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Journal Entry ~ Respond to one:. Has anyone ever tried to get you to do something by applying peer pressure? Have you ever seen an advertisement that promises something that just isn’t possible?

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journal entry respond to one
Journal Entry ~ Respond to one:
  • Has anyone ever tried to get you to do something by applying peer pressure?
  • Have you ever seen an advertisement that promises something that just isn’t possible?
  • Have you ever been led to believe that a group of people were really horrible, when in fact they turned out to be pretty cool?
  • Write about a time that you were falsely informed or falsely persuaded to do or believe something.
logical fallacies
Logical Fallacies
  • As we have discussed ethos, pathos, and logos, it is important to recognize that sometimes we can go a little too far with our appeals to our audience.
  • When a writer crosses the line of appropriate with their appeals to the audience, whether unintentionally or intentionally, we call it a logical fallacy.
  • While the idea may seem to make perfect sense, it is actually a little too far-fetched for readers to use it as a determining factor for persuasion.
  • Begging the Question: this fallacy occurs when the claim is restated and passed off as evidence. Ex: Politicians are inherently dishonest because no honest person would run for public office.
  • Either-or: this fallacy suggests that there are only two choices in a complex situation. Rarely, if ever, is this the case. Ex: Either we invest in failing banks or the country will go bankrupt.
False Analogies: this fallacy address the idea that all analogies depend on the degree to which one situation is similar to another situation. If the writer fails to recognize the differences between one situation and another, then there is a false analogy. Ex: Japan quit fighting in 1945 when we dropped nuclear bombs on them; therefore, we should use nuclear weapons against other countries.

Hasty Generalizations: this is a broad claim made on the basis of a few occurrences. Ex: We have been in a drought for three years; that’s a sure sign of climate change.

Non sequitur: a non sequitur ties together two unrelated ideas. Ex: A university that can build a basketball arena with alumni donations should not have to raise tuitioncosts.

Oversimplification or Moral Equivalence: the claim may be true, but the argument is unacceptable to most citizens. Ex: Nobody would run stop signs if there was a death penalty for doing it.

Post Hoc Fallacy: assumes that events that follow in time have a causal relationship. Ex: The stock market drops every year that there is a presidential election.

Rationalization: excuses and weak explanations for personal behaviors. The excuses often avoid actual causes. Ex: I could have finished my paper on time if my printer had been working.

Slippery Slope: maintaining that one thing inevitably causes another thing to happen. Ex: We shouldn’t grant citizenship to illegal immigrants now living in the US because no one will want to obey our laws.

Bandwagon Appeals: suggesting that if everyone is doing it then so should you. Ex: It doesn’t matter if I cheat on my test because everyone is doing it.

Name calling or Ad Hominem: people level accusations using names that are usually meaningless, unless those names are carefully and respectfully defined. Personal attacks on the character of a person that is involved in the argument. Ex: racist, right-winged, conservative, fascist.

Polarization: exaggerates positions and groups by representing them as extreme and divisive. Ex: Feminists are all man haters.

Straw Man: a diversionary tactic that sets up another’s position in a way that can be easily rejected. Ex: Environmentalists won’t be satisfied until not a single human being is allowed in a national park.

Dogmatism: an attempt to persuade by asserting or assuming that a particular position is the only one conceivably acceptable within a community. Ex: No rational person would disagree that abortion is murder.

argument structure
Argument Structure

Claim-Evidence & Reasons-Enthymemes-Warrants-Backing-Qualifiers

  • Arguments begin with claims:debatable & controversial statements or assertions that you hope to prove.
  • Claims should be debatable!
  • You can begin developing a claim just by drawing up a list of reasons to support it or finding evidence that backs up your point.
  • Finding evidence and the reasons may lead to even more claims that need even more support…but that is exactly how argument works!

Evidence & Reasons------SO Claim

  • Enthymemes, or arguments in brief, are a great way to begin the argument process in writing.
There must be a logical and persuasive connection between a claim and the reasons and data supporting it: Warrants

A warrant gives the writer the authority to proceed with the case.

The warrant tells readers what your assumptions are.

It is the assumption that makes a claim seem plausible.

It is often a value or principle that you share with your readers.

Reason: The mushroom is poisonous.---Warrant:Since eating poisonous things is dangerous-Claim:So don’t eat it!

Reason: Smoking causes serious diseases in smokers and endangers nonsmokers as well.--Warrant:Since the Constitution was established to “promote the general welfare” and citizens are thus entitled to protection from harmful actions by others.-Claim: So the federal government should ban smoking.

  • Claims and warrants are only the skeleton of a good argument.
  • These two things set up a structure for what is to come.
  • The bulk of a writer’s work remains to be done after the argument has been framed.
  • Claims and warrants that are clearly stated do suggest the scope of evidence the writer has yet to assemble.
  • The evidence that supports a warrant and/or a claim is called backing.
Backing comes from all the data that the writer collects to support himself/herself.

For example, if you wanted to make a claim regarding space travel it would be important to research the topic and gather information that would help you make an informed and accurate claim regarding the subject.

The information you gathered would be the backing for your warrants.

This is where the knowledge of appeals come in.

Some backing makes emotional appeals, some makes logical appeals, and some makes ethical appeals.

  • What makes this argument structure work so well out in the “real” world is that it acknowledges qualifiers.
  • Qualifiers are words and phrases that put limits on claims.
  • In contrast, formal logic requires certain universal premises and truths.
  • Unfortunately, real life does not lend itself very well to such sturdy truths.
  • If we could argue only these kinds of sweeping truths we would be silent most of the time!


