Goals
• Practice identifying logical fallacy in arguments
Assignment for Day 39

Reading - Read sample Arguing Essay (handout) [YOU MIGHT ASK A LECTURER FOR A COPY OF A USEFUL ARGUING SAMPLE FROM A PREVIOUS SEMESTER.];

Writing - Begin drafting your Arguing Essay; Make an outline of the sample essay, making sure you make note of the writer's claim, reasons, use (and refutation) of opposing reasons, appeals, and evidence. ASK STUDENTS TO BRING THEIR ARGUMENATIVE BRIEFS (AND ANY DRAFT THEY HAVE SO FAR) BACK WITH THEM NEXT CLASS.

RETURN ARGUMENTATIVE BRIEFS.

Activities:

Group Activity: Logical Fallacies - You might preface this activity by asking your students what a logical fallacy is. Tell them that the purpose of this activity isn't to get them to learn the proper Latin names for the fallacies. (Whether or not they can identify PARTICULAR fallacies is rather inconsequential.) Rather, you want them to be able to tell GENERALLY when something is not quite right in their own and others' reasoning. Having said this, ask your students to form six groups. Give each group an OH transparency, a pen, and copies of a handout which includes examples of fallacious arguments that you have devised (See Appendix 30 for some ideas). Then assign each group a logical fallacy to work on. I always use the following six fallacies, because I consider them to be the most common, but you could choose ones that you think would be more useful for your students to consider: Faulty Cause and Effect (Post Hoc ergo Procter Hoc), Ad Hominem Fallacy, Begging the Question, Faulty Comparison or Analogy, Hasty Generalization, Either/Or Fallacy (False Dilemma). [Remember that for each fallacy you assign, there needs to be an example on the example sheet you give to the groups.] Finally, get them started by putting the following instructions on the OH:

• A definition (in your group's own words) of the logical fallacy you've been assigned to work with.
• An example of the fallacy, from the handout I've given you.
• A second example of the fallacy, written by your group. Take about 10-15 minutes to do this.

[Remind students that they can refer to the information in PHGthat they read for today if they need to.

SEE APPENDIX 31 FOR EXAMPLES OF OH TRASPARENCIES FROM PAST SEMESTERS--FOR YOUR OWN INTEREST.

Group Reports and Discussion - When all of the groups are finished writing up their OH, have them "teach" their fallacies to the class one by one. As they present their information, you can guide the discussion by asking the class how the writer of this argument could have avoided making this fallacy. Oftentimes, fallacies are just a matter of sloppy wording. How might the wording be changed in a way that would make the reasoning more logically sound? [Perhaps emphasize the importance of qualification.] This discussion should conclude with students having an understanding of the general (and easily avoidable) causes of logical fallacy: tendency to overgeneralize, failure to prove connections between ideas, failure to make necessary distinctions and point out alternatives, and tendency to assume the very thing that needs to be proven.

If you find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands, you might put students back in a circle and ask them to continue the Devil's Advocate workshop they did before break, this time examining each other's reasoning for possible logical fallacies.

Hand out sample student Arguing Essay, and explain assignment for next class.