Writing Tip- Avoid Fallacies in Logic

There are more than two dozen fallacies in logic. As a writer, you should become aware that your reader may have critical thinking skills that will easily see any fallacy (or mistake in reasoning) in your logic arguments.

Fallacies in Logic Resources:

Some highly manipulative writers who have a very strong grasp of most of the major fallacies in logic exploit these to coerce their reader into believing one way of thinking. Example: Candidate X is so popular right now, he’s or she’s the best Presidential candidate for 2008. (bandwagon fallacy, that assumes you’ll support this candidate because he or she is the most popular rather than the best choice for the job).

I’m not certain that all fallacies in logic are ‘bad’, but a good student of logic should become very aware to identify when you’re either identifying a fallacy in logic that someone else wrote or you’re writing a bad reasoning fallacy in logic yourself without conscious awareness. Make sense?



This is just my opinion…

One of the reasons writers are able to get away with fallacies in logic, is many readers make their decesions based more upon emotion then they do on logical thinking.

Many times this is not obvious because we can make emotionally based decesions, and then logically justify the decesion afterwards.

Thanks for the blog Chris!

Comment provided May 21, 2007 at 9:53 AM



Here is my favorite “logic fallacy”

Joe is an American Indian.

American Indians are rapidly disappearing.

Therefore Joe is rapidly disappearing.

From day one of watching TV, I’ve taught my sons to be good skeptical consumers and question and look for the fallacies in commercials – they are everywhere!

Comment provided May 21, 2007 at 11:02 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

My favorite logic fallacy is when someone starts giving me statistics to prove a point which have nothing to do with the question and are relatively meaningless. The one I think is funny is the statistics that the average person has one boob. Statistically correct, but about the most worthless information in the universe.

Still, like Joe says the reason people use such rhetoric and fallacies in logic in debate or in online forums is because of the average intelligence of the readers, in other words as bad as some of these fallacies in logic are, they often work and that is the scary thought.

Comment provided May 21, 2007 at 5:45 PM



As I am sure you are aware Lance, 38.9 % of all statistics are made up on the spot..

Comment provided May 21, 2007 at 10:18 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Unless you are in Los Angeles and the number is 58.362% by volume. I guess you can believe less than half of what you hear?

Comment provided May 21, 2007 at 11:00 PM


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