Early pencil leads were made of solid graphite mined in Cumberland, in Britain. Modern methods of manufacturing penc...

Farnoush on November 14, 2019

Why B?

Hi I was wondering why it's B. Because when I read the passage I thought I couldn't make such an inference whereas E seemed like the correct answer because regardless we have graphite's in the pencils.

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Ben on November 14, 2019

Hi Farnoushsalimian, thanks for the question!

This is a most strongly supported question, meaning that the answer doesn't have to be undeniably true, but the one that can be most reasonably inferred from the stimulus.

Answer choice B provides that, at this time, France had no accessible alternative to solid graphite. This would reasonably support why France conducted their own research in order to supply their need for solid graphite for usage in pencils. Otherwise, it would be much simpler to access an already available source of solid graphite.

Answer choice E is incorrect because it says all. There is no way to prove or support that absolutely all pencils today use graphite mined in Cumberland. Perhaps there is another or many other sources of graphite for pencil lead available today.

Hope this helps!