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  • Part of argumentation theory in communication, commonly exploited in the activity of policy debate. It allows the negative viewpoint to defend a separate plan. In that plan, the counterplan has to be nontopical and competitive, have advantages and disadvantages, and be effectively used along with a disadvantage. The affirmative viewpoint needs to expose the flaws in the counterplan and show why the ideas presented by the negative viewpoint are a bad idea. When someone argues in a debate with a counterplan, the object is to explain what the negative viewpoint is and why it should be done. In summary, a counterplan allows a nontopical, reasonable alternative to the affirmative plan. Such reasoning is often used in hypothesis testing in social science methodology.


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