Decorate Your Evidence

Introduction: Decorate Your Evidence

After a while, all those files and cards start to look the same. This is a simple way to jazz it up a bit and stay organized!

Step 1: Supplies

For a basic fix up, you'll need the following items:

1) File folder
2) Evidence (or your affirmative)
3) Assorted colors of highlighters
4) Assorted colors of Sharpies

Keep in mind that these are only basic items. You always have the option to take it up a notch.

Step 2: The File Folder

File folders can be organized in many different ways. I've found the best method is by type of file (K, C/P, disad, etc.) and then by ABC order.

First, the type of file I have is an affirmative. For my colleague and I, the color for affirmative files is pink. Therefore, I will begin decorating this file by highlighting the top portion of the label pink, as shown.

Second, I will label my file with a pink Sharpie. When it comes to lighter colors such as yellow, I use black instead to ensure visibility. Also, while completing this task, place a piece of paper in the folder. In this way you can be sure that your label is as large as possible without being cut off by your evidence.

So I can be sure what the file is when I store it after this season, I will write on the top margin of the file that this folder contains an affirmative. This will be done with a fine tip pink permanent marker.

This finishes the file folder. And now onto its contents!

Step 3: The File

Your files can be fancy, too. To start with, using an array of font sizes and styles will give your file contrast and-- believe it or not-- make the cards easier to read.

As most debaters know, highlighting is essential. When you create your card, bold and underline what you would like the judges to hear. Then, go back through and highlight the necessary information in case you're short on time when you read it in a round. I also recommend that you make the words you will not be reading significantly smaller. This will save  you a lot of paper in the long run and creates more contrast for your eyes, making the card easier to read.

If you need to, take notes outside the card in pencil explaining what the card is about or a good point the card makes that isn't in its tag.

Your headers and footers should also look nice. While this file does have page numbers, I highly suggest the "page x of y" format. That way you can be sure you're not missing those last couple pages. The header should have, at least, the name of you and your colleague and which file the page belongs to.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

And you're finished!

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