Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 35 – Critical Thinking – Flawed Arguments

When a writer presents an argument, it is important to always assess the strength of their reasoning. Sometimes arguments can appear convincing, but on closer examination they lack the evidence needed to persuade the reader.

Some common examples of flawed arguments are:

  • Repeatedly restating the claim, without providing supporting evidence.
  • Attacking the opposing view, rather than supporting your own.
  • Using irrelevant evidence, which may be interesting, but does not support the argument.

Read the following texts and match a type of flawed argument to each one.

Flawed Arguments: attacking the opposing view, repeatedly restating the claim, using irrelevant evidence.

(1) Handmade Products are far more important to our culture than manufactured products because they have a link to our past and our ancestors. This is why handmade products are so vital to our culture and more valuable than those products made in a factory. These kinds of products made by hand are so important we have to make sure we keep making them to protect our culture in the long term.

(2) In my opinion manufactured goods are far preferable to those made by hand. Handmade products are expensive and time-consuming to produce and quality can vary enormously from product to product. This is why you could not make a computer or mobile phone by hand. The parts would cost too much and quality issues would make these devices unreliable. This is why manufactured products are better.

(3) Making products by hand is extremely important. For example, in my country many people like to use handmade tea cups for tea ceremonies. Tea ceremonies are an ancient tradition dating back hundreds of years. We use powdered green tea and a number of other objects to enjoy a tea ceremony. They can be held indoors or outdoors and there are two main seasons for them; tea ceremonies in the warmer months and in the months of winter.


Skillful 3

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