At the top of the heap.
In 2010, debaters from across the nation were asked to compare nine different sourcebooks using six different criteria. COG received first or second place in every single category – statistically tied with Ethos for Best Sourcebook of 2010. (Full results here.)
At the 2013 NCFCA National Championship, at least three-quarters of the teams in outrounds owned COG.
Here's some of what debaters have said...
"I only bought COG this year, but I can easily say that it was more useful to me than any other sourcebook I purchased. It was my go-to whenever I didn't have a brief (and sometimes when I did). The quality of sources and arguments is great. If you're planning on buying one sourcebook, I would probably tell you to buy COG."
— Miranda Bonifield (runner-up at the 2013 NCFCA Championship)
"COG was the single most useful sourcebook in my arsenal last year. The easy-to-use generic briefs ensured I had everything I needed, and equipped me with solid and simple evidence for every neg round. Tag-lines were simple, evidence was to the point, and credible. I will recommend COG to all my students next year!"
— Ben Chambers (winner of the 2010 Springfield Qualifier)
"Just so that it's been said, this is one amazing sourcebook! It was rare for Kevin and I not to use this sourcebook, and we never regretted using it in a round. There were so many times that Kevin and I either didn't have a brief or needed evidence for a point that wasn't covered in our briefs, and we would just pull out a COG brief. If you can only buy one sourcebook, get this one :)"
— Amber Sivils (finalist at the 2010 Houston National Open)
"Guys, if you are doing TP... buy this sourcebook. I'm not doing TP this upcoming year, but I still have this strange urge to buy it anyway because it's just that good. I've had many a round where I sat staring at a weird new case, wondering what I would run, and COG always came to the rescue. Whether it was providing evidence to an impact, explaining general concepts, or taking out an entire case with a mini-brief, COG always stood out. The organization was fantastic, the evidence was extremely credible, and the briefs they chose to write were always exactly what I needed. I literally can't think of a single thing wrong with this sourcebook. Whether you're a nationally ranked debater or just starting out, this sourcebook is for you. Buy it."
— Nathan Sweetman (semifinalist at the 2011 Crabtowne Qualifer)
"My partner and I are extremely grateful for the 2010-2011 COG sourcebook. Initially, when friends let us use their copy in the out rounds of the first tournament, we were amazed at the easy-to-grasp simplicity of the construction, and yet the superb effectiveness of the arguments. The day after that tournament we both got our own copy of COG, and we used it in every single debate round after that. Affirmative or Negative, it didn't matter, there was always at least one piece of evidence, in any given round, that we found in COG that helped us immensely. In fact, we are still using it this year! Evidence and ideas from last year's COG are still with us and we are writing cases based on some of the ideas we have found in [this] amazingly beneficial sourcebook."
— Peter Webb and Adam Kovatovich (2011 Region 5 champions)
"Imagine: you're in prelims at nationals and you have absolutely no evidence against the case you're hitting. This is the situation I was faced with at the 2010 NCFCA national competition. We had no evidence - or so I thought. I then remembered there might be something in my handy-dandy COG source book. I flipped though and - DUN DUN!! EVIDENCE THAT APPLIED!! COG helped me and my partner make 23 in the nation. Trust me, if you buy it, COG will make you happier than a frog on a log!"
— Jonathan Morgan (2011 Region 4 champion)
"Yeah, you all should definitely buy COG. In the beginning of the year, when you have no clue what cases are being run, and you're sitting there thinking, "Oh gosh I'm so dead...I've never heard of this..." COG is a lifesaver. I used the generics all the time, and they are super helpful. The evidence itself is intelligent, up to date, well-researched and overall awesome. Oh yeah, and they had an epic nuclear war disadvantage last year that I loved to death. :)"
— Molly Sheahan (14th place at the 2011 Stoa national championship)
"This year, as we all know, NCFCA went a little crazy and voted for the one of the broadest resolutions in history. This year, debaters will be learning the value of two tools: a good topicality press and generic briefs. You can't buy a topicality press for every case you hit. But you CAN get your hands on a bunch of high quality generic briefs, in the form of the COG sourcebook. COG contains powerful, concise, and well-formatted briefs. You don't get lame arguments that would never work in front of a real judge. You get down-to-earth, easy-to-understand, and well thought out arguments that even the greenest community judge will understand. Generics are going to be important this year, and COG is, right now, the best sourcebook for generics."
