Reading cards, scoring points, or throwing counter-punches are not the same as making arguments. Your audience must be made aware of the relative importance of the positions you offer. "Here's what I have to say to that" (followed by offering a counter-point) is insufficient. "Here's what I have to say to that" (followed by offering a counter-point) and "here's why this defeats their position" (followed by a discussion of the importance of your position) is an argument.
You must at all times lead your critic to the conclusions that you would like him/her to draw. This means you must be clear, organized, and always explain the conclusions your judge should reach after hearing your arguments
To facilitate this process, all arguments must contain the following five steps:
1) LOCATING STATEMENT. State exactly the position you are responding to.
2) STATE YOUR CLAIM. A brief sentence that states clearly and precisely the point you are advocating. The claim should be worded in terms of effect and represent the destination of your argument.
3) EXPLAIN YOUR CLAIM. How did you reach the conclusion expressed in step two. Cover all the steps that led you to the conclusion.
4) SUPPORT. Provide any needed testimony, facts, examples, reasoning, etc. for the points covered in your explain step.5) STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE. What is the impact of your argument. How/why does it defeat the position to which it responds.