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#16 - Concetta: Franchot was a great writer because she was

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Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (C)

Concetta argues that since Franchot was ahead of her time in understanding some of the effects of industrialization, Franchot was a great writer.

Alicia argues that Franchot was not a great writer. She suggests that the ability to write in a moving way is a better criterion for great writing, and that Concetta's claim that Franchot was ahead of her time in understanding industrialization is in any case false.

You should realize that Alicia does not so much attack Concetta's reasoning process as she does her initial criterion and information.

Answer choice (A) Since Alicia and Concetta are in disagreement, this choice, which implies they agree, is wrong.

Answer choice (B) Alicia does discredit, or contest, Concetta's evidence. However, Alicia never offers anything but criticism.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. Alicia rejects "understanding" as a suitable criterion for great writing, and then points out that Franchot never had any unusual "understanding," anyway.

Answer choice (D) Since Alicia never offered any factual support for the idea that a great writer has to move people with the written word, this choice is incorrect. Furthermore, this choice fails to mention that Alicia disputes Concetta's information.

Answer choice (E) Alicia does attack one of Concetta's claims. However, Alicia does not dispute the structure of Concetta's argument; rather, Alicia disputes the criterion that Concetta uses. For example, an attack on the structure of an argument could involve an attack on assumptions, or involve pointing out a mistaken reversal or mistaken negation. Alicia never attacks the process of Concetta's argument; Alicia attacks the starting points-- criteria and information.
satipod
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Hi, i' just wanted to post with a few questions that I found difficult on the Method of Reasoning Section. I was wondering if anyone ran into similar problems or could help me out.

#4 (7-59): What exactly does criterion refer to here? I was sure after reading it that Alicia was rejecting Concetta's conclusion so I chose D, but I think there is something I overlooked here. Perhaps the mistake I made is more to do with the second part of choice D "presents facts in support of another criterion"



Thank you!
Steve Stein
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Thanks for your question. In that one, Concetta points to one criterion: she says that Franchot was a great writer because her understanding of certain effects of the industrial revolution were ahead of her time.

In response, Alicia begins by disagreeing with Concetta's criterion (saying that a great writer needs to move people, not recognize things early). Alicia goes on to say that regardless, Concetta wasn't even really ahead of her time.

So answer C works well: Alicia first attacks Concetta's criterion, then her claim about the writer being ahead of her time.

One problem with answer choice D is that no specific facts are provided to support the alternative criterion (the notion that what makes a great writer is the ability to move people).

I hope that's helpful! Let me know whether that clears this one up--thanks!

~Steve
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Catherine.Sims
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Does the order matter in MR questions? Order referring to the order that argument parts are presented in the answer choices because C looked like it had the right parts but out of order. I thought Franchot disputed a specific claim first then rejected the criterion. Not the other way around. I also chose D.

I thought the first sentence of Alicia's response "Franchot was not a great writer" was her speaking directly against Concetta's conclusion that "Franchot was a great writer".

I also thought that the second sentence of Alicia's reply "The mark of a great writer is the ability to move people with the power of the written word" was her alternative criterion.
Daniel Stern
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Catherine:

You wrote:

I thought the first sentence of Alicia's response "Franchot was not a great writer" was her speaking directly against Concetta's conclusion that "Franchot was a great writer".

I also thought that the second sentence of Alicia's reply "The mark of a great writer is the ability to move people with the power of the written word" was her alternative criterion.


I agree with your second point: that was the alternative criterion, but the first sentence directly contradicting the conclusion was not what LSAT considers "disput[ing] a specific claim." Rather, that sentence: "F was not a great writer" is showing Alicia's disagreement with Concetta's conclusion. I can see why you would be confused by that language: "F is a great writer" is a claim, and it is specific, but generally LSAT will use a term such as "claim" in reference to a premise. You will grow more familiar with LSAT"s linguistic twists and turns. They use the same language over and over, and you can learn to recognize it just by doing lots of homework questions (using proper PowerScore methods, of course)!

So here, C, according to LSAT think, had the elements, or at least the premises, in the correct order: Alicia (after signalling disagreement with the conclusion) attacks Concetta's criterion (A great writer moves people v C great writer grasps social issue) and then disputes her specific claim (A says lots of people in F's time saw soc effects of industry v C F was the first to see)

I hope this helps. Good luck in your studies!
Dan
sa3334
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Hi,
I understand why C is the correct answer and have read the explanations as to why D is not. If my understanding is correct, the first part of ans. choice D, "disputes Concetta's conclusion" is true but the second part, "and then presents facts in support of an alternative criterion," is not, thereby making this choice incorrect.

Can you give an example of what facts Alicia would have to provide in order for this choice to be true? Is her definition of a great writer, "The mark of a greater writer...." not considered a fact?

Thanks!
James Finch
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Hi SA,

"Facts" here would refer to something like Alicia's last sentence, and isn't the reason that answer choice (D) is incorrect. Instead, it's that the fact given by Alicia is not in support of the alternative criterion she uses, but rather used to dispute one of Concetta's premises. Alicia doesn't present any facts in support of her criterion for being a great writer; had she done so, it probably would have been something along the lines of "Franchot was always unable to elicit emotions with her writing" or along those lines.

Hope this helps!