[eDebate] Ceda Topic Selection Process

scottelliott at grandecom.net scottelliott
Tue Feb 20 17:31:59 CST 2007

I urge people to take a look at the gentetic engineering paper I wrote. 
Obviously, I think it is a great topic area. More importantly, I think it
serves as a good model of what a topic paper should do. What it does is the

1. It has actual proposed resolutions. No vague bullshit with an inherent
bait-and-switch that occurs when people have a topic paper that says
essentially, "Gee would China or Mexico be good areas? Or how about something
to do with the courts?" Or, "I think the mid-East has problems, let's debate
about it."

2. It explains why some resolutions are to be preferred over others. Including
defintions and implications of how different topic wordings would affect the
outcome of debates. With all due deference to Jackie, RESOLTIONS DO MATTER.
(private joke)

3. Solvency advocates, harms advocates and disad advocates.

4. It proposes real areas of change. Wouldn't it be nice to have real inherency
and real uniqueness for real advantages and real disadvantages.

5. It examines critical theory areas as well as an analysis of how womens'
issues and race issues play a critical role in the topic development thinking
and final choice of best/most preferred resolution. (Huge critical theory area
as well as traditional disads vs. advatages ground)

6. It was vetted by experts in the respective fields. That's right, I went out
on a limb and sent drafts to real scientists and policymakers to see what they
thought. I included their comments in the paper. (Most thought it was a great
topic paper and great topic area btw)

7. It is new, something many people have not explored. Especially since the
community has not debated a technology/big science topic area in almost 20

Like I said, if you don't like genetic engineeering and nanotechnology as a
topic area, then read the paper as an example of how I think a topic paper
should be written.

Scott M. Elliott

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