Although all birds have feathers and all birds have wings, some birds do not fly. For example, penguins and ostriches...

#JW on September 4, 2019

Argument breakdown of prompt

Two Requests (please): 1- Breakdown the prompt 2- Strategy for attacking a parallel reasoning question that is similar to an answer choice with a different argument structure I understand the correct answer and I know I went wrong by looking for the answer choice with a smilier argument structure rather than reasoning, but could someone please break down the prompt? It honestly felt like more of a set of facts rather than an argument which is why I did not select an answer choice with "therefore" in it. Again, totally understand it's an argument and the question stem even says that it is, but when the prompt and answer choice structure are different how do we attack this type of problem set? Thanks for the help thus far, this has been phenomenal learning experience.

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shunhe on January 6, 2020

Hey @#JW,

With questions like this, I would definitely lean towards diagramming the stimulus and any potential answer choices you think are likely to be right, since that's the best way to nail parallel reasoning on the head. It can even be a somewhat informal diagram, but it's nice to have the general structure on paper. Let's take this problem, for example. The stimulus tells us

Bird - > feather & wings
Birds <-some-> ~fly
(Gives 2 examples)

As you can see, the "(gives 2 examples)" part isn't a very formal diagram, but it helps me jot down the general way the argument supports its conclusion, and if I need to look at the 2 examples in more detail I can always go back. In this question, it doesn't seem as if the way in which the example are provided really matters, so I stick with this more informal, but quicker, way of diagramming. Now taking a look at the answer choice, it's worded kind of weirdly, which is to make us miss our on the parallel reasoning if we skim it too quickly . But if we diagram it, the structure comes out:

Chair - > Seat & Support
Chair <-some-> sit
(Gives 2 examples)

And we can see that this structure matches up. Hope this helps!