Critical Thinking Prose Assignment #1

Prose Assignment #1:  Hide the fallacy.   Phil Veldhuis, Instructor.


Congratulations, you have just been hired as Assistant to the University of Manitoba Director of Communications.


Your first task is to prepare the draft of a speech outlining a new university policy banning smart phones in all university buildings.


The president of the University, Dr. David Barnard, will deliver this speech to a general gathering of university students.


This speech must include the following elements;

  1. A clear initial statement of the policy.
  2. At least two good reasons for this policy.
  3. A response to at least one anticipated objection.
  4. At least 8 informal fallacies.
  5. Cover page must be the honesty declaration on the reverse of this page.


All these required elements must be footnoted.  The footnote should indicate the requirement noted, as well as other appropriate information such as the fallacy name and source.


Required length, no more then 2 pages, double-spaced.


Incomplete Example:


Welcome University of Manitoba students:


I have asked you to come today to hear our great new policy regarding cell phone use in university buildings.  It has become nearly impossible to walk through our halls of learning without bumping into students and staff who are stumbling through their day with their eyes on their smart phones.  This is a clear hazard to everyone and must be stopped.  Otherwise we can expect these accidents to escalate to epidemic proportions.[1] This morning, the board of governors approved my proposal to ban smart phones from all our buildings.[2]

Some of you may ask how the university plans to implement this plan without irresponsible investments[3] in enforcement.[4]


[1] Slippery slope fallacy, as described in

[2] Initial Statement of policy.

[3] Question begging Epithets fallacy:  describing these investments as “irresponsible” assumes without good reason that they are irresponsible; as described in course notes, Phil Veldhuis, instructor PHIL 1290 Sept 2013.

[4] Anticipated objection: that the plan will cost too much!