to the top

#25 - Farmer: In the long run, it is counterproductive for

LSAT Apprentice
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 10:32 am
Points: 17

That is helpful. Thank you!
LSAT Leader
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 11:39 pm
Points: 10

Isn’t the intermediate conclusion a conclusion that is supported by the premise and lends support to the main conclusion? i’m not sure why this second sentence isn’t a intermediate conclusion.

Thank you!
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 2670
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,483

That's a good question, lsat2016, and it could be easy to view it that way. If so, then all the answers are losers!

The way to see that is not an intermediate (aka subordinate aka subsidiary) conclusion is to recognize that the author isn't actually trying to PROVE that farmers have to use greater and greater amounts. It's not "insects increase resistance, therefore farmers need to use more and more". Rather, the whole sentence is taken together as a single premise - a causal phenomenon and its effect all rolled into one claim. This difference is subtle, but it hinges on the author's intent in making the claim. Does he want us to believe the claim based on some other evidence he provided, or does he want us to believe it just because he said so? In this case it's the latter - he drops the entire claim about the cause (resistance) and effect (use more) as one big package, all tied together, like a known fact that should not be questioned. That's the hallmark of a premise - you are supposed to just swallow it whole, and then see if the conclusion follows from it or not.

This is a fairly rare case in that regard, and it makes for a rather unusual Method-AP question. You clearly aren't alone in having a hard time seeing the fine distinction between a true intermediate conclusion and this claim about an effect! When you are faced with what looks like five loser answers, step back and consider which one you hate the least. That's the best answer of the bunch, and that's the one you have to go with. If we think we are looking for an intermediate conclusion, this one is ALMOST perfect, and the others are all horrible, so it's the best. That way, even with the wrong analysis we can still get to the right answer (the one that gets you credit from LSAC).

I hope that helped!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at
LSAT Novice
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:05 am
Points: 1

Hey Adam- thanks for your explanation. I'm having a bit of trouble realizing the difference between a true intermediary conclusion and one that's stated "as fact". It would really help if you could give me an example of how this statement could be said in a way that would not cause it to be a fact.

Thanks again for the help!
Who Ray
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:18 am
Points: 27

Hello Queen!

I hope you don't mind someone else jumping in! As trivial as it sounds if the testmakers had separated the cause an effect into two sentences that would have been a clue. Also any hedging language like "farmers may have to use..." or "it is likely that farmers have to use..." suggest that information is not a fact but a conclusion. Putting the claim in the future tense also makes this seem like less of a fact. Additional evidence that would back up that claim, like "there are no means to reduce that resistance" let you know that the author is making an argument for a particular claim.

Fortunately, like Adam points out, we can find the right answer while treating this "fact" like an intermediary conclusion—we just have to pick the least bad answer!

Hope that helps,
Who Ray