One way to learn and retain the informal logical fallacies is to take a long and difficult exam, but let’s do someting different. I am a firm believer that we learn by doing, so for this discussion forum, I want you to make fallacies. Yes, you read it right; I want to read your best (or worst?) fallacious reasoning.
Part I: Essay Post (100 points)
- Choose a current issue in the news right now or a current issue in your major, and compose a brief argumentative essay (no more than 600 words) in which you make as many informal fallacies as you can. Do not use gay marriage or abortion, and please do not use the issue you covered for your Tompkins’ style essay. A minimum of 5 fallacies are required, though the more you make, the better you may do on this assignment. Do not identify the fallacies, as your peers will be doing that in Part II.
To recap, this essay asks you to engage with an issue in the wrong way, to not use effective critical reasoning with regards to your subject, but to use critical reasoning with regards to illustrating that you fully comprehend a minimum of five fallacies. The goal is to think deeply about the fallacies as you study and apply them, then to never use them again! Actually, you will want to recognize and avoid them. Have fun, but make sure you are making the specific informal fallacies in the previous slide presentation. Here is a handout with them:
- Fallacies outside the ones in the slides and the above handout will not be accepted.
- Essay post must be in correct MLA format with a Works Cited page. At least two sources are required, though some of you may use more–just don’t overdo it, as the focus should be on demonstrating that you understand the fallacies. (I am hoping I see a few Appeals to False Authority…)
- Place your word count at the end of the paper in parenthesis.
- You must post before you can see anyone else’s post.