Logical fallacies and 4 common modes of writing
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Logical fallacies and 4 common modes of writing. American Literature EOCT Review. Logical fallacies are…. Illogical arguments Used to persuade listeners/consumers to feel a certain way or do something Comprised of over exaggerations, scare tactics, and/or emotional appeals

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Logical fallacies and 4 common modes of writing

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Logical fallacies and 4 common modes of writing

American Literature EOCT Review

Logical fallacies are…

  • Illogical arguments

  • Used to persuade listeners/consumers to feel a certain way or do something

  • Comprised of over exaggerations, scare tactics, and/or emotional appeals

  • A way advertisers can try to manipulate consumers

What is a logical fallacy?


Why should we know about them?

  • They are EVERYWHERE: in tv and radio commercials, print ads, television shows, movies, political speeches and ads

  • They have been used for centuries: everything from speeches in Julius Caesar to ads from the 1800’s to commercials today

  • We can avoid logical fallacies in our own writing and detect them in the writing of others

  • Knowledge of logical fallacies empowers us to be educated consumers in society.

Faulty reasoning

  • Circular reasoning: Trying to prove a statement by repeating it in different words

    • “Antibiotics are being overused because people take them too often.”

  • Cause-and-effect fallacy: Falsely assuming that because one event follows another, the first event caused the second:

    • “If we don’t make laws limiting tattoos, there will be more and more gang members.

Faulty reasoning

  • Either-or fallacy: Stating that there are only two alternatives when there are many

    • “If we don’t set limits on prescribing antibiotics, we will face worldwide epidemics caused by untreatable super microbes.”

  • Bandwagon: Everyone else is doing it so why not you?

    • “Millions of people have switched to [insert brand name here].”

Types of logical fallacies

  • Testimonial: Using a “true” story to convince the reader.

    • “If it could happen to me…”

  • Card stacking: Only positive information is presented, without any contradictory or negative information.

    • Nicotine has been shown to lower incidences of Alzheimer’s disease, can boost the growth of new blood vessels, and may even reduce depression.

Faulty reasoning

  • Stereotyping: creates a simplified picture of a complex situation, individual, or group.

  • Rhetorical questions: Asks questions for which no answer is needed, to try to force the reader/listener to agree.

    • “Are you tired of trash bags that rip and tear?”


  • Cause-and-effect




  • Either/or, bandwagon


  • Bandwagon




  • Cause-effect


  • Testimonial, beautiful people




  • Card stacking







  • Rhetorical questions



Four common types of writing

  • Narration: tells a story (fiction or nonfiction), usually has a plot, climax, and resolution

  • Descriptive: describes a person, place, or setting

  • Persuasion: attempts to influence the readers thoughts (here’s where logical fallacies come in)

  • Exposition: explains something (like an encyclopedia article)

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