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Eliminating All the Answers

In this video we are going to be looking at a tricky type of paragraph argument. What I mean by that is the conclusion is worded in this really subtle way, and when we get to the answers we forget that conclusion and we have this general conclusion in our head, and we of course gravitate to it as a choice and its the wrong one. That’s because we forgot the specific conclusion.

So let’s take a look at this paragraph argument. Recently ApexCo has been drilling off the coast of Mycondia. In this time, the number of aquatic animals that end up on the beach, coated in oil and other products has increased dramatically. Nonetheless, no Peterson’s loggerhead turtles, a tortoise common in the waters off the coast of Mycondia, have washed upon shore.

ApexCo’s public relations claim that while some of the by-products are clearly harmful to aquatic life, the lack of Peterson’s loggerhead turtles washed ashore suggests that not all the aquatic life there is adversely affected. So let’s underline that conclusion. Lack of Peterson’s loggerhead turtles washed ashore suggests that not all aquatic life is adversely affected.

It’s really important to remember that as we’ll see here in a moment. Why? Well, let’s go to the answer choices. And this can often happen when we deal with more difficult questions. And I think the lesson here is an advanced lesson, so these types of questions are rare at the medium, slightly more common at the difficult level, meaning the most difficult verbal section, and probably non-existent on the easiest verbal section.

Let’s take a look at A. The Peterson’s loggerhead head turtle has never been seen washed upon the shores of Mycondia. Now if you’ll read the question it says which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the argument. Now, you may look at this and superficially say, well, here we have a problem where these animals are washing on shore.

Clearly ApexCo is a bad company it’s causing these animals to wash upon shore. And therefore, the PR person says, oh, well, not all the animals are adversely affected. We wanna disagree with him. And we look A and say, shh, well, is that, provide us enough information, and we’ll see that the Peterson’s loggerhead turtle has never been seen washed upon the shores of Mycondia.

And you think, well, maybe but maybe not. I want something to show these ApexCo people are definitely lying. And so you either get rid of it or put a question mark next to it. Now let’s go to B. Sea otters are the most commonly beached animals, followed by dolphins. So we’re talking here about beached animals.

And these two specific beached animals. Notice the prop that was talking about the Peterson’s loggerhead turtle and the turtle has been seen in the waters off the coast of Mycondia before. But B doesn’t actually deal with the turtle. And again go back and look at that conclusion. What is that conclusion saying?

That conclusion’s saying the lack of Peterson’s loggerhead turtles washed ashore suggests that not all aquatic life there is adversely affected. So we wanna make sure that we’re focusing on the turtles. So we get rid of B. There’s C. Many of the animals that are beached are saved by environmental groups, which later release them into the water not affected by ApexCo drilling.

Again, we’re dealing with the subset of animals that are affected, that wash on shore. Well the Peterson’s loggerhead turtle has not been seen on shore, washed on shore, covered in oil like these other animals are. And so we wanna make sure we deal with the turtle that doesn’t fall into this group. And therefore this group of many of the animals here that are beached onshore, we don’t really care about.

Sure it’s a great thing that they’re being saved, but it doesn’t relate to the conclusion. Let’s take a look at D. There have been no reports of beached cephalopods, which are common in the waters off the coast of Mycondia. Very similar in that we’re shifting from turtles to cephalopods, or squiddy-looking things.

Now, this, that is answer choice D, sounds like it’s helping out ApexCo public relations saying, well, you know, not animals are adversely affected and here we have this bee cephalopod, and you know, it’s not washed upon shore so, maybe that’s fine. But again, we wanna make sure that we’re not just focusing on the conclusion, but looking at the type of questions which shares most doubt meaning a weaker question.

So we get rid of D. Then there’s E. ApexCo has also drilled off the cost of Sylvania, which witnessed some of its local aquatic life wash ashore. Now, this may be tempting, probably the most tempting, if you forget the conclusion.

Meaning well, ApexCo is bad, they cause animals to wash on shore, and look what happened before it, happened in this other place. They also washed onshore. That is, when Apex started drilling, animals covered in oil washed onshore. And that sounds like what’s going on here. So the PR person is lying and castings the most doubt.

But wait a second, we care about what? The connection between the fact that there are loggerhead turtles in the water, but according to the PR person, none of them have washed on shore, therefore not all animals there are adversely affected. That is the argument.

That is the conclusion that’s being made here. Therefore, E is out. And before you eliminate A, which is basically the title of this video, Eliminating All Answers. Remember I put a question mark there, because it seemed like something that we could eliminate that didn’t really make sense, but it is actually the answer.

Why? Well, think of it this way. The Peterson’s loggerhead has never washed upon the shore. So, now the person is using this evidence that, hey, our drilling operations don’t hurt all the animals isn’t fair because the loggerhead turtle never washes on shore.

So it could be affected. Maybe it doesn’t wash on shore when oil sweeps over it. Maybe it just falls in deeper in the water, we don’ know. The fact that there are no loggerhead turtles washed upon shore, doesn’t mean that the, the turtle, or by extension all animals, have not been adversely affected if the turtle had never been before seen washed upon the shores in the first place.

And therefore A is our answer. Again, difficult question. Only going to see these type of question at the high levels. Make sure to underline that conclusion. And of course you can’t necessarily do that on a computer screen when you’re taking a test.

But always go back and look at the conclusion, kind of underline it in your mind, so that you are not tricked by tempting answer choices, and the correct answer choice you don’t eliminate we’re actually able to get.

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