• 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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