"Principle" Question Stems

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WaltGrace83
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

"Principle" Question Stems

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:59 pm

So I made a huge breakthrough today. There absolutely is a difference in what all principles questions are asking of you depending on how they word it. I got confused because it seems that every prep company lumps all of these together when they are, in their very essence, completely different from one another. Here is a list of the stems I have found so far in my drilling 1-38 and I'd appreciate if someone would tell me if I am right or wrong on things I have tried to figure out and help me out on stuff I haven't.

“X most closely conforms to which one of the following principles?”
“Which one of the following expresses a general principle that could underlie the argument?”
“Which one of the following principles, if established, provides a basis for X’s argument?”
“Which one of the following principles forms a logical basis for…?”
Attack these like a Necessary Assumption?


“Which one of the following is a principle that, if accepted, could enable the conclusion to be properly drawn?”
“Which one of the following is a principle that, if accepted, would do most to justify…?”
Attack these like a Sufficient Assumption?



“The passage best illustrates which one of the following statements”
“The argument appeals to which one of the following principles?”
How do you attack these? Is this like a strengthener?



“Which one of the following principles, if established would do most to support X’s argument?”
Where does this fit in?

EDIT: also if you have any stems I am forgetting post away!

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: "Principle" Question Stems

Postby tomwatts » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:08 am

WaltGrace83 wrote:There absolutely is a difference in what all principles questions are asking of you depending on how they word it.

Yes. Yes, there is. Broadly speaking, I divide Principle questions into three categories: Principle-Strengthen, Principle-ID, and Principle-Apply.

Principle-Strengthen asks you for a principle that strengthens the argument. It's similar to a Strengthen question, but if you do a bunch of them in a row, you'll see that the flavor is a little different. (Basically, the right answer tends to say that the evidence is the right evidence to draw the conclusion; it links premise and conclusion in a more direct way than you might be accustomed to on an ordinary Strengthen question.)

Principle-ID asks you to identify a principle that describes what's going on in the information provided. (Stimulus gives information; answer choices give principles.)

Principle-Apply gives a principle and asks you which of the answer choices is a correct application of it. (Stimulus gives principle; answer choices give information. It's the reverse of Principle-ID.)

“X most closely conforms to which one of the following principles?”
Principle-ID.

“Which one of the following expresses a general principle that could underlie the argument?”
Probably Principle-Strengthen (though things phrased like this are sometimes Principle-ID in disguise).

“Which one of the following principles, if established, provides a basis for X’s argument?”
Principle-Strengthen.

“Which one of the following principles forms a logical basis for…?”
Principle-Strengthen.

“Which one of the following is a principle that, if accepted, could enable the conclusion to be properly drawn?”
This is basically just a Sufficient Assumption question that uses the word "principle."

“Which one of the following is a principle that, if accepted, would do most to justify…?”
Principle-Strengthen. (This is the normal phrasing.)

“The passage best illustrates which one of the following statements”
Principle-ID.

“The argument appeals to which one of the following principles?”
Er, probably Principle-Strengthen (but some Principle-ID questions are disguised with similar wording).

“Which one of the following principles, if established would do most to support X’s argument?”
Principle-Strengthen.

Sometimes the Principle-ID/Principle-Strengthen distinction is a little hazy based on the stem, but if you're looking at a full-fledged argument (complete with conclusion, it's necessarily Principle-Strengthen, and if you're looking at just a bunch of facts describing some situation, it's Principle-ID.

EDIT: There are also rare Principle questions that are basically flaky Parallel questions, but those are rare.




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