Also known as attacking or creating a blame group.


Denigrating an opponent through discrediting their credibility or suggesting they have questionable associations.


This technique is when a writer attacks an opponent or their ideas. It stands in contrast to praises, where a writer discusses an individual or group in a positive light. Often both will occur within the same piece as the writer seeks to establish who they side with and who is to blame for the issue at hand. Suggesting that someone is at fault often gives a sort of “blame group” for the reader to direct their anger towards.

Effect on reader

Attacking works by using forceful language to place the reader in a position of agreement with the writer. This can often create a strident or passionate tone.