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headings for each page, or each card, to catalogue the material.

Headings that may be employed to advantage in taking

notes on any proposition are:

1. Definitions

2. Bibliography

3. History of the Case

4. Authorities

5. Theories

6. Examples, Illustrations, Precedents

7. Statistics

8. Counter propositions

Special headings that may be employed with peculiar advantage in taking notes on propositions of policy are: 1. Defects of Present Policy

2. Operation of Proposed Policy

3. Beneficial Results of Proposed Policy

4. Detrimental Results of Proposed Policy

5. Comparative Benefits of Proposed and Substitute Policies

6. Comparative Detriments of Proposed and Substitute Policies

These headings, of course, are not suggested as exhaustive; but they, at least, indicate the general fields of research into which the debater should push his investigation. As more specific topics are discovered under these general heads, they should be added to the cataloguing system.

The Study of Both Sides. If the debater has constructed a complete bibliography and then has followed faithfully the system of guides and note-taking recommended above, there is little excuse for his failure to become acquainted with all the proof that may be advanced on both sides of his

case; and yet no mistake is more common, especially among beginners, than to confine their research only to their own side of the question.

Such one-sided preparation is generally due to the fact that a debater becomes so intent on proving his own case that he ignores the possibility of opposition; or he scorns so thoroughly all the views of his opponents that he disdains even to consider them.

Neglect to examine an opponent's case, however, often leads to the most disastrous consequences; because it leaves the debater, in emergencies, to depend almost entirely on inspiration; and nothing in debate is quite so unreliable as inspiration.

Instead of ignoring or disdaining an opponent's case, a debater should seek rather to understand it thoroughly in order that he may know upon what points there is a direct clash of opinion; and also in order that he may prepare his own case to meet and overthrow the opposition.

One of the most important principles to be observed, therefore, in the use of a bibliography for the purpose of assembling proof, is that the debater should examine, not only references that are favorable to his particular side of the question, but all references whether favorable to one side or the other.

Chains of Reasoning. By following the guides for research and by reading widely on both sides of the question, a debater may gather much valuable proof. Then, if he assorts this proof as suggested under appropriate heads in notetaking, he may preserve it in such a way that its intended application will always be apparent.

Proof that is left in the form of ordinary notes, however, cannot easily be inspected to determine whether it is ade

quate in every detail; and, hence, some further system of organizing proof is necessary to guide the debater in an exhaustive investigation of his subject. Such a system is provided in what may be called chains of reasoning.

A chain of reasoning is a system of recording proof by reducing it to a series of propositions arranged in the form of heads and subheads in such a way that each subhead reads as a reason for the truth of the major head immediately above it.

An illustration of the method by which proof is reduced to chains of reasoning is found in the treatment of the following excerpt, taken from an article by Louis Graves, entitled Relative Values in Prohibition, published in the Atlantic Monthly for April 1921 :


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There is no blinking the truth,” says this article ; Volstead Act is being generally violated. But say the prohibitionists, so is every law. Checks are forged, houses are set fire to, men are murdered, property is stolen — the newspapers tell of such things every day. Because these crimes are committed, no one proposes that the laws against them be repealed. Why then seek to throw discredit upon the dry law because it is not enforced to perfection? So runs the reasoning. The final point is the familiar list of benefits that have flowed from prohibition even in regions where it was received unwillingly-fewer arrests, less vagrancy, a decrease in the population of almshouses and asylums, a bigger share of the family's weekly revenue available for the wife and children, better economic and social conditions all around."

This material, when reduced to chains of reasoning, takes the following form:

I. The laws providing for national prohibition should not be repealed; for

A. There is no need of a change from our present policy; for 1. The failure to enforce the Volstead Act to perfection does not involve an evil sufficiently serious to warrant its repeal; for

(a) When other laws fail to eliminate the crimes
they are intended to check, no one thinks
it necessary to repeal them; for

(I') No one thinks of repealing the law
against forgery on the ground that,
daily, checks are being forged; and
(II) Similarly no one thinks of repealing the
law against arson on the ground that,

daily, houses are being set on fire; and
(III) Similarly no one thinks of repealing the
law against murder on the ground

that, daily, murders are being committed; and

(IV) Similarly no one thinks of repealing the law against thieving on the ground that, daily, property is being stolen.

B. A repeal of the prohibition laws would bring about

many detrimental effects; for

1. A repeal of these laws would destroy many economic and social benefits that have arisen from prohibition; for

(a) A repeal of these laws would increase the number of arrests; for

(I') Prohibition has operated to reduce


(b) A repeal of these laws would increase the amount of vagrancy; for

(I') Prohibition has operated to reduce va


(c) A repeal of these laws would increase the population of almshouses and asylums; for

(I') Prohibition has operated to reduce the population of almshouses and asylums. (d). A repeal of these laws would reduce the share of the family's weekly revenue for the wife and children; for

(I') Prohibition has operated to increase the share of wife and children in the family's weekly revenue.

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This method of organizing proof is especially valuable to the debater in undertaking an exhaustive study of his subject; because it enables him to examine each step in his reasoning, and to determine at just what points his proof needs further development.

Preliminary Discussion. The very best means of determining whether proof requires further development are: First, to examine it carefully in chains of reasoning; and then to subject the proof in these chains of reasoning to the actual test of preliminary discussion.

No one is quite so keen as an opponent to pick out the points of weakness in one's proof; and, hence, the first duty of a debater is to find some friend who will be a merciless critic and a savage foe of all that he has to say. Let these two friends, then, struggle over every point that is advanced; and finally, when they agree, the proof that is selected as the outcome of such controversy will usually be capable of meeting any emergency that may arise.

Repetition of the Process for Successive Heads in Chains of Reasoning. The first seven steps suggested at the beginning of this chapter for orderly procedure in assembling proof

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