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 mrcheese
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#49713
The answer choice I originally chose was E. Now I see that is terrible, but I think I have a problem with the correct answer (C).

The conclusion in the stimulus says that "many" important repositories are ignored.

The answer choice (correct - C) says that the assumption ("takes for granted") of the conclusion is that there are NO SOURCES for historical understanding that are neither considered best by historians nor neglected by them.

Hypothetically, if there was just one source in the arts that was described as, "not the best, but definitely not neglected" then it would still allow for the stimulus conclusion to follow that the historians are neglecting "many."

"Many" isn't as strong as "all." It seems to leave some wiggle room.

Please give me some clarification on this. I appreciate all that you guys do. :)
 mrcheese
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#49714
I looked at the situation again.

I think the "many" refers to the other situations (the arts) and the reason it could not say "all" was necessary because they at least didn't neglect the historical writings.

This question seems terribly worded. I would like to understand how to not be defeated by this type of wording.
 Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
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#49838
Hi, Mr. Cheese,

Yes, this is a difficult question to parse! A couple pointers to consider:
  • Did you have a strong prephrase here? Once you identify the conclusion at the end of the stimulus and consider the support offered, it's important to pause a beat to consider just what's wrong with the argument. You might come up with something like:
    • "Wait, just because the historians don't think that stuff is the most important thing doesn't mean they don't value it. They might use it, but just not as much as the written texts."
    With this kind of prephrase, you can confidently attack the answer choices to separate them into contenders and losers.
  • When you come across something difficult to follow, like answer choice (C), consider just leaving it in as a contender to deal with later. Get rid of the clear losers, the stuff you know is wrong for a good reason, then return to these confusing contenders to consider them in more detail.
  • Now, parse out the remaining answer choices to understand precisely what they say. For instance, with answer choice (C) you might do something like this:
    • "the argument takes for granted that" = "the author assumes"
      "there are no sources for historical understanding" = "there aren't any sources"
      "that are neither considered best by historians" = "that historians don't think are best"
      Pause here.
      "the author assumes that there aren't any sources that historians don't think are best." This must be referring to the other stuff, not the written texts.
      Continue.
      "nor neglected by them" = "and are also not ignored by them."
      Put it all together.
      "The author assumes that there aren't any sources that historians don't think are best and are also not ignored by them."
      Okay so this is saying the author thinks the historians thing that all those sources, like paintings and music, that the historians don't think are the best thing are also things that the historians totally ignore. This matches the prephrase!
This is a difficult process that takes practice, but work through these hard problems step by step to increase your speed and skill. It will get easier!

Keep up the good work!
 mrcheese
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#57702
I never prephrase. It seems like a really hard skill. Sometimes I do it without thinking about it, but that is just because the stimulus was easy.
I'll admit.. It was easy to see that this answer was very susceptible to prephrasing. I still don't think that "many" should lead to they "took for granted" that "there are no sources... that are neither best nor taken of granted by them"

Seems like there could still be a few. Pre-phrasing is my only hope here?
 mrcheese
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#57703
The question doesn't seem that hard now. The other answers are worse than the correct answer. I just take issue with the correct answer a little bit. I can definitely understand why the others are absolutely wrong.
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 desiboy96
  • Posts: 39
  • Joined: Jan 20, 2021
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#87163
Hey P.S. I was hoping you guys could help me out.

So for this question, my prephrase was (just because the historians consider text sources as the best form of info for historical knowledge, that doesn't mean they don't consider those other sources as unimportant info as the author suggests).

As a result, I goofed and clicked E because I thought E was saying what my prephrase said. Turns out that's wrong because the author doesn't assume that they're not important.

While I initially kept B as a possible answer choice in my initial read through, I felt that I didn't translate it properly into an easier way to understand which led me to pick E. I though B said "there are sources that are considered the best by historians and neglected by them" and I didn't quite understand what the answer choice was suggesting so I picked E.

Can you recommend and tips and tricks in dealing with this problem? I feel like it happens occasionally when I do LR.

Thank you :)
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 Poonam Agrawal
PowerScore Staff
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#88219
Hi desiboy!

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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 desiboy96
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#88330
Hi Poonam, thank you so much for your help. I seen to have trouble with negatives sometimes but your explanation made things crystal clear. Also, I will be sure to treat such questions as assumption questions rather than flaw questions going forward. :)

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