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ad hominem fallacy

fallacy of logic in which a person's character or motive is attacked instead of that person's argument


a repetition of introductory words or phrases for effect.


a short, entertaining story of some happening, usually personal.


opposition or contrast emphasized by parallel structure.


questioning oneself (or rhetorically asking the audience), often pretending to be in doubt.


a sudden turn from the general audience to address a specific group or person, either absent or present, real or imagined.

appeal to authority

fallacy in which a citation of information is solicited from someone with special knowledge on a subject for the purpose of strengthening an argument. It weakens the argument if it is the sole point of the argument.


the absence of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.

begging the question

fallacy of logical argument that assumes as true the very thing one is trying to prove.

damning with false praise

intentional use of a positive statement that has a negative impact.


a form of reasoning that begins with a generalization, and then applies the generalization to a specific case or cases.


a temporary departure from the main subject in speaking or writing.


the use of a word or phrase that is less direct, but that is also less distasteful or less offensive than another.

false dilemma

a fallacy of logical argument which is committed when too few of the available alternatives are considered, and all but one is assessed and deemed impossible or unacceptable.


- a form of reasoning which works from a body of facts to a general conclusion frequently used as the principal form of reasoning for history and science.


- a contrast between what appears to be and what really is. Verbal irony, situation irony, and dramatic irony are also related.


a reference to an object or person by naming only a part of the object or person.


a fallacy that occurs when one statement does not logically follow from what has preceded.


a figure of speech in which contradictory terms and ideas are combined.


a short story from which a lesson may be drawn.


a statement which seems self-contradictory, but which may be true in fact.


pretending to omit something by drawing attention to it.


repetition of a key word over successive phrases or clauses.

rhetorical question

a question asked for effect to emphasize a point; no answer is expected.


use of ridicule, sarcasm, and irony, usually used to expose vices, or abuses.


a form of reasoning in which two statements, a major premise and a minor premise, have a logical conclusion which follows from them. It is associated with deductive reasoning.


a part or quality of something which is used in substitution of the larger whole, or vice versa.


the division of an idea into three harmonious parts, usually of increasing power.


deliberately representing something as much less than it really is.

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