Welcome to The Value Criterion!
Framework debate made more just.
What's on this site?
40 complete value criteria frameworks
200 indexed pieces of high-quality framework evidence
300 additional Lincoln-Douglas debate topic files
All of this is free!
Everything on this site was compiled using only public resources and personal donations. Many of the frameworks you see are the exact ones used in competition by top debaters, who’ve graciously contributed through our Frameworks of Champions campaign.
Why does this site exist?
The Value Criterion is intended to serve as an educational resource for high-school Lincoln-Douglas debaters by creating a comprehensive, permanent, and free repository of high-quality philosophical arguments.
We’re trying to address two major problems with this project:
1. Inequality of opportunity.
- It’s no secret that being able to argue the value criterion—or philosophical framework—is critical to success in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
- Students who are younger, who do not have access to expensive coaching, or who do not belong to a well-established or well-funded debating program often have a tough time accessing these sorts of framework files.
- This site tries to address this access disparity that can make Lincoln-Douglas very discouraging and is certainly a barrier to higher levels of competition.
2. Intellectual stagnation.
- When their files are limited, many debaters fall into the danger of “recycling” just a few old frameworks on every new topic.
- This leads them to approach new topics with an already limited focus, rather than to explore them with a full breadth of philosophical perspectives.
- By also exposing students to a wider variety of value criteria—they’re all stored in one place and in an easy-to-digest format—we hope to improve the education students receive from debating.
As many former debaters know, Lincoln-Douglas is often the most meaningful activity students will do in high school. It is also uniquely an activity where philosophy cannot be ignored, but no other repository like this exists.
By focusing on philosophy resources, our goal is to improve the quality of preparation and debates and expand access to high-level Lincoln-Douglas debate to more students.
How can you help?
Everything goes directly towards covering the operational costs of this site.
We'd love to hear any questions, concerns, or feedback you may have.
If there is anything else, or if you would like to contribute to this project yourself, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most importantly, we hope you'll help us make debate more accessible by spreading the resources on this site to your friends and teammates!