— Andrew Min (winner of the 2010 Massachusetts National Open, went 6-0 at Nationals)
"The only thing better than a few generic brief is a whole slew of them! Any seasoned debater will know the power of generic briefs because they can be utilized in almost any debate round. With a resolution as broad as environmental policy the COG sourcebook is almost a necessity. If I was participating in Team Policy debate this year, I would purchase the COG sourcebook without a second thought."
— Ben Snodgrass (later a national semifinalist after switching back to TP)
"With this year's [2009's] broad environmental topic, COG's generic briefs are a must in every debate box."
— Tom Umstattd (coach)
"Ironically, efficiency of resources is one of the most pressing problems facing the Team Policy debater this year; the COG debate sourcebook is a generic-briefs resource most effectively arranged to work for you. In a debate round your prep-time is at a premium and must be managed that way. When evidence is on a need to know basis, COG gives you what you need to know. COG masters being concise enough to not take you out with the mass of evidence you have to wade through, but instead enables you to take out the opponent's case. Nothing beats COG for the most effective evidence in the most efficent way. Let the mountain of evidence sit on someone else's table, go ahead and get COG for effective and efficient debating."
— John Dowd (4th year debater and internet/team coach)
"Something all debaters should be looking for this year is generic briefs. Since the topic is so stinkin' broad, and there are all types of fogies defining Environmental policy from policy towards computers to policy towards everything, the 100% generic briefs in COG are a MUST! These are not just a few random generic briefs about Global Warming and the EPA, but are specifically designed to cover almost everything that you as a debater might possibly run into this year... A second thing that debaters should ALWAYS be concerned about is credible evidence... That is why COG has brought you evidence from reliable sources, so that Negative teams can't run Credibilty-Presses. If you want to know about the funding for a certain operation, who do you want to hear it from? Someone on the inside, who actually knows what he's talking about. This is the kind of stuff that COG has been dedicated to bring to you. COG also quotes many Ph.D.s, which gives for super-credible evidence in a round." [show full text]
"The following are some of the things I like about the COG sourcebook. I don't have time to list them all : )
(1) Something all debaters should be looking for this year is generic briefs. Since the topic is so stinkin' broad, and there are all types of fogies defining Environmental policy from policy towards computers to policy towards everything, the 100% generic briefs in COG are a MUST! These are not just a few random generic briefs about Global Warming and the EPA, but are specifically designed to cover almost everything that you as a debater might possibly run into this year. Not only does COG cover all of that, but it also includes sections on funding, definitions (from narrow to squirrelly ;-), regulations, treaties and much more!
(2) A second thing that debaters should ALWAYS be concerned about is credible evidence. Sure, a generic brief is good, but once again you can always get some fogey to say what you want him to about Environmental Policy. That is why COG has brought you evidence from reliable sources, so that Negative teams can't run Credibilty-Presses. If you want to know about the funding for a certain operation, who do you want to hear it from? Someone on the inside, who actually knows what he's talking about. This is the kind of stuff that COG has been dedicated to bring to you. COG also quotes many Ph.D.s, which gives for super-credible evidence in a round.
(3) Finally, if you're purchasing an electric copy of a sourcebook that is 200+ pages, what is your main concern going to be? Printing that sourcebook in an organized, efficient manner! Well say no more, COG comes already organized into separate ready-to-print briefs, with a large table of contents and an intro that covers everything. Once you get it, simply print it off! I strongly urge you to vote for yourself - whether you are affirming or negating the resolution - and buy COG this year!" [hide full text]
— Preston Black (2011 Region 9 champion)