Which one of the following sentences would most logically complete the last paragraph of the passage?

Eugenia-Ouyang on October 21, 2019

Question type help

I've been struggling with these kind of problems and I was wondering if there is some kind of advice I can use when approaching these completing last passage problems. Thank you.

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SamA on October 21, 2019

Hello @Eugenia-Ouyang,

Good question! I'll give you some pointers for "logically completes the passage" questions. I think going through the answer choices will demonstrate what to seek/avoid.

A. Never in the passage is there a mention of developed property. The primary threat discussed in the passage is the destruction of mature trees and wildlife. The last sentence of the passage is not the place to introduce a new topic. There will be a lot of wrong answers like this. We do not want to bring in new, unrelated information at the end of the passage.

B. We do not want an answer choice which contradicts a previous statement from the author. See line 4: "foresters and firefighters are increasingly aware that too much firefighting can be worse than none at all." The forestry community is not resisting the author's proposals. Rather, they do recognize danger of excess fuel. The author is not going to suddenly switch directions in the last sentence.

C. This is the correct answer, and it has characteristics that we want to look for in future questions.
1. Continuity. We want to continue the topic of the last paragraph. In this case, the author promotes new fire management policies. It makes sense that our addition should involve these policies.
2. Conclusion. We want to wrap up the passage. The last paragraph was about the author's policies, it makes sense that we end with an implication of enacting these policies.

D. Make sure to consider the author's tone and purpose. She spent the whole passage discussing how important new fire management practices are. Why would she suddenly introduce a reason not to use these practices? She already wrote that there is a market for small trees.

E. The author is simply promoting the best forest management system. She never discusses a financial aspect, or anything that indicates that these measures are expensive . Similar to A, we don't want to introduce a new topic. Adding a last sentence that largely dismisses her hopes for a new system doesn't really make sense.