Spotting Logical Fallacies in the Media (EXTRA CREDIT): If you haven’t already learned about logical fallacies, I guarantee you – you are being played by the media. I highly recommend you consider doing this assignment for extra credit. It has the power to considerably change your life.
First: Learn about logical fallacies with this quick and easy primer (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster), then…
Find some examples of logical fallacies used in the media. For each specific example you find, you’ll describe the source of the fallacy, (where and when did you spot it?)
Include a link to what you’re describing, the specifics about its use – ie: what was said, in what context, which logical fallacy it represents, and why you think your chosen example is an example of that fallacy. Be sure to include:
a summary (in your own words) of the fallacy itself (5 points)
a summary of the media item itself (5 points)
a statement about why you think that media item is a good example of that fallacy (10 points).
Write at least 300 words per fallacy. More is better. (5 points)
You can earn up to 100 points, by doing up to four (4) different fallacies correctly at up to 25 points each. You’ll also garner the lifelong benefit of learning about logical fallacies – which is a mark of an educated, critical thinker. (If you are not sure your entries are worth full credit, and want to be certain you earn the full 100 points of extra credit available to you, and want to be a more educated human being, I recommend submitting five different fallacies instead of four – just to be safe!)
No points will be given for incorrect examples, so make sure you’re making a good argument for why you think your example applies.
2. Book Review (EXTRA CREDIT):
Read any of the following books:
Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, By Scott Adams
Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator, by Ryan Holiday.
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, by Nicholas Carr
The Untethered Soul, The Journey Beyond Yourself, by Michael Singer
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport
Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, by Martin Lindstrom
Contageous: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger
What the Best College Students Do, By Ken Bain
Any other relevant book you choose, if you get approval from me first.
For 100 possible points: Read the book and write a 6-8 page summary review. You will summarize the book’s main points in a chapter-by-chapter structure, and offer your thoughtful reactions/opinions to each chapter and then the overall work. You can earn up to 100 points for summarizing each chapter and sharing your thoughts about the entire book in 6-8 pages.
3. Personalized/Customized Extra Credit: Have an idea for something you’d like to do that you feel is relevant to this class and worth some extra credit points? Run it by me in an email proposal. Include what you want to do, how it’s relevant, and how many points you think it should be worth. If I agree, you may proceed for (up to) the agreed-upon amount of points.
Some examples: One student attended a weekend-long professional branding and marketing conference and wrote a 5 page summary presentation, for 50 points. Several students have taken relevant on-campus workshops for 5 points each. Students have done photo essays, written and performed spoken word poetry about the media, and created youtube videos – for varying point values, depending upon the quality and depth of the work. One student wrote a substantial, 100 point research paper on an in-depth topic of her choice that we both agreed was relevant. Last semester, a student wrote a song about his experiences consuming the media, then performed it for the class on video. It was excellent – AND it demonstrated his understanding of the concepts we studied. 100 points.
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