We warned you about it before and the moment has arrived.

Call for 1ACs

  • Not to exceed 2,000 words, excepting those with a strikethrough that are included for context. [To strikethrough in Word press ctrl + d (cmd + d for Mac), click strikethrough.]
  • Submit a Word or PDF document titled as follows: TopicofCase1ACEthos
  • Email your 1AC to contest@ethosdebate.com by 4:00pm, November 17.
  • In the text of your email include your name, age, and the statement “I am a novice” if you are a novice by our definition (see below)


1. Top Novice — If it is your first year of competitive debate (as in, you did not participate in a single debate tournament in before June 2010), you are eligible for the novice award (in addition to the other prizes). The prize is free tuition for a single camper at a Summer 2011 debate camp. The top novice award may only be obtained by an individual, not by a group or team.

2. Top 1AC — The best 1AC will be posted on the Ethos blog (the author has the chance to read the case to a video camera and be posted as a video if he or she does not wish the text of the case to be published–which we think would be silly), a t-shirt sent to the winner, and free tuition for a single camper at a Summer 2011 debate camp.

3. Second Place — The second best 1AC will be posted on the Ethos blog in text or video and a t-shirt sent to the winner.

4. Third Place — The third best 1AC will be posted on the Ethos blog.

The names of the top 10 brief writers will be posted in accordance with their placing. Colleges and parents might like this on your academic resume.

Judging: Independent rankings from each judge will be combined, based on a 1-10 scale for each of the following evaluation factors:

  1. Style — Engaging written words, segues, and development of ideas that draws in the audience. Eliminating or explaining debate jargon is considered a positive sub-factor.
  2. Clear Mandates — It should be obvious what the plan is actually doing–not something that requires questions to unravel.
  3. Credibility — The case idea itself and arguments in support are, taken as a whole, plausible and believable.
  4. Strong Evidence — The sources and selections quoted, in addition to logic, philosophy, history, or personal stories referenced, are reasonable and effectively prove the claim made through the use of warrants.
  5. Topicality — The explanation (IF necessary, which will vary from case to case) is deemed defensible by the audience. (Judges do not have to agree with topicality, only that the argument for the case’s topicality, if present, is defensible) The author should take into consideration the tradeoff between proving one’s case and spending time defending topicality. Exercising good judgment in this tradeoff is part of the evaluation factor.
  6. Structure & Burdens Analysis — The author chose a structure and resolutional/burdens analysis that strategically improved the case’s effectiveness. In English, the author made it clear what was necessary to win the round and presented a case that logically flowed with the idea presented and was theoretically sound.

Terms and Conditions: Current Ethos Research Fellows are allowed to compete, so long as they keep their names off of the file that judges will see and abide by all other terms and conditions. No student over 18 years of age by June 1, 2010 are eligible to compete. This contest is not affiliated with any league and is open to the nation. Senior Fellows, Leadership, and Instructors are excluded from participation. Only one 1AC may be submitted per contestant. Groups or teams of contestants are allowed to submit their 1AC and be recognized, but only one award will be granted to any group, as if it were an individual. Camp tuition awards do not include payment for travel, lodging, meals, or any other associated cost for an Ethos camp besides tuition.

To Ask Questions: Please post your question here so that all contestants may see the answer

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