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Numbers vs. Percents
OK. In this video, we’re gonna be dealing with number and percent errors. In fact, it’s the only video out of our paragraph argument videos here, out of the lessons, in which there isn’t an actual paragraph argument prompt.
This little guy right here isn’t quasi-wannabe prompt, but the whole point is it’s not supposed to be a prompt. It’s supposed to illustrate a principle: the difference between numbers and percents. So let’s read here. The likelihood of spotting someone wearing a green sweater is far greater in Town A than in Town B. Therefore, Town A has more people who wear green sweaters.
So imagine this. Imagine in Town A, there are 1,000 people, and 999 of them have green sweaters. Therefore, Town A has more people who wear green sweaters.
But wait a second. What if town B has a 1,000 people wearing green sweaters, but it’s a massive city, a 1,000,000 people, so the odds of seeing someone is very rare, 1/1000, versus if you see someone here, they’re gonna be wearing a green sweater.
Weird city, by the way. The point is, though, that we can disprove the assumption that just because there’s a greater percent or likelihood of something happened, meaning that there’s actually more of something.
Again, we have to take in the total number of residents in each city. Let’s try another example. More people drive BMWs in Town A than in Town B. Therefore, if you stop a car at random, it is more likely to be a BMW in Town A than in Town B. Can’t the whole idea of the percentage, we have to see exactly how many residents there are.
So sure, more people drive BMWs in Town A than Town B. We can have a 1,000. However, if that 1,000 again is over 1,000,000 or over any large number and this other Town B has 900, so again, it’s fewer than the number of residents in Town A but there’s only 1,000 people. The likelihood you stop somewhere in Town B is actually going to be far greater than Town A.
It all depends on the number of residents in each city, and that number is very important. So let’s take a look here at again, a quasi-prompt, but just to get the idea across. And I encourage you after watching this video to actually try out a paragraph argument question that deals with number/percent errors.
So let’s read this guy. The percentage of residents in Carsborough who have been ticketed on local roads is greater than the percentage of residents in Betaville who have been ticketed on local roads.
Therefore, the number of tickets administered in Carsborough is greater than that administered in Betaville. Again, same thing. We can use the numbers to show us here. We have, let’s say, 9 people in Carsborough out of 10. 90% of the people have been ticketed.
However, in Betaville, let’s say we have 10 more tickets but the percent is a lot lower, out of 1,000. Same thing we just did on the other two mini prompts.
And again, the percent and the number differ. Now, again, this is all pretty basic and so I encourage you to practice this concept on a more difficult question.
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