Ben Wyatt's Low Cal Calzone Zone
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Golfing with Stephen Hawking, he lied about his handicap. Didn't need a golf cart though, I just sat in his lap.
Re: TDL XI: MANY A PRINCE, BUT ONLY ONE A KING - THE RESULTS
Just to be clear, you don't need to reach the word count to put together a top notch debate. The reason I as a judge usually advise people to write more, is that most of the shorter debates I've read make very little arguments at all and rely too much on descriptive writing, with a minor argument found in between. If someone wrote 650 words with a strong structure and supporting arguments then they'd have a chance, but obviously when you're debating better opponents it can be harder to excel whilst saying less.
As for conclusions, I do think they're very important. It can be 50 words or 150 depending on your preference, but it does need to end the debate on a strong note. It should be a collection of your arguments in a succinct manner, argued passionately to leave the judge fully absorbed by your argument. When people just write a vague couple of lines to conclude their debate, I can't tell you how disheartening it can be, especially as by doing that it sometimes means a debate starts well but ends unsatisfactorily. Again, it is possible to have a brief conclusion written well and able to say a lot in a short amount of time, but more often than not the shorter conclusions I've read don't do this and it's a key area where one debate can outclass the other.