Fallacies and “Dirty Tricks” Identification

This Critical Thinking assignment is designed to provide you experience analyzing editorials for fallacies or "dirty tricks" used to win an argument.

Reference a daily or Sunday edition of a newspaper, or use the online New York Times, and look for examples of at least 5 fallacies. The editorial section of the paper is a good place to start.

In the essay, explain and document what type of fallacy or "dirty tricks" you find. First, cite the specific editorial or article that you are referencing. Analyze the context, the type of fallacy, and why it is fallacy; use approximately two paragraphs for each of the five examples.

There are more than 44 "dirty tricks" that have labels for misleading or fallacious arguments. The following list of dirty tricks will get you started:

- Accuse him/her of sliding down a slippery slope
- Appeal to authority
- Throw in a red herring
- Throw in some statistics
- Make sweeping, glittering generalizations
- Attack the person (not the argument)
- Appeal to fear
- Use double standards
- Rewrite history
- Demonize their side, sanitize yours
- Ignore the main point
- Attack evidence (that undermines our case)
- Devise analogies (and metaphors) that support your view (even if they are misleading and false)
- Oversimplify the issue
- Raise nothing but objections

Your paper should be 2-3 pages in length, well written, and formatted according APA Style.

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When it comes to critical thinking, fallacies and “dirty tricks” are building blocks of mental trickery and manipulation. Their use has become so popular and wide-spread, that the average reader often is not aware of their presence in some text. In that sense, I would take an example that the New York Times placed on editorial pages. This article is published on 12 November 2013, and the headline is following: Aid for Marseille and editorial board is signed as author.

The first fallacy in this editorial regards sweeping, glittering generalization. This trick is recognized in the very first sentences at the beginning of the article:
”This was supposed to be Marseille’s year to shine. After the European Union named Marseille the European Capital of Culture for 2013, money poured into...

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