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The Nine Greatest Fallacies of Persuasive Writing The Fallacious Nine

1. The Circular Argument:

1. The Circular Argument Simply repeating the main points without supplying reasons. “They need it because they have to have it.”

2. Begging the Question:

2. Begging the Question Phrases such as “it’s clear” signal false logic that essentially ask the question: “Why?” This is making assumptions without support. “Obviously, you made a mistake somewhere.”

3. Faulty Analogy:

3. Faulty Analogy Faulty analogies are silly comparisons that don’t work. They fall apart when examined. “I am so tired of writing essays. I feel like I am in prison in this class!”

4. False Cause Fallacy:

4. False Cause Fallacy This is suggesting that one event causes another simply because it occurred beforehand. There is no evidence to support this idea. I said “what’s up!” and now everybody says it!

5. Either/or Fallacy:

5. Either/or Fallacy Suggesting that only two options exist in dealing with an issue. “Either you support the dress code, or let everyone dress like beggars.”

6. Red Herring:

6. Red Herring Deflecting attention away from the main argument and highlighting an irrelevant point. “Sure, cars are getting better gas mileage, but the glove compartments are too small.”

7. Trick Question:

7. Trick Question Phrasing a question in such a way that no direct answer is desirable. “Do you always have to eat the most junky food you can find?”

8. Name Calling or Labeling:

8. Name Calling or Labeling This is focusing on the personal, rather than the broader issue. People who resort to this cannot express themselves or prove their points. “Well of course he is for a curfew for young people. He’s just a mean old coot!

9. Argument to the People:

9. Argument to the People Appealing to emotional biases while ignoring the issues. “It’s patriotic to keep your lawn mowed.”

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