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Types of logical fallacies

The following are some of the most common errors in reasoning.


1 Ad Hominem: This happens when you attack the character of a person instead of his argument.

Example: Professor X does not deserve to be the head of this organization because he is separated
from his wife.
How to avoid: When you give your rebuttal, focus on the arguments of the person, not on his/her
character or values.
1 Circular Argument: This happens when the idea of a stated argument is repeated.

Example: My mother is a good teacher because she teaches me well.


How to avoid: Do not repeat the argument; instead, prove it.
1 False Analogy: This happens when two things, which might be alike in some respects, are compared
and assumed to be similar in other ways.

Example: President Aquino is the Socrates of the 21st century.


How to avoid: Look at the characteristics, features, or components of two people or objects closely
to see whether they can really be compared or not.
1 False Authority: This happens when a statement of someone who is not an expert in the field in
question is being used in an argument.

Example: I avoid drinking coffee at night because of the advice of my English teacher.
How to avoid: Check properly the qualifications of the person being cited.
False Cause and Effect: This happens when the connection between two consecutive events are not
clear.

Example: Because I attended a party, I got a high grade in my persuasive speech.


How to avoid: Clarify the connections between the events by explaining both backgrounds clearly.
1 Hasty Generalization: This happens when a conclusion is drawn from insufficient evidence.

Example: The senator stuttered while giving his speech, therefore government officials are not good
in public speaking.
How to avoid: Provide enough pieces of evidence before making any conclusions.
1 Red Herring: This happens when the answer does not address the question.

Example: Question: Should the President sign Cyberbullying bill into law?
Answer: The President has other priorities.
How to avoid: Do not avoid opposing arguments. Instead, address them properly.
4. How to use emotional appeal
a. Internalize what you are saying.
The audience will be more convinced of your message if you also show conviction in what you are
saying.
For example: If you use emotionally charged words, but you deliver it in a monotonous voice, the
audience will not see the sincerity of your message. Instead, make sure to observe your non-verbal
cues and to ensure that you believe in what you are saying.
b. Use emotion appropriately.
Although a well-executed emotional appeal can be used as a strong weapon in persuasive speech, take
note to use it only when appropriate to the message. Use it as an accessory only; make sure not to
replace evidence and reasoning with pure emotion.
For example: If you are making a speech on a question of fact, there is little need to use emotional appeal to
your audience since you are dealing with facts and information. However, if you are making a persuasive
speech to change a certain policy, you can add emotional appeal to your speech to capture not only the minds
but also the hearts of your audience.