• You will know how to identify the key argument in a resolution and show how it forms the who philosophy of your case.
  • You will know how to make a case line statement and relate arguments to case line.

Key Learning - Case line is like a dialectic essay

  • The thesis comes from the topic (resolution), but is more specific and represents a position.
  • The thesis is simple, catchy and clear.
  • The three arguments prove the thesis.
  • You must develop arguments through your body paragraphs (points), not just state an idea without proof. Development can include outside sources like statistics and quotations or lines of logic.
  • You attack opposing arguments and prove them wrong. If you are writing well, you disprove the position they support (opposing case line).
  • You conclude by re-stating the thesis and saying why the topic is important (so what statement).
case line structure

To Do:

On the what is case line page, you were asked the key question "If the resolution is BIRT Canada legalize Euthanasia, what bigger issue is the debate about?" Answer that question mentally.


  1. Look at the example comparing a needs case and case line approach to a policy debate.
  2. Read the example and note the different role of the plan.
  3. Choose one of the arguments and create a flow chart showing how you would develop the argument rather than just stating it.
  4. Try the quiz on argument development. If you can't see the quiz, you may have pop-ups blocked on your Internet browser. Check your settings and allow pop-ups for this site - don't worry no ads here! If you are using Internet Explorer, you may see a yellow bar at the top of the window. Right click on that bar to allow the blocked content.

Key Questions:

  1. How do you develop an argument?
  2. How do you know if a statement is an argument or a case line?


Case lines are structured like essays and work effectively in policy debates. They help create a central point or thesis and focus the debate on big issues. When a case line is used in policy debate the main goal of the case is to prove the thesis, not to create a strong plan or prove a carefully worded definition of the resolution.

View Next Page - Case lines and Values Debate

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News & Upcoming Events

  • Changes to the Board


    The October AGM saw a number of changes to the board we'd like to acknowledge. We are pleased with the strong turn-out this year. We had a number of parents and coaches present as well as most clubs represented. With the regular turn-over in board member terms, we would like to welcome Melissa Gerlach and Paula Dvernichuk as new members to the board. Of course these psotions mark the end of terms of other members. So, we'd also like to acknowledge the following retiring board members:


    Kara Helmes - Kara has been a long history with SEDA. A member of the board for over 10 years, she has committed to coaching and supporting SEDA. A former debater, president and past president (two terms), she helped SEDA navigate some turbulent waters in recent years. We thank Kara for her commitment and leadership.


    Sarah Myers - Sarah, a recent addition to the board, has spent her free time supporting elementary debate and coaching. As a highly respected member of the board, her contributions are valued. We are grateful to Sarah for her contributions to SEDA.


    Dylan Hardy - A former debater, Dylan is passionate about debate. He has committed his time to the advancement of debate and debaters in the province as a coach, mentor, judge and board member. Although his long commitment to the board is coming to an end, Dylan's impact on the debate community will remain.


    Matt Schmeisser - Also a former debater, Matt has dedicated hours debating, coaching and actively participating on the board. Matt has volunteered his time and energy and influence many young debaters and many have noted the feedback he provides. Wherever his career takes him, debate will remain an important part of Matt's life. SEDA is grateful to Matt and wishes him the best in his endeavors.

  • Your Canada - Your Constitution

    Thank you YCYC for sponsoring 2016 National Debate!