I‘m not proud of it, but I have cheated in extemporaneous speaking. It was in the second round at the State Tournament my freshman year. We didn't have any files on the questions so I answered one about our state‘s recent casino legislation. There had been a large debate in my hometown over this issue so I knew something about the arguments. I made up all of my citations. I falsely cited regional papers, and even asked a teammate for the name of his local pa-per. I knew that if I didn't cite any sources, I would immediately get tanked in the round, even if I were making the right arguments. Instead, I got the 2. What I did was wrong and I regret my decision, but the fabrication of evidence has be-come commonplace in the world of extemporaneous speaking. In 2003, Daniel Cronn-Mills and Larry Schnoor published a controversial article in the National Forensics Journal. Their analysis showed that the 1998 AFA final round of in-formative contained massive amounts of source deception and plagiarism. Their study highlighted and exposed unethical choices in platform speeches, and in 2005, Ric Shafer took this one step further, examining ethics in extemporaneous speaking with an article in The Speaker and Gavel. Even for those outside of our traditional community, honesty must play a crucial role in competitive forensics. Ultimately, we need to hold students to a high moral standard, a standard that exists in every other academic venue. Consequently, this speech is not about suffering or body counts, but forensics criticism is vital to maintaining the integrity and evolution of an activity we love.
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"The Terrible Secret of Extemporaneous Speaking,"
Speaker & Gavel: Vol. 46:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/speaker-gavel/vol46/iss1/6