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USD Information Literacy Lessons: Page 7

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.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

From Latin, this phrase means "after this, therefore because of this" This instance of faulty reasoning occurs when a writer attributes an effect to a cause due to proximity rather than a logical connection between the two incidents.

Example: "Michelle's mother is a high school English teacher. That's why Michelle made an 'A' in English 101." The effect (Michelle's 'A' in English 101) might be due to other circumstances. Michelle might have attended the Writing Center two times for every essay, and she might have conferenced with her teacher three times in addition to the required two conferences.


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