Higher Education

Burden of Proof: An Introduction to Argumentation and Guide to Parliamentary Debate, 4th Edition

  • Mark Crossman
  • ISBN-10: 0759363919  |  ISBN-13: 9780759363915
  • 225 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2005, 2003, 2002
  • © 2005 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $104.25 List Price = $ 138.95



Mark Crossman's text introduces students to argumentation theories associated with testing arguments and reasoning, and encourages the use of these tests of arguments during debating. The text describes the theories and practices associated with NPDA style parliamentary debate, and provides an overview of the basics of “parli” debate. Burden of Proof includes chapters focusing on the following areas: the stock issues associated with arguing propositions of fact, value, and policy; refutation and the strategic considerations pertaining to the duties of the various speakers in a debate; and hints for overcoming anxiety to optimize effective delivery. The text also provides an overview of forensics (competitive speaking) and describes each of the major competitive events and tournament procedures. Written for students in Argumentation and Debate, Burden of Proof could also be used in any course featuring forensics.

Features and Benefits

  • Introduction to fallacies, the Toulmin model, and the basic vocabulary of argumentation: It is important that debaters have a strong background in reasoning. Burden of Proof emphasizes the importance of using test of arguments and analysis of fallacies to attack the opponent�s arguments.
  • Solid introduction to parliamentary debate: Despite the popularity of parliamentary debate, very few texts address it and provide instruction for it. Burden of Proof provides a solid foundation for the novice, while offering enough depth to interest advanced debaters.
  • Section on Speech Anxiety: Speech anxiety is common to virtually all debaters. Students new to argumentation and debate may experience higher levels of anxiety than their advanced counterparts. Burden of Proof is one of the few argumentation texts that discuss speaker anxiety.
  • Chapter on Forensics: Argumentation instructors frequently send their students to observe or compete in forensics tournaments. Burden of Proof provides a chapter that can serve as an introduction for both the observer and first-time competitor.
  • Researching Parliamentary Debate: Chapter 5 of the second edition provides research strategies for in-class debates and tournament competitors.
  • InfoTrac: In order to assist students in researching their cases, Burden of Proof is accompanied by access to InfoTrac. This database provides access to numerous full text periodicals and allows the student to conduct research at home.

Table of Contents

1. An Invitation to Argue. 2. Identifying and Testing Inductive Arguments. 3. Fallacies. 4. An Overview of Parliamentary Debate. 5. Research: Discovering and Supporting the Issues. 6. Arguing Propositions of Fact and Value. 7. Arguing Propositions of Policy. 8. Refutation: Defending Your Ideas throughout the Debate. 9. Presenting Your Argument. 10. Forensics: A Speaker�s Playground. 11. Advanced Strategies for Tournament Debaters

What's New

  • Updated Examples in the Fallacy and Argument Analysis Chapters: As part of an ongoing effort to keep students interested in argumentation through the use of timely and relevant examples, the third edition of Burden of Proof has been updated with several new examples drawn from significant topical issues such as the 2004 Presidential Election, the War in Iraq, and Hurricane Rita.
  • New Chapter Introducing Students to Advanced Debate Strategies and Theories: Chapter 11 is new to the third edition and it samples advanced debate theories. The goal of the chapter is to provide tournament debaters with some background into the more advanced theories and strategies which they may encounter as they progress in their debate careers. Among the topics covered are: the origin of debate theory, critique arguments, the counter plan as an opportunity cost, topical counter plans, permutations, opposition fiat, topicality theory, plan vagueness positions, splitting the opposition block, and defending fact and value propositions with policies. Because many of the theories are controversial, the intended tone of the chapter is more descriptive than prescriptive. Coaches who have been looking for accessible theory readings to use as starting points for squad room discussions will also find the chapter useful.
  • Other Extras: Appendix A has been updated to include topics used at recent NPDA tournaments. Appendix B is new to the third edition and it includes the most recent version of the NPDA rules of debating.
  • No Need to Change Your Syllabus: The structure of the third edition mirrors the second edition. Instructors will not need to revise their syllabus to incorporate the third edition into their classrooms. The only potential alterations would involve incorporation of Chapter 11 (the advanced theory chapter).

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Mark Crossman

Mark Crossman earned a BA in Speech Communication from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he was named the Department¿s Outstanding Graduate. He earned a MA in Speech Communication from CSU-Northridge where he was awarded the Charles Mudd award as the Department¿s Outstanding Graduate. He earned the Ed.D. from Pepperdine University. He was a successful forensics competitor, earning numerous awards at the local, state, and national level in debate. He has coached forensics at El Camino College for fifteen years. He has published and presented a number of articles on debate theory and the evolution of academic debate.