Can you guide me how to incorporate and  to identify fallacies, or how to refute other essays in my own essay?My essay is about child obesity in USA and having trouble citing fallacies and...

Can you guide me how to incorporate and  to identify fallacies, or how to refute other essays in my own essay?

My essay is about child obesity in USA and having trouble citing fallacies and refuting other arguments.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In order to refute other essays in your own essay, you must look for (as you research) essays which propose ideas that are, in reality, untrue.  Often, an author uses an opinion but presents it as a fact, often through scholarly language and academic tone.  Other ways to refute arguments in your essay is to look for information that is presented by means of false logic, or fallacies.  In order to do this, you must be aware of common logical fallacies.

The following list is not exhaustive, but certainly is a good place to start when analyzing other essays and looking for refutable points:

  • generalizations (hasty or sweeping): essentially, this is when an author makes an assumption about all of something, based on a sampling of just a few of that something.
  • Non Sequitur: making the assumption (incorrectly) that one thing causes another; often based on an assumption that is merely an opinion in the first place.
  • deductive fallacy: this term is typically applied as an almost "catch all" to say that the structure of the argument's presentation renders the argument invalid.  However, it is also used and applied to any general or informal fallacy in an argument.

Depending on what your paper is trying to sayabout childhood obesity, a final approach to refuting others in your essay is to simply look for direct contradictions to what you are saying or using as proof in your argument.  You can frame these kinds of examples with, "According to [example researched essay], childhood obesity is (__________), but this simply is not true."  Then, go on to prove why it isn't true with facts from your own research.

The link below is a much more extensive list of common types of fallacies in arguments and also contains examples, which are helpful.  Hopefully it will help you as you attempt to prove your argument and disprove some of the counter-points made against your argument.  Good luck.

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