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  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Sep 18, 2019
Let me preface this by saying I've been struggling with MP question in the RC sections. So, any tips would be greatly appreciated.

For this question, I originally chose "A" since, although I couldn't come up with a pre-phrase, it seemed to reflect what was spoken of throughout the majority of the passage. I remembered the part where it says faking was "virtually nonexistent" in medieval Europe, but I didn't consider that to falsify the fact that faking has occurred throughout history. In hindsight, I understand that "in virtually every culture" is unsupported information.

But even if "virtually every culture" makes "A" wrong, I can't understand why "D" is correct. I don't see anything to indicate the author is discussing "determining whether a work of art can appropriately be called fake." The only thing I can find that's close is line 18-20 where it says that anciently it may have been hard to determine whether a sculpture was fake, but now those sculptures are properly exhibited as "Roman copies." Could someone explain this?

More generally, can someone help me understand how to identify and pre-phrase a Main Point in a passage such as this where the majority, if not all, of what is discussed is describing or selecting contents from another source. If the author doesn't express anything, how can she/he have a main point?

Thanks in advance!
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 836
  • Joined: Jun 12, 2017
Hi Canada2019,

First, great analysis of answer choice A! You've accurately zeroed in on the thing that definitively rules it out.

Answer choice D is strongly supported by the first and last paragraphs. In the first paragraph, the author discusses the primary concerns of the Mark Jones study, by stating, "[t]he question mark in the title of Mark Jones’s Fake? The Art of Deception reveals the study’s broader concerns. Indeed, it might equally be entitled Original?, and the text begins by noting a variety of possibilities somewhere between the two extremes." When the author says, "it might equally be entitled Original?," the author hones in on the fact that the study exhibits uncertainty about what is properly called "fake" and what is properly called "original." The author amplifies and echoes that uncertainty by suggesting the different title, a title that is really just the other side of the coin.

The author picks up that issue of uncertainty (about what is truly "fake" and what is truly "original") in the third paragraph with the discussion of the Bambaran chi wara mask. The author is not as certain as the "so-called" experts that "only the ritual mask should be seen as authentic," and questions in the final sentence "whether the Bambaran artists would agree," thus ending the entire passage on a strong note of uncertainty about what should truly be called fake and what should truly be called original. The author's main point is thus to make the reader aware of this uncertainty, and the resulting "difficulty" of determining what is appropriately called fake and what is appropriately called original.

I hope this helps!


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