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

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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Negative Strategy: Pretending You’re Affirmative

Throughout life (and especially in debate), the biggest improvements are oftentimes made with the slightest of changes. And usually, those changes have to do with the way you think. Change your mindset, and you can change the way you play the game. So what does this...

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Introducing: Ethics Bowl

What do the Electoral College, “Fake News,” the Goldwater Rule, and 13 Reasons Why all have in common? Not much, except they were all cases in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl this season. In fact, they are just four of the 15 cases/topics that ethics bowl teams at...

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Evidence the Right Way

In early 2003, the US was convinced it had to do something about the Iraqi nuclear threat. Secretary of State Colin Powell stood in front of the United Nations Security Council, outlined the proof of Iraq's supposed nuclear program, and urged the world leaders to take...

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How To Recover From Mistakes: Here’s A Simple Drill

Audiences dread public speaking because they think, from a whole pile of bad coaching on the subject, that public speaking is about being perfect. It’s not. Nobody likes a perfect person. Public speaking is about being likable, so your message shines through. Today...

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Parli: Throwaway PMRs

Time for some new theory. Only a couple weeks ago, I was doing some Parliamentary debate.  We were Opposition, and the debate had come down to the mass of historical examples on our side vs. the Government’s contention that the resolution was necessarily true.  They...

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Progress: Moving Past the Plateau

We’ve all dealt with it. Whether you were working on dropping your mile time, increasing your vertical, or improving your speaking skills, you’ve probably faced the unfortunate reality of the “Law of Diminishing Returns”. Contrary to what we may think, people do not...

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We Messed Up: Here’s How We’re Making it Right

Friends of Ethos, Let’s cut to it. We messed up. The final versions of our TP sourcebooks contained far fewer briefs than we had previously planned and previously advertised and all of our sourcebooks were released late. So as the new owner of Ethos, I owe all of our...

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