Economist:  Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the li...

Dan on December 18 at 07:07PM

First sentence

The second sentence is the Conclusion. last sentence is a premise. What is the first sentence? what do we call it? How do we classify it? (Fact, general principle, background information...?)

3 Replies

Ben on December 18 at 08:15PM

Hi Dan, thanks for the question.

You're absolutely correct about the structure of this passage with reference to the second and third statements.

Classifying the second question precisely is difficult because depending how you view it, it can be either a fact or a general principle. I am leaning towards classifying it as a general principle because it is making a rule that applies to all businesses. However, we can also take it as a simple fact or statement. The only thing I would like to add, is to be wary classifying sentences as background info in LR as this is often an incorrect answer choice and it will typically be very clear when it is background info. But as I have circled around here, I believe the "correct" classification of this statement is arbitrary, so long as we know how the second and third sentences relate to each other.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Dan on December 19 at 12:13AM

I have gone through 'main points' and 'argument structure' types of question in detail with the goal of being able to recognize ALL the parts of not only the argument but also the passage. My goal is to recongnize and understand the role Every Word plays in the passage, why its there? There are 4 parts of an argument (passage) are the Conclusion, premises, sub conclusion and the 4th is the part that is not any of those. In the explanations and discussions appearing in those two types of questions, It was described as many things: fact, general principle, background information, illustration, claim, hypothesis, example, evidence, statement...How do we know what the part is and its Relation / effect on the argument? What are the difference among all those? Could you provide a list or a table showing the definition, purpose, relation to the argument of each of the those.

Ben on December 19 at 03:38AM

Hi Dan,

That's awesome that you're paying close attention to the details of the LSAT. That'll take you a long way for this test. And you seem to have a pretty solid understanding of the different parts of an argument. Additionally that is a fairly extensive list of what the fourth part is.

I'll say the following before I try to help out specifically with regard to your question about definition/purpose; most of these are self-explanatory and will be fairly obvious when they arise. As for how to perfectly define them and know their purpose in relation to an argument, this again is typically self-revealing and not essential to have a formal classification. So, I wouldn't spend too much time going into depth about these items, so long as you're able to recognize them when they appear (which is basically the extent to which you are tested).

Fact = self-explanatory. Anything presented as fact.

General principle = a rule or judgment; e.g. all athletes must try their hardest in completion; e.g. it is never acceptable to plagiarize

Background info = As far as I know, it is rarely seen in LR. But this would be information describing the history or context of something.

Illustration = something used to show an idea or a point (often used interchangeably with example)

Example = self-explanatory; for example, case in point, etc.

Statement/claim = just something someone says, could be valid or invalid, supported or unsupported

Evidence = proof of something; e.g. evidence in a study supporting a scientific conclusion; e.g. evidence from a crime scene, e.g. evidence from a survey stating that some action should be taken. Million ways to have evidence.

Hypothesis = typically used in the scientific passages, wherein a scientist hypothesizes a result, but could occur in other contexts as well.

Again, I think you're fine on this note. So no need to worry about these ideas any more than we just went through. Just remember to be flexible with your approach when you are reading and that recognizing these ideas is more than enough.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.