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"I knew for sure the six elements of a proposition really worked when I started receiving student writing assignments. Not every student was at the same sophistication level, but each had significantly improved persuasive writing skills. Writing a six element proposition takes away the 'I feel' and focuses on the 'I know.'"
Jon Parrott, High School U.S. History Teacher, Urbandale, Iowa

In the fourth Lincoln-Douglas Debate Senator Stephen A. Douglas questioned a speech of U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull by attacking Trumbull’s integrity. Abraham Lincoln responded:

"Why, sir, there is not a word in Trumbull’s speech that depends on Trumbull’s veracity at all. He has only arrayed the evidence and told you what follows as a matter of reasoning. There is not a statement in the whole speech that depends on Trumbull’s word. If you have ever studied geometry, you remember that by a course of reasoning Euclid proves that all the angles in a triangle are equal to two right angles. Euclid has shown you how to work it out. Now, if you undertake to disprove that proposition, and to show that it is erroneous, would you prove it to be false by calling Euclid a liar? [Roars of laughter and enthusiasm]1

1Abraham Lincoln, “Mr. Lincoln’s Rejoinder, Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858,” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 3:186.


David Hirsch is an attorney in Des Moines, Iowa. He has a BS from Michigan State University, and a JD with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law. He clerked for an Iowa Supreme Court Justice from 1973-1974. In addition to a diversified law practice, Hirsch wrote for the American Bar Association Journal for over a decade.
Hirsch is admitted to practice in all Iowa state trial and appellate courts, plus:

United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
United States Court of Claims
United States Tax Court

Dan Van Haften lives in Batavia, Illinois. He has BS, with high honor, and MS degrees in mathematics from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. His career with AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1970. He retired from Alcatel-Lucent in 2007. He worked on
telecommunication software development and system testing. Van Haften presently writes full time.

            The authors in Gettysburg November 2010,
                 for the premier of their first book.