The judge’s ballot, within the forensic community, is used as an educational tool. Yet, the tool is often dismissed by the students it is designed to help (Choui-nard, 2010). College forensic competitors repeatedly discredit ballots, especially if they are written by a “hired,” or nontraditional, judge (Hanson, 1998b). Through a content analysis, this study identifies that ballots from both hired judges or non-traditional judges and traditional judges (coaches) provide “speech acts” that in-struct students about their performances (Austin, 1962, p. 5). This research looks at the specific speech act differences identified between nontraditional and tradi-tional judge messages. The analysis suggests the use of scaffolding (through as-sisted performance) is necessary in order for students to become better ballot read-ers. In other words, coaches must teach students how to interpret ballots. This has implications for the classroom. If all teachers can assist students in understanding how to read comments, students might learn more effectively.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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