The purpose of this article is to explore the beginnings of the Inter-State Oratorical Contest (IOC) and the Inter-State Oratorical Association (IOA) and to examine the characteristics of the Inter-State Oratorical speeches from 1874 to 1899. Through an analysis of the top two speeches from each of these years in regard to topic, evidence, organization, style, and delivery, I identify trends and strategies which appeared in competitive collegiate persuasive speaking in the late 1800s.



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