Strengthen arguments

Sample Outline

Rebuttal Speaker
I. Introduction
II. State the Proposition
What has happened in the debate
Where was the clash

III. Rebuttal of the Opposing Team

. What did they say? Why is it wrong?
IV. Summary for Team
. What have they said? Why is it right? Restate
Important arguments
V. Conclusion

Sample Outline

1. Questions should primarily focused on arguments

developed in the speech of your opponent. However,
matters relevant and material to the proposition are
2. Questioner and opponent should treat each other with
3. Both speakers stand and face the audience during the
question or Interpellation period.

Rules on Interpellation

4. Once the questioning has begun, neither the questioner

nor his opponent may consult a colleague. Consultation
should be done before but as quietly as possible.
5. Questioners should ask brief and easily understandable
question. Answers should equally be brief. Categorical
questions answerable by yes or no is allowed, however,
opponent if he choose, may qualify his answer why yes or
why no.

Rules on Interpellation

6. Questioner may not cut off a reasonable and qualifying

answer, but he may cut off a verbose response with a statement
such as a thank you that is enough information or your
point is quite clear or Im satisfied.
7. A questioner should not comment on the response of his
8. Your opponent may refuse to answer ambiguous, irrelevant
or loaded questions by asking the questioner to rephrase or
reform his question.

Rules on Interpellation

A. Rebuttal speaker should point out clearly the

fallacies committed by his opponent stating clearly
what particularly statement or argument constitute
said fallacy.
B. If not familiar with the fallacies of logic, the
debater may counter arguments directly by stating
what arguments or statement is incorrect or false.

Rules on Rebuttal

Argumentum ad hominem the evasion of the actual topic by

directing the attack at your opponent.
Argument from (personal) incredulity (divine fallacy, appeal to
common sense) I cannot imagine how this could be true,
therefore it must be false
Argument from repetition (argumentum ad nauseam) signifies
that it has been discussed extensively until nobody cares to discuss
it anymore.
Argument from silence (argumentum e silentio) where the
conclusion is based on the absence of evidence, rather than the
existence of evidence.


Argument to moderation (false compromise, middle

ground, fallacy of the mean, argumentum ad
temperantiam) assuming that the compromise between
two positions is always correct.
Fallacy of composition assuming that something true
of part of a whole must also be true of the whole
Fallacy of division assuming that something true of a
thing must also be true of all or some of its parts


Fallacy of many questions (complex question, fallacy

of presupposition, loaded question, plurium
interrogationum) someone asks a question that
presupposes something that has not been proven or
accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often
used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies
to those that serve the questioner's agenda.
Fallacy of the single cause (causal oversimplification)
it is assumed that there is one, simple cause of an
outcome when in reality it may have been caused by a
number of only jointly sufficient causes.


False attribution an advocate appeals to an irrelevant,

unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in
support of an argument
Fallacy of quoting out of context (contextomy) refers to
the selective excerpting of words from their original context
in a way that distorts the source's intended meaning
False authority (single authority) using an expert of
dubious credentials and/or using only one opinion to sell a
product or idea. Related to the appeal to authority fallacy.


Form groups of four with four members each.

Random picking of resolution and side
Prepare for debate
Wear corporate attire
Prepare speech. Hard copy of speech to be submitted.
Teacher acts as moderator, timer and judge
Winning Team to represent class in Espejo Cup
Graded, grade to depend on outcome of debate

For Next Week