  • Unqualified: People who do not go to college earn less than people who do.
  • Qualified:In most cases, people who do not go to college earn less than people who do.
  • Unqualified: Welfare programs should be cut.
  • Qualified:Ineffective welfare programs should be identified, modified, and if necessaryeliminated.
conditions of rebuttal
Conditions of Rebuttal
  • Anytime a writer engages in an argument he/she can expect to be met with some opposition.
  • Understanding and reacting to these conditions is essential in writing a strong argument.
  • If students can anticipate the opposition to their arguments, and address those rebuttals before readers can negate all of their work, the writers will have more successful arguments.

Sometimes the objections that the writer must consider are reasonable objections of those who see the world differently.

  • Sometimes the objections point out big holes or misconceptions in the writer’s claim.
  • Either way, it will influence revisions of the claim and the kinds of backing the writer must include as support.
If a writer considers all the parts of the model that are described here, the framework would look something like this:

Claim: The federal government should ban smoking.

Qualifier: The ban would be limited to public spaces.

Good Reasons: Smoking causes serious diseases in smokers.

Nonsmokers are endangered by second-hand smoke.

Warrants: The Constitution promises to “promote the general welfare.” Citizens are entitled to protection from harmful actions by others.

Backing: The United States is based on a political system that is supposed to serve the basic needs of it’s people, including their health.

Evidence: Numbers of deaths attributed to second hand smoke

Lawsuits recently won against large tobacco companies citing the need for reparation for smoking-related health costs

Examples of bans already imposed in public places

Authority: Cite the Surgeon General

Conditions of Rebuttal: Smokers have rights too.

Smoking laws should be left to the individual states.

Such a ban could not be enforced.

Response: The ban applies to public places; smokers can smoke in private. The power of the federal government to impose other restrictions on smoking, such as warning labels on cigarettes and bans on cigarette advertisements on television, has survived legal challenges. The experience of New York City, which has imposed such a ban, suggests that enforcement would not be a significant problem.

understanding claims
Understanding Claims

----------Whether  you like Bill Gates or not...this is pretty cool. Here's some advice Bill Gates recently dished out at a high school speech about 11 things they did  notlearn in school. He talks about how  feel-good, politically correct teaching has  created a full generation of kids with no  concept of reality and howthis concept  sets them up for failure in the real world.     RULE 1     Life  is not fair - get used to it.     RULE 2     The  world won't care about your self-esteem. The world     will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you  feel     good about yourself.     RULE 3     You  will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out     of high school. You won't be a vice president with     car phone, until you earn  both.

RULE 4     If  you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a     boss. He doesn't have tenure.

RULE 5     Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your     grandparents had a different word for burger flipping     they called it Opportunity.     RULE 6     If you mess up,it's not your parents' fault, so don't     whine about your mistakes, learn from them.     RULE 7     Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as     they are now. They got that way from paying  your bills,     cleaning your clothes and  listening to you talk about     how cool  you are. So before you save the rain forest     from the parasites of your parent's generation, try     delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8     Your  school may have done away with winners and losers,     but life has not. In some schools they have  abolished     failing grades and they'll  give you as many times as     you want to  get the right answer. This doesn't bear the     slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.     RULE 9     Life  is not divided into semesters. You don't get     summers off and very few employers are interested in     helping you find yourself. Do that on your own  time.     RULE 10     Television is NOT real life. In real life people     actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to  jobs.     RULE 11     Be  nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for     one.
in your journal
In your journal
  • After reading “The Rules”, which is rumored to have been given as a graduation speech by Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, discuss what he is saying in those rules. It actually comes from a book by author Charles Sykes entitled “Dumbing Down Our Kids.” What claims is he making about kids today? What claims is he making about the future of your generation? How do you feel about those claims?
in your journal1
In your journal:
  • When you are making a decision, what kind of evidence helps you the most? Do you prefer personal experiences, groups of experiences from many people, facts and statistics, or an authority on the subject to support you idea? Write about a time you had to rely on evidence to make an important decision. What kind of support did you require in order to make the decision?
evidence reasons enthymemes
Evidence & Reasons/Enthymemes
  • a claim is just a lonely statement until there are some reasons or evidence to back it up.
  • A lot of times we can begin the planning for our argument pieces by making a list of reasons or collecting evidence and building a claim to match.
  • Enthymemes work very much in that way, and they use transitional words that lead the reader from the reason or the evidence to the claim that is being made.
4 basic types of evidence
4 basic types of evidence
  • Personal Experience
  • Anecdotes
  • Facts
  • Authorities
use the following example to think about the four different types of evidence
Use the following example to think about the four different types of evidence:

A student wants to gather good reasons in support of a claim that his school designate more parking spaces for bicycles.

  • Personal experience: at least 2 times a week during this school year he was unable to find a designated parking space for his bike.
  • Anecdotes: several of his friends reported similar experiences; one had even stopped riding his bike to school as a result.
  • Facts: he found out that the ratio of car to bike parking spaces is 50 to 1, whereas the number of students who rode their bikes to school daily is a ratio of 25 to 1.
  • Authorities: the school security guard indicated in an interview that he believed a problem existed for students trying to park and secure their bikes in legal spaces.
rhetorical analysis in your journal
Rhetorical AnalysisIn your journal:
  • We have been studying argument for a few weeks now, and you are familiar with the arguments that are occurring all around you. Write about the most interesting argument you have been a part of over the last week. What was the claim being made? Who was making the claim? How did you respond? Why? What was missing to persuade you? What persuaded you? Was it a sound argument? Any fallacies? Tell all about it!