There are many blogs for this group that describe how to argue well in a TD. This blog shows you how to utilize them in a real TD. If you haven't read the other blogs, here are the links:
The Basics of Logic, Pt. 1 by Porkins
The Basics of Logic, Pt. 2 by Porkins
Advice from Red/Milk/Spud Dud by redskinmaniac
Advice for Newbies by rstowe
And now, the feature presentation...a behind the scenes look at how to argue a TD.
Step 1: Finding the right TD. When I first log onto FanNation everyday, I usually check the throwdowns page first for open TDs. Although I do create many of my own throwdowns, taking open TDs started by someone else is usually easier, so that's what this TD will be featuring. When I checked the TD page on Monday, there were many TDs open about March Madness. You don't have to disagree with a TD to be able to accept it, as long as you think you have a good chance to argue it well and win, you should take it. The TD I saw stated "Tyler Hansbrough SHOULD win player of the Year", created by A throwdowner named NCshvDavid. I knew Hansbrough was the favorite for P.O.Y., but I thought I could make a definite argument for Michael Beasley, so I took it.
Step 2: Reading your opponent's argument. This is one of the most important parts of a TD. When you first accept the TD, immediately read what your opponent has to say. That way, if they say anything you could counter, you will be able to include that in your argument.
Here's the argument:
"ok first the stats
Michael Beasley - F PPG RPG APG FG%
Height: 6'10" Weight: 235 Year: Fr 26.5 12.4 1.2 53.5
Tyler Hansbrough - F PPG RPG APG FG%
Height: 6'9" Weight: 250 Year: Jr 23.1 10.3 0.9 53.9
Yes MB has got slightly better stats-
the difference? one is on the NUMBER ONE team in the NATION
the other went 21-10
One played in the BEST Conf in the COUNTRY (at WORST 2nd best)
the other played in the 4-5 Best Conf
One stepped it UP when called Upon -and won a conf reg season AND tourney Title-
the other lost to sixth-seeded A&M in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals- a LOWER seed
One is going to be the TOP pick in the NBA draft
The Other is NCAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR"
To counter your opponent you have to understand what he/she (in this case he) is saying. If you are unclear about one of his points, do research or decline the TD, because if you argue and make no sense, get ready for an a-s-s whooping.
In the first part of his argument, he acknowledges Beasley has better stats, but he justifies it with the reason that Hansbrough plays on UNC, while Beasley plays on K-State. That is definitely a valid point; however, Beasley has very little support on his team, while UNC has some other great players like Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson. The Big 12 was a weaker conference, and I couldn't really counter that. My opponent also pointed out how Hansbrough led his team to an ACC title while K-State lost early in the Big 12 Tourney.
Also, notice how he spaces out his arguments. This is something I recommend everyone to do. Writing your argument in one big clump just looks too jumbled and unorganized. Most people don't read arguments entirely, just enough to get the gist of the argument. Spacing out arguments lets them know there's more to your argument than just your opening lines.
Step 3: Stating your opinion, countering your opponent. Your opening argument needs to give good reasons why your opinion is correct. Try to go point by point of your opponent's argument, countering each point with your own reasoning. If there is something that you can't counter, try to look at it a different way and argue from there. You might want to first acknowledge that his opinion does have merit, but then use a special word: "however". However pretty much undoes what you just said and focuses the point of the argument to you. My first argument:
"Player of the Year isn't only determined by how good the player's team. It's how good a player is individually. Beasley has better stats, and is only a freshman. His team wasn't as successful because the surrounding players weren't as talented as Beasley. He was guarded more heavily, but still had better stats than Hansbrough.
Beasley did play in the Big 12, but still played KU, Texas, and Xavier (non conference). The Big 12 is weaker than the ACC, but imo they aren't at best 4th best. But it doesn't matter. Last year's player of the year, Kevin Durant, came out of the Big 12, and the level of play hasn't changed too much in 2008.
Hansbrough gets less pressure, even though he's a big man, because of all the surrounding talent on his team. How do you think defenders would've played him differently had Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson not been on the team? He would've received more pressure from defenders and may not have played as well.
Beasley will make a good NBA player, because he's been the best in college hoops. Hansbrough should definitely get consideration, but you can't compare the two when one has a better supporting cast than the other."
My opponent says Hansbrough, despite having worse statistics, plays on UNC, the #1 team in the country. I can counter this argument by saying that Hansbrough has the support of great players like Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, who take some pressure of of him. Beasley has hardly any support and therefore receives more defensive pressure. To counter his point on how K-St. played an easier schedule, I looked up their schedule and gave some names of the good teams they faced (... still played KU, Texas, and Xavier...) I summed up my argument by using what he stated "One is going to be the TOP pick in the NBA draft" to help my point, "Beasley will make a good NBA player, because he's been the best in college hoops".
Step 4: The middle arguments. Click here to see the two middle arguments, I'm not posting them, due to lack of space. Your opponent now has seen your opening argument, and will be countering it. There really isn't much more to the middle arguments. Read their argument, counter them. Find more information to justify your argument. For example, I found that the Big 12 had 6 March Madness berths, which was just as many as the Pac-10, that my opponent stated was tied for 1st in conference rankings in his 2nd argument. Using a question is also a good idea. Use questions like "What if...?", "Would you...?", or "If...., what would happen?"
Step 5: Summing it up. You're almost there! Spend about 900 of your characters on supporting you opinion and countering your opponent. If there are any flaws in your opponent's 3rd argument, make sure to exploit that. Even if its only a small spot, it can grow. The last couple characters of your argument should sum up your entire point in the throwdown. To start, use words like "The bottom line is...", "All in all", or "Overall", to lead into your summary. Don't use statistics-just the main points. A good way to end is to use a question, to keep the readers thinking at the end. Rhetorical questions work well too, questions that someone has to agree with you like, "How can KU play an easier schedule and have a worse record than Memphis, but still be a better team?"
Step 6: Sit back and relax. There's not much more you can do now. If you win, you win; if you lose, you lose. As long as you follow the above 5 steps though, you'll argue well and get respect. Even if you don't win, people will know you gave an honest effort to win and you actually enjoy arguing.