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Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (D)
Your task in this Method of Reasoning question is to select the answer choice containing a
description of the flawed method of reasoning used by Tom in his argument.
Premise: property lines in Pairieview start 20 feet from the street
Sub- Conlusion: so, the yard is not as big as it looks
Conclusion: thus, the house on Oak Avenue in Prairieview is not the best one to rent based
on it having a larger yard yard than any other other house we’ve looked at
Rolanda’s response to Tom, that what he is saying regarding the house on Oak Avenue is true of
all the other properties they considered, points out that the rule about the property lines applies to
every house in Prairieview. It appears from Tom’s conclusion that he did not apply this rule to all the
homes when he compared them in his argument. Thus, your prephrase is that Tom has failed to apply
the rule of general application to all of the homes.
The incorrect answers will not describe this flaw in Tom’s reasoning. Instead, they will either
describe something that did not occur in the stimulus, or will describe reasoning that occurred in
Tom’s argument but was not a flaw.
Answer choice (A): While it is accurate to say that Tom did not take into account the possibility that
there are advantages to having a small yard, that is a not a flaw in his argument, since his conclusion
dealt with the issue of whether the property was the best one to rent because it had a larger yard than
any other they had looked at in Prairieview.
Answer choice (B): This choice is inconsistent with the argument, in which Tom proceeded as
though city property is not available for private use.
Answer choice (C): This choice also is inconsistent with the stimulus, stating the opposite of Tom’s
Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. Tom fails to apply the general rule, that
property lines in Pairieview actually start 20 feet from the street, to all the relevant instances, all the
other properties they looked at.
Answer choice (E): This choice is similar in meaning to choice (C), in that it is inconsistent with the
stimulus. To connect this description with the stimulus, you would say that Tom presumes that what
is true of one private property in Prairieview is true of all property in Prairieview.