Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that which one of the following sentences could most logicall...

Richmond on June 1, 2018

Extension Sentences

Hi, could you please explain why E is the correct answer here. And more generally, what is the best way to approach an extension question that asks you which sentence would logically conclude the passage or come next? Thanks!

3 Replies

Christopher on June 3, 2018

A lot of the time, the key is figuring out what the main point of the final paragraph actually is. In this case, the point of the last paragraph is to say that despite the historical roots, the intent of the oath seems to change from generation to generation due to advances in medicine and even our approach to language, even going so far as to say that those who appraise and apply it in each generation are essentially its authors. Thus, (E) closes and completes the argument, whereas the others don't.

(A) contradicts the main point of the last paragraph.

(B) introduces an entirely new line of thought.

(C) introduces specific attacks on the oath's critics that haven't been discussed prior. There is no reason to jump to a specific conclusion as to why critics are criticizing the oath.

(D) is also a bit of a leap. Nothing in the passage discusses the changes in modern medical ethics but only briefly mentions them to say that they are more flexible than in Greek times.

Which leaves us with (E), which succinctly expresses the main point of the second paragraph and the passage as a whole.

As for strategy, there's not a simple "look for these words" type of strategy when it comes to these. The biggest key to these is that you must "read to understand." If you fully comprehend the point of the passage, then it'll be much easier to complete the thought. It would be nice if there were a trick to these, but there isn't. Practice, however, will improve your ability to see these quickly.

Does that help?

Will on February 21 at 04:00PM

Hello,
I have a question stemming from your explanation. When asked to add a sentence to the end of the passage, should you focus more on matching the ideas of the final paragraph or the passage as a whole?

Ravi on February 21 at 06:08PM

@Will-Wester,

Great question. On these types of questions, it's important to select
an answer choice that relates to what's being said at the end of the
passage and is also in-line with the main point of the author. So you
need to make sure that it's focused on building onto the last
paragraph of the passage, but you also want it to tie back into the
author's overall conclusion.

Another thing to keep in mind is that having a strategy for
eliminating the wrong answers can also be helpful for these types of
questions. It's important to get rid of answer choices that are beyond
the scope of what the author is saying in the passage or claim
something that is stronger than what the author's conclusion actually
is. Combining this strategy of getting rid of answer choices with the
one mentioned above can help quite a bit on these questions.

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!