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2013-09-12 13:43:37
English fallacies

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  1. The writer attacks the opponent's character rather than the opponent's argument.
    Ad hominem "to the man"
  2. The writer attacks someone's credibility by linking that person with a person or activity the audience considers bad, suspicious, or untrustworthy.
    Guilt by association
  3. The writer introduces an irrelevant point to divert the reader's attention from the main issue.
    Red herring
  4. The writer uses an abstract concept as if it were a concrete reality.
  5. The writer selects the opposition's weakest or most insignificant point to argue against to divert the reader's attention from the real issue.
    Straw Man
  6. The writer uses inappropriate sources.
    Faulty use of authority
  7. The writer bases the argument on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence.
    Hasty generalization
  8. The writer's conclusion is not necessarily a logical result of the facts.
    Non sequitur ("it doesn't follow")
  9. The writer asserts a complex situation can have only two possible outcomes, one of which necessary or preferable.
    Either/Or Fallacy
  10. The writer oversimplifies the relation between cause and effect. (If we prohibit smoking, we cure lung-cancer.)
  11. The writer assumes that because one event follows another in time, the first event caused the second.
    Post hoc fallacy ("after this, therefore caused by this")
  12. The writer presents as truth what is supposed to be proven by the argument.
    Begging the question
  13. The writer makes circular statements, such as: "There aren't enough parking spaces because there are too many cars."
    Circular logic
  14. The writer evades the issues by appealing to the reader's emotional reactions to certain subjects.
    Ad populum ("to the people")
  15. The writer tries to validate a point by intimating that "everyone else believes this."
    Bandwagon appeal
  16. The writer uses an extended comparison as a proof of point; that is, he/she makes misleading comparisons that are not alike in most important respects.
    Faulty analogy
  17. The writer tries to persuade readers to do something by suggesting that they are thoughtful, intelligent, or perceptive enough to agree.
  18. The writer applies a social kind of flattery which invites readers to identify with an admired and select group.
    In-Crowd appeal
  19. The writer tries to frighten readers into agreement by hinting that they will suffer adverse consequences if they don't agree.
    veiled threats
  20. The writer leans to heavily on catchy phrases or empty slogans.
    Quick fix