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How to Efficiently Use Your Twenty Minutes of Writing

Published: Jan. 23, 2018, 1:27 a.m. | Author: sarahwornow7

After the topic is announced for a round, you have twenty minutes to copy everything from your research onto the colored sheets of paper provided. That might seem like a daunting task, but here's some advice on how to efficiently use those twenty minutes.

First, find a comfortable place to sit. You're going to be speeding through your research trying to write down everything you can, so the last thing you want to worry about is having your leg cramp up because you've been lying on the ground. Try to get to a table close to your room, or even stay in the main hall and work there (though it probably will be noisy). If you go to your room and see your judge is inside, you're allowed to go in and sit at the desks to write. However, if there's no judge in the room, you're not allowed to go in. Make sure you have your pen and research ready to go once you sit down to write. Second, assign each person on your team a part of the research to copy. For example, the first speaker should write down their grabber, weighing mechanism, definitions, and first point. The second speaker should write down their grabber, the second point, and third point. Lastly, the third speaker should write down their grabber, the fourth point (if you have one), and any previously thought-out refutations. If one person finishes early, they can help their teammate finish writing down their point. You don't have to specifically follow these guidelines, but talk with your team and plan out a strategy before you get to a tournament. It's important to use the twenty minutes efficiently, so you don't want two members on your team writing down the same point. Lastly, have clear titles on the top of your pages so you don't get lost during your speech. It's better to use up some room on your paper to write a big title on the top of the page so you don't forget what point that paper has than to have a small title, making you reread that paper during your speech to figure out which point it was. When you're restating your points at the end of your speech, you'll be relieved to be able to quickly find each point you said in order. 

Try to practice writing out your research before the tournament so you don't run into any problems during the tournament. 


Do's and Don'ts of POIs

Published: Jan. 23, 2018, 1:53 a.m. | Author: sarahwornow7


  • Take at least one POI during your speech
  • Finish your sentence or thought before taking a POI
  • Stop a POI if the person saying the POI has gone over 15 seconds or you understand their point: make sure to be polite and say, "Thank you, I understand your point"
  • If you are uncertain whether you have time to take a POI, respond to the POI with, "I'll take your POI after my point" and continue reading your case
  • Answer POI's with evidence or reasoning
  • Be polite when turning a POI down: either use a hand motion to decline or say, "No thank you"


  • Wave down every POI the other team gives: if you do, it shows the judge you don't know the topic well enough to think on your feet and answer a question brought up by the opposing team
  • Immediately continue reading your case after the POI has finished: try and answer the POI with reasoning or evidence
  • Stop mid-sentence to take a POI: always finish your thought or sentence before taking a POI and let the person giving the POI know that you'll take it after you finish your point
  • Pass the POI onto your next speaker: always try and come up with an answer to a POI, but in a worst case-scenario it's ok to say your next speaker will answer the POI
  • Leave a person with a POI standing for a long time: quickly decide if you want to take their POI or decline it