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# Argument Help for AP English Language (page 2)

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By McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

There are several other categories of logical fallacies, but these are the most frequently encountered.

During the year, carefully read editorials or ads in the print media. Check to see if you can locate any logical fallacies. It might be beneficial to do this with your class or study group.

The following activities provide you with some practice with induction, deduction, and analogy.

Induction: If induction is the process that moves from a given series of specifics to a generalization, these are the possible problems:

• The generalization covers many unobserved persons, objects, etc.
• If the conclusion begins with ALL, any exception would invalidate the generalization.
• Cited facts are incorrect.
• Assumed connections are incorrect.
• Assumption is a conclusion NOT supported by the evidence.

Practice:

1. Write a conclusion for the following:
1. Television network USBC's drama series won this year's Emmy for Best Dramatic Series.
2. USBC won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series.
3. USBC won the Emmy for Best Talk Show.
4. Therefore, ____________________
5. Are there any possible weaknesses in your conclusion?

2. Carefully read the following and briefly explain the possible error in the conclusion.
1. The 43rd U.S. President is a Yale graduate.
2. The 42nd U.S. President was a Yale Law School graduate.
3. The 41st U.S. President was a Yale graduate.
4. The last seven presidents were college graduates.
5. Therefore, the President of the U.S. must have a college degree.

Deduction: If deduction is the process of moving from a general rule to a specific example (A = B; C = B; Therefore, C = A.), these are the possible problems:

• Not all of the given A falls into the given B category. There are exceptions.
• The given category B is incorrect.
• The second statement is not true or is incorrect. Therefore, the conclusion is invalid.
• The truth of the third statement is in question.

Practice:

1. Carefully read the following. Assume that statements 1 and 2 are true. Briefly state the possible error of the conclusion.
1. Some Japanese cars are made in the United States.
2. Toyota is a Japanese car.
3. Therefore, all Toyotas are made in the United States.
2. Carefully read the following. Assume statements 1 and 2 are true. Briefly state the possible error of the conclusion.
1. No eagles are flamingos.
2. All flamingos are birds.
3. Therefore, no eagles are birds.

Analogy: If analogy is an argument based on similarities, these are the possible problems.

• Accepting the totality of the analogy by never questioning that there are differences between/among the items being compared that could invalidate the argument or conclusion.
• Exaggerating the similarities.

Practice:

1. Briefly identify the analogy in the following:
2. Both the doctor and the teacher must have special knowledge. People select their own doctors; therefore, people should be allowed to pick their own teachers.

3. Briefly explain the mistake in the following:
4. Both 2-year-olds and 10-year-olds have two legs, two eyes, two ears, and two arms. Ten-year olds can read and write. Therefore, 2-year-olds should be able to read and write.

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