Main Point. The correct answer choice is (A)
The conclusion to this stimulus can be difficult to identify, both because the author does not use a conclusion indicator, and because the conclusion appears at the beginning of the stimulus.
The author concludes that “even if one can of fruit or vegetables weighs more than another, the heavier can does not necessarily contain more food.” Without conclusion indicators to rely on, you must identify this statement as the conclusion based on its relationship to the other statements in the stimulus. Why is it that the heavier can does not necessarily contain more food? Because canned fruits and vegetables are packed in water. More than half of the total can weight can be comprised of water, rather than the fruits or vegetables. Moreover, it is possible for “unscrupulous” canning companies to include even more water per can.
The technique used above, in which we stated the conclusion and then provided other information from the stimulus as evidence, is the Conclusion Identification Method. You can use this technique when you are uncertain which portion of the argument is the conclusion. Consider what happens when we attempt to use one of the premises as the conclusion, with the conclusion itself offered as support, as if it were the premise:
- “canned fruits and vegetables are typically packed in water, which can make up more than half the total weight of the can’s contents”
“even if one can of fruit or vegetables weighs more than another, the heavier can does not necessarily contain more food”
The question stem establishes this as a Main Point question. Your prephrase is that the first sentence in the consumer advocate’s argument is the conclusion.
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, because it provides a restatement of the first sentence in the stimulus, which, as discussed above, was the conclusion.
Answer choice (B): This statement is true according to the stimulus. However, it is incorrect because it was a premise in the advocate’s argument.
Answer choice (C): As with answer choice (B), this statement, while true according to the stimulus, was a premise of the argument, not the main point.
Answer choice (D): While this statement is possible given the advocate’s argument, it is not something that must be true. And, even if it were provable from the stimulus, this statement does not capture the main point.
Answer choice (E): This statement is a valid inference drawn from the stimulus. However, it is incorrect because it does not reflect the advocate’s main point.