QUESTION TEXT: Superconductor development will enable energy to be…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: Superconductors will increase industrial productivity.
REASONING: Superconductors will let us transport energy more efficiently. Oil and natural gas did the same thing (compared to coal) and productivity increased.
ANALYSIS: Learn which words introduce premises. The word “for” (second sentence) usually introduces a premise that supports the claim that the argument just made.
e.g. “Dogs make good pets (Conclusion), for they are friendly (premise).
Synonyms for “for” that serve the same role are: since, because, as, etc. They usually mean that the thing said earlier was the conclusion.
- CORRECT. The word “for” means that what came earlier was the conclusion.
- Superconductor development allows more efficient transport. This is a premise supporting the conclusion that superconductor development will increase productivity. It doesn’t illustrate the claim; we’re not told how or why energy efficient transport increases productivity.
- Not so. Superconductor development will definitely make transport more efficient, whether or not it improves productivity. First sentences are sometimes conclusions, but only if a word such as “for”, “because”, “since” etc. indicates they’re not definitely true and we need to support them with reasons.
- Those fossil fuels are mentioned as an example. The transition already happened, in the past. Oil replaced coal a long time ago.
- The statement about shipping costs needs no support. It’s given in a dependent clause, surrounded by commas. When writers do this, they’re giving us a definition or clarification. i.e. “Winter, the coldest season of the year, came earlier in 1972.”
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