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Elements of Debate. Hence, for all practical purposes, the term proof means those items of evidence and reasoning which tend to make an audience agree with the assertions. The Debater’s Guide. Propositions.

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Elements of Debate

Hence, for all practical purposes, the term proof means those items of evidence and reasoning which tend to make an audience agree with the assertions.

The Debater’s Guide


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Propositions

  • A judgment expressed in a declarative statement. In a debate it appears as an affirmative statement of the question to be resolved.

    • Question: Should UNCW have a football team?

    • Proposition: Resolved: UNCW should have a football team.


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Types of Propositions

  • Proposition of Fact: that a fact is/is not true or that an event did/did not take place

  • Proposition of Value: makes an evaluation or judgment about an issue or event based on criteria

  • Proposition of Policy: declares that a certain action should or should not be taken


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Issues

  • Issues: a conclusion that must be proven in order to establish that a proposition be adopted

    • Issues arise when there is an actual or anticipated clash between two or more claims

    • Issues can arise around facts, values or policies


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Arguments

  • An assertion that implies and demonstrates the result of reasoning or proof.

    • Reasoning

    • Evidence

    • Toulmin’s Model


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Toulmin’s Model

Data/Grounds

Claim

Warrant

Qualifier

Backing

Rebuttal


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Evidence

  • Evidence: matters of fact or opinion offered as support or proof of assertions advanced in the debate

    • Types of Evidence

    • Qualities of Evidence


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Definitions

  • “Definitions, then, are not just meanings of words we look up in dictionaries. Definitions are kinds of arguments, and they have serious consequences for the direction as well as the destination of any practical reasoning.” Corbett and Eberly : The Elements of Reasoning.



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Types of Definitions

  • Formal

  • Common Usage

  • Authority

  • Example

  • Operational

  • Functional

  • Negation

  • Comparison/Contrast


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Presumption

  • Presumption: a statement or belief that is granted without argument

    • Technical presumption

    • Conventional presumption

    • Ideal and Real


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The Level of Dispute

  • What aspects of the case are beneath the “level of dispute”?

Claim

Reasoning

Evidence


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Application

  • Work with a partner to diagram and complete a Toulmin model for one of the following claims:

    • Wikepedia is a viable source for our debates.

    • Wikepedia is not a viable source for our debates.


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Toulmin’s Model

Data/Grounds

Claim

Warrant

Qualifier

Backing

Rebuttal

Wikepedia is a viable source of information for our debates.

Wikepedia is not a viable source of information for our debates.


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Next Time

  • Stock Issues

  • The Role of Research

  • Application workshop

    • Have some evidence/resources we can work with on your topic!


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