In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

Cameron on June 24 at 08:35PM

Question Type

I feel I ignored what the author was "primarily" concerned with and focused more broadly on the authors point. When this type of question comes up, should I go for the more narrow answer? Especially when seeing the word "primarily?"Because the correct answer choice does precisely that when initially I thought to go with the broader answer choice. I felt that "providing examples of conflicts inherent in the Constitution's approach to a balance of powers" was more of an overview of what the author was doing. Thanks!

1 Reply

Victoria on July 4 at 09:36PM

Hi @Cammy,

Happy to help!

Answer choice (D) is incorrect for a couple of different reasons.

First, the passage does not provide examples of conflicts; rather, the passage is simply focused on the one example of military power.

Second, the passage is not exploring conflicts inherent in the Constitution's approach to a balance of powers. This lack of definition is not so much a conflict as it is an aspect of the power that has been overlooked in defining the balance of powers. A conflict in the balance of powers would more likely be two opposing (or conflicting) powers e.g. the President can do X and Congress can do Y but these two responsibilities conflict with one another. In this instance, the President can do X and Congress can do Y, but the Constitution fails to explicitly address whether either party can do Z. Z has not been expressly allocated to either party but could be and has been done by the President.

Therefore, answer choice (B) is not narrower than answer choice (D) because answer choice (D) is incorrect.

However, even if we assume that answer choice (D) did describe an aspect of what was occurring in the passage, (B) would still be a stronger answer choice.

The first paragraph focuses on introducing this hazy area of the Constitution. This paragraph concludes with the author's argument i.e. while this power is not explicitly addressed, the spirit of the Constitution at least requires that Congress should be involved in the decision which is exactly the power they reclaimed in passing the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Paragraph 2 outlines the ways in which this haziness was exploited prior to 1973 and how and why this exploitation led to the passing of the War Powers Resolution.

The final paragraph of the passage outlines the various aspects of the resolution.

In this way, the author is primarily focused on the War Powers Resolution of 1973, where it came from, and how it attempts to reclaim this constitutional power.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions.