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When Claims Go Wrong

When Claims Go Wrong

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When Claims Go Wrong

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  1. When Claims Go Wrong Recognizing & Avoiding Logical FallaciesKim Miller Davis

  2. Academic Essay Writing Process: Step 1: Writer intakes information Step 2: Writer analyzes information to formulate conclusion Step 3: Writer develops plan to communicate conclusion The plan is centered around proving the writer’s conclusion which is called the Major Claim (aka Thesis). The Thesis is proven through 3 Supporting Claims (aka Arguments).

  3. First Step of Successful Communication: Developing Logical Claims

  4. Logical Claims Allow the readers to easy follow the argument as it progresses

  5. Claims Without Logic Stop the Reader from going anywhere

  6. The writer’s conclusion might be valid, but the road to get there is broken

  7. These errors in reasoning are called Logical Fallacies

  8. They tend to occur for three major reasons: • False or weak premises • Irrelevance • Ambiguity

  9. The Most Common Fallacies • Ad Hominem • Bandwagon • Begging the Question or Circular Reasoning • Either/Or Reasoning • Weak Analogy • Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc • Hasty Generalization & Proof by Example • Slippery Slope • Dubious or False Authority • Non-Sequitur

  10. Ad Hominem Attacking the character of the arguer rather than the argument

  11. Bandwagon Suggesting that a person should agree to something because it is popular

  12. Begging the Question Using Circular Reasoning to prove a conclusion

  13. Either/Or Reasoning Presenting someone with a limited choice, when other choices are possible.

  14. Weak Analogy Making an improper comparison between two things that share a common feature

  15. Post Hoc Reasoning Arguing that one event caused another when they are unrelated

  16. Hasty Generalization Using a part to make an inaccurate claim about a whole

  17. Romney makes a hasty generalization about people who do not pay income tax. In reality, that 47% includes: • Elderly and People living on Social Security • People making less than $20,000/year • Active Duty Military & Retired Military • People living solely on pension plans • The Wealthy who make their living off of Capital Gains taxes • Young People who are working hourly jobs • College Students

  18. Proof by Example • Purporting a claim as “truth” through the use of minimal examples “A lot of people on welfare are lazy. There is the one woman who comes into H.E.B. with a cell phone, a BMW, and her nails done; yet she buys her food with food stamps.” “Illegal immigrants are damaging this country with crimes. Several men who crossed the border in Nogales last week are known rapists.”

  19. Slippery Slope Suggesting that one event will automatically lead to a chain of other events

  20. False or Dubious Authority Defending a claim with a biased or untrustworthy source

  21. Non Sequitur Stating a conclusion that doesn’t follow from the premises