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The suggested activities for this week include:
As always, remember to introduce and conclude your lessons with previews and reviews. Use transitions to maintain a connection between daily classroom activities, assignments, and portfolio and course goals.
Teaching fallacies can be tricky. Sometimes students will get scared of slipping into fallacy and fail to make strong enough claims/sub-claims. The point to emphasize about fallacies is that, yes, a multitude of them can seriously affect an argument's strength, however, our goal in identifying fallacies isn't to decimate other people's arguments or scare us out of our own. It is to determine how flaws in logic affects effectiveness and to see how to avoid making them. Few arguments are airtight; fallacies are problematic when they are used to deliberately manipulate an audience or obscure the real issue (this is particularly true of scare tactics or sentimental fallacies).
Design an activity that reviews the fallacies described in the PHG. Follow that up with an activity where students can practice using fallacies. You might have students "sell" a product via a performed "commercial" and using as many logical as they can. As each group performs, have the class identify the fallacies as they come.
You can create a worksheet that matches fallacies to a fallacious passage or statement or read a fallacious argument to call into question an argument's effectiveness and reinforce each fallacy.
For example, Edward Koch's argument ("Death and Justice, page 472 in the PHG), although convincing on the surface, contains a number of logical fallacies:
Once students know how they will organize the body of their argument, spend time helping them develop their introductions and conclusions.
Review the types of strategies for creating introductions (also, see page 314 - 316 in the PHG for additional help with writing lead-ins and introductions):
Introduce strategies for concluding an essay:
2. points to the future of the issue
3. suggests a solution to a problem
4. illustrates what you would like to see happen
1. if your introduction used a quotation, end with a related quotation or
respond to the quotation.
2. if your introduction used a story, extend that story or retell it with a
3. if your introduction asked a question, answer the question, restate the
question, or ask a new question.
4. if your introduction defined a problem, provide a solution to the problem,
restate the problem, or suggest that readers need to move on to a new
The arguments available in the PHG include:
*If you are using two or more of the "Death Penalty" essays, consider also assigning the introduction on page 471. Also, in the questions section following the readings, you can find Internet addresses for other related arguments.
You should have students identify the aspects of argumentation you are discussing (or have discussed) and determine the effectiveness of that strategy in the argument.
Review the day’s activities (3 minutes)
When you or a student does this, take special care to make clear their connection to both Portfolio 2 and larger course goals. Take care to provide some sort of conclusion to each class.