At Grinnell (and elsewhere), you will regularly engage in serious discussions and arguments about a number of topics. You will find that some discussions are both successful and enjoyable while others are painful and irritating. What makes a discussion good or useful?
For now, we will emphasize continuity. That is, each statement you make should connect to a prior statement or statements. Here are some of the connections you might make. When we first discuss, I'd like you to explicitly state what kind of connection you're making (and I'll try to put a list on the board).
Jack has claimed that X, which is really a combination of Y and Z. While Jack is certainly correct in claiming Y, Jane has already disproven Z.
Joe's last comment seems to be bringing us further away from Jane's and Jack's earlier points.
Tuesday, 24 August 1999 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
Monday, 13 September 1999 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
Saturday, 23 August 2003 [Samuel A. Rebelsky]
I usually create these pages
on the fly, which means that I rarely
proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details.
It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for
more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.
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