by Jon M. Ericson, James J. Murphy and Raymond Bud Zeuschner
Southern Illinois University Press, 2003
eISBN: 978-0-8093-8891-2 | Paper: 978-0-8093-2538-2
Library of Congress Classification PN4181.E65 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.53


Thousands of debaters at all levels have relied on this practical guide for reference and instruction in argumentation and communication since it was first published in 1961. Now in a third, fully revised edition featuring restructured chapters, updated examples, and the addition of parliamentary debate as a form, The Debater’s Guide continues to be the leading handbook for helping both novice and advanced students develop the skills necessary to successfully apply the basic principles of debate.

Cutting through theory with clear explanations and specific applications, this compact volume with a broad scope offers students and teachers no-frills assistance in resolving the major problem faced by debaters: the need to present arguments forcefully and cogently while reacting effectively to criticism. Readers are advised on matters from budgeting time in a debate to speaking in outline form through a well-organized series of explanations, specific examples, and graphic presentations related to both policy and value issues.  

Beginning with a clear explication of basic principles, The Debater’s Guide presents chronologically the steps of building a debate case, reviews the strategy of planning for refutation and defense, and offers sound advice on presenting the case in oral discourse. Expanded contents pages and effective use of subheadings allow for quick reference to any particular aspect of debate, making it an excellent classroom text as well as a valuable, hands-on tool during actual debates. A glossary of key terms used in debate complements the volume.