Genre distinctions have been a source of confusion and contention in the collegiate forensics community, particularly in terms of distinguishing between appropriate source material for prose and drama. As the most powerful indicators of current forensic performance evaluations, ballots help illustrate the judging paradigms shaping the community. To that end, we conducted a content analysis of preliminary-round prose and drama ballots from the 2014 NFA championship tournament to determine how judges distinguish between prose and drama. Results illustrate substantial similarities in how each event is evaluated by judges. We discuss implications for this distinction in the conclusion of this essay.

Author Biography

Author's note: Justin J. Rudnick is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where Anthony Peavy, Balencia Crosby, Alyssa Harter, and Cristy Dougherty were graduate students. The first author collected data for this study while a doctoral student in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. All listed authors contributed to analyzing the data and writing the manuscript. The authors wish to thank Dan West and the Speaking Bobcats at Ohio University for their assistance in collecting the data for this study, and the NFA Executive Council for their willingness to accommodate us at the National Tournament.



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