Debates are often won or lost in the final speech. That speech has to put the whole debate in context, summarize your side and complete the attack on your opponents. In case line, that speech is a reply. It uses elements of the traditional rebuttal and the lowly summary, but also focuses on case line analysis.

You will know how to differentiate between a rebuttal and a reply
You will know why you should use a reply when using case line

Key Learning:

The final part of CASE is

  • E - the process of exposing, which is clash and case line analysis.

Case analysis is the process of putting the debate in perspective. It has a basic structure in a reply speech:

  1. Restate the case line in a new broader sense. This is like re-stating your thesis in the conclusion of an essay.
  2. Highlight the underlying issue of the debate (case line clash).
  3. Show how your main three arguments remain standing and reinforce your thesis about the underlying issue.
  4. Show how the fundamental principle of the opponent's case line is wrong.
  5. Global clash with 1-3 key arguments.
  6. Put the debate into perspective and answer the question - "Why does it matter?"

    To Do:

Listen to the opening statements of a rebuttal and a reply and think about the following listed below. You may follow along on the handout (.doc) if you prefer.

The resolution is: BIRT this house believes that low taxes are preferable to extensive government services. The negative case line is: Social services are beneficial to society in both an economic and humanitarian sense.


  • What is the role of the final speech on each side of a debate?
  • What makes an effective concluding speech?
  • What type of final speech do you usually do?
  • What skills must a debater have to do a rebuttal? A reply?

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