evaluate the argument

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NigeranOU

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Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:34 am

evaluate the argument

Postby NigeranOU » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:27 pm

I am really struggling with these. Does anyone have some tips for me

MyNameIsntJames

Bronze
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: evaluate the argument

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:01 am

NigeranOU wrote:I am really struggling with these. Does anyone have some tips for me




This question type is pretty rare (about 1 of these question types per LSAT) but I'll chime in. I find what helps best with EvA is to treat them like pseudo-assumption questions.

Typically the question stem says something to the effect of, "What would be useful to know in evaluating this argument?"


Here's why I said treat this like a pseudo-assumption question. If you've been studying assumption questions, you know there's usually some logical gap between the premises and the conclusion in the argument and your job is to find the answer choice that connects these two elements in a logically sound way and doesn't allow for any alternative conclusions or flawed reasoning. Similarly, you're trying to find an answer choice that represents that element. Except here, the answer choice doesn't validate the argument. Instead, it is information that you need to know if the argument is right or not.


For example: Your Mom goes to the store. She picks up some grapes and when she gets to the cash register she tells the cashier "These grapes are outrageously expensive!"

Ask yourself, what information would you need to know in order to evaluate whether what your Mom is saying is legit or not? Imagine there's a counter-arguer for these types of situations.

The cashier says, "No, they're perfectly priced!" Then they turn to you and ask "Well what do you think?" What would you base your decision on? Obviously you'd want to know the average cost of grapes in general.

The key to these types of problems (most of the time) is looking directly at the conclusion. The conclusion of the argument is going to be the issue at point that you want to evaluate. The correct answer is going to be the answer that would allow you to say "This argument is true/false" with certainty. So each answer, look at it carefully and think to yourself, "If I knew this information, would I be able to decide whether or not this conclusion is right or not? Can we definitively settle the argument with this piece of information?"


Some people say 'find an answer that strengthens or weakens the conclusion' and I hate that advice because it isn't really helpful and sometimes that won't yield the right answer choice. For example, re: mom buying apples and saying "These are expensive!" --- If that scenario asked you to evaluate your mother's argument that the apples are expensive and there was an answer choice that said "Mom had never paid this much for apples before", then you'd be tempted to pick that under the 'find the answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy. However, that answer would not be the best one for evaluating the argument because, while it may strengthen it, it wouldn't necessarily allow us to answer the question of whether the apples could be deemed objectively expensive as she claims they are. That answer still yields the possibility that your mother may have just shopped at one or two other locations that had very below market prices for apples and that the grocery store she is currently in is merely charging market, yet that is perceived expensive by her.

I hope that makes sense and I didn't over complicate things ^. Basically, I'm just saying that the 'find an answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy for Evaluate the Argument questions is a really shitty strategy and one that will probably consistently lead to wrong answers. Honestly that's probably how most of the trap answers are set up for this type of problem.


Just remember these main things:

1.) Read for the argument
2.) Isolate the conclusion.
3.) Look for an answer choice that proposes knowledge that would allow you to conclusively say whether the conclusion is right or wrong****

**** There will never be a right answer in the evaluate the argument problem type that does not adhere to rule 3.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about other question types, be it LG, RC, LR or whatever. I enjoy explaining this stuff and if it helps then I'm more than game.


If anyone else has any other feedback on methods to tackle this type of problem, feel free to add.

NigeranOU

Bronze
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:34 am

Re: evaluate the argument

Postby NigeranOU » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:32 am

MyNameIsntJames wrote:
NigeranOU wrote:I am really struggling with these. Does anyone have some tips for me




This question type is pretty rare (about 1 of these question types per LSAT) but I'll chime in. I find what helps best with EvA is to treat them like pseudo-assumption questions.

Typically the question stem says something to the effect of, "What would be useful to know in evaluating this argument?"


Here's why I said treat this like a pseudo-assumption question. If you've been studying assumption questions, you know there's usually some logical gap between the premises and the conclusion in the argument and your job is to find the answer choice that connects these two elements in a logically sound way and doesn't allow for any alternative conclusions or flawed reasoning. Similarly, you're trying to find an answer choice that represents that element. Except here, the answer choice doesn't validate the argument. Instead, it is information that you need to know if the argument is right or not.


For example: Your Mom goes to the store. She picks up some grapes and when she gets to the cash register she tells the cashier "These grapes are outrageously expensive!"

Ask yourself, what information would you need to know in order to evaluate whether what your Mom is saying is legit or not? Imagine there's a counter-arguer for these types of situations.

The cashier says, "No, they're perfectly priced!" Then they turn to you and ask "Well what do you think?" What would you base your decision on? Obviously you'd want to know the average cost of grapes in general.

The key to these types of problems (most of the time) is looking directly at the conclusion. The conclusion of the argument is going to be the issue at point that you want to evaluate. The correct answer is going to be the answer that would allow you to say "This argument is true/false" with certainty. So each answer, look at it carefully and think to yourself, "If I knew this information, would I be able to decide whether or not this conclusion is right or not? Can we definitively settle the argument with this piece of information?"


