July 17 - August 14, 2011

Evidence Citations

1. All evidence must have a full citation, which includes author and qualifications (if there is an author listed), the full date, and source. (See page numbers and data bases and URLs below for additional information that must be included)

2. Cites should always follow this standard order: AUTHOR, QUALS, FULL DATE, AND SOURCE. You should bold and underline the author's last name and the year, but include everything. (Lawrence Tribe, prof law, Harvard, 2/11, Harvard Law Review) This standard format makes it easy to read name and date if you want to, while also allowing reading of quals and source if desired. DO NOT CHANGE THIS ORDER with last name, date, first name, quals, etc. rearrangements; that makes it too difficult for those who want or need to read the full cite. Alternatively, you can, if you want, place the last name and year in bold at the very beginning of the cite, but do not eliminate that information from the rest of the cite: ( Tribe’11 Lawrence Tribe, prof law, Harvard, 2/11, Harvard Law Review)

3. Additional information in the citation is not essential, but should be included. You can decide what is useful. Article titles are not needed, but are good to include especially when the article in from an electronic source. The title of a hearing is also unnecessary; the committee and full date are sufficient, but since you are using a computer to generate copies of the cites you might as well include the title and the SuDoc number. More information is good, but put it after the essential citation listed above.

4. Indicate when books are collections of separately authored chapters. Cite the author of the chapter as the AUTHOR, but be sure to include the editor's name after the book title. This will clarify that the book is not catalogued under this author’s name, but can be found in a title search. If the date of the chapter is different from the publication date of the book, cite and bold/underline the original date after the author to be read in the round; cite the publication date after the book title. This date difference also applies to translations of earlier works.

5. Periodicals: For magazine, newspaper, etc. articles with no author, you only need to cite source and date. For articles listing a staff writer you can either cite the staff writer and qualify as such, or you can just cite the periodical ( however, the staff writer name may be more efficient in rounds). Editorials designating an author should cite the author and quals. Letters to the editor that do not cite qualifications should either be avoided or cited as letters.

6. Citing news collections. Some sources, especially on Lexis, are reprints or compilations from other sources (for example, BBC and Africa News); cite the original source (usually indicated as "byline"), its date, as well as the reprinting source and its date if different. Underline/bold the original source and date to be read in the round. Some sources write their own summaries of the news rather than reprinting entire articles; for example, Hotline. For these, cite the summarizing source in the card cite and be sure to include in the underlining/reading of the card the source being quoted. If necessary, edit in with brackets [ ] the quoted source see 14 below.

7. Law Reviews: For most articles the author and quals should be cited. Some "notes" or "comments" do not list an author or list a name with no qualifications at the end. These are written by law students. If a name is provided, cite it and the quals "law student at ..." If no name is provided, cite the law review and put in parentheses after that "note," "comment" etc.

-- OVER --

8. Court decision cites: The judge's name, the judge's position (e.g. US district court, 4th Circuit, California Supreme Court, etc. (US Supreme Court probably is not necessary, but do refer to these judges as "Justice."), the nature of the decision (majority or for the court, concurring, dissenting), the date, the reporter cite (e.g. 430 US 123, 431 Fed 3d 456, 432 F Supp 2d 789, 433 NE 123).

9. Briefs: Cite the attorney or other author of the brief, author qualifications (attorney at Smith & Jones, Solicitor General, etc) the title of the brief (this is usually appellant, petitioner, respondent, amicus etc and the name of the case,) and finally the date.

10. Blogs: Generally, evidence from blogs should be avoided. If it is cut, the author should be cited with their qualification, whether a professor or a crazy blogger. The citation also should clearly identify the source as a blog.

11. Page numbers: every non-electronic source (book, periodical, hearing, etc.) that you cut in the original should include a page number. The easiest way to do this, since page numbers don't have to be read in rounds, is to write the page number at the end of the card or in the margin before you take scissors to the photocopy.

12. Data base cites: These searches will give you a source cite, but not a page number. Thus, after the cite you should include the name of the database: e.g. "Lexis" "Ebsco"

13. When using electronic evidence, you must cite the Uniform Resource Location (URL). Browsers can be set up to print the URL on each page. If you are cutting cards on the computer, copy and paste the URL. Remember to record the URL for a pdf or document.

