Analyzing Arguments - Understanding the Underlying Message


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Choose the statement that is best supported by the information given in the question passage.

The image of a knitter as an older woman sitting in a comfortable, old-fashioned living room with a basket of yarn at her feet and a bun in her hair is one of the past. As knitting continues to become more popular and increasingly trendy, it is much more difficult to describe the average knitter. Knitters today might be 18, 28, 40, or 65. They might live in a big urban center and take classes in a knitting shop that doubles as a cafe or they may gather in suburban coffee shops to support one another in knitting and other aspects of life. They could be college roommates knitting in their dorm room or two senior citizens knitting in a church hall. Even men are getting in the act. It would be incredibly difficult to come up with an accurate profile of a contemporary knitter to replace that image of the old woman with the basket of yarn!

 

This paragraph best supports the statement that


A. people are returning to knitting in an attempt to reconnect with simpler times.


B. knitting is now more of a group activity, as opposed to an individual hobby.


C. creating an accurate profile of a particular type of person depends on the people in this group having traits and characteristics in common.


D. today's knitters are much less accomplished than knitters of the past.


E. young people are turning to knitting in record numbers.


Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option C

Explanation: The statement that it is difficult to create an accurate profile of a contemporary knitter comes immediately after a discussion about how different today's knitters are from one another and from knitters of the past. Choices a and d are not supported by the paragraph. Although the paragraph does discuss knitting done in group settings, it does not specifically say that more of today's knitting is done in groups; therefore, choice b is incorrect. Young people may be turning to knitting in record numbers, but again, that statement is not verified by the information provided in the paragraph, so choice e must be ruled out as well.



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Close-up images of Mars by the Mariner 9 probe indicated networks of valleys that looked like the stream beds on Earth. These images also implied that Mars once had an atmosphere that was thick enough to trap the sun's heat. If this were true, something happened to Mars billions of years ago that stripped away the planet's atmosphere.

 

This paragraph best supports the statement that


A. Mars now has little or no atmosphere.
B. Mars once had a thicker atmosphere than Earth does.
C. the Mariner 9 probe took the first pictures of Mars.
D. Mars is closer to the sun than Earth is.
E. Mars is more mountainous than Earth is.

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option A

Explanation: The paragraph states that Mars once had a thick atmosphere, but that it was stripped away. The other choices, true or not, cannot be found in the passage.



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Originating in the 1920s, the Pyramid scheme is one of the oldest con games going. Honest people are often pulled in, thinking the scheme is a legitimate investment enterprise. The first customer to "fall for" the Pyramid scheme will actually make big money and will therefore persuade friends and relatives to join also. The chain then continues with the con artist who originated the scheme pocketing, rather than investing, the money. Finally, the pyramid collapses, but by that time, the scam artist will usually have moved out of town, leaving no forwarding address.

 

This paragraph best supports the statement that


A. it is fairly easy to spot a Pyramid scheme in the making.
B. he first customer of a Pyramid scheme is the most gullible.
C. the people who set up Pyramid schemes are able to fool honest people.
D. the Pyramid scheme had its heyday in the 1920s, but it's making a comeback.
E. the Pyramid scheme got its name from its structure.

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option C

Explanation: The fact that the Pyramid scheme is set up by a con artist suggests that the honest people who invest have been fooled. Choices a and b are contradicted in the passage. The paragraph says that the Pyramid scheme originated in the 1920s, but does not say it had its heyday then; thus, choice d is incorrect. Choice e is a fact, but it is not mentioned in the passage.



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