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  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: Aug 12, 2019

I'm having a little trouble with a couple question on p. 68, Passage #1 about SLE. When I first read question #1, "In the passage the author is primarily concerned with doing which one of the following?" I was a little confused about what the question was asking of me because it seemed to parallel with a purpose question to me. With that understanding, I thought about the the main idea of the entire passage and what the author is trying to convey to its readers in a brief sense. After reading the answer choices, A, D and E seemed like contenders to me. I eventually chose D as the correct answer choice because I believed that the author was primarily concerned with showing why one explanation (pDCs are resistant to glucocorticoid treatment) of the difficulties (glucocorticoid therapy fails to provide lasting relief) involved in treating SLE falls short in explaining these difficulties (the precise mechanism by which pDC resistance occurs is still unknown).

After reading the explanation for q1, I realize that that wasn't what the question stem was asking for. I seemed to have ignored the word "doing" in the stem, and made it more about the passage's overall purpose.

Also, another question I had was about answer choice D's explanation which says that it's incorrect because the author does seek to invalidate or challenge the explanation involving pDC. Quite frankly, I never even thought the author was trying to challenge it. Towards the end, he/she only says that the precise mechanism is "unknown". How then does the author challenge it?

Please explain the passage to me, if I've comprehended the passage incorrectly enough to not understand something.

Thanks in advance!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 5153
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
A purpose question is all about what the author is doing, Legalistic, rather than what they are saying. What they are saying is the Main Point, but what they are doing is the purpose - their goal. Think about what they are trying to accomplish in writing this passage.

Here, the author seems to want to tell us something about what this disease is, and why treating it is so difficult. That covers the key parts of both paragraphs, and completeness is an important element of broad questions like this. Use that as your prephrase, and answer C looks like the best of the bunch!

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