Discussion exercise: Your Favorite Fallacy
Practice citation and bibliography.
Explain informal fallacies.
Submit in the “Reply” box. Save your work on a word processor first.
“Informal Fallacies by John Arthur.” (Readings can be found in Modules: Schedule and Readings).
You may also use FallacyFiles.org for examples of fallacies. On the left-hand side of the web page, there is an “alphabetical list of fallacies” that you can search through. Do not use outside resources.
*For citation and bibliography instructions, see APA citation HELPSHEET .pdf
( in Module 1: schedule and readings) for instructions on how to cite from an article (Arthur article) or a website (FallacyFiles.org). Understand the difference between citation and bibliography.
Write 3 paragraphs explaining the following:
1. Define ONE SPECIFIC informal fallacy (i.e., “ad hominem,” “slippery slope” etc.) Make sure to use a formal definition and cite the source. Cite as (author, year, page number)
2. Explain the informal fallacy and provide an example of an argument that commits that fallacy. The example of the argument should be in quotation marks.
3. Explain how the informal fallacy is using faulty reasoning (i.e., explain WHY it is a bad form of reasoning). Give sufficient explanation to show your reader why that fallacy is irrational.
4. Provide bibliography.
Reply to two classmates:
Reply to two classmates’ posts. One reply MUST include the following:
* Provide an example of an argument that commits the fallacy that the classmate is explaining. This is to help your classmate further support their explanation of the fallacy. For example, if someone is writing about a Straw Man fallacy, explain an argument that commits the fallacy of a Straw Man.
Professional writing tips:
*Use formal definitions of the particular fallacy from the required readings only. Cite the definition as (Author’s last name, year, page number). See “APA helpsheet” for how to do citations and bibliography. Use of outside resources will require you to edit and resubmit.
* Use your own example of a fallacy. Using examples help illustrate to the reader how a fallacy works. It also helps you apply the concepts to your own life. If you use examples from the internet, you must include proper citation and bibliography.
*Use signposting. The first sentence of each paragraph should indicate what the paragraph is about.
* Follow structure: Write one topic per paragraph. Keep in mind that when you EXPLAIN an idea to your reader, you must first define it, explain it with examples, and then assess or critique it, in that order. Paragraphs should have one topic per paragraph. Never critique an argument before you explain it. In this case, your third paragraph is an example of a critique (an argument that the fallacy is faulty). See Professional Writing Skills: Structure
*In your second paragraph, place an example of the argument that commits a fallacy in quotation marks. Fallacies always involve arguments, with faulty reasoning from the premise to the conclusion. Thus, give an argument that commits the fallacy, not just a description of events. Use this example argument to help explain how the fallacy works.
*Aim at clarity and sufficient explanation. Pretend that you are explaining to your friend who has committed a fallacy. Your friend does not know what is wrong with his way of thinking, so use details and examples to show your friend how the fallacy works, and give sufficient explanation of what is wrong with his reasoning.