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USD Information Literacy Lessons: Page 3

The broad focus of these lessons is understanding sources of information, including examples that can help you learn how to access information sources at USD. Each lesson is dedicated to a specific element of information competency.

Non Sequitur

Non Sequitur

Another common logical fallacy is called a non sequitur, which means "doesn't follow." Introductory college writers often find evidence that "almost works" for their arguments, so they use such evidence erroneously. According to The Well-Crafted Argument, a non sequitur is "an assertion [that] cannot be tied logically to the premise it attempts to demonstrate" (151). Most racial stereotypes are non sequiturs. For example, "I know for a fact that Miguel sends money to someone every week. He must support a big family back in Mexico." There are several faulty premises here, all of which are racist in origin. First is that Miguel must be Mexican because he has a latino name. Second, he must have a family back in Mexico because all Mexicans living in the US have families back in Mexico. Third, Miguel's family is big because all Mexicans have big families. This is an example of non sequitur: the conclusion doesn't logically follow from the premise (supporting statement).


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