The fact that politicians in a certain country are trying to reduce government spending does not by itself explain wh...

Maurice on January 11, 2014

Help

Can you please explain the method of reasoning in the passage and why answer choice "E" is correct?

3 Replies

Melody on January 15, 2014

The conclusion of the argument is: the fact that politicians in a certain country are trying to reduce government spending does not by itself explain why they have voted to eliminate all government-supported scholarship programs. Why? Because government spending could have been reduced even more if instead they had cut back on military spending.

The author is making her conclusion that the reason (trying to reduce government spending) behind an action (voting to eliminate all government-supported scholarship programs) could not solely be for the purported reason (trying to reduce government spending), since an alternative (cutting back on military spending) would bring about that reason even more (government spending could have been reduced even more).

Answer choice (E) has similar reasoning in that the author makes her conclusion that the reason (Thelma's goal is to become famous) behind an action (her taking up theatrical acting) could not solely be for the purported reason (Thelma's goal is to become famous), since an alternative (writing or directing plays) would bring about that reason even more (it is easier to become famous).

Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions!

Ryan on May 10 at 07:16AM

hey I'm having trouble with parallel reasoning questions.... sometimes I get them right,sometimes I get them wrong.... I've watched the lesson but I'm still having trouble. Are there any useful tips to get me through these types of questions?

Like I thought the answer was C here but E came out of nowhere....

Ravi on May 10 at 07:08PM

@Maybeillgetlucky,

Happy to help. These questions can be difficult. It's very important
on these questions to make sure that you're properly understanding the
structure of the argument in the stimulus. This will better help you
to match the argument in the answer choices that has the closest
structure to the argument in the stimulus.

This particular argument isn't really diagrammable, so it's best to
look at the big picture of what it's saying. The argument is basically
contending that a certain type of problem (a reduction in spending)
can be solved better by taking a different approach (like cutting
military spending instead of educational spending). The argument
basically boils down to the author thinking that there is a better
solution than what they've voted to do.

Let's take a look at (C) and (E).

(C) says, "The fact that Sallie and Jim have different work styles
does not by itself explain why they could not work together. Sallie
and Jim could have resolved their differences if they had communicated
more with one another when they began to work together."

The problem with (C) is that it's basically saying that the problem
could have been solved, but it was not solved. This is different from
the argument in the stimulus, which states that the problem is being
solved (reducing spending) but that it could be better solved (by
cutting military instead of education spending). Thus, (C) doesn't
match the structure, so it's out.

(E) says, "The fact that Thelma's goal is to become famous does not by
itself explain why she took up theatrical acting. It is easier to
become famous through writing or directing plays than through
theatrical acting."

(E) says that there exists a better way for Thelma to achieve her goal
of becoming famous. Just like the argument in the stimulus with the
government having a better way to reduce spending, (E) argues that
there's a better solution for the problem at hand. This closely
parallels the argument in the stimulus, so it's the correct answer
choice.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!