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Research is the bread and butter of debate There is no doubt that contemporary policy debate both in high school and college is largely research driven Our capacity to do research has a great deal to do with our capacity to participate in debates and to succeed in debate Judges coaches and students have largely taken up the position that debate is an information processing activity in which we handle enormous amounts of information in order to discuss important issues The first guideline for debate research is to have a strategic focus This means first that you need to know what you are looking for You will approach your research much differently if you are looking for a very recent quotation about the presidents popularity than if you are looking for material that analyzes the connection between presidential popularity and the implementation of public policies the president supports Know what you are looking for so that you can best focus on what you really need Second if you know what you are looking for you ought to be able to visualize the kind of argument you are trying to develop and imagine what the evidence in that argument would have to look like You should visualize your argument by sketching out what the argument might look like after it was written Be imaginative and think about what you are looking for You will have to be flexible with this concept since the research may lead you in different directions but you want a sort of unstable ground to begin from If the research takes you another route change your visualized position but always keep some mutating vision of the position in your mind while researching Third you need to make sure that you have a plan You never want to embark on your research project without a relatively clear plan of action When making a plan begin by making a list of
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