Letter from the Editor: Our Approach to LD Briefs | Champion Briefs
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September 20, 2016

Letter from the Editor: Our Approach to LD Briefs

By Shania Hunt

Every year I work as the manager of the National Speech and Debate Association store and help out with the NSDA National tournament, and every year I have countless students who walk up to purchase merchandise, look at my name tag, and say, “You’re Shania Hunt… you write for Champion Briefs, right? I love your topic analysis!” While this might be a humble brag, more importantly, it brings me so much joy to see our clients be thankful and happy with our product. That’s what we here at Champion Briefs aim for. Our staff writes topic analyses and cuts evidence because we want to help students, to ensure that they are best prepared to go into tournaments for the year; we’re motivated more by our love for this activity than by any amount of money. In hiring people to work for each brief, I take this into consideration. I want the people who write for Champion Briefs to be excited to help students learn more.

Our philosophy is to create Champions---but not in the sense that we want students to win as many trophies as possible. We want students to become their own version of a Champion. Someone who is kind to others, loves the activity, thinks critically about the world, and strives for excellence. It is with our philosophy in mind that we write our briefs to help jumpstart the research and writing process for each LD topic.

At Champion Briefs, we take into consideration a careful balance between providing as much information and background knowledge/arguments as well as leaving students with creative and educational leeway to make their arguments their own. As the current Editor-in-Chief, I’ve continuously made improvements to our process toward this goal. Each topic analysis has a purpose and a different expert that writes based on their skills and knowledge in specialized areas like policy arguments, critical arguments, or philosophical arguments. We tailor make these topic analyses to ensure accessibility and understanding, no matter if the reader is a novice, four-year competitor, or coach. We also make sure to include a wide range of information for all types of LD debater, which is why you’ll find traditional and progressive advocacies throughout the brief. In recent years, we’ve altered our card-cutting process to provide you with a wide range of case types that have both arguments for and against each topical approach, from common cases that will be used across the community to more unique argumentation. With our helping hand, you’ll have the opportunity to delve deeper into the intricacies of positions through your own research.

Debate topics are designed in a way that guides students down different lines of thought on each topic. Our evidence and analysis are presented to open readers’ eyes to these different avenues and enhances the educational experience of Debate. By doing so, we encourage the improvement of strategic approaches and help students really learn about the topic, not just win more rounds (but that will happen, too!).

As someone who has been involved in debate as both a student and a coach, I know what it is like to go through the researching and writing process first hand. I want every student to feel that they are ready to debate and learn on every topic, no matter their access to multiple coaches, the size of their team, or schedule. My hope is that our brief will be that starting point for students so that they feel confident and prepared to work and debate their best. So if you already read our briefs, fantastic! We are glad to have you as loyal customers. If you’ve never tried our briefs, give us a shot. I guarantee we will not disappoint.

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Shania Hunt Editor-in-Chief, Lincoln-Douglas Briefs Champion Briefs