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Research Paper: Avoiding Fallacies and Revising Your Essay . Avoid Fallacies . Fallacies are “logical” reasons that, when looked at closely, are anything but logical.

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avoid fallacies
Avoid Fallacies
  • Fallacies are “logical” reasons that, when looked at closely, are anything but logical.
  • It’s important to be aware of fallacies because they can often be used to manipulate. They can seem very persuasive to someone who isn’t paying attention.
  • Avoid using fallacies in your own writing, and be aware of them when they are used in arguments you are reading/watching/hearing.
begging the question
Begging the Question
  • This is when you try to support an argument by simply saying the same thing in different words.
  • “We need to reduce the national debt because the government owes too much money.”
  • If we look at this closely, we start to wonder if the debt actually IS too large or not, because both parts of this sentence say EXACTLY the same thing.
    • Unless you immediately follow up this sentence with real information about the size of the debt and WHY it is too large, this is a fallacy.
either or arguments
Either/Or Arguments
  • Also known as “false dilemmas”
  • Assumes that there are ONLY TWO alternatives in a situation that is actually much more complex.
  • “The United States must not become a defenseless, bankrupt nation—it must remain the main military and economic superpower of the world.”
  • What’s the problem here?
personal attacks
Personal Attacks
  • Also called “Ad Hominem” – Latin for “to the man”
  • “Councilwoman Acevedo doesn’t want to support building a new high schools because she doesn’t have any children herself.”
  • What’s wrong with this argument?
    • Is probably not the reason she opposes building the high school
    • Ignores and belittles the real reasons she may have
    • Doesn’t ACTUALLY give a reason that building the high school is a good idea!
faulty causality
Faulty Causality
  • Also called Post Hoc, from the Latin phrase “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc” meaning “because this, therefore this”
  • Someone may claim that teen pregnancies have dropped after the tv show “Teen Mom” began airing, therefore “Teen Mom” prevents teen pregnancies.
    • BUT there are probably be many other reasons for the drop in teen pregnancies: better sex education, improved access to birth control, or less sexual activity among teens for a variety of reasons.
    • Don’t assume that just because Thing A happened BEFORE Thing B that Thing A CAUSED Thing B.
group work 5 more fallacies
Group Work: 5 More Fallacies
  • Get in Groups of 3 or 4.
  • I will assign each group one of the last 5 fallacies to work with
    • Bandwagon Appeals
    • Slippery Slope
    • Setting Up A Straw Man
    • Hasty Generalizations
    • Faulty Analogies
  • Review the information on the fallacy in the textbook.
  • Come up with at least one or two examples of this fallacy and explain the problem with making this kind of claim.
review guidelines for correctly citing sources
REVIEW: Guidelines for Correctly Citing Sources
  • ALWAYS enclose words that are not your own in quotes.
  • ALWAYS make a quote the part of your own sentence.
  • ALWAYS have an author or article name and page number in parentheses after the quote.
  • ALWAYS give credit to authors whose ideas you use, even if you are not quoting them directly.
  • ALWAYS make sure that the quote is sufficiently introduced and in context.
    • Read your Incorporating Sources Handout and read Chapter 22, pages 388-399.
review how to avoid drop in quotes
Review: How to Avoid Drop-in Quotes

One of the risk factors for heart disease is alcohol consumption. The American Heart Association website states, “drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure and lead to stroke” (“Risk Factors”).

  • Notice that the quote is a part of a sentence written by the author of the paper.
    • Adding “(Insert source name here) states” to the beginning of a quotation is a quick, easy way to fix drop-in quotes.
    • This is called a “signal phrase.”
  • You are encouraged to embed your quote into your own sentence:
    • Example: People worried about heart disease should seriously limit how much they drink because “drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure” or even cause death or stroke (“Risk Factors”).
carefully review the prompt
Carefully Review the Prompt
  • Questions or concerns?
  • Stop and take a moment to make a list of what you need to do to successfully complete the Final Draft of the Research Paper before next week.
  • See the checklist on page 86—87. Have you done these things?
  • Also check out the list of questions at the bottom of page 87.
    • Answer these questions for your own paper.
this week last class before research paper is due
This Week: Last Class before Research Paper is Due
  • If you have missed any class, you need to come check with me if there are any assignments I passed back that you did not get.
    • If you have any missing or late assignments, today is the LAST DAY to speak with me about them.
  • If you have any question about your Research Paper, today is the day to ask them! I want everyone to get their questions resolved and to use class time to plan exactly what they will do for the Final Draft.
apostrophes in contractions
Apostrophes In Contractions

