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Elements of Debating   By: (1885-1959)

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ELEMENTS OF DEBATING

A Manual for Use in High Schools and Academies

By

LEVERETT S. LYON

Head of the Department of Civic Science in the Joliet Township High School

1919

PREFACE

This book pretends but little to originality in material. Its aim is to offer the old in a form that shall meet the needs of young students who are beginning work in debate. The effort has been made only to present the elements of forensic work so freed from technicality that they may be apparent to the student with the greatest possible economy of time and the least possible interpretation by the teacher.

It is hoped that the book may serve not only those schools where debating is a part of the regular course, but also those institutions where it is a supplement to the work in English or is encouraged as a "super curriculum" activity.

Although the general obligation to other writers is obvious, there is no specific indebtedness not elsewhere acknowledged, except to Mr. Arthur Edward Phillips, whose vital principle of "Reference to Experience" has, in a modified form, been made the test for evidence. It is my belief that the use of this principle, rather than the logical and technical forms of proof and evidence, will make the training of debate far more applicable in other forms of public speaking. My special thanks are due to Miss Charlotte Van Der Veen and Miss Elizabeth Barns, whose aid has added technical exactness to almost every page. I wish to thank also Miss Bella Hopper for suggestions in preparing the reference list of Appendix I. Most of all, I am indebted to the students whose interest has been a constant stimulus, and whose needs have been to me, as they are to all who teach, the one sure and constant guide.

L.S.L.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LESSONS

I. WHAT ARGUMENTATION IS

II. WHAT DEBATE IS

III. THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUCCESSFUL DEBATING

IV. DETERMINING THE ISSUES

V. HOW TO PROVE THE ISSUES

VI. THE BRIEF. THE CHOICE AND USE OF EVIDENCE

VII. THE FORENSIC

VIII. REFUTATION

IX. MANAGEMENT OF THE DEBATE

X. A SUMMARY AND A DIAGRAM

APPENDICES

I. HOW AND WHERE TO READ FOR MORE INFORMATION

II. ILLUSTRATIONS OF ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE THE ISSUES OF THE QUESTION

III. A TYPICAL COLLEGE FORENSIC

IV. MATERIAL TOR BRIEFING

V. QUESTIONS WITH SUGGESTED ISSUES AND BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY

VI. A LIST OF DEBATABLE PROPOSITIONS

VII. FORMS FOR JUDGES' DECISION

LESSON I

WHAT ARGUMENTATION IS

I. The purpose of discourse

II. The forms of discourse: 1. Narration 2. Description 3. Exposition 4. Argumentation

When we pause to look about us and to realize what things are really going on, we discern that everyone is talking and writing. Perhaps we wonder why this is the case. Nature is said to be economical. She would hardly have us make so much effort and use so much energy without some purpose, and some purpose beneficial to us. So we determine that the purpose of using language is to convey meaning, to give ideas that we have to someone else.

As we watch a little more closely, we see that in talking or writing we are not merely talking or writing something. We see that everyone, consciously or unconsciously, clearly or dimly, is always trying to do some definite thing. Let us see what the things are which we may be trying to do.

If you should tell your father, when you return from school, how Columbus discovered America on October 12, 1492, and should try to make him see the scene on shipboard when land was first sighted as clearly as you see it, you would be describing. That kind of discourse would be called description. Its purpose is to make another see in his mind's eye the same image or picture that we have in our own.

On the other hand, if you wished to tell him the story of the discovery of America, you would do something quite different. You would tell him not only of the first sight of land, but of the whole series of incidents which led up to that event... Continue reading book >>




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