- Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:19 pm
Your prephrase seems to be attacking the author's conclusion here - keep in mind that for assumption questions, we are trying to make the author's argument work. Specifically in this question, it is asking us to identify something that the author is taking for granted, so we need to identify an assumption that will make the author's point make sense. As in, you want your prephrase to say: if a historian does not consider a source to be the best, the historian will neglect it. That's the missing assumption from the author's perspective.
Your prephrase is almost there, because it points out the flaw in the stimulus. However, it can be beneficial to match the language of the question so that when you pick an answer, you know that you're picking the one that will answer the question posed.
For assumption questions, you can test out the answer you are choosing by using the Assumption Negation Technique. After negating your answer, if it attacks the argument, it is the correct answer (it was necessary for the assumption to be true, because when it's not true, the argument breaks down).
If we negate answer choice (E), it becomes: the other sources for historical understanding mentioned by the historians surveyed are important repositories of historical knowledge.
This doesn't destroy the author's original argument. The negated form of answer choice (E) tells us that painting, architecture, etc., are important repositories of historical knowledge, which is consistent with the original argument that historians neglect important repositories. That's how we know that answer choice (E) isn't a necessary assumption here.
Now for the correct answer, which is answer choice (C) - let's first see if it matches our prephrase.
If we translate answer choice (C) into simpler terms, it says: there are no sources that are not the best and are not neglected. Not neglected means paid attention to. So, there are no sources that are not the best AND paid attention to. This is consistent with our initial prephrase, and that's how we know it is the correct answer.
Now, if we want to be extra sure, we can negate answer choice (C). The negated form becomes: there are SOME sources that are not the best and paid attention to by historians. This attacks our original argument, because that means that historians aren't necessarily neglecting many important repositories of historical information. Because the negated form attacks, we know that answer choice (C) is the correct answer.
Hope that helps clarify the thought process here! Let us know if you have any other questions.
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