[eDebate] Hester / Topic Area Discussion
Mikedavis13 at aol.com
Mon Apr 10 22:10:14 CDT 2006
The problem is that people do not vote on the topics based on the quality of
the papers. I argued last year against the China topic because the paper
provided little to no guidance. However, the topic committee is not bound by the
Despite the claim that there was no guidance in the Indians area, the topic
paper had four potential resolutions. None of those made it on the ballot
because those doing the wording papers did not find them acceptable.
At times I think we should do away with the topic papers as it becomes clear
that a large portion of the community never reads the papers - they just see
phrases such as China, courts, Indians, Europe, etc. and decide whether or
not they like those topics. Maybe we should just let people suggest some topics
and let the community do their own research since that what often happens.
The committee works hard on what it is given, but we often vote for the
topic areas whose papers are not well written or researched. Either we need to
pay more attention to the wordings in the papers or do away with the topic
papers all together.
In a message dated 4/10/2006 11:01:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
suniea at whitman.edu writes:
At last year's topic committee meeting, this was discussed and the
identified solution was better topic papers. It's hard to blame the
committee for being unable to meet the community's expectations when the
only guidance is "China" or "Indians". The point was that the
TOPIC PAPER should take a clear stance not just on some general topic
"area" but on the "direction of the topic" within that area. If
if that topic paper won the area vote, the committee would NOT change the
direction of the topic (eg, if the pressure on China paper won, the
committee couldn't write an engagement rez).
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