How to Brief Against a Case

Debaters learn to press against assumptions and claims

My company launched a new contest this morning. We’re giving away hundreds in prizes to call on debaters to brief against our “Late-season Surprise” cases for NCFCA, Stoa and NSDA. Details are below, but see here for complete details.

Release Dates and Deadlines

  1. NCFCA Case Releases 3/13/17. Deadline for negative brief: 3/18/17. Publish date: 3/20/17.
    Note that the Massachusetts Open is that weekend.
  2. Stoa Case Releases 3/20/17. Deadline for negative brief: 3/25/17. Publish date: 3/27/17.
    Note that big tournaments are running in Colorado, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Missouri.
  3. NSDA Case Releases 3/27/17. Deadline for negative brief: 4/1/17. Publish date: 4/3/17.

Cases will be announced on release dates, downloadable for free for Monument Members of any policy debate event, or for sale for $15 for everyone else.


This contest is officially called The Monument Publishing Late-season Case Brief Award where Monument Publishing releases a case without a negative brief in the month of March. This contest is open to any Monument Member in any league. Here are the official rules:

  • Writers are encouraged to use the following Word Document to build their brief. Contestants will retain all copyright to their brief, merely giving permission to Monument Publishing to edit and publish as necessary. Byline will remain on the published download.
    S17-B-NEG-My Neg Against Late-season Surprise
  • Every submission deemed publishable will receive a $20 coupon good for 30 days to be used (in partiality or in full) on any product or download at Monument Publishing will choose their favorite brief and award that writer with a $100 coupon.
  • By submitting your piece, you agree to have your full name as the byline to the piece and a short explanation of you and your competitive experience. If you provide Monument Publishing with a photo, you’d look really cool on the website.
  • Briefs may be co-written with as many bylines as the author wants and may be written by a club. However, prizes will be awarded only to the Monument Member submitting the piece.
  • Submissions due the Saturday following the case release. Email your briefs to All submissions should be serious attempts to address the case at hand, and Monument Publishing reserves the right to determine eligibility. All links will be double-checked, and any fabrication, tampering or any other integrity problems will be rejected.

How to Brief

I put on two podcasts not too long ago about negative briefing. We have a lot more material at, but these free podcasts are good starts:

Get ready to learn how to brief on the negative side. Topics include:

  • The advantage of general arguments against affirmative cases.
  • The types of generic arguments.
  • How disadvantages set up for a negative win.
  • Building up impacts that disadvantages emphasize.
  • Building “net harms” disadvantages against good cases.
  • List of examples from NCFCA Environmental year how building generic arguments.
  • How generic arguments can be generally very weak.
  • The three points of negative briefs.
  • How to adapt negative briefs to specific rounds.
  • How to write good tags.
  • Recognizing sources that may not be credible in your league.
  • Four characteristics of good evidence briefs.

There’s a lot to this, but you will have fun learning through the process of briefing. Have fun!

Contest Details Here