While revising you may look for areas to improve the unity, cohesion, and development of your essay. Furthermore, you can check that all the parts of the essay such as the thesis statement are effective.

You might also check that your essay does not misuse ethos, pathos, and logos in a fallacious way. Fallacies are problems or weaknesses in explaining or defending your opinion. There are many fallacies you learn about in your reading class. These fallacies might also have multiple names (an English name and a Latin name). The practice in this section will focus on some of the most frequent. 

Common Fallacies:

These are some of the more common fallacies and some examples of them.

ad hominem: This is a personal attack on someone with a different opinion than you rather than their actual opinion

post hoc ergo propter hoc: This is when something happens before something else and so a cause/effect relationship is assumed. It says that because thing A happened before thing B, thing B happened because of thing A. It ignores other possible causes.

ad populum: This is when you say that your opinion is the best or right because it is popular. Everyone thinks this or everyone does this, so your reader should think or do it too. 

slippery slope: This is when you say that event A leads to event B which leads to event C and so on. Usually, this is a series of events that get progressively worse, but occasionally it can be a series of events that get progressively better. 

Lastly, be careful to use true information in your support. You could use great ethos, pathos, or logos, but if the information is untrue, then your opinion isn't really supported. As an academic writer, it is important to be honest and fair when supporting your opinion. Your goal is to use true support with effective rhetorical appeals for your opinion.


Exercise 1: Discussion

Discuss the questions below with a partner or group.

  1. Have you read, watched, or listened to anything that had a fallacy in it?
  2. When you read or watch something with fallacies, what do you feel or think as the audience?
  3. Are you more convinced by fallacious support or fair support as a reader?
  4. Do you tend to use any fallacies in your own writing or speaking?

Exercise 2: Matching

Match the fallacy to its example. Write the letter of the example next to the correct fallacy.

1. ____ ad hominem A. Everyone enjoys chocolate-flavored cereals. 
2. ____ post hoc ergo propter hocB. When mankind returns to the moon, the next generation will be inspired, and there will be more astronauts, so we will soon settle on Mars and aim for the moons of Jupiter. 
3. ____ slippery slopeC. I learned how to play the piano as a child and now I can hike to the summits of tall mountains. Therefore, piano playing made me good at hiking. 
4. ____ ad populumD. The opponent has pro-feminist views only because she is a woman.

Exercise 3:  Revising for Fallacies

Revise the sentences below to avoid fallacies. Use strong, true rhetorical appeals instead.

1. Nowadays, everyone uses social media daily. 


2. If we don't set aside protect rainforest land, then loggers will knock it down, and we won't have any clean air to breathe which will create a dystopia for our children. 


3. The president doesn't understand the trials of the working class and never will because he is too self-centered to look at the needs of the people. 


Exercise 4:  Revising for Unity and Development Review

Review this student's paragraph for unity and development. 

Prompt: Should mankind colonize (settle) on the moon? 

   Second, there are some materials like gold, platinum, and other chemical components that possess great value, and they can be found in the moon. Gold is used in space instruments and ships. Besides, those materials can be well used with the purpose of creating important technology that could allow humans to build the first human colony on the moon. However, there are other places on the moon that need to be seriously studied like the dark side of the moon. The only well-know study about the dark side of the moon was carried out by the Chinese when they decided to send a robot to study and collect information about the dark side of the moon.

Exercise 5: Revise for Cohesion

Review this student's paragraph for cohesion. The paragraph has been broken into groups of two sentences. How would you improve the cohesion between these groups of sentences? Make any feedback or editing markings on the groups of sentences. Then, write the complete revised version of the paragraph on the lines below. 

Prompt: Is knowledge from experience or from books more important?

1. Learning from experience helps us to know how to react in hard situations. We need to learn from our mistakes or make them,

2. Sometimes, we need to learn from our mistakes or make them, for example. If a child is told by her mother to not bother the dog because she could be bitten and the child challenges her mother's advice, she will learn from experience how wrong she was.

3. If a child is told by her mother to not bother the dog because she could be bitten and the child challenges her mother's advice, she will learn from experience how wrong she was. She will know how to react the next time.

4. She will know how to react the next time. If we are reading from books, we, of course, increase our knowledge and, we will learn from it. 

5. If we are reading from books, we, of course, increase our knowledge and, we will learn from it. We will not have the experience of it which means we will not know how to react in a real situation because we have never been in it.


Exercise 6: Revise a Paragraph

Revise this student paragraph about whether a college education is necessary. 

     Second, people, who get a degree from college, have a huge field of opportunities. This may be one of the most important factors to consider studying college as indispensable because they will get more than one option to work and receive a good remuneration for their work. The organization drops this data “Over 95 percent of jobs created during the recovery have gone to workers with at least some college education, while those with a high school diploma or less are being left behind” If people might think that college cannot give people better opportunities, they might consider to study at least a degree if they want to achieve better jobs. Undergraduate college students may afford jobs where they use their minds instead of using physical strength. That because people who studied at one university learn mental skills and knowledge to work for example in an office instead of construction. Moreover, the best jobs or dream jobs require people that at least they should get one degree. Positions in a company like directors or managers will care for those who have gotten higher education. Addition, sometimes companies require their applicants for more than a bachelor’s degree to work with them. Hence if people want to be hired, should be more prepared to get higher than a bachelor’s degree. This creates a clearer idea of why college education should be necessary because those who do not study at university will not be able even to apply for those jobs and their progress going to be stopped. They can work in lower positions. They could not receive the same opportunities.

Exercise 7: Peer Review

Read a partner's essay and review its use of rhetorical appeals. 

  • Do you see any good uses of ethos, pathos, and/or logos?
  • Do you see any fallacies or misuses of ethos, pathos, and/or logos?

Mark and label any effective rhetorical appeals or fallacies you find in their writing. 

Exercise 8: Check your essay

  1. Does the introduction provide the general information a reader needs in order to understand the topic?
  2. Does the introduction end with an effective thesis? Does it clearly show your opinion?
  3. Do each of the body paragraphs begin with an effective topic sentence?
  4. Are the body paragraphs sequenced in a logical order?
  5. Look at each body paragraph. Do the supporting sentences support the topic sentence?
  6. Look at each body paragraph. Are the supporting sentences sequenced in a logical order?
  7. Look at each body paragraph. Is there enough development? Are there more details or examples that would help the reader?
  8. Look at each body paragraph. Does the concluding sentence close the paragraph logically?
  9. Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
  10. Does the conclusion paragraph have a suggestion, prediction, or opinion at the end?
  11. Do you have any grammar errors that interfere with the reader understanding your ideas?
  12. Do you include cited sources accurately? Do you have in-text citations for all summaries, paraphrases, and quotes? Do you list all the sources you used on the reference page?


America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have Nots. (2020, May 7). CEW Georgetown. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from reports/americas-divided-recovery/

Revise a Persuasive Essay

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