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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen. The correct answer choice is (C)

The argument can be summarized as follows: because electric mowers produce no air pollution, but
gas-powered mowers produce signifi cant air pollution, people can help reduce air pollution by using
electric instead of gas-powered mowers.

As always, try to personalize the argument. If someone were to make this argument to you, would
you just accept it? Or would you have further questions about electric mowers, such as how
much pollution does the production of electricity produce? An electric mower might not produce
immediate pollution, but this is of course a case of ignoring the actual initial power source of the
electric mower.

Because you are asked to strengthen the argument, you should look for a choice that supports the
idea that adopting a gas-powered mower is a good idea.

Answer choice (A): This response is irrelevant because the stimulus is about lawn mowers, not
lawns. And, of course, we cannot assume that cutting the lawn with one mower rather than another
would change the effect of mowing on the grasses’ ability to clean the air.

Answer choice (B): The cost of the product does not affect whether people should adopt it, only
whether they ultimately will. Thus, this answer choice cannot help the argument prove that “people
can help reduce air pollution by choosing electric mowers.”

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The power for an electric mower has to
come from somewhere, and this choice establishes that producing the power for an electric mower
causes less pollution than producing the power for a gas-powered mower. This information makes
the argument much more believable since it establishes that there is not a “hidden” pollution cost
somewhere along the line of electrical power production.

Answer choice (D): This response only serves to suggest that using electric-powered mowers might
not have much effect, since the gas-powered mowers are improving. If anything, this answer may
weaken the argument by suggesting that in the future gas-powered mowers may be more emission
effi cient.

Answer choice (E): The stimulus compared gas mowers to electric mowers, and the reference to
automobiles is only intended to imply that gas mowers produce pollution at a signifi cant rate. In
short, whether or not lawn mowers produce as much pollution as automobiles is irrelevant, because
the issue is whether gas mowers produce more than electric mowers.

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