Keywords

GGforLSAT
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:59 pm

Keywords

Postby GGforLSAT » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:07 pm

I was working on some Flaw type LR questions earlier and noticed that I could usually find the right answer quickly if I noticed a key word in the stimulus. For example, when the stimulus says "blah blah blah, A associates with B, blah blah blah," if I note the word 'associates', I can at the very least be more alert for a correlation-causation flaw. Similarly, with numbers and percentages, you look for keywords such as "rates" or "market shares" contrasted with numerical amounts or totals. This seems obvious enough, but the task is to figure out what these keywords are so that one could make these quicker connections.

Does anyone else find this approach pretty helpful? Do you have a set of keywords that you are always on the lookout for? Maybe we could create a list for keywords that associate with flaws or valid methods of reasoning.

Some that I notice:
knowledge vs fact flaw: knows/believes/opines contrasted with factual information
percentage-number flaw: rates/percentage/numbers/total
correlation-causation flaw: associates/follows/correlates/causes
Ad hominem: A's argument is wrong bc "he"/"the source" is X

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05062014
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Keywords

Postby 05062014 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:29 pm

Yeah. Seemingly unimportant words make the difference with flaw Q's. Just last night I stared at a flaw Q far too long and realized 'THESE people in field X hold a certain view' and 'field X has been shown to make mistakes blah blah' .. therefore, 'the view held is misguided or mistaken or w/e.' one word (these) triggered the flaw.

At the same time, other questions require you to be flexible with language and to make common sense assumptions that require you to deduce that slightly different words generally mean the same thing. However, sometimes this does not hold either. The key is to take what you are given and work with that and nothing else. Very hard to do tho, no doubt about it.

Mik Ekim
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Keywords

Postby Mik Ekim » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:17 pm

Smart to notice that, and you are absolutely right -- there are certain words that define what is important to the test-writers, and other words that simply set the "scenario" for what is being tested. If you are looking for a list of keywords, I'm sure there are a lot of threads that contain such a list(too lazy to look them up myself), and I know that many of the prep books highlight them for you --

I'd love to give you some unsolicited advice, related to this subject, that I think could be helpful (please ignore if it doesn't relate to u) -- keywords do not define the argument; the argument defines the keywords.

What is it that makes certain words more important than others? It's simple--the words that are important are the ones that define the reasoning relationship--the relationship between the support and the conclusion. For every argument, you know there will be a point made, and a reason (or two) given for that point. Most importantly, you know that the reason given will not be sufficient to justify the conclusion. That is the most important thing for you to think about for any argument based question--why the support doesn't justify the conclusion. The words that tell you what the conclusion is, what the support is, and the words that define why the reasoning doesn't justify the conclusion--these are the keywords in any argument based stimulus. If you are great at focusing on these issues, you will end up naturally focused on the words that will be most important for defining right and wrong answers.

Of course, all of this is dependent on understanding the meaning of these keywords. Also, being able to recognize them can certainly help you understand the reasoning relationship. The one thing I would caution against is a strategy in which you go into the stimulus focused on searching for keywords-- I've worked with a lot of students who've ended up doing this, and for whatever reason this tends to have a "trees instead of the forest" effect--it prevents them from using their natural reading skills and common sense. Search for the conclusion, support, and issue, and the words that define those things will be your keywords.

Hope that helps and good luck.

nothblake
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:35 am

Re: Keywords

Postby nothblake » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:17 pm

.
Last edited by nothblake on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Keywords

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:40 am

Any sufficient/necessary keyword -> Suff/nec. fallacy
Exclusivity: only, should

-Edit for incorrect word (Equivocation should have been Exclusivity)-
Last edited by bp shinners on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

nothblake
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:35 am

Re: Keywords

Postby nothblake » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:58 pm

bp shinners wrote:Any sufficient/necessary keyword -> Suff/nec. fallacy
Equivocation: only, should


Care to explain in laymen's terms?

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Keywords

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:52 am

nothblake wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Any sufficient/necessary keyword -> Suff/nec. fallacy
Exclusivity: only, should


Care to explain in laymen's terms?


Sure!

If you can diagram the stimulus in a flaw question, it's probably a Sufficient/Necessary Fallacy (fallacy of the converse/inverse, or some variation). Expect the answer choice to talk about sufficient/enough and necessary/guaranteed. The tricky part for these will be to find the abstracted answer that relates to the stimulus, as there will probably be 2-3 ACs using that language, and they'll be worded to confuse you.

If you have a conclusion that recommends a course of action ("should") or says that there is "only" one factor, or "only" one way, then it's an Exclusivity Fallacy (which I brain farted as 'equivocation' in my first post - that's not the word I meant). You're ignoring the other options, or ignoring other factors/the possibility of a combo of factors. If I see "should" or "only" in a conclusion, I'm thinking it's an exclusivity fallacy.




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