Which one of the following statements most accurately characterizes a difference between the two passages?

on January 26, 2020

strengthen vs must be true

I am having trouble distinguishing strengthen questions from must be true questions as both question types include the word 'conclusion' as a key indicator, and if you are strengthening an argument, doesn't that imply that what you are strengthening it must be true? Please provide clarification

2 Replies

Andrea on January 28, 2020

Hi @rosemarie,

Is there a specific part of the lesson that's giving you trouble? If so, feel free to respond with more detail regarding which video and where within that video is confusing to you.

That being said, a strengthen question is asking you to DO something to the conclusion (strengthen it with one of the answer choices) and a must be true question is asking you to simply identify an answer choice that, based on the information given in the stimulus, must be true. On a must be true, your goal is to not chose an answer choice that reaches too far and claims more than one can logically conclude from the information in the stimulus. On a strengthen, your goal is to make the conclusion of the stimulus as likely as possible with the additional information given in an answer choice.

Hope this helps clarify!

Skylar on January 28, 2020

@rosemarie, happy to help!

Strengthen questions are distinct from Must Be True questions.

Instead of looking to "conclusion" as a key word indicator for Must Be True questions, I would recommend looking to the following list:
- properly inferred
- logically inferred
- inferred
- properly concluded
- logically concluded
- most supported
- must be true
- must be drawn

Similarly, instead of looking to "conclusion" as a key word indicator for Strengthen questions, I would recommend looking to the following list:
(Normal Strengthen):
- most helps to strengthen
- provides strongest additional support
- most supports
- best evidence...desired effect
- argument depends on assuming which
- assumption the argument requires for the conclusion to be properly drawn
- assumes
- conclusion is properly drawn if the argument assumes
- conclusion follows logically if which is assumed
- which of the following, if true, enables the conclusion to be properly drawn

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any additional questions!