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May 17 , 2009

Debate and Critical Analysis

The Harmony of Conflict


Rather than approach debate primarily as a form of interscholastic competition, this unique book identifies it as an activity that occurs in many settings: scientific conferences, newspaper op-ed pages, classrooms, courts of law, and everyday domestic life. Debate is discussed as an integral part of academic inquiry in all disciplines. As in all fields of study, various competing views are advanced and supported; Debate and Critical Analysis is designed to better prepare the student to assess and engage them.

This text posits four characteristics of true debate – argument development, clash, extension, and perspective – which form the basic structure of the book. Each concept or aspect of argument covered is illustrated by an example drawn from contemporary or historical sources, allowing the reader to actually see the techniques and strategies at work. All popular forms of competitive debate, including "policy," "Lincoln-Douglas," "value-oriented," and "parliamentary," are discussed in detail – as embedded in the actual topical controversies with which they are concerned. In this way, the student can learn the structures, reasoning processes, and strategies that may be employed, as well as the practical affairs of debating, from brief-writing to the flowsheet.
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