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ERIC Number: ED465978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using Letters-to-the-Editor To Uncover Logical Fallacies.
Hayward, Pamela A.
When covering persuasion in the basic speech communication course, many textbooks include information on how students can detect logical fallacies in the persuasive attempts of others. It is important to provide students with a hands-on experience that will help them apply their knowledge of logical fallacies so that they can retain and better use this information. Attempts to persuade others occur consistently in the mass media. For example, in the editorial sections of newspapers, readers are not only writing to voice their opinions but also so that others may be persuaded to agree as well. Often the positions are argued illogically in the letters-to-the-editor but appear convincing to unaware readers because the writers display sincerity and passion in their writing. Letters-to-the-editor and editorials have been used successfully in analytic writing activities. This paper outlines two letters-to-the-editor activities an instructor can use to increase students' awareness of the use of logical fallacies. The paper first describes an in-class analysis activity which would follow the students' introduction to persuasive strategies, in which the instructor provides them with letters that contain logical fallacies. It then suggests a more difficult take-home exam or out-of-class assignment in which students can be asked to hunt down their own letters for analysis. (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A