This is an explanation for passage 1 of LSAT preptest 38, the October 2002 LSAT. This passage is about forests in the Americas. It argues that there is evidence that natives burned forests before the arrival of Colombus.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Natives had changed many forests in the Western Hemisphere before Columbus arrived. They usually did this using fire. Nonetheless, some researchers think climate change could have changed forests, or that natives only rarely burned forests.
- But there’s much evidence of burning.
- Native fires helped some species. For example, berries and pines. Unusual plant patterns provide evidence that natives burnt forests.
There are many details here. You don’t need to know them; you never need to. Instead, you need to know three things:
1. What’s the point of the passage? (arguing against the researchers)
2. You need to understand it, in broad terms. Reread anything you don’t understand.
3. You need to know where to find details. That’s the point of the paragraph summaries. I usually do mine in my head, and they’re shorter. But they let me find information quickly when I need to. So if you have to know about evidence of burning, you look in paragraph 2. If the question is about plant species, the answer is probably in paragraph 3.
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