method of reasoning

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FuManChusco
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:56 pm

method of reasoning

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:55 pm

My LR scores have drastically improved and I'm down to about a -1 or -2 on most sections I do. Normally these are just dumb mistakes and I'm fairly confident in my skills. The only problems that I have a hard time on seem to be method of reasoning. They just seem to abstract to me and although I get a lot of them right, it is definitely my weakest area and moderately time consuming. I was wondering if anyone had any specific advice on tackling these types of problems. I've gone through the LR bible chapter on it, but was hoping someone on TLS had something to add. Thanks in advance.

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klussy
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: method of reasoning

Postby klussy » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:11 pm

just read the LR bible chapter on this last night. All I know is that one example, the dialogue where the second person says "What's more.." was pretty messed up lol.

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RickyRoe
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:53 pm

Re: method of reasoning

Postby RickyRoe » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:18 pm

These mess me up too. Not only are they difficult but they are time consuming also. In fact, I just skipped them last time and ended up guessing in the end. I don't have the LR bible but most of the books I've read have said to diagram each one, which takes far too long for someone like me who has problems finishing the test to begin with. Does the LR bible have any different advice? Taking another -4 on this question type is not an option for me this time around.

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FuManChusco
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:56 pm

Re: method of reasoning

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:36 pm

that what's more question was brutal. lr bible didn't help me much for these. It gives advice on certain tricks they use like half right answers, but I still had trouble afterwards which is uncommon for me. I think one key is making sure you have the premise and conclusion figured out but these are still tough. For most lr qs the answer jumps off the page. These are so different in structure they throw me for a loop.

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toolshed
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:35 pm

Re: method of reasoning

Postby toolshed » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:43 pm

The majority of these questions only require you to isolate premise, sub-conclusion, and main conclusion. In a two speaker prompt (like in the "What's more" question), you need to assess how the premise/conclusion of prompt one relate to prompt two. In that particular question, the premises on which the two speakers use to make their conclusions are antithetical, so they cannot both use that premise for a similar conclusion.

You just need to do enough of them to recognize the abstract structure of the arguments, which you should be able to do if you are only missing on 1 or 2 questions is a section. If it helps, try diagramming the argument in the margin (Main Conclusion-Premise-Premise-Subconclusion in support of Main, or whatever it happens to be). This way you have the skeleton of the argument before you even read the answer choices.

mazz
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: method of reasoning

Postby mazz » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:53 pm

I wouldn't suggest trying to be formulaic about something that you find elusive and frustrating. Have you gotten any good at identifying the conclusion? What is the author using to drive the conclusion? The LSAT loves to present you with answer choices that sound similar, but essentially say different things. SO be sure when trying to nail the method of reasoning (which is basically the backbone of RC) ask yourself if the author really did attack the premises they're implying he or she attacked. Did the author undermine the validity of a statement, did the author state something that they planned on building an argument around but not necessarily attacking, even if referred to negatively? There are all sorts of variables. But the best way to get this is to review previous questions. Pay close to attention to what exactly is implied when in an argument somebody undermines the validity of of a premise, or when a something is inferred based on a causal relationship. Understanding the subtleties might make the difference, rather than trying to scattershot your understanding of arguments (I felt the bible was poor at explaining these) btw.




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