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L, P & C Argument Quiz
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 05/02/2016

Yelling The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

Listen up! And don't argue with me! I have a classroom exercise here that will stimulate discussion and set the stage for any communications module – the L P and C argument quiz.

You start by explaining the concept of the LP and C argument methods. In corrections, you will find that there are many argument tactics that others will use on you when they are not permitted to do as they will. I believe that the three chief ways that people argue with you are loud, persistent, and in the contrary manner this is LP and C for short.

Loud – Volume overrules reason. This is just like a sonic bulldozer. This is the shouter's favorite method.

Persistent – Wearing down the opposing party by asking the same question until the answer that the persistent seeks is delivered.

Contrary – A method of simple negation. This is taking the opposite position to frustrate the logic of the person trying to calmly explain why things are as they are.

With the LP & C argument concept explained, you then administer a quiz. The answer for each scenario is one of three things: loud argument style, persistent argument style, or the contrary argument style. You have plenty of choices when you administer the quiz.
  • You may hand out as paper and each person takes a test like the one below.
  • Or you can split the class and ask questions in the competition mode.
  • One could even read aloud and let the participants answer in a freestyle method.
  • Another option is an excellent opportunity for the visual learners. You can even film shorts vignettes of the questions.
Some of the questions were designed to feature more than one answer. It is up to you to tell the class upfront that there may be more than one answer. I, however, prefer for the class to discover this for themselves. In fact, if you put questions that will have just one answer upfront, as the class warms up they may discover in the middle of the questions that there could be two answers.

Yes, there are many ways argue. But the LP and C methods cover a lot of ground. I'm sure that there is no argument that when you employ this icebreaker, you'll see plenty of energy coming from the class.

L, P & C Quiz
  1. Someone argues a point with you. You deny the request. The person then just jumps up your chain of command with the same question. What argument style is this? - Persistent
  2. No matter which part of policy directive you read, your antagonist simply states that it is not true. What argument style is this? - Contrary
  3. Every time you try to talk, your opponent talks over you. What argument style is this? - Loud
  4. When you state the identity of the person who authorized change, the arguer states that the person has no authority. What argument style is this? - Contrary
  5. The arguer repeatedly and loudly yells the word “no”. What argument style is this? - Loud, Persistent, Constant
  6. Your opponent rephrases each of your points in negative terms. What argument style is this? - Contrary
  7. In answer to your rationally stated justifications, your opponent starts shouting in rapid succession, even though the points he or she raises are not relevant. What argument style is this? - Loud, Persistent
  8. Opponent uses an elevated tone of voice to spell out what sounds like a series of legal cases meant to harass and intimidate you. What argument style is this? - Loud
  9. Your opponent asks the same question 5 minutes later, even though you've already answered it. What argument style is this? - Persistent
  10. Your opponent e-mails the same query to you six months later, even though you already answered the question. What argument style is this? - Persistent


Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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