LR “aims”

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LR “aims”

Postby lawguy999 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:13 pm

So I’m not sure how to phrase this question, but I think I learned LR, kinda... backwards. I’m trying to refresh and learn from the ground up, and I am looking to see, as weird as this sounds, for a basic aims for each question type. For example, a strengthening question with an analogy would require one to help make the argument tight, by making the comparison analogous. Or, for evaluate questions, to use the question to make the polar opposites strengthen and weaken the answer, respectively. I’ve already done all the material, for the most part, but I wanted to see if anyone may know of a source that can help me. Thanks.

Blueprint LSAT

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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:43 pm

Re: LR “aims”

Postby Blueprint LSAT » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:11 pm

I'm a tutor/instructor with Blueprint.

Our course definitely breaks things down by question type, with specific aims and strategies like you are describing. It sounds like you have already been through some sort of course, though. Here is a basic breakdown of the question types. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or check out our course if you think it would be helpful at this stage in your prep.

Must be True: Assume all the facts in the stimulus are true (even if they are implausible in the real world or sound like they are being argued rather than stated as facts) and pick an answer that absolutely must follow logically from those facts.
Most Strongly Supported: Same as above, except the answer doesn't absolutely have to be true. Think of it like you are making an argument. You must be able to defend your answer and the only facts you can use to do it are the ones in the stimulus.
Main Point: The answer will be the main conclusion of the argument either paraphrased or stated directly. It will be the claim that the other information supports and that does not go on to support any other claims.
Describe/style of argument: Pick an answer that describes the strategy of the argument. It will often be one of a commonly used list that includes things like "argument by analogy" and "applying a rule to facts." Small distinctions like "attacks the biologists evidence" vs. "takes issue with the biologists conclusion" can matter.
Flaw: How does the evidence fall short of supporting the conclusion? Answer often comes from a commonly used list of flaws including "correlation doesn't support causation," "reasons that a whole must share attributes with a part," etc...
Parallel/Parallel flaw: Pick an answer that uses the exact same logic as the argument. This means understanding the exact logic of the argument so make a diagram if necessary. There is a little more leeway for difference in PF questions because only the flaw must be the same. They will often use the common fallacies used in flaw questions.
Role questions: Spot the conclusion and fully analyze the argument. How does the statement listed in the prompt relate to the argument? Is it evidence, an intermediate conclusion, the main conclusion, something else? Similar fine distinctions as mentioned above in "Describe" questions are important.
Strengthen: Analyze the argument and pick the answer that, if true, would make the evidence given better support the conclusion claimed. The four wrong answers will almost always either weaken the argument or be irrelevant. If two answers strengthen, one will do it a lot more, but chances are you are misreading or assuming something. Look for direct strengthening whenever possible. If you would have to assume anything for the information to help, be careful.
Weaken: Similar to strengthen but you are making the argument worse.
(for both strengthen and weaken they often use causal arguments supported by correlations. When this happens, look for additional correlations to strengthen or analogous examples where the correlation in question is missing to weaken. Also look for the addition or removal of potential alternate causes. These answers can seem irrelevant at first so be sharp.)
Sufficient: These are like "strengthen all the way" questions. When you add the correct answer to the argument presented, the conclusion of that argument will follow logically 100% of the time. When conditional logic is involved, use a diagram to easier spot the missing link between the stimulus and the new term in the conclusion.
Necessary: The correct answers are often worded strangely and seem weak. What you are looking for is something the argument assumes (read: cannot live without). Treat the answers like jenga blocks. Pull them out (negate them) and ask if you still have any relevant support for the argument. If not, you've found your correct answer.
Resolve/Explain: There will be a counter-intuitive or paradoxical situation. Look for the answer that makes it make sense without making any of the information in the stimulus untrue. Look for missing key information. If they give you 2 pieces of knowledge about one group/category and only 1 about another, look for the analogous missing 2nd piece of information that would balance everything out or make everything make sense.

I'm doing this off the top of my head so I may have left a few out, but those are the big ones.

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