Helpful Resources for Chapter 5:
A Guide to Skeptical Reading and Logical Writing
The importance of making rational arguments and three major tools for making
such arguments: clear definitions, deduction, and induction
pp. 178 -180 Inductive arguments
Examples of inductive arguments
Note that inductive arguments rarely yield absolute proof. For example, Europeans used to say that there was no such thing as a black swan because they had seen thousands of swans for centuries, and none of theose swans had been black.
However, it turned out their were black swans--they just hadn't seen them. Similarly, even though we have never seen two snowflakes that are identical, we cannot definitively say that no two snowflakes are identical.
We can only say that it is extremely unlikely that two
there are two identical snowflakes. li>
- 3 minute video tutorial on inductive arguments
pp. 181-183 (Nonobjective
For a good list of what not to do, look at
humorous article "How to Argue Effectively." Note that to show that you are not making things up, you should cite your sources. You should also forget,
rather than memorize, Dave's list of meaningless words and phrases. The next to the last paragraph is a funny example of using ad hominem attacks.
Inferring causation from correlation This short article does a good job of
explaining the value of control groups.
- Dilbert weighs in on correlation versus causation by having the boss
make the "causation implies correlation" mistake
Clever referee memes that
illustrate common errors that you will want to avoid.
Making any of the first four errors will probably result in your paper's grade being penalized.
(from Dr. Jessica Hartnett)