A Letter to the Editor

In A Letter to the Editor, the writer makes it clear to the reader that he believes the cheating which was observed in Monroe College is Justifiable. The writer claims that society view on cheating is flawed and that in many instances, not only is cheating acceptable, but it’s also necessary for success. He goes on to assert that the act of cheating is a lifeline for many people and that it’s a way of sharing information, helping each other in need, similar to “if you were going into an unknown wilderness, you would take along the things you knew were needed for survival” (A

Letter to the Editor). Nevertheless, the writer’s claim cannot be granted credible, not because of the morality behind cheating, but because the flaws in the authors’ logic validating cheating. In the writer’s letter, his argument is filled with logical fallacies, no credibility, and facts which are hard to prove. In her argument the writer makes use of a great deal of logical fallacies which ultimately invalidate her claims. The first argument which the writer makes is that since many people at Monroe College are Puritans and many students cheat, it makes cheating k.

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Yet, what the writer doesn’t understand is the genetic fallacy that was employed. Firstly, Just because people are Puritans it can’t be concluded that they always do the right thing. Secondly, even if the first claim that Puritans always end up doing the right thing is correct, there is no proof that the students at Monroe College are Puritans. In fact there is an argument ad homing fallacy involved with the claim that since “many loyal Monroe students indulge in this [cheating] is evidence that it can’t be wrong” (A Letter to the Editor).

The case made makes little sense, Just cause many students are involved in cheating, it does not mean that cheating is fine. Numerous Monroe students can also be partaking in illegal drugs, yet it does not mean that drugs are Justifiable. The letter goes on to make multiple false analogies. Further in the letter the writer makes the claim that “taking crib notes into the unknown territory of an examination shows the same foresight” as “going into an unknown wilderness” taking with you tools for survival (A Letter to the Editor).

The examination territory is not similar to going to an unknown wilderness. When taking n exam a good student knows the material at hand because he has gone to class, taken notes, and read the book. Therefore, the student should not be entering unknown territory, which is different from going into the wilderness where everything is unexpected. Similarly, giving someone information during a test cannot be considered an act of charity as the writer claims. When someone is in need of charity, he did not choose to be in that position but was placed there because of reasons out of his control.

Yet, when a student is in need of information for a test it is because of he lack in studying which put her in that position. By presenting the act of charity the writer also tries to appeal emotionally to the reader. Asserting that a student is similar to someone in need, begs the reader to feel bad for the students who cheats. The writer appeals to pity and it doesn’t help his argument for cheating. Additionally, there is an example of a hasty generalization when the writer claims that professors fail students in order for the students to repeat the course.

The student has to repeat the class because he was flunked, yet the reason is not because the professor wanted heir Jobs correctly and not want flunk students for their own benefit as the author mentions. The credibility of the writer also comes into question when evaluation his argument. It can be assumed that the writer is a student at Monroe College given the fact that she mentions having information about the commentaries in the local newspaper. Knowing that there is a strong chance that the writer is also attending Monroe College, there is a good chance that he is also part of the percentage who were considered cheaters.

Although there is nothing wrong with being a student at Monroe and even being a cheater, there is bias in the argument. If the author is a student the letter might have been written out of angst, his school being under attack. Thus, any form of logic and reason in the letter could be at Jeopardy. The constant use of rhetorical questions throughout the letter hint at the fact that the author is trying to mock those who claim Monroe College has a high percentage of cheaters. Similarly, the outlandish facts which lack evidence in the letter destroy the credibility of the not only the letter, but also the writer.

Towards the end of the letter he writer claims that society is “threatened by communism, why fret about the source of Johnny Ax’s information on and exam” (A Letter to the Editor). Besides false analogy, where communism can’t be compared to cheating, the writer makes a claim that is essentially impossible to prove. The author doesn’t present his source of information when he claims that Communism is a problem. When the writer has no credibility, he can’t make such an assertion. Additionally, the statement about the religious preference of students early in the letter is presented with no facts.

The letter in its self is a fallacy, specifically, false authority. If it is assumed that the writer is a student, or even if he is not, he never mentions his credibility or his profession. Therefore, she can’t present facts and expect the reader to trust her ideas. Essentially, the writer’s entire letter is flawed, filled with logical fallacies and facts which have no credibility, making it very hard to accept the argument. Having a plethora of fallacies only helped discredit the writer’s claims and the lack of credibility only made the facts seem unbelievable.

from Nandarnold

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