[eDebate] Hester / Topic Area Discussion

Mikedavis13 at aol.com Mikedavis13
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  
paper either. 
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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