Fall Semester 2017 Oral Presentations

Due Date:


December 4, 2017

You will be assigned a common Rational Fallacy in class. If you are not in class, it is your responsibility to arrange to get your fallacy topic from the professor.

Your oral presentation must be 5 minutes long. (Practice the timing before coming to class.) Half the class will present on Monday, May 15th, half on Wednesday, May 17th, but everyone must be prepared to present their topic on Monday. Your final grade will be based, in part, on showing up and being an audience on the day you don’t present. So, please plan on being in class both Monday and Wednesday, not just the day you are presenting. You can use Power Point or other means of visual presentation, but you do not have to.

What & How to Present:

  1. Introduce your topic
  2. Explain the fallacy in such a way that we understand what it is and how to recognize it.
  3. Explain the fallacy’s name, and if it has a Latin name, provide an English translation.
  4. Give at least two EXTENDED examples of the fallacy in action.
  5. Tell us any history or anecdotes you learn about your fallacy. Explain its significance
  6. Offer up a conclusion

Use at least two EXTENDED examples that will help us understand the fallacy.

Fallacies are misleading types of arguments. Many of them are so tempting, and therefore so common, that they even have their own names. To call something a fallacy is usually just another way of saying that it violates the rules for good arguments. Many fallacies still retain their Latin names, which is evidence of how long they’ve been identified as a form of improper logic. Until the 1950s Latin was the language of the educated, and formal logic was a fundamental aspect of that education. An example of a Latin-named fallacy is the ad hominem—Latin for “to the man.” An ad hominem attack attacks the person rather than addressing the argument the person is making. Calling someone “stupid,” or “un-American” is an ad hominem attack. It points to the person and says we should not consider in their argument because of who they are. It does not consider the position they have put forth or challenge its validity.

Grading for Oral Presentation:


Audience Participation

Total of 3 points
Showing up to class on the day you’re not presenting
BEING ON TIME!! General respect for others
Participating from the audience: Paying attention and asking questions to presenters

Delivery Technique

Total of 2 points
Voice, diction, eye contact, and gestures. Poise under pressure
Enthusiasm and interest, well-prepared presentation

Organization & Content

Total of 10 points
Introduction & Conclusion: Presented an opening and closing.
Body of talk: met standards of the assignment and demonstrated an understanding of the subject matter
Use of Examples (had at least two good examples)
Timing: Filled the allotted time with meaningful information.

Total Possible Points for Presentation

15 points
A Note of Warning: It's not okay to just copy material off the Internet and not know what it means! Do not read things that are confusing and unclear. Beware of weak, simple and incomplete examples. Make sure you have an introduction and conclusion. Don't end by saying “that’s it.” Those kind of mistakes will lead to a poor grade. Please avoid them.