Master classical rhetoric: the light-side discipline of wisdom that moves society toward the good.

Communication is a discipline, not just a skill. Our training teaches students the discipline it takes to master communication. Ethos practices mentorship, prayer, excellence, and diligence. Join us in the timeless journey of rhetoric.

Latest posts

Using Ethos Evidence: A Primer

Every style of policy debate operates from different and sometimes competing preconceptions and assumptions. At Ethos Debate, we run off several well-worn and sometimes overused phrases. One of those, we proudly tout, is that we teach debaters how to think, not what...

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How To Have Influence, Part 2: The Contrast Principle

In my last post, I covered Reciprocity, the first “principle of persuasion” examined by Dr. Cialdini in his book Influence. In this post, I will discuss the contrast principle, another essential point covered by Cialdini. The contrast principle says that perception is...

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Moot Court 101

...I wish you would’ve spent a little more time responding to their solvency argument... GOV team spent a lot of time defending but completely ignored the crux... I didn’t really fully understand how your Korea example applied... Ever gotten comments like these? I...

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When You Feel Stupid: Part 1

Usually, running slides is the easiest job in the world. You pull up the powerpoint and just keep hitting the arrow button. Come on. Even technologically challenged as I am, even I could handle that, right? The presentation went swimmingly, the speaker got to the end...

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7 Generic Counterplans You Need to Be Writing

When it comes to preparation for negative, one problem often arises: you don’t know what cases are going to pop up.  Whether this is the first tournament of the year, halfway through the season, or right before nationals, there’s always that empty space on your case...

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Crash Course Guide To Better Rebuttals: Part 1

There is no one right way to structure rebuttals, no special formula your speeches should follow so that the judge must vote for you. However, there are certain fundamental elements of great rebuttals. When well-developed, these elements will tremendously increase...

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How To Have Influence, Part 1: Reciprocation

“A few years ago, a university professor tried a little experiment. He sent Christmas cards to a sample of perfect strangers. Although he expected some reaction, the response he received was amazing—holiday cards addressed to him came pouring back from people who had...

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Burdens, Part 2: Burden Scope Application

In my last post, I talked about the different types of burden scopes for different resolutions.  In this post, I intend to address how to identify the different burden scopes you see in debate resolutions.  Let’s look at three examples. Policy Resolutions I touched on...

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Building Blocks of Thought

Everyone who is reading this has, at some point, taken apart something, examined the pieces, then put them together again—sometimes in a different way. For some, it might have been some old computer or furniture. For many others, it may have been toys such as legos....

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Language and Thought: Why Rhetoric Works

Let’s say you’re visiting Australia. On the western edge of Cape York Peninsula, there’s a group of people called the Kuuk Thaayorre. The language they speak doesn’t have words for left or right, forward or back. Instead, its speakers describe locations using north,...

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Speaker Points: The #1 Thing You Can Do To Improve

It was the first tournament of the year, and it was going to be a good one. It had to be. A National Open in my neck of the woods. It was Gonzales/Segar’s time to shine. Nicknamed the two tall Mexicans (guess why), we didn’t have a ton going for us. This was my fourth...

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Free Plea Bargaining Evidence

If you're in NSDA LD, Christmas just came early. Just a little while ago, the NSDA released its LD resolution for January and February: "Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system." Back in 2011-2012, NCFCA debated a...

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Transform Your Speaking: Figures of Speech

Having trouble getting your points across? Feel as though your audience is almost falling asleep as you talk? Getting comments like, “try not to speak monotone” or, “try to sound more interesting”? If any of this sounds like you, fear not, because all is not lost. You...

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The Triangle of Debate

Quite a few sports have been suggested as the real “gentleman’s sport.”  Golf, tennis, fencing, motorsports...these have all held the title.  There is one sport, however, that supersedes all of these.  One sport that combines everyday life, procedures, and morality....

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Burden of Proof: What It Really Means

Burdens.  Love them or hate them, you can’t escape them.  Whether it’s a Negative team arguing you don’t have enough evidence or an Affirmative team arguing that the resolution only requires one successful application, debate of all forms is filled with arguments...

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