Logical fallacies are errors of reasoning—specific ways in which arguments fall apart due to faulty connection making.
While logical fallacies may be used intentionally in certain forms of persuasive writing (e.g., in political speeches aimed at misleading an audience), fallacies tend to undermine the credibility of objective scholarly writing.
Knowledge of how successful arguments are structured, then—as well as of the different ways they may fall apart—is a useful tool for both academic reading and writing.
If you are writing an annotated bibliography or literature review, for instance, being able to recognize logical flaws in others‘ arguments may enable you to critique the validity of claims, research results, or even theories in a particular text.
Further, there are at least four arguments against using fallacies as a framework for teaching critical thinking.
Empirical research is needed to determine what kinds of mistakes in reasoning occur most commonly in arguments and what effect teaching the fallacies has on critical thinking dispositions and skills.For the most part, the claims you will be making in academic writing will be claims of fact.Therefore, examples presented below will highlight fallacies in this type of claim.In turn, material fallacies may be placed into the more general category of informal fallacies, while formal fallacies may be clearly placed into the more precise category of logical (deductive) fallacies.Yet, verbal fallacies may be placed into either informal or deductive classifications; compare equivocation which is a word or phrase based ambiguity (e.g., "he is mad", which may refer to either him being angry or clinically insane) to the fallacy of composition which is premise and inference based ambiguity (e.g., "this must be a good basketball team because each of its members is an outstanding player").Being attentive to logical fallacies in others‘ writings will make you a more effective "critic" and writer of literature review assignments, annotated bibliographies and article critiques.Being attentive to fallacies in your own writing will help you build more compelling arguments, whether putting together a dissertation prospectus or simply writing a short discussion post on the applications of a particular theory.Because of their variety of structure and application, fallacies are challenging to classify so as to satisfy all practitioners.Fallacies can be classified strictly by either their structure or content, such as classifying them as formal fallacies or informal fallacies, respectively.Along the same lines, if you are putting together your own argumentative paper (KAM, dissertation proposal, prospectus, etc.), understanding argument structure and fallacies will help you avoid errors of reasoning in your own work. All three types of claims occur in scholarly writing although claims of fact are probably the most common type you will encounter in research writing.Claims of fact are assertions about the existence (past, present, or future) of a particular condition or phenomenon: regarding carbon emissions needs to be changed.