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NOTE: Questions have been answered. No more questions will be entertained. Almost ten briefs were received before the questions were answered, fyi.

High School Debaters: You are invited to enter the Ethos Briefwriting Contest.

Winners and honorable mentions will be able to put their award on high school transcripts/resumes, be published in an Ethos update, and some will earn a free copy of Ethos (or $25 if they already own a copy). The top brief writer will be invited to join the Ethos team for 2010-11.

Topic: The topic is the 2009-2010 NCFCA Team Policy Resolution. What particular angle you take on your brief is entirely up to you.

Judging Criteria:

– Topical Saliency/Usefulness — 20%

– Real-world Credibility — 35%

– Organization/Theoretical Soundness — 35%

– Tagline Accuracy

If Ethos currently covers it sufficiently, then you should consider submitting a different topic. Ingenuity and added value are what we are looking for in the “Topical Saliency” portion. Theory is part of Organization because organization should follow a logical path to help users build arguments.

Questions: All questions on the rules or criteria must be publicly commented on this blog for all to see, by Friday, February 19. No questions will be answered after that time, in fairness to all competitors. All answers will be posted publicly. We reserve the right to extend the deadline.

Deadline: All briefs must be submitted to ethosdebate@gmail.com by Friday, Feb 26, at 5:00pm EST. Any briefs received after that time will be ignored.

Page Limit: Your brief should be 12-25 pages of evidence. An additional 4 pages are allowed for Table of Contents and top-level strategy notes. Verbage/strategy notes may of course be included within the brief wherever you like. It is important to distinguish your words from quotes.

Formatting: It’s up to you how to use your space while making your brief easy to read and use. If you have some innovation, feel free to try it out.

Judges: Isaiah McPeak, Lisa Alexander, Nathanael Yellis, Rebekah Ries. Judges will grade each brief on the criteria listed above, without regard to who the author is.

Title/Header: Please do not include your name anywhere in the actual brief. The brief should be saved as it’s topic title and the filename should be the same (i.e. the filename should be “NEG — Honey Bee Flower Planting CON”, not “brief”). This should also be the header in the brief.

Include in your email the following information:




Brief Title:

Eligibility: Anyone under 19 years of age.

Awards/Judging Process: Judging will be in three stages.

1) A downselect of all briefs. Each judge will be assigned a set of briefs and quickly look them over for compliance with the rules and evaluate whether they have a basic shot at competing. Briefs that pass this stage move to…

2) Exhaustive judging. Each judge will rate each brief. These grades will be combined on a percentage scale.

3) The top 10 or 10% (whichever is lesser) of briefs will be given “Honorable Mention”. The top 5 will be ranked in order and given a free copy of Ethos or $25 if they already own it. At minimum, the 1st place winner will be invited to join Ethos as an author for the 2010-2011 season (per our usual contractual offer, which may be declined or accepted by the winner). The top 5 briefs will also be sent to all Ethos purchasers as an evidence update (with credit given to each brief’s author).

Legalese: If your brief is selected, your brief will temporarily become the property of Ethos and may not be traded without permission until July of 2010. All entries must be the work of individuals and not of teams, as individual brief-writing ability is being assessed.

Ethos Authors may not enter this contest.

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