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#11 - The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building started

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:43 am
by Administrator
Complete Question Explanation

Main Point. The correct answer choice is (C)

As is the case with any stimulus, we should always look to find the conclusion – what is the author trying to get at? The question in this case asks for the main conclusion, which will often reflect the presence of secondary, or subsidiary, conclusions, which should be eliminated as answer choices.

Answer Choice (A) is wrong, even though it is accurate based on the last sentence. The stimulus says more than this: it implies that because he was there, he must have seen the fire. While this is a correct conclusion, it is not the main conclusion.

Answer Choice (B) seems to be implied from the third sentence, but again is not the main conclusion.

Answer Choice (C): This is the correct answer choice, as it is the main conclusion. We know (1) there was a fire in the Municipal Building on all morning (1st sentence), (2) anybody around the building would have seen the fire (2nd sentence), and (3) Thomas was around the Municipal Building this morning (3rd sentence). Putting that together, we know that he must have seen it.

Answer Choice (D) does not have to be true – he could have made many stops along the way.

Answer Choice (E), like (A), is a correct statement but is just an intermediate conclusion, not the main conclusion. (E) is often chosen because it falls out of the last sentence in the stimulus and we are trained to look for the conclusion at the end. Again, the LSAT makers like to hide the conclusion in the stimulus.

Re: #11 - The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building sta

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:06 pm
by sakfi
Hello! I couldn't decide between A and C, then from reading your explanation that I found A is a "subordinate" or "secondary" conclusion.

For questions like this, can you provide some good strategies on how to distinguish between the MAIN conclusion from SECONDARY/SUBORDINATE conclusions? I'm always confused about this kind of questions!

Thank you very much!!

Fei Fei

Re: #11 - The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building sta

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:04 pm
by Robert Carroll
Fei Fei,

To identify the main conclusion, ask "What is this argument ultimately trying to prove?" If you have multiple statements that appear to be conclusions, consider which ones makes sense as evidence for the other. In other words, if 1 and 2 are my candidates for the main point, does it makes sense to think that 1 proves 2? What about that 2 proves 1? The intermediate (subsidiary, sub, etc.) conclusion serves as evidence for the main conclusion. If you think something is the main conclusion, but it appears to be presented as evidence for something else, then you haven't yet found the main conclusion.

Robert Carroll

Re: #11 - The fire that destroyed the Municipal Building sta

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:02 pm
by sakfi
Thank you Robert! I will think about it more!