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Complete Question Explanation

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

A journalist presents a clear rule that it is unethical for people in her profession to lie. She then describes an argument (made by others, not her) that withholding relevant information is the same as lying. Finally, she presents an argument against that position (introduced by the key word "however," which usually means you are about to read a counter-premise), based on a distinction between lying and withholding information. That distinction is the crux of her argument - these two things are different in some crucial way. The stem reads "The journalist argues by", and that means we are supposed to find the answer that describes how she made her case. We are looking for a strategy, a method of reasoning.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. "Pointing out a difference" is a perfect match for this stimulus, which was based on a distinction between lying and withholding information.

Answer choice (B): This answer describes a controversy and an example (that's what a "clear instance" means), but the stimulus contained no example and no indication that the journalist thinks the distinction is controversial.

Answer choice (C): The journalist did define what is meant by lying, but did not go on to argue that the definition of lying applies to any "cases under discussion" (there are no such cases being discussed). As this answer makes no mention of a distinction or difference, it fails to describe the method of reasoning.

Answer choice (D): No counterexample (a specific case used to discredit an opposing position) is present in the stimulus. The correct answer to a Method of Reasoning question must describe what actually happened in the stimulus, and not something that did not happen.

Answer choice (E): The argument did not involve defending a moral principle, nor were any cases presented or compared.
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Hi there!

Just wondering- how do you know that "It is unethical for journalists to lie...." isn't a moral principle? I understood that what followed after "moral principle" in this answer choice was wrong (comparing a case in which it applies to one in which it does not apply because it was about lying vs withholding information), but I'm not clear on why the explanation here is about a non-existence of a moral principle.

 Adam Tyson
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"It is unethical for journalists to lie" IS a moral principle, spsa1000! We aren't say that it isn't. We're saying that the argument has nothing to do with defending that principle. The author is just drawing a distinction about the behavior to which the principle does and does not apply.

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