ERIC Number: ED339057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Uses and Abuses of Cross Examination: Preliminary Descriptive Analysis and Pragmatic Considerations of Question and Answer Types in Intercollegiate Debate.
Simerly, Greggory; Crenshaw, Ann C.
A study analyzed sample cross-examinations in order to describe the different question and answer types that debaters use. Transcripts of five cross-examinations, which represented a variety of debate experience levels, and which were recorded at a Cross Examination Debate Association Tournament held in the Southeastern region during the 1986 Spring semester, were examined. After transcription, the dialogue was divided into units of talk, defined as a speaker's utterance occurring between the other speaker's previous and next talk. Results indicated that recording, transcribing, and coding cross-examinations was an effective method of describing the types of questions and answers utilized by debaters. Results showed that: (1) there was a fairly even number of X questions (questions having interrogative syntax and beginning with words such as when, why, who, how, which, or what) and Yes/No questions; (2) X questions prompt X answers; (3) Yes/No questions usually prompt Yes/No answers; and (4) both types of questions risk non-responsiveness by the respondent that may be intentional. Results suggest that it is sensible for debaters to use X or "wh-" questions to elicit further information about a particular issue, and that the questioner should utilize Yes/No questions to verify his or her interpretation of an issue. Results further suggest that debaters should be aware that since Yes/No questions may tend to prompt X answers, the questioner should take great care in phrasing questions so that the response is limited. (Twenty-one references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cross Examination; Debate Strategies; Question Types
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).