Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Douglas Bock


This study examines the effect of the six traditional categories of debate evaluation on the A.F.A. Form C and Form W ballots upon win/loss and gender. It also examines the effect of nonperformance variables, such as proximity, gender of the debaters, and gender of the judge, upon the outcome of intercollegiate debates. The data were gathered from the Owen L. Coon Memorial Debate Tournament hosted by Northwestern University in February, 1983. In all, the data pool consisted of 42 debates. The data were submitted to analysis to the SAS computer program at Eastern Illinois University.

The results of the discriminant analysis indicated that winners and losers could be classified according to analysis, reasoning, evidence, organization, refutation, and delivery over 60% of the time. The results of a t-test indicated that there was no significant difference, however, in relation to scoring on delivery between winners and losers.

The results of the discriminant analysis of the gender dependent measure indicates that the categories predict gender less than 60% of the time. The t-test showed there was no significant difference in regard to the six categories with the exception of delivery in which females scored higher.

An analysis of variance was performed upon the dependent measure decision. The results indicated that there is an interaction of composition of the team and proximity of the team to the judge that affects the outcome in intercollegiate debate. The analysis of variance performed upon the dependent measure of team rating points found that there was an interaction of composition, proximity, and, in this instance, gender of the judge. This indicates that nonperformance variables are a factor in the outcome of a debate, as well as the traditional categories of evaluation.