Apostrophes indicate a missing letter in a contraction.  

The apostrophe goes where the missing letter would go.

Incorrect: I cant' do this assignment without help. (WRONG. What letters is the apostrophe replacing? Where should it go?)

Correct: I can't do this assignment without help. (RIGHT. The apostrophe goes between the n and the t.)

Watch out for "cant" and "wont" on spell check. These are words all on their own, but they don't mean the same thing as “can’t” and “won’t.”

Also, remember the contraction it's means IT IS.

Example: I can't open the door because it's locked.

apostrophes that show possession
Apostrophes That Show Possession
  • With most singular nouns, simply place an apostrophe and an "s" on the end to show possession.
  • Examples:  
  • I rubbed the dog's stomach.
  • I went to Maria's house.
  • If the noun ends in s already, add an additional "s" anyway.
  • Example: This is my boss's car.
showing possession with plural nouns
Showing Possession with Plural Nouns
  • If a plural noun already ends in "s," place an apostrophe at the end. (DO NOT add another "s.")
  • Examples:
  • I collected the students' textbooks. (The textbooks belonged to ALL of the students.)
  •  I filled the cats' water bowl. (The bowl belonged to MORE THAN ONE cat.)
  •  If a plural noun is irregular and doesn't end in "s," place the apostrophe after the noun and add an "s."
  •  Examples:
  • The teacher collected the children's permission slips. ("children" is already plural)
  •  She went to a women's conference. ("women" is already plural)
apostrophes do not make nouns plural
Apostrophes DO NOT Make Nouns Plural
  • Never use an apostrophe to make a noun plural.
  • I have three sister's.
    • (This INCORRECT. The apostrophe is not being used to show that the sisters own anything. It's being used to make a plural. This is not right.)
  •  I have three sisters.
    • (This is CORRECT.)
  •  Example of correct apostrophe use:
  • My three sisters' children came to visit this weekend.
    • (The apostrophe is correct because something belongs to the sisters as a group – the children.)
begin your revisions
Begin Your Revisions
    • Check your thesis: Do you have an arguable thesis?
      • Is it clear and it the appropriate location for an academic paper?
      • Review the questions on page 27 if you aren’t sure.
      • Try rewriting your thesis. Is the rewrite an improvement on the old thesis?
    • Check your quotes/sources/citations:
      • Are your sources reliable?
      • Do you use quotes well? Do you make each quote part of your own sentence? If not, make a note. Refer to your “incorporating quotes” handout.
      • Do you follow up every quote with a least a sentence or two of your OWN that explains and connects the quote to your own argument?
      • Do you include an in-text citation that links to an entry on your works cited page for EVERY source?
  • Check your organization:
    • Do the paragraphs each have their own point that connects back to the “big point”—your thesis? Do the paragraphs transition easily, using one idea to “jump” to the next?
  • Highlight/Draw an Arrow to make note of other problem areas in your draft to remind yourself to fix them.
    • Revision Checklist:
      • Check out the checklist for revising on your textbook’s back cover flap.
      • Forgot your textbook? Ask a friend to share.
next week thursday last class before final exam
Next Week: ThursdayLast Class Before Final Exam
  • Tuesday, May 27 – No ClassThis is a non-instructional day at LAMC.
  • No Classes will be held.
  • Thursday, May 29 – Last Day of ClassTopics: In-class self-evaluation and course reflection, discussion of final exam question.Homework Due:  Research Paper Final Draft. Submit printed copy in class and digital copy on