Instructor: Omar G Guevara
Office Hours: Wed 1:30-5:30 PM; Thurs 12-1 (Elizabeth Hall 111)
WSU's Oldest and Most Competitive Team:
Heinrichs, J. (2007). Thank you for arguing: what Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson can teach us about the art of persuasion. Three Rivers Press: New York City, NY.
Hirschman, A.O. (1995). The rhetoric of reaction: Perversity, futility, jeopardy. Belknap Press of Harvard: Cambridge, MA.
You are also required to do all the secondary reading embedded in the lecture notes. The articles may be accessed, for free, by simply clicking the hyperlink.
An examination of the theory and practice of argumentation with an emphasis on the policy debate format. Emphasis also placed on making claims and inferences, research and the use of evidence, cross-examination, case construction, rebuttals and the style of presentation.
Attendance and Tardiness
You are expected to attend every class on-time and be fully prepared to engage in classroom discussion. If you miss a class, it is YOUR responsibility to acquire any notes from the missed class from another student. I will take attendance daily. If you miss two or more classes without an approved absence, you will automatically receive a failing grade.
PPM 3-34 states: "when students seek accommodations in a regularly scheduled course, they have the responsibility to make sure such requests at the Center for Students with Disabilities before the beginning of the semester in which the accommodation is being requested."
All work submitted by students to satisfy the requirements of this course must be original work completed by the student for this course during the present semester. If plagiarism is discovered, the offending student(s) will receive a flunking grade and their conduct will be reported to the Dean of Students for possible additional punitive actions.
I do not accept late assignments without prior discussion and approval.
Both the instructor and the students are expected to be respectful and supportive of others in this course. Many different ideas will be welcomed and encouraged. Please strive to preserve our stimulating classroom environment. If controversy invariably makes you uncomfortable, I recommend that you find a course about something other than "argument" and "debate."
Conflict Resolution Policy
"If there is a conflict between a student's core beliefs and the requirements or course content in a particular course, a student may request a resolution of such a conflict. The faculty member is not required to provide alternative requirements or modify the course content as long as the existing requirements and content have a reasonable relationship to the legitimate pedagogical goals of the course. However, the faculty member is required to grant such a resolution if denial of the request would be arbitrary and capricious or illegal."
(Weber State University Policy and Procedures Manual 6-22, Part IV.D.9)
* Midterm Examination OR Tournament - 250 Points
* 10 Practice Debate Rounds (@50 points each) - 500 Points
* Final Examination (mandatory) - 250 points.
900-1000 points = A, 800-899 = B, 700-799 = C, 600-699 = D, 0-599 = F
Brief Description of Assignments
Tournament Hosting: the course will require your assistance on October 4th and 5th as we host one of the most important tournaments in college debate, the Bob Mukai College Classic. We will have nearly 400 guests from across the country, and fulfillment of this assignment requires you to work one eight hour shift on either of those two days. Extra credit for working both. All the logistical information for the endeavor can be found by following this hyper link, and training will be provided in class to fulfill these expectations.
Midterm and/or Final Examination: The final will be constructed from 20-30 short answer items and one long essay (minimum 500 words). A short answer is defined as, “3-5 full and complete sentences that typically includes a definition, statement and application of the concept.” The examination will draw exclusively from the textbook and lecture notes. A long essay is defined as, “five paragraph structure that coherently answers and adequately explores each stem of the question under discussion.”
Ten (10) Practice Debate Rounds: Standard Cross Examination Debate Association (C.E.D.A.) structure but with standard times; 9-3-6-10. Rounds will be held in multiple classrooms throughout Elizabeth Hall. 1AC MUST begin speaking at the start of the class time. Failure to show up at all results in a failing grade for both you and your partner.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. Students will demonstrate an acceptable mastery of electronic research skills, including frequent utilization of both Lexis and Ebscohost.
2. Students will acquire advanced public speaking skills, particularly learning how to speak effectively in front of hostile audiences in a competitive format.
3. Students will demonstrate an acceptable mastery of concepts in informal logic and advanced argumentation.
4. Students will demonstrate an acceptable mastery of advanced outlining and organizational skills.
5. Students will demonstrate an acceptable mastery of effectively communication in an interdependent and small group setting.
Because academic policy debate is a highly competitive activity, the effectiveness of the instructor and instruction will be determined by the success of the debaters attending tournaments. Please keep in mind that our students often have little experience, and in many cases this course will expose the to their first academic forensics tournament. All of these debates are adjudicated by faculty and staff members from some of the finest universities in the nation.
1. Student mastery of electronic research skills will be assessed through a pre-test administered on or around September 1st, and a post-test on or around November 1st.
2. Student master of advanced outlining and organizational skills will be assessed through the "speaker ranks" assigned by the judges at the debate tournament. All speakers are objectively ranked first, second, third, and fourth in every academic policy debate. No two speakers may get the same rank.
3. Student mastery advanced public speaking skills will be assessed through the "speaker points" assigned by the judges at the debate tournament. All speakers in competitive academic debates are objectively ranked on their speaking ability on a scale of 1 (terrible) to 30 (perfect). No two speakers may get the same speaker points.
4. Student mastery of concepts in informal logic and advanced argumentation will be assessed through the "wins and losses" assigned to our students by the judges at the tournament. Student instruction will be deemed "good" if the average win/loss ratio for all students in the class is at least 50% at all tournaments attended. Student instruction will be deemed "acceptable" if the average win/loss ratio for all students in the class is at least 25% of all tournaments attended. Student instruction will be deemed "unacceptable" if the average win/loss ratio for all students in the class is less than 25% of all tournaments attended.
5. Student mastery of effectively communication in an interdependent and small group setting will be assessed through an end of the semester partnership evaluation quiz.
Lastly, The instructor will be required to clearly post the results of all tournaments attended by students in this class on this web site. Additional results will be reported to the Chair of the Department of Communication. The instructor may submit a letter of explanation if competitive results fails to meet assessment standards.
Week #1 (8.26-8.28): Welcome! Building our vocabulary
Week #2 (9.2-9.4): Understanding the structure of a debate round.
Week #3 (9.9-9.11): Topic lecture, Affirmative research assignments
Week #4 (9.16-9.18): Affirmative Research Groups + Demonstration Debate
Week #5 (9.17-9.26): Practice Rounds! Everyone will Debate!
Week #6 (10.1-10.3): Practice Rounds! Everyone will Debate!
Week #7 (10.8-10.10): Practice Rounds! Everyone will Debate!
Week #8 (10.15-10.17): Practice Rounds! Everyone will Debate!
10.19-10.21: University of Nevada-Las Vegas Tournament
Please note: Classes are not held Friday, October 18th
Please Note: Class will not be held Tuesday, October 22nd
Week #9 (10.24): Introduction to political argumentation.
Week #10 (10.29-10.31): Hirschman, Chapters 1-5
Week #11 (11.5-11.7): Hirschman, Chapter 6-Finish
Week #12 (11.12-11.14): Heinrich, Chapters 1-8
Week #13 (11.19-11.21): Heinrich, Chapters 9-16
11.23-11.24: Mukai College Classic
Week #14 (11.26): Heinrich, Chapters 17-Finish
Please note: Classes are not held Thursday 11.28
Week #15: (12.3-12.5): Final Examination Review, Pizza Party
Week #16 (12.10-12.12): Final Examination.