Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Douglas Ehninger wrote that “debate is what we say it is.” The structure of the activity has mirrored the needs of the times. But what is it today? And is it different than yesterday, or twenty years ago? To answer these questions, it is necessary to examine briefly the development of competitive debating. Between 1748-1895 debate assumed that formats of the Latin Syllogistic Disputation, the Memorized Forensic Ara, and the Literary and Debating Societies. From 1895 until the 1930’s debating was articulated through triangular leagues and forum debates. In the 1930’s the tournament forms of the status quo was initiated.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1978 Mary Lou Klipfel.

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