QUESTION TEXT: Editor: When asked to name a poet …
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: Something is very wrong with the educational system.
REASONING: Students either don’t know any poets from Shakespeare’s era, or they don’t understand the word ‘contemporaneous’.
ANALYSIS: The editor thinks the school system is not doing a good job. His evidence is that 60% of students picked a 20th century poet when asked to name a poet from Shakespeare’s time.
The editor doesn’t know what this evidence means, exactly. The students could be ignorant of poets, or perhaps they don’t understand words.
Either way, it’s evidence that something is wrong.
- Not necessarily. It’s possible that the students understood the history of poetry, but didn’t know what the word contemporaneous means.
- The question wasn’t ambiguous. Students were asked to name a poet from Shakespeare’s time. It was perhaps a hard question, but it was clear.
- The editor’s conclusion is about the education system, not research results in general.
- Same as C. The editor makes a specific conclusion about the education system. He’s not talking about research results in general.
- CORRECT. If the education system were doing its job, then students would know poets from Shakespeare’s time, and they would understand the word ‘contemporaneous’.
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