Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage?

on January 15 at 11:59PM

bad

Hi, there has to be a little "trick" to get to the main point because i miss 99% of these questions in RC :( I chose D instead of C.

1 Reply

Ravi on February 17 at 06:22PM

@Ceci,

Great question. Contrary to what it may seem like, there actually
isn't a little trick to get the main point questions right on RC. The
key is to make sure that you're internalizing what's being said each
sentence and that upon completion of each paragraph, you think to
yourself what the function of that paragraph was and how it relates to
the previous paragraphs you've written.

When reading passages, try and think to yourself, "Why are you telling
me this?" This will help get you more engaged with the author and will
also help guide your mind more toward thinking about what the main
point of the passage is.

On this problem, the question says, "Which one of the following most
accurately expresses the main point of the passage?"

As you pointed out, this means we're looking for the overall point of
the passage. In reading the passage, we see that the author reveals
her conclusion toward the beginning of the second paragraph in lines
16-20 when she says, "Lawyers’ commonly held belief in the value of
stealing thunder is not only corroborated by those experimental
findings; it is also supported by several psychological explanations
of why the technique should work."

The reason we know this is the author's conclusion is because the
other parts of the passage serve to delve into more detail on the
psychological explanations that provide answers as to how stealing
thunder favorably influences jurors, which provides support for the
author's statement in lines 16-20.

You said you picked (D) instead of (C), so let's take a look at (D).

(D) says, "The risks involved in stealing thunder can outweigh the
probable benefits when the information to be revealed is too readily
available or too negative in its impact."

While (D) does correctly point out one of the problems/limitations
with stealing thunder (when the information is very damaging, which is
mentioned in lines 54 to 59), this was not the main point of the whole
passage. Rather, this was simply an ancillary point that the author
makes at the very end of the passage, but it's not the main point of
the whole thing. Another problem with (D) is that the author does not
make the claim that an additional limitation of stealing thunder is
when the information in question is readily available, so not only
does (D) not state the main point of the passage, it also contains an
inaccurate statement. As a result, we can get rid of (D).

(C) says, "Lawyers’ commonly held belief in the value of stealing
thunder is supported by several psychological explanations of how that
strategy may influence jurors."

As we noted above, the main point of the passage was mentioned in the
beginning of the second paragraph in lines 16-20 when she says,
"Lawyers’ commonly held belief in the value of stealing thunder is not
only corroborated by those experimental findings; it is also supported
by several psychological explanations of why the technique should
work." (C) matches this statement really well—and certainly far better
than any of the other answer choices—so it's our pick and is the
correct answer.

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