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Basic Summary and Purpose Drill - General Question #1

gintriag
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Hi guys,

Can you guys explain the difference between Basic Summary and Purpose? Because I think I have an idea of what the difference is. As seen in the answer for the first passage, the purpose is not other than the nouns of the main verbs used in the basic summary. For instance, the basic summary begins with "Early scientists believed that continents couldnt move on their own" and the purpose answer begins with "Introduced the misconceived perspective of many early scientists regarding static continents". If we compare, the noun 'perspective' which is a synonym for 'believe', is the noun of the verb believe. And so on, in the second sentence of the basic summary, 'failed to see' relates with the 'failure to notice'; in the third sentence 'considered' relates with the 'consideration'.

Thanks,
David Boyle
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gintriag wrote:Hi guys,

Can you guys explain the difference between Basic Summary and Purpose? Because I think I have an idea of what the difference is. As seen in the answer for the first passage, the purpose is not other than the nouns of the main verbs used in the basic summary. For instance, the basic summary begins with "Early scientists believed that continents couldnt move on their own" and the purpose answer begins with "Introduced the misconceived perspective of many early scientists regarding static continents". If we compare, the noun 'perspective' which is a synonym for 'believe', is the noun of the verb believe. And so on, in the second sentence of the basic summary, 'failed to see' relates with the 'failure to notice'; in the third sentence 'considered' relates with the 'consideration'.

Thanks,



Hello gintriag,

Could you please give a page number or numbers for the above? Thanks,

Hope this helps,
David
gintriag
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I am on kindle that's why I cant share the page number. But I am on Chapter 2, section "Basic Summary and Purpose Drill" passage #1.

Can you also explain the difference between the main point and purpose? and the difference between the purpose and the basic summary?

Thx,
Claire Horan
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Hi Gintriag,

Good question! First, let's take a step back and realize that on the LSAT you will never have to identify the main purpose where the right answer choice is the "purpose," one of the wrong answer choices is the "main point," and another wrong answer is the "basic summary." So I don't think your part of speech analysis will help you much.

You will, in contrast, often see that the first question for a reading comprehension passage requires that you identify the main idea. This task generally involves eliminating answer choices that are opposite from the thesis of the passage (easy to eliminate), outside the scope of the passage (easy to eliminate), too narrow (more difficult, but can be eliminated by considering whether the choice relates to the whole passage or just a part, and too broad (this may be your last wrong contender, which you will then compare with the right answer and determine which one best fits the main idea of the passage). This is why Powerscore designs drills that ask you to determine the main idea or write a basic summary: because prephrasing this main idea will allow you to quickly identify which contender best matches your main idea. Prephrasing is also extremely important because making a habit of prephrasing ensures that you are reading actively.

Understanding the author's purpose will sometimes be a global question but also very commonly a local question. For example, you may be asked the purpose of a few lines. This type of question is essentially asking not "what" but "why." So you will need to understand why the author chose to use a particular example, which is not limited to understanding the content of that example. You would figure out the purpose by looking at the structure of the passage and how that example fits within that structure.

Please let me know if you have a followup question or you'd like to look at a specific example question on a real LSAT.
gintriag
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I have another question. What would be the tone of this passage? If I eliminate the last sentence, the tone would be Rejecting or Dissaproving, since the author uses the word "mistaken" regarding the belief of 'Many early scientists'. Thanks again guys.

Regards,
Adam Tyson
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I'm afraid I don't have the workbook you are working from, but if you can tell me which test that passage is from I can probably dig it up and help you out with that question. If not the test info then send me a few key words from the first sentence or two and I will search it in our database that way.
Adam M. Tyson
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Adam Tyson
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What do you think, gintriag? How does it read to you? How would you characterize the author's tone or attitude? Be sure to base your answer on the language of the passage and not on any outside assumptions about what the author might think or feel.

The tone here looks to me to be primarily academic and neutral, just telling us the facts about the history of the development of a certain theory, although the use of words like "mocking" and "ignored" might suggest a somewhat critical tone (critical of those mistaken scientists, that is). So how about neutral with a critical lean? Does that feel about right?

That's the process for deciphering tone - base it on the text, and be flexible but not extreme.

I hope that helps!
Adam M. Tyson
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gintriag
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Ok, I got you. It really sounds academic/neutral with a neutral lean. I am going to base the tone just on the text.

Thanks,