Activist: Accidents at the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear plants have shown the dangers of nuclear power. It...

Ava on April 22, 2020

Answer choice C and argument evaluation question type strategies

I chose C here because no where in the passage are economic factors mentioned AT ALL. For other LR questions types we are often looking for what must be true + another additional factor. For argument evaluation questions, is the correct answer choice a could be true and NOT a must be true? Thanks in advance.

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Annie on April 22, 2020

Hi @shafieiava,

This is an odd question in that you are looking for the worst answer choice. Here, you want to pick the answer choice which is least relevant to evaluating the practicality of the argument. So, when you look at the answer choices, you want to this if there is a practical reason that you would want to think about the consideration raised by the choice, and if so, it is not the right answer.

This is not directly an argument evaluation question as you are not trying to pick apart the argument that is given to you. Rather, you are looking to rule out answer choices which would help you evaluate the practicality of the argument provided to you.

Answer (C) is incorrect because it is a legitimate consideration when thinking about the practical effects of the proposal. When in doubt, how you are going to pay for something is a very important consideration if you're trying to figure out if you will actually adopt the proposal. So, it is very practical and therefore the wrong answer.

Answer (B) on the other hand is an irrelevant consideration. We are told by the argument that the technology to turn sewage into oil was developed "recently." So, we don't need to know if the processes have been improved in recent decades. We know that the technology didn't exist before so it can't have been improved, it was just invented. Thus, this answer choice is not at all relevant in evaluating the practicality of the proposal and is therefore correct.

Faith on July 13, 2020

Please explain A I am still confused

Shunhe on July 23, 2020

Hi @faithwood21,

Thanks for the question! So let’s take a look at the stimulus again. We’re told that some accidents have shown how nuclear power can be dangerous. We used to think it was necessary since fossil fuels are going to run out. But recently, we’ve figured out how to make energy from sewage sludge. And so we might be able to use this technology along with other alternative energy sources in the future so we don’t have to use nuclear power and meet our energy needs in a way that better protects the environment from harm than we do now.

Notice that there’s two claims being made here: first, that the sewage sludge tech will let us get rid of nuclear power, and second, that the sewage sludge tech will meet our energy needs in a more environmentally-friendly way than our current technologies.

Now we’re being asked for something that’s least relevant in evaluating the activist’s claims. So take a look at (A), which has us consider whether the current methods of disposing of sewage sludge by dumping do environmental damage. Well, this directly has to do with the second claim about sewage sludge tech being more environmentally friendly than our current tech! If the current methods do a lot of environmental damage, then it damages the claim; if the current methods don’t do environmental damage, then it strengthens the claim. And so knowing the answer to this consideration helps us evaluate the degree of practicability of the activist’s claims, and so (A) isn’t the least relevant, and is the wrong answer.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.