Behold, the Value Link

Last time we unpacked what values are, and then how to create them.

Now we talk about how to run them.

Remember that the value is part of your advocacy: it's an argument you need to win to capture the judge's ballot. Like any argument, it can't function without support. Blind assertions get us nowhere.

Strangely enough, there are large numbers of LD cases that simply assert their value and then leave it behind. For example:

     Resolved: City life is better than country life.  

     "My value is Convenience, defined as the ability to have one's needs met with little difficulty. Let's move on to the contention."

No Advocacy

Presenting like this mean that the value isn't even an argument: it hasn't met the basic conditions of having grounds or analysis. It's saying, "here is a thing. I want you to use this thing to measure the resolution. If you don't use it, my entire case becomes incoherent. Alright, see ya!"

The problem is obvious. Thankfully, stronger debate theory has given us a solution.

The Value Link

The Value Link is a reason for the judge to choose your value. Let's illustrate:

     Resolved: City life is better than country life.

     Value: Convenience

     Value Link: Makes Life Awesome

The Value tells the judge how to choose between city life and country life. It says: "hey, whichever of these is more convenient, that's the place you wanna live."

The Value Link is the reason to use convenience as the value and not other things. The judge could use whatever value the negative gives us (say privacy or safety), so we want to give the judge a reason that Convenience is the best thing we could use.

     "Convenience makes your life awesome. Sacrificing it means making your life constantly frustrating, and who wants that?"

Here's A Model for Presentation

You want to begin by delivering your value, clearly defining it, and then immediately offering at least one Value Link. Offer two or more if your value needs a lot of support for the judge to choose it.

On negative, we call Value Links Reasons to Prefer. They're still the same thing as Value Links, we just call them Reasons to Prefer since there's already a value in play. If we want the judge to choose ours, we're giving them a reason to prefer it over our opponent's.