chapter  32
12 Pages

Directing Debate and Forensics

For more than 200 years, U. S. college students have learned the principles of argumentation and have developed their public speaking abilities through participation in academic debate. The first debating society was established at Harvard in 1722, and by the time of the Revolutionary War, Princeton, Columbia, William and Mary, and Rutgers (Queens College) all had debating societies in place (Potter, 1954). The first intercollegiate contest occurred when Yale met Harvard at Cambridge in 1892, to debate the topic “Resolved: that a young man casting his first ballot in 1892 should vote for the nominees of the Democratic Party.”