The United States government generally tries to protect valuable natural resources. But one resource has been ignored...

on March 15, 2020

need clarification

i narrowed it down to E and D initially and got the correct answer. After review, how can we make the jump from the conservation program hasnt gotten much attention to the federal govt should spend more? This jump makes me worried that sometimes I have to complete the main point and not find the main point in the stimulus. thank you

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Andrea on March 15, 2020

Hi @gharibiannick,

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble seeing this question on my end. Are you able to tell what test, section, and question number it is? Then, I'd be happy to help you with it!

Skylar on March 15, 2020

@gharibiannick, happy to help.

(D) "The federal government's expenditures for soil conservation in the various states have been inequitable."
We should notice that this answer choice is comparing federal expenditures between states. Not only does this miss the larger point of the argument, but it mistakes what the passage says. The passage mentions "federal expenditures for nationwide soil conservation programs" twice in the last two sentences but never refers to federal expenditures for state soil conservation programs. Therefore, (D) is irrelevant.

(E) "The federal government should spend much more on soil conservation than it has been spending."
You are correct that this answer choice does require a minor assumption to be made, which is not typical for Main Point questions. Nevertheless, the assumption here is valid because it is strongly supported by the passage's statements that "one resource [soil] has been ignored for too long" and "federal expenditures for nationwide soil conservation programs have remained at ridiculously low levels." This allows us to reasonably conclude that the passage is arguing in support of the idea that the federal government should increase spending on soil conservation.

If you are struggling with Main Point questions, I would recommend a couple of things. First, I suggest taking a few seconds to think about what you believe the passage is about before proceeding to the answer choices. I find that this helps me to identify overall themes and to avoid getting thrown off by answer choices I was not expecting. Secondly, I would recommend focusing on the conclusion of the argument. The conclusion will be the statement that all other statements in the passage support. Also, I would give special attention to any language that reveals the opinion of the author. The more practice problems you do, the clearer this should become.

Does that help? Please let us know if you have any other questions and best of luck with your studies!

on March 17, 2020

Yes, your feedback has helped. Thank you also for the main point tips.

Ravi on March 17, 2020

@gharibiannick, let us know if you have any other questions!