Logical Fallacies

The basis of arguing or debating effectively is using objective evidence to justify opinions, rather than relying on assertions that are based on logical fallacies. Understanding what a logical fallacy is can be an epoch-making event for many students, and identifying them in everyday conversations, the sales pitches of advertising campaigns, and the rhetoric of politicians’ speeches is an immensely empowering skill.

We have, arguably, never before lived in a time when logical fallacies are so prevalent. Entire political campaigns are built on them, in all countries of the world: see Brexit and the election of Donald Trump for two popular examples of campaigns from which you can find – literally – hundreds of logical fallacies. 

Read this article – then listen to a speech and enjoy picking apart all the logical fallacies you find inside:

Paper 1 Text Type Focus: Speeches

“I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare invade the borders of my realms; to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtue in the field.”

Queen Elizabeth I of England, at Tilbury, 1588

At the end of your course you will be asked to analyze unseen texts (1 at Standard Level and 2 at Higher Level) in an examination. You will be given a guiding question that will focus your attention on formal or stylistic elements of the text(s), and help you decode the text(s)’ purpose(s). Below is an archive of ten Speeches. Choose three or four to work with, compare and contrast them, and note down the various tropes of this text type. Add the texts to your Learner Portfolio; you will want to revise text types thoroughly before your Paper 1 exam:


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