Return to SPCH 235 Page


Name:                          ____________________________      


Working with Fallacies


1.  Search the local newspapers and identify one example for any four of the fallacies listed below.  Find clear fallacies in statements made by people.  Attach copies of your examples stapled or glued to other sheets of paper.  For each example, identify where the fallacy lies in the article by underlining the fallacious statement.  Articles not labeled and fallacious statements not underlined will be graded as incorrect answers.

                Choose any six and identify the article headline in which the fallacy is found.


                1.  ad hominem:___________________________________________________________________


                2.  post hoc:_____________________________________________________________________


                3.  ad verecundiam:_______________________________________________________________


                4.  tu quoque:___________________________________________________________________


                5.  petitio principii:______________________________________________________________


                6.  hasty generalization:____________________________________________________________


                7.  loaded language:_____________________________________________________________


2.  Identify the primary fallacies in each of the following examples:




"One out of every 500 persons alive today is possessed by the devil, says a respected senior cleric of the Church of England.  "Possession once was almost wiped out in the Christian countries but now it's very much with us again," declared the Very Rev. Philip Pare, exorcist for the Oxford diocese for 10 years . . . ."  ("Demons . . ." 2)

                 (Reasoning hint:  the extent of possession is deemed incontrovertible because of the unprovable opinion.)


Fallacy Label_______________________________________________________________________


"Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough." (Lebowitz 34)


Fallacy Label_______________________________________________________________________


"I do it because I do it, because that's what I do."  (M. Gardner 304)


Fallacy Label_______________________________________________________________________


Sign at McDonald's::  "McDonald's‑‑billions and billions served."  (Reasoning hint:  they argue that their hamburgers must be very good.)


Fallacy Label_______________________________________________________________________