A survey and analysis of the methods and philosophies of selected directors of intercollegiate tournament debating

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University of Alabama Libraries

In 1947 the United States Military Academy began the practice of holding an annual intercollegiate debate tournament in which schools from all geographical regions of the United States participated. In order for a school to participate in the West Point Tournament, it was necessary for that school to be recognized within its own region as having a debate team or debate squad with an excellent record of performance in tournament competition. The intercollegiate debate programs in such schools were effective in this sense: each intercollegiate program at the time of the school's selection for the West Point Tournament ·had produced a debate team and/or debate teams which were capable or winning in tournament competition within the school's geographical region. From these facts it was recognized that if the definition of effective debating were limited to mean "capable of winning; superior on a five point rating scale, such as is used widely in evaluating debating performance," the directors of debate whose teams had participated in the West Point Tournament would represent some of the directors of effective intercollegiate debate programs in all regions of the United States. Such a definition of effective debating was therefore determined, and the schools attending the West Point Tournament were selected for study.

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