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Fallacies: Illogical Statements in Arguments. Disclaimer: The examples provided in no way represent the views or opinions of Mr. Busch or Ms. Munoz. They simply serve as illustrations of each fallacy. What Are Fallacies?.

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Fallacies illogical statements in arguments

Fallacies: Illogical Statements in Arguments

Disclaimer: The examples provided in no way represent the views or opinions of Mr. Busch or Ms. Munoz. They simply serve as illustrations of each fallacy.

What are fallacies
What Are Fallacies?

  • Fallacies are arguments that have faulty reasoning due to questionable assumptions and leaps in logic.

Ad hominem
Ad Hominem

  • When the speaker attacks the opposition, focusing the attention on insults rather than logical appeals, then ad hominem (“to the man”) is the fallacy being employed.

Bandwagon appeal
Bandwagon Appeal

  • When the author suggests everyone else is doing something, so the reader should do it, too, he / she is using the bandwagon appeal.

Begging the question
Begging the Question

  • Begging the questions is circular logic. The writer is presenting an assertion to prove an assertion.

False analogies
False Analogies

  • False analogies (syllogisms) are created when the writer makes illogical comparisons to items that may at first seem similar but that are quite different when examined closely.

Faulty causality
Faulty Causality

  • Also known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”), faulty causality suggests a situation exists due to a previous incident when, in fact, the two events are not even related to each other.

Hasty generalizations
Hasty Generalizations

  • Basically, hasty generalizations are stereotypes where the author makes false assumptions that are based on insufficient evidence.

Slippery slope
Slippery Slope

  • The slippery slope will suggest that a current issue will cause a catastrophic event in the near future.

Scare tactics
Scare Tactics

  • The author who uses scare tactics is appealing to the reader’s fear about a situation, usually when there really is no cause for such alarm.

Either or choices

  • Also known as the black-and-white fallacy, either-or simplifies a complicated issue as one that allows for only two choices.

Overly sentimental
Overly Sentimental

  • The writer who uses overly sentimental appeals is mercilessly pulling at the heartstrings of the audience; he / she is being melodramatic.

False authority
False Authority

  • Using false authority is a fallacy because it abuses ethos. The author refers to a figure many people will neither recognize nor respect.

  • (Like Paris Hilton ever ate a burger.)


  • In dogmatism, the writer’s stance is the only acceptable argument. There can be no opposing viewpoint (according to the author).

Stacking the deck
Stacking the Deck

  • By stacking the deck, a writer focuses on one side of an argument. It is not a fair presentation of the issue.


  • To equivocate is to provide half-truths.

Non sequitur
Non Sequitur

  • Any time an assertion is made that does not have a relationship with the argument, the author is using a non sequitur.

Straw man
Straw Man

  • The writer uses the straw man tactic when he/ she challenges a made up argument, which is usually much easier to tackle than the one his/ her opponent would actually present.

Red herring
Red Herring

  • The red herring changes the subject in the middle of an argument.