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ad hominen

"to the man" attacking the character of people you disagree with (ethical)

scare tactics

stampede legitimate fears into panic or prejudice (emotional)


reduce options doe actions to only two choices(emotional)

Slippery Slope

today's tiny misstep as tomorrow's slid into disaster (emotional)

Sentimental Appeal

using tender emotions excessively to distract readers from fact (emotional)

Bandwagon Appeal

urging people to follow the same path everyone else is taking (emotional)

Appeals to False Authority

occurs when writers offer themselves or other famous authority they cite as sufficient warrant for believing a claim (ethical)


the truth is self-evident to those who know better (ethical)

Moral Equivalence

suggesting that serious wrong doings don't differ in kind from minor offenses (ethical)

Hasty Generalization

an inference drawn from insufficient evidence (logical)

Faulty Casualty/Post Hoc

assumption that because one event or action follows another the first necessarily causes the second (logical)

Begging the Question

assuming as true the very claim that is disputed (logical)


play on words (logical)

Non Sequitur

claims, reasons, or warrants that fail to connect logically; one point doesn't follow from another (logical)

The Straw Man

attack an argument that isn't really there (logical)

Faulty Analogy

inaccurate or inconsequential comparisons between objects or concepts (logical)


when the last word of a sentence or clause becomes the first word at the beginning of the next sentence or clause


a comparison between two things for the purpose of explanation


repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses


rhetorical contrast of ideas by means of parallel arrangements of words, clauses, or sentence


a turn from the general audience to address a specific group or person


understatement for intensification


substitution of one word for another


use of a part for the whole


an agreeable or non-offensive way to express harsh or unpleasant ideas


an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense but that may yet have some truth in it


a repetition of the same sound beginning several words in a sequence


a brief reference to a person, event, or place, or work of art


similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases or clauses

Rhetorical Question

a question asked merely for effect


comparison using like or as

Extended Metaphor

comparison without using like or as that continues through out a series of sentences in a paragraph

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