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 Adam Tyson
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#73425
I don't know about that approach here, queens21. Answer D isn't about attacking the person's personal characteristics and ignoring their argument, but about questioning whether their usual behavior might actually matter in this case. Imagine changing that answer to "how often is the businessperson late to meetings?" If the answer was "always," that would weaken the argument that he would have been on time this time. And if the answer was "never," that would strengthen the argument that he would not have been late but for the unusual circumstances.

As it is written, though, I think that you are right that there is at least some element of a personal attack present. What this person usually does isn't going to tell us much about what would have happened in this case. Creative approach!
 concrottrox11@gmail.com
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#93218
Hi,

I put answer B and would like to know why a, b, d, e are wrong and why C would be obviously right? How would you pre-answer this question as it is an "evaluate the argument" question?
 Robert Carroll
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#93277
concrottrox11,

I see that answer choices (B), (D), and (E) are explained in the thread above, so I'll explain why answer choice (A) is wrong - the reason that maintenance was performed really has nothing to do with why the businessperson was late.

As far as why answer choice (C) is correct, if parking is difficult to find even on days when the parking area isn't closed, then the maintenance didn't really have any effect - were it not for the maintenance, the businessperson still would have been late. Imagine that the parking area fills up very quickly even when it's open. Then the closure due to maintenance is making it tough to find parking...which would have been true anyway. So the maintenance had no effect. It would be good to know if this is true, so answer choice (C) is a good question to ask to help evaluate the argument.

Robert Carroll
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 silver2731
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#94089
I'm still confused with the explanation given that how knowing parking pattern when the parking area is "open" help estimate the case when parking area is "closed."

1) If there is 5 spots in the parking area and 95 spots around the vicinity.
I would say learning about the parking pattern on the day when parking area is "open" will be so much diverse. The parking area being "closed" wouldn't have made much difference since we have 95 spots regardless but this is not from knowing the pattern of 95 spots, instead it is about the relative importance that the parking area's availability compared to the total or vicinity parking.

2) If there is 95 spots in the parking are and the 5 around the vicinity.
It would impact so greatly, but again, the pattern doesn't give any information. What matters is how much relatively sized the original parking area is to the total.
 Adam Tyson
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#94285
You may be taking too marrow a view of what they mean by "parking pattern" here, silver2731. That's more than just the number of spaces. It includes things like the speed of finding a space and the ease with which one can get into that space. If parking there is always slow and difficult, then the author can hardly blame their lateness on the parking lot being closed, but if it is usually fast and easy, then it's more reasonable to blame their lateness on the closure.

In short, what we need to know is whether the lot being closed due to maintenance did anything significant to change the circumstances. If closing the lot had a big impact on someone's ability to park, the argument is improved; if closing the lot made very little difference, the argument is weakened. Thus, before we can determine the strength of the argument, we need to know what things would have been like if the lot had been open.
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 mkarimi73
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#97082
I accidentally mis-identified the conclusion here, thinking that it was the first sentence. My gut told me it was the second sentence, yet I was not sure. I recognize that for something to be the conclusion of the argument, there has to be support for it. There were no conclusion indicators for the second sentence, thus it created doubt in my approach. However, it did sound like an opinion/hypothetical conclusion of the Businessperson. My question is, how could I have approached this stimulus differently in order to easily identify the conclusion, which would have made (C) the best answer choice given? Thanks in advance.
 Adam Tyson
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#97190
To identify the conclusion of an argument, just ask yourself "what is this author trying to prove?" I think it's safe to say that this argument has a compound conclusion made up of the first two claims - I was late because of the maintenance and would have been on time if not for the maintenance. The author tries to prove that using the description of what happened when they arrived.
 a2000
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#97800
I debated between A and C and chose A, which I see not many people chose. I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong with my reasoning.

I identified the conclusion as, "If the maintenance had been done on a different day, I would have gotten to the meeting on time." I didn't think B or E had much to do with this conclusion, and D seemed relatively weak as well. My thought regarding A was about what would have happened had the construction not been done that day. Was there something wrong with the parking area that would have prevented parking there, or worse, risked damage or injury? In hindsight, that might have been too much of a leap. Or, it's possible that the answer to A's question would have been irrelevant (for example, "the construction workers were only available today"). C seemed to offer information on typical days but wouldn't tell me whether anything would have been different today besides the construction.

Put another way, I realize C is correct, but I'm having trouble convincing myself that it's better than A in a way that will help me avoid a similar error on the exam. What have I missed?
 Robert Carroll
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#97801
a2000,

You could apply the Variance Test here. What if the maintenance was done on that day because it was right after a holiday? Because it was a holiday? Because it was a weekday so the maintenance crew didn't have to be paid overtime? I'm struggling to see why any of these various reasons would have any impact on the businessperson's argument. There doesn't seem to be any connection between answer choice (A) and your prephrase, either. As you say in your prephrase, we'd want something like a counterfactual conditional to be true: "If you hadn't done the maintenance today, I would have been on time." Well, let's say they did the maintenance today because it's exactly two weeks before an important event, and they want the parking area maintenance done before that event. If the event were a little later, the parking area wouldn't be closed today. That does nothing to address the truth of the counterfactual conditional - if events in the city were scheduled a little differently, the parking area would not be closed, but...would the businessperson have been on time? That's still not addressed.

Robert Carroll
 a2000
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#97820
Thanks, Robert! Super helpful. I was so focused on whether the day would have been typical if not for the construction that I neglected to consider that "is it typical" doesn't resolve the conclusion! Granted, C doesn't completely resolve the issue either, but it's still the best answer since it could result in rejecting the conclusion (if parking is no better on a typical day with no construction). I think I know how to think about this a bit better. I see some drill sets for Evaluate questions, so I can make sure I have this idea down. Thanks again!

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