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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, topicality is an all or nothing issue for the affirmative team. If the affirmative team drops topicality, they are going to lose the debate, regardless of what other arguments they make. Given this, 1AR speakers should always address topicality first so that they don’t run out of time (the same applies to the 2AC).

Address any new arguments the negative makes in the 2NC. Although new 2NC arguments are rare in varsity debate, they are more common in novice debate. Given this, after addressing topicality, it will be important to address any new 2NC arguments.

Address remaining arguments. First affirmative rebuttal speakers should then move to address the rest of the negative arguments, defending 2AC arguments against attacks on them by the negative block.

In addressing arguments, it is important for the affirmative to understand that in order to win the debate that they will need to prove that the

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