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SAT Essay Logical Fallacies

Subjects : sat, english, writing-skills
  • Answer 50 questions in 15 minutes.
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  • Match each statement with the correct term.
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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. Information the writer asserts as being the result of an event

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

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

4. Common knowledge or beliefs readers accept as true

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

6. Information that can be objectively proven as true

7. Information that is an interpretation of numerical data

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

9. 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.

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

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

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

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

14. Analogy or comparison that is not logically consistent

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

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

17. Appeal to the reader's emotions

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

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

20. Information gained from personal experience representing a general pattern

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

22. 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.

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

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

25. Information based on personal interpretation of facts

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

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

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

29. Appeal based on the credibility of the author

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

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

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

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

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

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. Appeal to reason

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

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

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

42. 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.

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

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

45. Obscuring or denying the complexity of an issue

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

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

48. 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.'

49. 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?

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