Non-topical Affirmatives

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Non-Topical Affirmatives


Non-Topical Affirmatives, often referred to as Non-T affs or K affs, are (as the name suggests) affirmatives that do not support the resolution or its enactment and instead shifts the focus away to some sort of more important idea, usually based in critical literature that can also be seen in kritiks. These also include performance affs, that do some sort of speech act.

Common Non-T Affs

The list of common Non-T affs are similar to the common kritiks, including feminism, fem IR, Marxism, Mollow, Afro pessimism, etc. These Non-T affs are "topical" to varying degrees - they can have certain links in the resolution that can be extrapolated as a reason to read the non-T affs, and may even support the resolution but in a convoluted way that is different from policymaking. On the other hand, the aff can completely deny the resolution via things like "White America bad" or "Debate bad" so we shouldn't even debate the resolution at all. Both mechanisms of executing the aff have their own strategic values, so it largely depends on how/what your K aff is going to look like, the literature base, T-fw responses, and often personal preference.

Answering T-Framework

Answering T-framework often comes in two different strategies:

  1. Counter interp, where you defend your practice and tie it back to how your aff does something good for topicality. These counter interps are meant to be as cheaty as possible, and you want to generate some sort of DA to their practice which marks an internal net benefit for yours. Don't be afraid of being quirky; its strategic and often hard to respond to. A common DA to t-fw is PICs, so you can say why your aff kills PIC ground while preserving DAs (in this case, your aff would be semi topical where you have links to the resolution and defend it in the form of your own literature without the actual enactment) and that is good because it solves for limits/grounds. This is good especially with K affs that are semi topical.
  2. Impact turns, where you demonstrate why fairness or Topicality is bad and destroying it is good. Warrant this by utilizing your aff and lit base that explains why the current status quo of debate is bad.

Responding to Non-T Affs


This is elaborated on T-Framework a lot more, but what T-fw really should boil down to are three standards/voters: SSD, TVA, limits/clash. All of these are great routes to go for to take out aff offense. T-fw debaters like to go for fairness, but an underutilized strategy and possibly a better one to go for is to beat the aff on their own grounds - education. Often, this is a much more compelling story than fairness because fairness is generic and can get boring and repetitive for experienced judges. Demonstrate how the resolution and debate provides a unique forum of education which is unique and key that outweighs the aff's education.

Capitalism Ks

This is another generic strategy that negatives use against K affs: Capitalism Ks. Usually, the link would be something like the aff distracts us or destroys our ability to fight capitalism, which is the root of all evils and cap's impact outweighs. The alt would then solve the aff or be preferrable to the aff because it solves for capitalism which is a bigger umbrella issue.

Kant NC


The following strategies are not very common forms of answering Non-T affs, but can be interesting strategies.

  1. Truth Testing - provide a counter role of the ballot via Truth Testing and demonstrate why the resolution is false via tricks and paradoxes. Be careful about this though - most judges don't like truth testing and is happy to disregard all of your tricks off the flow if the aff overviews on why tricks is harmful for their performance or identity of people they're trying to protect.
  2. Heavy presumption pushes - most non-T affs don't do anything, and show why presumption flows neg because they can't have offense if they don't do anything.
  3. Turns - just like how you would link/impact turn a kritik, you can do the same on a k aff. If the aff is mollow/psychoanalysis, you can turn their offense by saying psychoanalysis is harmful. For marxism, make turns as to why cap is better than marxism.
  4. Counterplans - these can be quick, analytical, cheaty PICs that steal the aff offense but generate some sort of internal net benefit you can sit on for 6 minutes in the 2nr if dropped. For example, a common PIC vs Asian identity affs is fellow yellow, meaning that the neg endorses the reading of the aff unless against a fellow yellow debater because that causes the neg to negate their own identity which is harmful.
  5. Ballot PIKs - advocate for why the aff's want or desire for the ballot is bad and harms their own movement.