Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

lawyerdude
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:49 pm

Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

Postby lawyerdude » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:28 pm

When I approach logical reasoning questions, I find that the hardest ones for me personally tend to involve numerous elements. I would consider myself a pretty smart guy, but it's near impossible for me to hold all of that information in my working memory while I attempt to reason out the answer. I think that everyone is familiar with these kinds of questions; they usually are the longest ones in the sections, and have very dense wording and difficult structures that I'm forced to re-read numerous times before I can get down the concept. Any advice on how to approach such questions?

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dowu
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Re: Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

Postby dowu » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:48 pm

lawyerdude wrote:When I approach logical reasoning questions, I find that the hardest ones for me personally tend to involve numerous elements. I would consider myself a pretty smart guy, but it's near impossible for me to hold all of that information in my working memory while I attempt to reason out the answer. I think that everyone is familiar with these kinds of questions; they usually are the longest ones in the sections, and have very dense wording and difficult structures that I'm forced to re-read numerous times before I can get down the concept. Any advice on how to approach such questions?


Yeah, I think something that has helped me is to first find the conclusion (like, literally bracketing it/circling it). Then, find what reasons/premises the author give in support of it. You want to make sure not to be trying to juggle background information if its not really in the "core" of the argument.

If you keep doing this (finding the core (premises -> conclusion)), then you'll be able to see what matters and what doesn't more easily.

As always, practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Good luck!

bp shinners
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Re: Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:02 pm

nmop_apisdn wrote:Yeah, I think something that has helped me is to first find the conclusion (like, literally bracketing it/circling it). Then, find what reasons/premises the author give in support of it. You want to make sure not to be trying to juggle background information if its not really in the "core" of the argument.


Exactly this. Usually, those convoluted statements have a whole bunch of framing/background information that doesn't play into the argument itself. Find the conclusion first (I always underline it), then work backwards to see what is actually relevant to proving it.

lawyerdude
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:49 pm

Re: Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

Postby lawyerdude » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:53 pm

Good advice. You guys are right, much of the time extraneous info is indeed paralyzing my thought process.

For the more complicated arguments where there are numerous premises and sub-conclusions, do you guys find that diagramming helps?

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

Re: Dealing with questions consisting of many elements

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:33 pm

lawyerdude wrote:For the more complicated arguments where there are numerous premises and sub-conclusions, do you guys find that diagramming helps?


If it's conditional, yes. If not, generally no.

However, if there's really a lot going on, sometimes I'll restate each premise in a few words, then draw a line and write out the conclusion. Sometimes organizing it like that gets it set straight in your head.




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