The primary purpose of the passage is to

Avi on June 28 at 06:20PM

B vs. C

I find myself struggling sometimes with main point questions when both of the points are discussed. Is there any trick to picking the right answer? The beginning of the passage seems to indicate that answer B would be correct and the end of passage gives support to C. Why is one more primary than the other?

1 Reply

Victoria on July 8 at 02:00PM

Hi @avif,

Happy to help!

When addressing main point questions, the correct answer will be the author's main conclusion i.e. their reason for writing the passage. Always make sure you read through and understand the entire passage before addressing any of the questions. It will be easier to pick out the main point if you have a thorough understanding of the passage first.

Here, the first paragraph tells us that specialists in international communications largely believe that playing industrialized countries' TV programs in developing countries amounts to cultural imperialism.

The author critiques this conclusion, noting that it assumes both that the programs will be dominant and that they will have a negative effect on the domestic culture.

You are right that, from the first paragraph, it does seem like answer choice (B) will be correct.

However, this starts to change once we get to the second paragraph. The author highlights an anthropological study which focuses on this phenomenon.

The third and fourth paragraph outline what the author believes communications researchers need to explore in order to properly draw conclusions regarding the impact of external cultural influences on people in a society.

There are two strategies which can help us figure out which one is the main point.

First, which is the ultimate conclusion and which is the subsidiary conclusion?

Paragraph 1 Conclusion: "This assertion assumes... But the assertion is polemical and abstract, based on little or no research..." (lines 7 to 13).

Paragraph 3 Conclusion: "An empirical approach not unlike that of anthropologists is needed..." (lines 37 to 40).

The logic makes more sense flowing from paragraphs 1 to 3 as opposed to the reverse. If we took the conclusion in paragraph 1 as the ultimate conclusion, the author would be arguing that the specialists would need to take an empirical approach and, therefore, their assertions are incorrect.

Second, which conclusion is focused on more by the passage?

The first conclusion is addressed in the first paragraph.

The second paragraph introduces information necessary to understand the second conclusion which is then outlined and explained in the third and fourth paragraphs.

In this way, it is clear that the passage is focused to a greater extent on presenting a new methodology than it is on discrediting the evidence.

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