Introduction to Policy Debate

John R. Prager

Chapter 1: The Nature of Debate

Chapter 2: The Stock Issues

Chapter 3: The First Affirmative Constructive

Chapter 4: The First Negative Constructive

Chapter 5: The Second Affirmative Constructive

Chapter 6: The Second Negative Constructive

Chapter 7: The Early Rebuttals

Chapter 8: The Final Rebuttals

Chapter 9: Flowcharting

Chapter 10: Cross-examination

Chapter 11: Topicality

Chapter 12: The Counterplan

Chapter 13: Advanced Debate Theory

Chapter 14: The Kritik

Chapter 15: Tournament Procedures

Chapter 16: A Summary of Key Points



To the debater: This text developed in response to the needs of my own students during my tenure as a coach of a small school in Michigan. The book has grown and developed over the years as various fashions developed, flourished, and were succeeded in turn by the "next new thing." You should keep in mind that the style of debate discussed here may vary from what takes place in your locale. Your coach is the best guide to what theory prevails in your debating area.

Nevertheless, I believe that everything in this book is reasonably accurate in depicting contemporary debate theory. As you will become aware, certain theoretical issues are far from settled among experts, and I have tried to note where serious disagreements exist.

In addition, modern debate theory is increasingly plastic and mutable. Experienced debaters may wish to gather quotations from notable experts to justify the theoretical positions they want to advance. But it is more desirable to understand theoretical issues and argue their merits, rather than to rely on assertions from experts as to which theory should be preferred. This textbook should not be quoted as a definitive source to "prove" a particular element of debate theory, since there is no such thing as definitive debate theory.

Copyright © 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002 John R. Prager

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