Some people say 'find an answer that strengthens or weakens the conclusion' and I hate that advice because it isn't really helpful and sometimes that won't yield the right answer choice. For example, re: mom buying apples and saying "These are expensive!" --- If that scenario asked you to evaluate your mother's argument that the apples are expensive and there was an answer choice that said "Mom had never paid this much for apples before", then you'd be tempted to pick that under the 'find the answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy. However, that answer would not be the best one for evaluating the argument because, while it may strengthen it, it wouldn't necessarily allow us to answer the question of whether the apples could be deemed objectively expensive as she claims they are. That answer still yields the possibility that your mother may have just shopped at one or two other locations that had very below market prices for apples and that the grocery store she is currently in is merely charging market, yet that is perceived expensive by her.

I hope that makes sense and I didn't over complicate things ^. Basically, I'm just saying that the 'find an answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy for Evaluate the Argument questions is a really shitty strategy and one that will probably consistently lead to wrong answers. Honestly that's probably how most of the trap answers are set up for this type of problem.


Just remember these main things:

1.) Read for the argument
2.) Isolate the conclusion.
3.) Look for an answer choice that proposes knowledge that would allow you to conclusively say whether the conclusion is right or wrong****

**** There will never be a right answer in the evaluate the argument problem type that does not adhere to rule 3.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about other question types, be it LG, RC, LR or whatever. I enjoy explaining this stuff and if it helps then I'm more than game.


If anyone else has any other feedback on methods to tackle this type of problem, feel free to add.


I decided to skip mastering them all together. If they are so rare. Prob not advised but I'm so over this test and I could care less about one question. 170 or 169 is all the same to me

MyNameIsntJames

Bronze
Posts: 338
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: evaluate the argument

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:24 am

NigeranOU wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:
NigeranOU wrote:I am really struggling with these. Does anyone have some tips for me




This question type is pretty rare (about 1 of these question types per LSAT) but I'll chime in. I find what helps best with EvA is to treat them like pseudo-assumption questions.

Typically the question stem says something to the effect of, "What would be useful to know in evaluating this argument?"


Here's why I said treat this like a pseudo-assumption question. If you've been studying assumption questions, you know there's usually some logical gap between the premises and the conclusion in the argument and your job is to find the answer choice that connects these two elements in a logically sound way and doesn't allow for any alternative conclusions or flawed reasoning. Similarly, you're trying to find an answer choice that represents that element. Except here, the answer choice doesn't validate the argument. Instead, it is information that you need to know if the argument is right or not.


For example: Your Mom goes to the store. She picks up some grapes and when she gets to the cash register she tells the cashier "These grapes are outrageously expensive!"

Ask yourself, what information would you need to know in order to evaluate whether what your Mom is saying is legit or not? Imagine there's a counter-arguer for these types of situations.

The cashier says, "No, they're perfectly priced!" Then they turn to you and ask "Well what do you think?" What would you base your decision on? Obviously you'd want to know the average cost of grapes in general.

The key to these types of problems (most of the time) is looking directly at the conclusion. The conclusion of the argument is going to be the issue at point that you want to evaluate. The correct answer is going to be the answer that would allow you to say "This argument is true/false" with certainty. So each answer, look at it carefully and think to yourself, "If I knew this information, would I be able to decide whether or not this conclusion is right or not? Can we definitively settle the argument with this piece of information?"


Some people say 'find an answer that strengthens or weakens the conclusion' and I hate that advice because it isn't really helpful and sometimes that won't yield the right answer choice. For example, re: mom buying apples and saying "These are expensive!" --- If that scenario asked you to evaluate your mother's argument that the apples are expensive and there was an answer choice that said "Mom had never paid this much for apples before", then you'd be tempted to pick that under the 'find the answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy. However, that answer would not be the best one for evaluating the argument because, while it may strengthen it, it wouldn't necessarily allow us to answer the question of whether the apples could be deemed objectively expensive as she claims they are. That answer still yields the possibility that your mother may have just shopped at one or two other locations that had very below market prices for apples and that the grocery store she is currently in is merely charging market, yet that is perceived expensive by her.

I hope that makes sense and I didn't over complicate things ^. Basically, I'm just saying that the 'find an answer that strengthens/weakens conclusion' strategy for Evaluate the Argument questions is a really shitty strategy and one that will probably consistently lead to wrong answers. Honestly that's probably how most of the trap answers are set up for this type of problem.


Just remember these main things:

1.) Read for the argument
2.) Isolate the conclusion.
3.) Look for an answer choice that proposes knowledge that would allow you to conclusively say whether the conclusion is right or wrong****

**** There will never be a right answer in the evaluate the argument problem type that does not adhere to rule 3.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about other question types, be it LG, RC, LR or whatever. I enjoy explaining this stuff and if it helps then I'm more than game.


If anyone else has any other feedback on methods to tackle this type of problem, feel free to add.


I decided to skip mastering them all together. If they are so rare. Prob not advised but I'm so over this test and I could care less about one question. 170 or 169 is all the same to me



No need to do that, just remember what I said & you're fine.



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