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Narrow the original topic until it is vivid and small enough to handle in your allotted space.
Make an assertion or express a viewpoint about this narrowed topic.
Simple Equations for a Thesis Statement Specific topic + Attitude/Angle/Argument = Thesis What you plan to argue + How you plan to argue it = Thesis
Strong vs Weak Theses Example 1 Hip hop is the best thing that has happened to music in twenty years. Though many people dismiss hip hop as offensive, hip hop music offers urban youth an important opportunity for artistic expression.
Logical Fallacies An error in reasoning Differs from a factual error (being wrong about the facts) An "argument" in which the premises given for the conclusion do not provide the needed degree of support
Kinds of Logical Fallacies 1) hasty generalization 2) red herring 3) slippery slope 4) one-after-the-other/cause and effect 5) tradition 6) endorsement 7) disconnected and circular 8) either...or 9) sentimentality/motherhood 10) character attacks 11) bandwagon
Hasty Generalization Generally an error in inductive generalizing Base a conclusion or claim on too few examples or oversimplified evidence Ex. Bucket of marbles.
Red Herring Irrelevant topic presented to divert attention from original issue (often an appeal to pathos) Changing topic rather than reasoning Example: Of course Native people were promised certain lands and payments, but wouldn’t they like to stand on their own feet?
Some event (usually dire) inevitably follows from another event without explanation of how or why
Event X has occurred
Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.
You can never give anyone a break. If you do, they’ll walk all over you.
We have to stop the tuition increase! Next thing you know, they’ll be charging $40,000 a semester.
One-After-The-Other Faulty Cause And Effect Claiming one thing causes another when the only relationship between the two things is that one preceded the other. Example: The family has deteriorated in the past 20 years—since feminism became strong. That proves how harmful feminism has been to America.
Tradition “ It’s always been done this way...” “ My parents taught me to think...” Cop-out Standing behind tradition instead of providing an argument Example: Men should always pay for dates because men have always paid for dates.
Endorsement Statement is seen as correct because the person saying it is seen to have some sort of authority. Common in advertising. Source A says that p. Source A is authoritative. Therefore, p is true.
Unclear or unproven connection between “A” and “B.”
Premises and conclusions are the same
We couldn’t believe our neighbour was a cigarette smuggler: he was always friendly, hard-working, and punctual.
The soap opera is great because it is so exciting.
Either...Or Fallacy that suggests there are only two possibilities Presents issues in black and white (no grey area) We should either marry or break up. Either we enact the president’s plan or the economy will not recover.
It is obvious to anyone thinking logically that minimum wage should be increased. The current minimum wage is an insult and is unfair to the people who receive it. The fact that the last proposed minimum wage increase was denied is proof that the government of this state is crooked and corrupt. The only way for them to prove otherwise is to raise minimum wage immediately.
The purpose of minimum wage is to ensure that workers can provide basic amenities to themselves and their families. A report in the Journal of Economic Studies indicated that workers cannot live above the poverty line when minimum wage is not proportionate with the cost of living. It is beneficial to society and individuals for a minimum wage to match living costs.
Unfortunately, our state's minimum wage no longer reflects an increasing cost of living. When the minimum wage was last set at $5.85, the yearly salary of $12,168 guaranteed by this wage was already below the poverty line. Years later, after inflation has consistently raised the cost of living, workers earning minimum wage must struggle to support a family, often taking 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. 35% of our state's poor population is made up of people with full time minimum wage jobs.
In order to remedy this problem and support the workers of this state, minimum wage must be increased. A modest increase could help alleviate the burden placed on the many residents who work too hard for too little just to make ends meet.