People who take what others regard as a ridiculous position should not bother to say, "I mean every word!" For either...

Raymond on September 26, 2019

Why not E?

I narrowed the answers down to A and E, but I chose E. Thanks for helping!

2 Replies

on September 26, 2019

Hello @7771999,

The first sentence is the author's conclusion.

Conclusion: People who hold a belief that others find ridiculous should not say, "I mean every word!"

The author supports his/her conclusion by demonstrating that it holds for each of the only two possible scenarios.

Scenario 1: The belief is truly ridiculous. Saying, "I mean every word!" only adds to the embarrassment.

Scenario 2: The belief has merit. It should be defended with rational argument rather than assurances of sincerity.

We need an argument that has similar reasoning. Let's look for the main argument followed by two scenarios format.

Answer choice A fits this format perfectly.

Conclusion: A practice that has been denounced as poor shouldn't be defended with "this is how we have always done it."

Scenario 1: The practice is truly poor. The fact that it has always been used only makes it worse.

Scenario 2: The practice is not poor. Surely there is a better way to defend it than "this is how we have always done it."

Answer choice E does not fit this format. It is not applying a standard to two different scenarios. You may not have time to break down the argument on paper like I did here. However, make sure you pay attention to the pieces of the argument. For parallel reasoning questions, focus less on the content and more on the "format" or "template" that the argument adheres to.

Peter on February 5 at 04:16AM

how should i annotate this on the test?