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July 22, 2020, 6 a.m.

Introducing My First Public Software... DeCutR! Your One Stop Automatic Debate Evidence & Citation Maker!!

Short Link: http://www.jsmtech.org/decutr-extension
Read Time: 6 min

5 minutes on the clock. You’ve just got your Impromptu Debate resolution and you have just about 5 minutes to gather enough evidence together to make it seem like you aren’t as underprepared as you are.

Stakes are on the line. If you don’t have enough evidence at the next team policy tournament, you will lose big time.

Definitions and too many philosophers, why is carding evidence for Lincoln Douglas debate so frustrating?!?


If we analyze each of these cases, we find that there is a common occurrence – a common and fundamental problem. Creating citations of evidence takes time. Every minute spent on scrambling to create a citation is every minute less spent on debate research. While this problem stares in your face relentlessly in a limited prep debate format, it’s also a problem in other formats as well. As debaters, we spent time creating a proper citation for each and every single card of evidence. Every second and minute spent on creating a citation is a second and minute less spent on the actual research. 


Imagine a world in which you wouldn’t have to worry about creating a citation or formatting your evidence. Imagine a world where you could just Google what you want to research, find an article, select a specific part you want to save for later, and then start the process all over again. Well, you guessed it… now you can with DeCutR!


What is DeCutr?


DeCutr is a simple chrome extention that takes the effort out of researcing. Just select your paragraph of text on an article, right click, and then hit the "Card Evidence" button to have a full citation and the evidence copied to your clipboard. 


It’s a simple solution to a simple problem. The amount of time it saves per evidence card adds up – and it takes away any distractions during research.


How Do You Get It?


DeCutr is in an open beta at the moment, meaning that anyone can get it! That being said, server support is limited (the server is used to create citations), so first come first serve!

You can install this extension two ways. The first way is the normal consumer method by going to the Chrome Web store and installing this extension from there.

The second way is by either downloading this extension from the releases page of my private Gitlab server’s repo – or just straight out git cloning it.. Then go chrome://extensions/, and then find the load "unpacked extension" button. From there you can just select the directory where you saved this project.


On that note, feel free to check out the code. It’s completely open source and licensed under the GNU General Public Liscense – meaning that you’re allowed to use the code in any of your projects as long as you carry through the license and don’t charge for your variation. Check out that code here: https://gitlab.jsmtech.org/JSM/decutr-chrome-extension/. Feel free to create an account on my Gitlab to raise issues or errors, and propose any changes to code at any time etc.


How Do You Use It?


It’s quite simple! Simply select your text and then right click and hit "Card Evidence." Your formatted evidence and citation will be in your clipboard within 3 to 5 seconds, which you can then paste anywhere you'd like in a Google Doc or Word file. The text will paste fully formatted. Here’s an example:


Decutr Example
DeCutr Usage Example


Proposed Features for the Future

DeCutr is by no means done yet. There are several proposed features in the pipeline at the moment. For example, future versions of DeCutr will be able to automatically general a card tag from the words in a given paragraph using AI and natural language processing. Another feature would be that DeCutr will always copy entire paragraphs of selected text, but only underline the selected text part. That would let you card an entire paragraph, but only read one sentence. Another very important, popular, and time saving feature that will be coming soon is the ability for DeCutr to automatically get author bios and credentials, as well as credientials of organizations. That will save even more time of the carding process and make researching a lot more quick.


What Do You Think?


Given, I’m just one person proposing ideas. That is where you come in! I would really appreciate it if you left a comment on this blog post. Feel free to just tell me that you love this amazing extension (and maybe even subscribe so you can stay up to date ;), but also feel free to lay out some ideas or features that could be possibly implemented in the future. I’m super excited to be offering this extension – especially since I know it will make debate a better place at the end of the day. Let’s continue this discussion down below, I’ll see ya in the comments!


DeCutr Reviews


Feel free to leave comments below or a review on the Chrome Store about your experience with DeCutr! The best ones will be copied here!

Researching is super fun, but something that becomes repetitive is making a citation -- having to copy over the author, date, url, publisher etc -- and having to copy the paragraph you want in your card. Imagine a world where you didn't need to spend time on taking those actions. You would save over several seconds per card, which would add up to hours during a normal debate season. Introducing... DecutR! DecutR is a brand-new Chrome extension that I wrote that enables you to simply select your text on a type article, right-click and hit "card evidence," and have the complete and fully formatted card copied to your clipboard with quotes around the text a a citation on top! It's already saved me hours of research over this summer, and I hope it can do the same for you! You should totally check it out today! https://www.decutr.com.  – Justin M., Region 10, NCFCA. 


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