Tips on Arguing

Tips on Arguing: Inductive Reasoning

In ancient Greece, philosophers and thinkers invented a process for arriving at truths about the world that we know today as deduction. These processes relied…


Tips on Arguing: Tautologies

Ever wonder why people call it a PIN number or an ATM machine? Ever hear someone say, “Wherever you go, there you are,” and think…


Tips on Arguing: Stay Detached

Andrew Brody, host of the Princeton Review podcast, LSAT Logic in Everyday Life, ends every episode with a reminder for his listeners: “don’t get emotionally…





Tips on Arguing: Formal Debates

Formal debates take many forms. Some are sponsored through national or international organizations, but they may also be conducted in an impromptu fashion within high…




Tips on Arguing: Margin of Error

Have you ever noticed that news organizations will pelt you with polling data during an election cycle, and then wonder why the actual results defy…



Tips on Arguing: Tu Quoque

“Tu quoque” means “you too.” This tactic relies on shifting the focus of an argument from its independent merits to the number of people who…



Tips on Arguing: Quote Mining

Quote mining is altering the meaning of a person’s quote by taking it out of context or removing sections of the quote. It is a…



Tips on Arguing: Vet Your Facts

Vetting your facts simply means looking into them. It may sound like this should go without saying, but failing to double-check a source is one…



Tips on Arguing: Decorative Statistics

At the end of 2008, National Public Radio commentator Frank Deford railed against a growing trend among sports aficionados that he found downright annoying. “It’s…


Tips on Arguing: Pareidolia

Smithsonian Magazine published an article in its November 2009 issue in which Art Historian Henry Adams contended that abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock hid the letters…


Tips on Arguing: Confirmation Bias

Every day, you are barraged by advertising schemes, statistics, and political rhetoric. Every day, you must express your own views to friends, family members, teachers,…