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






2. Two comparable issues or ideas are judged by different criteria






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






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






5. Information that is an interpretation of numerical data






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






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






8. Analogy or comparison that is not logically consistent






9. 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?






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






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






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






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






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






15. Information gained from personal experience representing a general pattern






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






17. Common knowledge or beliefs readers accept as true






18. Appeal to the reader's emotions






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






20. Information the writer asserts as being the result of an event






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






22. 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'






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






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






25. Information that can be objectively proven as true






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






27. Appeal to reason






28. 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.






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






30. Reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case






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






32. Drawing conclusions based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence; using all instances when only some apply






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






34. 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!'






35. Reasoning by Proof: an argument that because someone worked hard at something - their conclusions must be right






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






37. 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






38. 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.






39. Obscuring or denying the complexity of an issue






40. Statements that are intentionally vague so that the audience may supply its own interpretations






41. 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.'






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






43. Generalization: an argument that ignores all unfavorable evidence






44. Cause and Effect: claim than an event with more than one cause has only one cause






45. 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.






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






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






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






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






50. The use by a speaker of coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has a different (and negative) meaning for a targeted subgroup of the audience.