#3 - Although it is unwise to take a developmental view of
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I don't understand why E is correct and A is not.
One way to approach a Main Point question like this one, me2987a, is to ask yourself what the author seeks to prove. Why did he write this argument? What is his goal?
A second component of your analysis should be to ensure that whatever answer you pick is, in fact, something that the author actually said. Like Must Be True questions, the answer has to be found in the facts in the stimulus, and not be based on any speculation or assumptions on our part.
Using both of these approaches, answer choice A fails. The second issue described above is enough to kill it, because although our author did say that we now know that some sounds previously avoided can be used effectively (such as the interval of the third), at no point did the author say that anyone ever has done so! They can be, but maybe they haven't been used yet?
Looking at the first approach, is the author trying to prove that some sounds that were never used before are being used now, or is he trying to prove that our understanding of music has grown? By telling us that we now know that we can use the interval of the third, for example, when previously composers avoided doing so (presumably because it was considered dissonant), he is supporting the idea that our understanding has grown. Since the claim about new uses of sounds supports the claim about our understanding growing, the former cannot be the main point and the latter must be. The Main Point always gets all the support and gives none! Any claim that is used to support another claim is a premise, or an intermediate conclusion, but not the main conclusion, because the main conclusion is the end of the line, supporting nothing.
Make sure that whatever you prephrase for a Main Point question that it is 1) something that the author actually said, and 2) something that gets all the support from the other claims while not giving any support to them.
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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2 posts • Page 1 of 1