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Complete Question Explanation

Main Point. The correct answer choice is (A)

The author begins the stimulus by clarifying the view that biodiversity is indispensable to the
survival of life on Earth. Although this statement is true, the author says, the term biodiversity has to
be understood in the proper context, and it is not the case that every currently existing species has to
survive in order for there to be biodiversity. In support of this claim, the author points out that life on
Earth requires “various ecological niches” to be filled, but that there is not just one species that can
fill each niche.

The question stem identifies this as a Main Point question. Our prephrase is that the correct answer
choice will restate the argument’s conclusion, located in the second clause of the first sentence, that
“biodiversity does not require the survival of every currently existing species.” We know this is the
conclusion because the evidence in the second sentence is offered in support of it.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice because it contains a virtually identical
restatement of the author’s main point, identified in our prephrase above.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice restates one of the argument’s premises, not its conclusion.

Answer choice (C): Here, the answer choice restates the dependent clause of the first sentence,
which introduced the necessity of biodiversity, but did not reflect the author’s main point.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice also restates one of the argument’s premises.

Answer choice (E): In this case, the answer choice contains information that was not present in the
stimulus, which does not support a claim about the “species most indispensable for biodiversity.”
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my question here is how do I figure out what is Main Point from just simply find the conclusion questions? I've done some practice LR questions where the Main Point is asking to sum up a question - or find the ultimate conclusion that's not stated in the premise, and then there are some like this one that simply says to ind the conclusion that's already in the premise. Do you have any pointers as to how do you know which is which? Seems to me that Main Point questions should differ from Conclusion questions. Thanks!
 Adam Tyson
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I'm not sure I am understanding your question here, Freddy, but I'll do my best, and if the answer isn't what you're looking for please ask it again.

Main Point and Conclusion are the same thing in an LR question. When you are asked to identify the Main Point, your goal is to find the claim in the stimulus that best represents what the author is seeking to prove. That's the same as his conclusion. So, look for the claim that gets all the support and gives none. The answer to a Main Point question will almost always be something that the author said in the stimulus, although the answer may paraphrase that claim instead of quoting it directly. For example, check out this argument:

"Some basketball fans claim that Lebron James is the greatest player in the history of the game. Ridiculous! Lebron's stats and accomplishments still pale in comparison to those of Michael Jordan."

Here, the Main Point is that Lebron James is NOT the greatest of all time. The author didn't say those words - he just said "ridiculous" in response to that claim - but that's what he is trying to prove. Everything after that was the premises intended to support that idea that James is not the greatest.

Now, I say "almost" because there have been a few questions over the years that asked us to determine the main point when there was only a fact set in the stimulus. Not many, but a few. You can treat those like a Must Be True question, and draw the inevitable conclusion that the author was driving at but never got around to saying. Most of the time, though, your goal is just to find that claim that was the author's main conclusion, the thing he ultimately sought to prove true.

I hope that clarifies things for you! Let us know if it doesn't.

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