PT 11, Section 4, #17 and #18

unattended bag
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PT 11, Section 4, #17 and #18

Postby unattended bag » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:49 pm

I'm having a difficult time understanding the stimulus that these two questions are drawn from. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Atlas LSAT Teacher
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Re: PT 11, Section 4, #17 and #18

Postby Atlas LSAT Teacher » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:39 pm

Yeah, it's a tricky one.

The teacher's conclusion is that if a journalist will not reveal her source, she's depending on the "logic of anecdotes." Why? Because if the quote is not sourced, then the quote must be judged by whether it's believable and interesting, in other words, a good story/anecdote.

The student argues that were the teacher correct, we could infer that journalists shouldn't worry about sources, because anyone can make up a good story.

For 17, we're asked to find a flaw in the student's argument. One problem, as (B) notes, is that perhaps the teacher thinks that journalists cannot lie - that they must have an actual source (other than their imagination!).

(A) is wrong because there's no discussion of whether the practice is widespread.
(C) is tempting - however the student does not conflate the what the quality of what the quote says and where it's from - he's suggesting a possible outcome of the teacher's idea.
(D) is wrong since the teacher does not mention an extreme case
(E) is off since there aren't 3 criteria!

For 18, we need to strengthen the conclusion that quotes without sources are to be judged on whether it's believable and interesting. (A) strengthens this by noting that if the story is NOT believable, the journalist will lose standing.

(B) is distracting - we're not interested in how many of each type of quote are out there.
(C) is irrelevant because it introduces the issue of a teacher's reputation.
(D) digs into an irrelevant issue of to whom the source is kept confidential
(E) is irrelevant as it explores whether the journalist is valued, not how their un-sourced quotes will be evaluated.

Tell me if that clears it up or if you have other questions. Good luck!

unattended bag
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:41 am

Re: PT 11, Section 4, #17 and #18

Postby unattended bag » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:03 am

Yes, this was a HUGE help. Thank you for taking the time to write it out. I had no idea what the author meant by "logic of anecdotes", which made it impossible to answer the questions or even understand the stimulus.

Thanks again!

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