Partial Claims and Half-Truths Practice

Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Review the lesson for Partial Claims and Half-Truths Help.

Partial Claims and Half-Truths Practice

Here are several incomplete claims and comparisons. Rewrite them so that they're complete.


Incomplete claim: Now with 20% more flavor!

Revised claim: Now with 20% more onion flavor than our old recipe!

1. Incomplete claim:  Energy Batteries last longer!

     Revised claim:

2. Incomplete claim:  New and improved Mildew-Gone is tougher.

    Revised claim:

3. Incomplete claim:  Leather purses for 50% less!

    Revised claim:

Read the following claims carefully. Write C for complete and credible and I for incomplete or incredible.

  1. Recent taste tests prove Rich Chocolate Frosting tastes best.
  2. According to a recent Notre Dame University study, three out of five teenagers surveyed admitted that they play at least eight hours of video games over the average weekend.
  3. A recent survey shows Americans prefer Choco-Bites to regular chocolate chip cookies.

Read the following claims carefully to determine whether the use of the word average is acceptable or problematic. If the word is problematic, explain why.

  1. The average woman lives a happier life than the average man.
  2. The average life span of American women is two years longer than that of Canadian women.
  3. The average bowling score in our league is 220.


Answers will vary. Here are some possible revisions:

  1. Energy Batteries last two hours longer than Forever Last!
  2. New and improved Mildew-Gone is tougher on mildew stains than our old formula.
  3. Leather purses for 50% less than those found in the leather store next door!
  1. I. First of all, the validity of the taste tests should be questioned. Secondly, "tastes best" is a vague phrase.
  2. C. This claim is credible—it's complete and precise. Also because it's a university study of teenagers and games, there's little chance for bias. Furthermore, the claim acknowledges that it's only three out of five teenagers surveyed. That is, they're not trying to suggest that they surveyed everyone or that this number is true of all teenagers.
  3. I. This claim is problematic. First is the vagueness of the statement "a recent survey." Second, vwhat exactly are "regular" chocolate chip cookies?
  4. Very problematic. What is the "average" woman? The "average" man? Furthermore, how do you define "happier"? Happier in what way?
  5. Acceptable.
  6. Problematic. The bowling score in a league can be this high but it may be because several players score close to 300 most of the time, while others are barely breaking 150.
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