When writing essays, you usually have to make a strong case for your chosen topic or subject. From the introduction to conclusion, your essay should be consistent and coherent, as much as possible, should also be well organised. You can create a strong case by including strong arguments in your essay.
You case, however, could be substantially weakened by certain phrases or statements. No matter how consistent or coherent your arguments are, these statements could heavily undermine them. The best tip for writing an essay without those undermining statements is to personally know them.
Those undermining statements are called fallacies – they might sound strong and might boost your arguments, but in reality they are hollow statements that are not only weak but also contagious. Here are two fallacies that are commonly used.
One of these fallacies is sweeping generalisation. This fallacy entails making certain assumptions on a general case while disregarding special cases. The pitfall of this fallacy lies on that not because one statement or attribute applies to many, it should be also applied to a particular case. Take the example below.
“US citizens speak English. Ms. Lee is a US citizen. Therefore, Ms. Lee speaks English.”
While it is true that US citizens speak English as their main tongue, it may be wrong to apply the case to Ms. Lee, while despite being one, does not speak English. There are circumstances when some individuals gain US citizenship without knowing how to speak English – like Ms. Lee who became a US citizenship by virtue of being married to one, or by virtue of adoption.
Contrasting sweeping generalisation is hasty generalization. This fallacy entails making certain assumptions about a general group based on specific case or based on a small sample group inadequate to support the assumption. Here is an example.
“George is British. George does not eat green peas. Therefore, British people do not eat green peas.”
While George — a British — does not like earing green peas, it does not follow all British do not eat green peas. It is an illogical and a weak statement.
When making your case in an essay, you should be careful not to commit these fallacies. Once these fallacies penetrate your essay, it would now be considered as weak and illogical argument. Making a strong case in an essay simply means using presenting reasons for a certain point of view, using good premises that would fully support what you are trying to say.