fallacies n.
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  1. Fallacies: Strategies used to intentionally mislead, misinform, or deceive.

  2. Definition Compare 2 things that are not really alike Faulty analogies are NOT similes, though they generally use “like” or “as.” Example Teaching teens about sex and birth control is like taking an alcoholic into a bar. Faulty Analogy

  3. Definition Attack your opponent, not your opponent’s argument Clues Strong biased words that attack a person Example The editorial called the defendant “a criminal, a moral degenerate, a seducer of young women.” Ad Hominem“to the man”

  4. Definition Funny at first but then deeply critical Example The joke about former President Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinski: “Can’t we just impeach Clinton from the waist down?” Misuse of Humor

  5. Definition Catchy phrase or empty slogan will solve a problem Clue slogans Example “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” (National Rifle Association) Quick Fix

  6. Definition Give only 2 choices in a fairly complex issue, one right and one wrong. Example “America: love it or leave it.” “Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?” Either/Or

  7. Definition Appeal to emotions of the reader Clue Emotions replace facts Example Positive: use of words such as “America,” “liberty,” “freedom.” Negatives: “terrorists,” “insurgents” Positives in ads: babies, pets, families Ad Populum“to the people”

  8. Definition Something in the past might have happened and then today things would be different Clue “if” and “then” Example “If I’d gotten better grades in Jr High, I’d be getting better grades today.” “If he had not been drinking at the party, he’d be alive today.” Contrary to Fact

  9. Definition Use/believe this and you’ll be like the rich, famous, and beautiful. Clue Promises to make a desire come true Example Drink Mountain Dew and your life will be one big adventure. Snob Appeal

  10. Definition Base an argument on weak or insignificant evidence Example If we elect her, our taxes will surely go up. Hasty Generalization

  11. Definition Everyone is doing it; everyone believes it. Example Popular teens wear _______. Bandwagon

  12. Definition Give one simple cause to a complex effect Clue False cause-and-effect relationship. Example I failed the class because the teacher doesn’t like me. Over-simplification

  13. Definition Argue that you are just doing what everyone else is doing, even if the action is wrong. Example Why did you stop me for speeding? I was going just as fast as everyone else on I 94! Two Wrongs Make a Right

  14. Questions to ask as you begin looking for fallacies:

  15. 1. Is the purpose of the text to persuade? • Yes= text may contain fallacies • No= text probably does not contain fallacies

  16. 2. Is the information in the text true? • Yes= text probably does not contain fallacies • No= text may contain fallacies

  17. 3. Does the text contain facts to back up the generalizations? • Yes= text probably does not contain fallacies • No= text may contain fallacies

  18. 4. Is the language literal or figurative? • Literal= text may contain fallacies • Figurative= text probably does not contain fallacies