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






2. Information based on personal interpretation of facts






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






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






5. Obscuring or denying the complexity of an issue






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






7. How large is the sample size? How representative is the sample?






8. 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.






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






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






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






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






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






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






15. 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.






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






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






18. Appeal based on the credibility of the author






19. 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!'






20. 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.






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






22. Common knowledge or beliefs readers accept as true






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






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






25. 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.






26. Information that can be objectively proven as true






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






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






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






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






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






32. 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






33. 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.'






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






35. 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?






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






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






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






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






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






41. 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'






42. Information that is an interpretation of numerical data






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






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






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






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






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






48. Appeal to the reader's emotions






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






50. Appeal to reason