Rhetorical Devices and Logical Fallacies


ELAR-Grade-6 Author's Craft Rhetorical Devices and Logical Fallacies
Students learn what rhetorical devices are and study several examples. Then, they are introduced to logical fallacies and contrast them to rhetorical devices. Finally, they write their own advertisements that include some of these techniques.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn what rhetorical devices are and study several examples. Then, they are introduced to logical fallacies and contrast them to rhetorical devices. Finally, they write their own advertisements that include some of these techniques.

Objectives

  • Identify rhetorical devices and logical fallacies.
  • Explain the uses of rhetorical devices and logical fallacies.

Duration

One to two class periods.


A rhetorical device uses words to convey a meaning or to persuade someone to think in a certain way. Logical fallacies are errors in people’s reasoning that can affect how someone thinks or feels about something. Both methods are often used by a person who is trying to persuade someone else to do something or think in a certain way. There are many types of rhetorical devices and logical fallacies, and in this experience you will learn about some of them.  

Objectives

  • Identify rhetorical devices and logical fallacies.
  • Explain the uses of rhetorical devices and logical fallacies.


cartoon of flying pigs with wings

This picture illustrates a well-known phrase. What is the phrase? If you don’t know, use your imagination and make up a phrase.

Post your answer

When students have posted their responses, clarify that the phrase is, “When pigs fly.”


“When pigs fly” is an example of a hyperbole, which is a type of rhetorical device. When someone uses this phrase, they are essentially saying that something will never happen:

“When will you be ready to walk up the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building?”

“When pigs fly!”

One example of a logical fallacy is a hasty generalization. This means that you come to a conclusion about something before you have enough evidence to support your ideas, or perhaps even without any evidence! For example, you may go to a class on the first day of school and say to your friend, “Even though this is the first day of French class, I already know it’s going to be really boring.”


Think of a time that you have made a hasty generalization. What was it? Write a sentence that tells about the generalization. 

Post your answer

Discuss whether the students’ generalizations turned out to be true or if they changed their minds once they had more information about the particular topic. Point out that usually when we have more information, we can make a better judgment about things. 


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