A simple chart of these fallacies appears in the handout section at the end of this module. You can share it with students to improve their understanding of fallacies.




Ad hominem

attacks the person rather than the issue.

What do you know about politics? You aren't old enough to vote.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

creates a faulty cause.

I ate a turkey sandwich before the test today, and I got an A! I'm going to eat a turkey sandwich before every test.

Hasty generalization

comes to an unfounded conclusion based on too few examples.

The Bizani culture was highly literate. Many texts were found in the six homes discovered.

Red herring

diverts the audience's attention with something unrelated.

Of course you should take your students to the library. After all, we are in a budget crunch, and no one wants our salaries affected.

Slippery slope

suggests that one event inevitably follows another, and another, and another.

If we allow the students to write their papers on computers, they'll start copying pieces from articles online, and next thing you know, they won't be writing their own papers at all!

Poisoning the well

tarnishes someone's reputation based on an unrelated matter.

This judge's recent decisions should be overturned. Have you heard that his son was in a fight at school?

Appeal to ignorance

makes the assumption that something does not exist or cannot be true due to lack of evidence.

UFOs do not exist because I've never seen one.

Bandwagon appeal

encourages participation because "everyone else is doing it."

You have to join this club. Every other student in the anthropology class has already joined.