C. Munzenmaier Hamilton College Urbandale, IA

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Logical Fallacies

Your final argument paper should be built on solid evidence and careful reasoning. If you say, "Everyone knows that cats make better pets than dogs," your argument won't be convincing. For one thing, it's a hasty generalization. What about dog owners or people who have no pets? For another, statistics on pet ownership contradict this statement. According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 36 percent of U.S. households owned cats in 2007. However, the percentage of households owning dogs was higher (39 percent).

How can knowing about logical fallacies help you?

  • As you research, it can help you identify false or inaccurate statements in your sources. It can also help you sort through conflicting points of view or contradictions.
  • When you're barraged with ads or political speeches, knowledge of it can help you think critically about persuasive messages.
  • As you write, it can help you construct solid, convincing arguments.

Class Materials

Logical Fallacies Jigsaw organizer


Definitions of logical fallacies are available in The KU Handbook for Writers, pp. 63-65 or in "How to Support an Argument and Avoid Logical Fallacies," available from the Kaplan Writing Lab (follow link under your course Home).

Internet Resources

Excellent sites on logical fallacies include

A good source of examples is








Copyright in these materials belongs to C. Munzenmaier © 2007
Teachers are free to reproduce or modify them for educational use. 

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