An excerpt from the Author's PREFACE:
THIS book treats of the various ways of convincing and persuading men. While intended as a text-book for high schools and colleges, it is also adapted to the needs of the lawyer, the preacher, the teacher, the citizen; in short, to any one who is called upon—and who is not?—to urge the acceptance of his ideas upon a hearer, or to refute ideas offered in opposition thereto.
In our schools and colleges the value of argumentation as an independent branch of study is now generally recognized. But numerous as are the treatises on argumentation, the subject of debating is usually treated in a single chapter, or not at all. This book aims to meet the needs not only of the expert in argumentation, but also of the practical debater. The average citizen is called upon to argue orally far oftener than he is required to present a written argument; and of what avail is his knowledge and logic if they cannot be utilized in the discussions of every-day life? However, any attempt to teach debate in a thorough and systematic manner must involve the study of argumentation generally, and this, in turn, involves practice in brief-writing and argumentative composition. A treatise on debate, therefore, must include the subject of argumentation in all its phases — analysis, evidence, proof, the different kinds of arguments and how to meet them. But the present volume goes farther than this, and aims to show the student how he may utilize his training in writing when he is called upon to present his arguments orally before an actual audience and in the presence of an opponent who is waiting to reply.
Debate being primarily a disciplinary study, not an informing one, the ultimate purpose of instruction in this One must be to lead one to think for himself, and to think straight. It is therefore a difficult subject to treat in a formal manner. The endeavor has been, however, to develop the treatment in a systematic way, making all suggestions as specific as possible, giving attention to one thing at a time, and supplementing principles and theories with illustrative matter and with exercises for practice. The Appendices contain further illustrative and reference material for general use; the questions for debate, references, rules of parliamentary procedure, specimen debates, etc., will be helpful not only to the teacher in class work, but also to members of literary and debating societies.
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