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 sotor26
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#17909
Hello,

I took the Logical reasoning (part II) of the October 2002 and had some questions regarding some of the answers:

20. It would be great if the reasoning behind the answer was explained. I was completely lost trying to answer this question.

Thank you so much! Any input would be great!!!
Last edited by sotor26 on Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 Adam Tyson
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#17916
I'm happy to help, but I'll start by putting the ball back in your court for a bit. Would you share your analysis of the question, your prephrase (if you had one) and what happened as you went through the answers sorting losers and contenders? Rather than just giving you the explanation of the right answer, it might be more instructive to work on the process that gets you there.
 sotor26
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#17918
Hello,

Thank you for replying back! Well, I have a problem getting the hang of assumption questions.

I don't know if I did the prephrase correctly but this is what I got once I read the passage: hobbies are not a good way of battling loneliness (for adolescents) because they may lose interest in the hobbies.

I ruled out D because the passage never hints at there being "some other strategy."
I ruled out E because the passage doe snot tell us that shy adolescents have hobbies "mainly" because they want to make friends.

Afterwards, I was completely lost.

Maybe my prephrase is wrong? How would you go about creating the correct prephrase for this question?

Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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#17923
As with most LR questions, it's a good idea to start by identifying the conclusion. What's this author trying to prove? In this case it's the last sentence, starting with "So", and it boils down to "that doesn't work" (my paraphrase for "it's not a successful strategy").

What's his evidence for claiming that having a hobby isn't a successful strategy? It's found mainly in the sentence just before the conclusion - if they lose interest, things may get worse (again I am paraphrasing, another powerful tool on the LSAT).

Assumption questions often come down to a missing link - the author makes a leap from his premises to his conclusion, and assumes whatever was needed to make that leap. That's where you come in - it's up to you to find the answer that best fills in that gap.

Your prephrase was really more of a paraphrase - you did a good job of breaking down what the argument was all about. A prephrase, though, is about predicting the answer based on the information given, and as such it needs to do more than just repeat what was given, but should expand on it. For an assumption question, that means you need to figure out what will best fill in the missing link - something the author didn't say but must have believed.

Here, that prephrase should probably be something like "if it makes things worse (that's the evidence) then it won't work (that's the conclusion)". See how that bridges the gap and pulls the whole argument together? Try the Assumption Negation technique on it and you get something like "even if it makes things worse it could still succeed" - if that was true then our author's conclusion would be bogus, right? That's how you know you have the right answer - the negation ruins the argument.

Finally, match that prephrase to an answer choice and you get answer B, which is a contrapositive of our prephrase (it could be paraphrased as "if it works, it doesn't make things work"). That's logically equivalent to our prephrase and therefore works just as well.

Try that process as you practice assumption questions - identify the conclusion, identify the evidence that supposedly supports it, prephrase what's missing (and sometimes it's really obvious - don't let that dissuade you), and match your prephrase to an answer.

Good luck! Keep up the good work!
 sotor26
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#17929
Thank you so much! This strategy works with all the other assumption questions I was having a problem with!

Thank you!
 avengingangel
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#47617
I am still confused, because I thought the conclusion is addressing the possibility of losing interest by developing an "all-consuming" hobby ??
 Adam Tyson
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#48014
The conclusion is the last sentence, angel. As I paraphrased above, it's saying "that won't work." Developing an all-consuming hobby will not be a good way to deal with loneliness. The conclusion isn't about losing interest, because losing interest is a premise - if you develop that hobby and then lose interest, you'll end up lonelier than when you started your hobby. That is intended to support the claim that the strategy of developing that hobby will not be successful at combating loneliness.

I hope that clears it up!

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