The First Affirmative Rebuttal (1AR)

The 1AR is spoken by the debater who delivered the 1AC.

The difficulty level of the First Affirmative Rebuttal (1AR) will be determined by a couple of factors – how strong the 2AC was and whether or not the 2NC made new arguments that need to be addressed for the first time. Since the purpose of the 1AR is to defend the 2AC responses to arguments, the stronger the 2AC arguments, the easier the 1AR. With these considerations in mind, I will offer a few pieces of advice.

Address topicality first. As mentioned in other parts of this textbook, if the affirmative teams doesn’t respond to the topicality argument in the 2AC, in the 1AR (if the 2NC and/or 1NR continue to talk about it), and the 2AR (f the 2NR talks about it), the affirmative will lose the debate.  If you address topicality first, this will ensure that you don’t run out of time discussing it.

Repeat the 2AC arguments.  In your first few tournaments, responding back to what the 2NC/2NR said to the 2AC arguments will be difficult (and they may not even respond to the 2AC arguments, as that will be difficult for them), so please be sure to at least repeat the 2AC arguments.

Try to keep track of missed arguments.  We will learn more about flowing later, but for now just make a simple mental note that you want to point out what 2AC arguments your opponent didn’t respond to.

Talk about your “case.”  Remember your “case”? The harms and solvency from your first speech…Remember to bring them up again, repeat them, etc. A lot gets lost when people first start debating, so if you just repeat yourself you may win.