VCA Video Series: Refutation Bootcamp

Our foundational, all-purpose debate trainer. To learn refutation from the best, watch our Refutation video series, which teaches the key argumentative concepts and skills for success at high-level Lincoln-Douglas debate.

The cost of the Refutation Bootcamp video package is $345. Your package includes ten hours of recorded online debate classes with a national champion instructor and homework assignments for each class (reviewed at the beginning of each lesson). Each video covers plenty of drills so you can improve in real-time!

Topics Covered: Mastering argument structure, Attacking the link and the impact, Effectively comparing evidence, Understanding and controlling uniqueness, Efficient and strategic weighing, Mastering persuasion and style

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Bootcamp Lead Instructor

Bennett Eckert

As a student at Greenhill, Bennett was a 3-time Texas Forensic Association State Tournament champion and the 2016 National Speech and Debate Association's national champion. He also won the Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, St. Mark’s, Meadows, the Greenhill Round Robin, and the Apple Valley Round Robin. Bennett will be a sophomore at Northwestern University in the Fall.


Bootcamp Curriculum Overview

Mastering argument structure and comparing advocacies

What is an argument and how can you break it down into its key components? What are link chains and basic argument analyses? Learn how to understand an argument’s logical steps to identify the argument’s weaknesses. Master a framework for understanding in-round arguments – how do policy arguments fit in to Lincoln Douglas debate topics, which are often much broader than a specific policy? What does it mean to “compare advocacies”? 

Attacking the link and the impact

How do you refute arguments? How do “turns” work -- both against the link and the impact? Learn how to generate and apply the key tools in the refutation toolbox. The tools will help you in any debate and will be particularly helpful in answering policy-style “disads.” 

Effectively comparing evidence

What makes a piece of evidence good? How can you spot weaknesses in your opponent’s evidence? When you and your opponent make contradictory claims, learn how to convince the judge that your evidence is correct. Strong evidence comparison skills will improve your research process and help you win the debate.

Understanding and controlling uniqueness

What is “uniqueness,” why is it so crucial, and how do you generate and control it? Even advanced debaters struggle with this, but we’ll teach you how to use uniqueness to beat arguments without even having to challenge links or impacts. Understanding uniqueness will also help you strengthen the assumptions behind your own arguments. 

Efficient and strategic weighing

What are the different forms of “weighing” and argument comparison, and when you should you employ them? How can you use weighing to win even if you don’t have good answers to your opponent’s claims? Answer the debate’s central question: why your side is better, not just good.

Mastering persuasion and style

Strong delivery can often be as important as argument quality in determining the debate’s outcome. How will you persuade judges to vote for you? Learn how to polish your performance (and increase your speaker points) by making your refutation maximally convincing.