Analyzing Arguments - Analysis of Text / Paragraph Questions
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Read the below passage carefully and answer the questions:

Some groups want to outlaw burning the flag. They say that people have fought and died for the flag and that citizens of the United States ought to respect that. But I say that respect cannot be leg-islated. Also, most citizens who have served in the military did not fight for the flag, they fought for what the flag represents. Among the things the flag represents is freedom of speech, which includes, I believe, the right for a citizen to express displeasure with the government by burning the flag in protest.

Which of the following is similar to the argument made by the speaker?

A. The rich should not be allowed to "buy" politicians, so the Congress should enact campaign finance reform.

B. The idea of freedom of religion also means the right not to participate in religion, so mandated school prayer violates freedom of religion.

C. The Constitution guarantees freedom to own property, so taxes should be illegal.

D. Convicted felons should not have their convictions overturned on a technicality.

E. In order to understand what may be constitutional today, one needs to look at what the laws were when the Constitution was enacted.

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option B

Explanation: This is the best choice because it relates to a situation where a proposed law would actually violate the part of the Constitution it is intended to protect.

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Which of the following, if true, would weaken the speaker's argument?

A. An action is not considered a part of freedom of speech.
B. People who burn the flag usually commit other crimes as well.
C. The flag was not recognized by the government until 1812.
D. State flags are almost never burned
E. Most people are against flag burning.

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option A

Explanation: If an action is not included under freedom of speech, the speaker's main argument is incorrect.

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Which of the following best expresses the main point of the passage?

A. Only veterans care about the flag-burning issue.
B. Flag burning almost never happens, so outlawing it is a waste of time.
C. Flag burning will be a very important issue in the next election.
D. To outlaw flag burning is to outlaw what the flag represents.
E. Burning the flag should only be illegal when it is done in foreign countries.

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option D

Explanation: The speaker maintains that to burn a flag is an act of freedom of speech, which is among the things the flag represents.

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Read the below passage carefully and answer the questions: Giving children computers in grade school is a waste of money and teachers time. These children are too young to learn how to use computers effectively and need to spend time on learning the basics, like arithmetic and reading. After all, a baby has to crawl before she can walk.


Which of the following, if true, would strengthen the speaker's argument?

A. studies showing computers are expensive
B. research on the effect of computer games on children
C. examples of high school students who use computers improperly
D. proof that the cost of computers is coming down
E. evidence that using computers makes learning to read difficult

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option E

Explanation: This evidence would back up the speaker's contention that young students should learn the basics before learning computers. Choices a and d, which are both about cost, would have no effect on the argument. Choices b and c are too vague.

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Which of the following, if true, would weaken the speaker's argument?

A. a demonstration that computers can be used to teach reading and arithmetic
B. analysis of the cost-effectiveness of new computers versus repairing old computers
C. examples of adults who do not know how to use computers
D. recent grade reports of students in the computer classes
E. a visit to a classroom where computers are being used

Answer & Explanation:

Answer: Option A


Explanation: If computers enhance the learning of arithmetic and reading, the speaker's argument is not as strong.

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