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Chapter 10. My Way or the Highway: Speak... > Truth or Consequences - Pg. 79

My Way or the Highway: Speaking to Persuade 79 Effective research sources use specific support, not just vague references to unidentified studies and sources. You can't evaluate "many important experiments" or "recent clinical studies" unless you know how they were undertaken, by whom, and where the results were published. Also be on the lookout for sources that use empty phrasing such as "statistics that show...." Statistics can be very useful in proving a point, but they can also be misleading--especially if you don't have the numbers to evaluate their validity. Ask yourself: Does this statistic raise any unanswered questions? Has the source of the statistics been revealed? False Analogies False analogies are misleading comparisons. They generally do not hold up because the items or people being compared are not sufficiently alike. For instance: A good marriage is like a game of baseball. In baseball, if a player follows the rules, the game will be a success. Likewise, in marriage, if the players stick to the rules the partners accept, the marriage will flourish. This is a false analogy. Marriage and baseball may have a few surface similarities, but marriage is much more complex than baseball. The relationship between "the rules" and "success" is infinitely more intricate in marriage than it is in baseball. Loaded Terms Suspect sources may use loaded terms to make their point. A term becomes "loaded" when it is asked to carry more emotional weight than its context can legitimately support. As a result, it be-