14. Numerical dates are acceptable-- in fact, preferable: For newspapers, magazines, etc. with a specific date, you might want to put "7-19-11" instead of July 19, 2011. For the year of a book, put '07 instead of 2007. Numerical dates are easier to read in a round. “2K” is inefficient for everything except the year 2000.
Even if you only read the last number of the year, for example '7, bold and underline the '07 because the single number is often hard to spot quickly. Even if you want to emphasize the recency of your evidence, be sure to include the year. For example, for the tournament you might want to bold and underline 8-14-11, but never leave out the "11."

15. Ways to find the date for electronic documents: carefully inspect the document itself; look in the URL for date information; go to the homepage, the publications page, etc working your way toward the document to see if the date is listed; Google the author to see if the document is on the author’s homepage with a date; Google the title to see if the document is elsewhere with a date; eliminate a segment from the URL for the document and see if you get a page with the date or an index indicating “last modified;” some browsers (e.g. Netscape) will list “last modified” under “view.” “Last modified” is not the best date citation, but better than nothing at all; cite the date with “last modified” after it.

16. Do not edit cards. This means: do not edit the text of the evidence (gender paraphrase, addition of source qualifications, etc.), do not shrink the font of the evidence (everything should be at least 10 point font), and do not remove any section of the evidence (by using ellipses or 'continues'). If you need to add a notation about
internally cited sources you may include it in the citation, but do not change the text of the evidence itself.

July 17 - August 14, 2011

Argument Labels (or Tags)

1. Write short, front loaded labels to arguments. If you can't say what you want to in 5 or 6 words, do the best you can and add an explanatory sentence after the label. Efforts at cute, funny labels usually fail and are almost always worthless. Each off-case argument should have a label; it will help the judge follow the argument.

2. Avoid classifiers like "we meet," "counter definition," "no link," and "not unique." If unavoidable, put them at the end of labels. For, example, if the negative argues T on "increase" does not mean "create," the affirmative saying "the plan adds to the existing ..." is clear and does not need "we meet." The affirmative saying “increase can mean create” is clearly a counter definition and does not need that term at the beginning of the label. Similarly, if the negative links politics to Democratic opposition, "Democrats support the plan" and "Democrats oppose on other issues" are clearly link and uniqueness arguments and don't need those additional words of “not link” and “not unique” at the beginning.

3. Avoid unnecessary substructure. State the concluding claim as the label and give the reasons. If the reasons are so distinct and important, make these separate arguments or wait for later speeches to delineate the different points. For example, 2AC can say "Increase can mean create (so there is no violation)" and read the definition card. There is no need to say "A. Counter definition, increase can mean create," read the card, and then say "B. We meet.”

4. Use efficient language

• Omit phrases like "it is" and "there are."
"It is difficult to understand" / "understanding is difficult"
"There are 3 reasons" / "3 reasons."

• Avoid beginning sentences with "this." Join the sentence to the previous one.
"The economy would collapse. This is because of a decline in productivity." /
"The economy would collapse because of declining productivity."

• Instead of "which" and "that" and prepositional phrases use a gerund phrase.
"Passage of the plan, which Democrats oppose, would require that political capital be spent." / "Passing the plan, opposed by Democrats, would require spending political capital." (or “Democrat opposition would cost political capital.”

• Avoid the passive tense; replace passive verbs with active ones. For example:
"The plan will be circumvented by the military." / "The military will circumvent the plan."

• Change being verbs to a stronger verb form.
"Republicans are in opposition to the plan" / "Republicans oppose the plan."

• "Could," "should," and "would" are often unnecessary. Use strong verbs where appropriate.
"The plan would be perceived as increasing costs to business." / "Business will perceive increased costs."

• Words ending in "tion" and "sion" can be replaced by strong verbs.
"The plan will result in the perception of increased costs by business." / "Business will perceive increased costs."

• Prepositional phrases with one-word modifiers can usually be replaced by adjective phrases.
"The cost of the plan will hurt the economy." "The plan cost will hurt the economy."

• "Reason," "why," and "because" are redundant.
"The reason why the costs increase is because of the burden of regulation." "Costs increase because of regulatory burdens."

• Many prepositional phrases are redundant.
"The plan will be inexpensive in cost." / "The plan will be inexpensive."

• "the fact that" is usually redundant
"Given the fact that Republicans oppose . . ." or "Despite the fact that Republicans oppose. . ." / "Given Republicans oppose . . " or "Despite Republican opposition . . ."

• Use concise words:
"Talked in a loud voice." / "yelled" "Came to the conclusion"/ "decided"