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SAT Essay Logical Fallacies

Subjects : sat, english, writing-skills
Instructions:
  • Answer 50 questions in 15 minutes.
  • If you are not ready to take this test, you can study here.
  • Match each statement with the correct term.
  • Don't refresh. All questions and answers are randomly picked and ordered every time you load a test.

This is a study tool. The 3 wrong answers for each question are randomly chosen from answers to other questions. So, you might find at times the answers obvious, but you will see it re-enforces your understanding as you take the test each time.
1. Statements that are intentionally vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations






2. Claiming that one step in the wrong direction will lead to another - potentially disastrous consequence






3. Trying to prove one idea with another idea that is too similar to the first idea






4. Obscuring or denying the complexity of an issue






5. Any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue






6. Common knowledge or beliefs readers accept as true






7. Is there a reasonable connection between the cause and the effect? Is that connection explained? Are there other possible causes that have not been considered?






8. Reasoning by Debate: A fallacy that forces listeners to choose between two alternatives when more than two alternatives exist






9. Reasoning by Proof: absence of evidence is not evidence; he didn't say that... so it must be false






10. False transitive property - you assume that just because two things share a characteristic - all of their characteristics are shared: - 'penguins are black and white - old tv shows are black and white - therefore penguins are old tv shows'






11. Appeal based on the credibility of the author






12. Information that is an interpretation of numerical data






13. Information that can be objectively proven as true






14. Everybody knows fallacy. Asserts that some idea is common knowledge - so it must be true.






15. Reasoning by Proof: the evidence offered does not really support the claim. Non Sequitur (It does not follow)






16. Appeal to the the pity - sympathy or 'misery' of the audience






17. Cause and Effect: A fallacy that assumes that because two variables are correlated (happen at the same time) that one must have caused the other






18. Prejudging an individual based on ideas one has about the group the individual belongs to






19. Writer encourages readers to accept a conclusion without any support






20. Information based on personal interpretation of facts






21. 'After this therefore because of this' implying that because on event follows another - the first caused the second






22. Reasoning by Debate: In an argument - this is an attack on the person rather than on the opponent's ideas. It comes from the Latin meaning 'against the man.'






23. Ambiguity or multiplicity of interpretations of a repeated word or phrase






24. Generalization: Assumes that members of a group must have a characteristic because one or more of its members has that characteristic.






25. A fallacy that assumes that taking a first step will lead to subsequent steps that cannot be prevented






26. Reasoning by Debate: When a writer argues against a claim that nobody actually holds or is universally considered weak. Setting up a straw man diverts attention from the real issues.






27. Have all reasonable alternatives been considered/eliminated? Does this author attack the other views in a fair way?






28. How similar or how different are the cases being compared? How many point of comparison is the arguer using?






29. 'it does not follow' drawing a conclusion or making a transition that is not a logical result of the facts






30. Cause and Effect: 'What if' fallacy. Argues that everything would be different if one variable was different. Example: 'If the Nazis had won WWII - we'd all be speaking German!'






31. Stating the only two interpretations of actions are alternatives - ignoring any compromise or moderate course






32. Appeal to reason






33. When a writer uses the same term in two different senses in an argument. i.e. People choose what laws they obey. The Law of Gravity is a law. I choose to disobey the law of gravity.






34. Analogy or comparison that is not logically consistent






35. Generalization: drawing conclusions based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence






36. Fallacy that asserts that given two positions - there exists a compromise between them which must be correct.






37. Generalization: Assumes that an individual must have a characteristic because the group to which he or she belongs supposedly has that characteristic






38. Citing an expert on one subject as expert on another






39. Information gained from personal experience representing a general pattern






40. Reasoning by Proof: A fallacy in which a speaker or writer seeks to persuade not by giving evidence but by appealing to the respect people have for a person or institution.






41. Appeal to the reader's emotions






42. Introducing an irrelevant point to divert readers' attention from the main issue being discussed






43. 'To the authority' appeal based on the authority of a source






44. 'To the people' appeal to the prejudices of the audience - or claiming that (or a majority) supports your opinion






45. Concealing the author's true intent - belief - or attitude towards an issue






46. Condemning an argument because of where it began - how it began - or who began it






47. 'Against the man' attacking the person or group to which you are opposed rather than addressing the issue






48. Logical reasoning that establishes specific facts or contentions leading to a general conclusion






49. Cause and Effect: Assuming that an incident that precedes another is the cause of the second incident






50. Does the evidence prove the point being argued? Is this authority an expert on this particular topic?