PHL 320 Week 3 Rhetorical Strategies and Fallacies Worksheet


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Rhetorical Strategies and Fallacies Worksheet

The following are some common rhetorical strategies:

• Innuendo: a leading suggestion
• Stereotype: generalized statements relating to a group of people
• Loaded questions: questions based on unjustified assumptions
• Hyperbole: an extreme exaggeration

Identify the rhetorical strategy in each of the following statements.

1. I did not say the meat was tough. I said I did not see the horse that is usually outside (W. C. Fields). _________________

2. Have you stopped beating your wife? _____________

3. The Maserati is the best car in the world! _________________

4. All men love football; all women love the ballet. ______________

The following are some common rhetorical fallacies:

• Slippery slope: If A happens, then B–Z will follow. Therefore, to prevent B–Z from happening, do not allow A to occur.
• Hasty generalization: rushing to form a conclusion based on assumptions; not based on clear evidence
• Post hoc ergo propter hoc: If A occurs after B, then B caused A.
• Either/or: looking at a situation from only two sides, or oversimplifying the situation
• Ad hominem: attacking the person rather than attacking the argument
• Red herring or smoke screen: introducing an unrelated topic as a diversionary tactic

Identify the rhetorical fallacy in each of the following statements.

1. We can either stop using plastic, or destroy the Earth ______________

2. I ate tuna for lunch and now I do not feel well, so the tuna made me ill. ___________

3. If you enjoy a social drink, it could lead to you becoming an alcoholic, so you probably should never drink. __________

4. Even though this is the first week of class, I can tell this is going to be a very easy course. ______________

5. We know that smoking can affect your health, but how else will tobacco farmers earn a living? ______________

6. As the candidate for mayor, he has some good ideas, but we know that all politicians are dishonest.___________

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