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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning-SN. The correct answer choice is (E)

The best way to attack a Flaw in the Reasoning question of this type is to quickly diagram the conditional relationships that structure the argument and examine any gaps in their logic:
  • Premise (1): ..... Belief a sentence is ungrammatical → Not write it down

    Premise (2): ..... Not write it down → No need to use a grammar book

    Premise (3): ..... Belief a sentence is grammatical → No need to use a grammar book

    Conclusion: ..... Grammar books are useless
The conclusion only follows if we assume that the two beliefs in question are completely exhaustive of the entire range of beliefs authors might have about their writing. What if an author is neither convinced that their sentence is grammatical nor convinced that it’s ungrammatical? In case of such doubt, it might be useful to consult a grammar book. Answer choice (E) is therefore correct.

Answer choice (A): The novelist never inferred whether authors will or will not consult grammar books; her argument was simply that grammar books are useless (whether they are consulted or not).

Answer choice (B): At first glance, this answer choice may seem attractive if only because of the confusing language used. The novelist never inferred that just because an author does not mistakenly think that a sentence is ungrammatical (i.e. she is correct to think that it’s grammatical) that the author will feel sure that it is grammatical. Since a sentence is either grammatical or not, this belief would not be incorrect.

Answer choice (C): The conclusion’s scope is limited to the usefulness of grammar books as reference sources for authors. The novelist need not consider their use as reference sources for people who are not authors.

Answer choice (D): The conclusion’s scope is limited to whether grammar books are useful as reference sources. The novelist need not consider whether they can have any other uses beyond the one discussed.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. See discussion above.

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