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#79579
Passage Discussion

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 mayank_vaishya
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#90377
Dear Sir,

Just wanted to know if you'd consider this passage exceptionally difficult for todays LSAT standards ? Can we expect all 4 passages to be as convoluted as this one ?
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 Beth Hayden
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#90389
Hi Mayank,

I would definitely say that this is a hard passage to digest, primarily because it is so abstract. However, the structure of this passage is similar to a lot of other passages once you look past the confusing language:
  1. The author tells us about a theory by an expert (Fridja), and tells us they are going to give some examples that call it into question.
  2. The author gives a few examples that are incompatible with the theory
  3. Finally, the author further supports their argument that the theory (Fridja’s law) doesn’t make sense by anticipating counterarguments and knocking them down. They talk about how other experts (“most psychologists”) have tried to reconcile the author’s concerns with the theory, and says that their reasoning is flawed.
From a structural perspective, this passage is similar to a ton of other RC passages: the author tells us about an expert's theory and argues they are wrong, using some examples to support that, and refuting potential attacks to the author's argument. You will see that same basic idea over and over again on the LSAT. But here the language and concepts are so convoluted and foreign to most LSAT takers that it's easy to lose sight of that bigger picture! When you see RC passages that are hard to parse because of the subject matter, it really helps to zoom out and look at the basic structure of the passage.

Hope that helps!
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 mayank_vaishya
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#90398
Dear Beth,

Thank you for your earnest and insightful reply. I have one follow-up question. You say that the passage, although convoluted, follows a common LSAT passage structure. I happen to own your RC Bible. May you be kind enough to tell me if the Bible contains a discussion of different common passage structures and point me to them .

Many thanks
Mayank
 Jon Denning
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#90458
mayank_vaishya wrote: Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:42 am Dear Beth,

Thank you for your earnest and insightful reply. I have one follow-up question. You say that the passage, although convoluted, follows a common LSAT passage structure. I happen to own your RC Bible. May you be kind enough to tell me if the Bible contains a discussion of different common passage structures and point me to them .

Many thanks
Mayank
Hi Mayank - thanks for the question! I'd encourage you to review chapter 4 in the Reading Comp Bible, as it deals with common passage elements and formations. Particularly note the sections on passage elements that generate questions, and the two broad reasoning structures discussed: those provide a lot of insight into how passage structures operate (including key elements presented). Note that there's also a section on structure near the end of chapter 3 if you'd like to do even more review! (chapter 3 is more introductory while chapter 4 goes into greater depth based around question generation, but both should prove useful)

I also recommend chapter 9 on common passage themes. While that's less structure-centric, it dovetails neatly with the chapter 4 content since the theme/talking points of a passage often influence structure, and vice versa!

I hope that helps!

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