Home > Chapter 1
Example of Using "Authoritative Figures" to Lend Credibility to a Claim
|When an author tries to make a claim but has little statistical evidence|
to support it, they may quote from an authoritative sounding source in
order to give their claim more credibility than it is due. In an article in
the San Francisco Gazette, "Snack Attack: Are Today's Kids Eating too Many
Snacks" the author makes the claim that snacking is linked to obesity.
She cites several anecdotal pieces of evidence to show that snacks are more
present today and that kids today are more overweight than they were
before. To lend weight to her claim she quotes a pediatrician and a "mother
of three" saying that "yes, kids are eating way too many snacks." The
appropriate approach would be for this author to find a health study that
performed an experiment or used some other statistical method to determine
if there is a true causal relationship between snacking and weight gain.