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AP Argument Terms and Fallacies
Terms in this set (37)
Latin for "to the man," this fallacy refers to the specific diversionary tactic of switching the argument from the issue at hand to the character of the other speaker. If you argue that a park in your community should not be renovated because the person supporting it was arrested during a domestic dispute, then you are guilty of this.
ad populum (bandwagon appeal)
This fallacy occurs when evidence boils down to "everybody's doing it, so it must be a good thing to do."
appeal to false authority
This fallacy occurs when someone who has no expertise to speak on an issue is cited as an authority. A TV star, for instance, is not a medical expert, even though pharmaceutical advertisements often use celebrity endorsements.
A process of reasoned inquiry; a persuasive discourse resulting in a coherent and considered movement from a claim to a conclusion.
In the Toulmin model, this expresses the assumption necessarily shared by the speaker and the audience.
In the Toulmin model, this consists of further assurances or data without which the assumption lacks authority.
begging the question
A fallacy in which a claim is based on evidence or support that is in doubt. It leads one to question whether the support is sound.
A fallacy in which the writer repeats the claim as a way to provide evidence.
Also called an assertion or a proposition, this states the argument's main idea or position. This differs from a topic or subject in that this has to be arguable.
claim of fact
This asserts that something is true or not true.
claim of policy
This proposes a change.
claim of value
This argues that something is good or bad, right or wrong.
Five part argument structure used by classical rhetoricians. Consists of exordium, narratio, confirmatio, refutatio, and peroratio.
In classical oration, introduces the reader to the subject under discussion.
In classical oration, provides factual information and background material on the subject at hand or establishes why the subject is a problem that needs addressing.
In classical oration, usually the major part of the text, this includes the proof needed to make the writer's case.
In classical oration, addresses the counterargument. It is a bridge between the writer's proof and conclusion.
In classical oration, brings the text to a satisfying close.
This is a statement of the main idea of the argument that also previews the major points the writer intends to make.
A logical process whereby one reaches a conclusion by starting with a general principle or universal truth (a major premise) and applying it to a specific case (a minor premise). This process is usually demonstrated in the form of a syllogism.
either/or (false dilemma)
A fallacy in which the speaker presents two extreme options as the only possible choices.
A fallacy that occurs when an analogy compares two things that are not comparable.
Evidence based on something the writer knows, whether it's from personal experience, observations, or general knowledge of events.
A fallacy in which a faulty conclusion is reached because of inadequate evidence.
From the Latin inducere, "to lead into"; a logical process whereby the writer reasons from particulars to universals, using specific cases in order to draw a conclusion, which is also called a generalization.
This is a potential vulnerability or weakness in an argument. It often arises from a failure to make a logical connection between the claim and the evidence used to support it.
A thesis that does not list all the points the writer intends to cover in an essay.
post hoc ergo propter hoc
This fallacy is Latin for "after which therefore because of which," meaning that it is incorrect to always claim that something is a cause just because it happened earlier. One may loosely summarize this fallacy by saying that correlation does not imply causation.
In the Toulmin model, this uses words like usually, probably, maybe, in most cases, and most likely to temper the claim, making it less absolute.
This includes things that can be measured, cited, counted, or otherwise represented in numbers.
In the Toulmin model, this gives voice to possible objections.
In the Toulmin model, this explains the terms and conditions necessitated by the qualifier.
Developed by a psychiatrist, these arguments are based on the assumption that having a full understanding of an opposing position is essential to responding to it persuasively and refuting it in a way that is accommodating rather than alienating.
Evidence that is accessed through research, reading, and investigation. It includes factual and historical information, expert opinion, and quantitative data.
A fallacy that occurs when a speaker chooses a deliberately poor or oversimplified example in order to ridicule and refute an idea.
A logical structure that uses the major premise and minor premise to reach a necessary conclusion.
An approach to analyzing and constructing arguments created by a British philosopher in his book The Uses of Argument.
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