QUESTION TEXT: University administrator: Graduate students…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: We shouldn’t provide grad student teaching assistants with employee benefits.
REASONING: We’re only giving jobs to grad students so that they can pay for their degrees. There are no other reasons.
ANALYSIS: On a weaken question, you’re looking for a new fact that adds context to the argument, casting it into doubt.
The administrator has given just one reason not to pay teaching assistants more: the jobs are charity jobs intended to help them pay for degrees.
So the new fact will have to weaken this idea. As it happens, the right answer actually contradicts author on this point.
You may have heard you’re not allowed to contradict a premise. Bollocks, of course you’re allowed. It’s just rare. Prep companies tell you not to do it because most people try to do it on every question and they choose answers that don’t contradict anything. That’s a mistake. But if an answer actually contradicts a premise, it’s fine to pick.
- Of course the administrator knows the extra costs. What kind of idiot would talk about an issue while ignorant of the facts?
This doesn’t mean they have an ulterior motive.
- This doesn’t affect the argument. It doesn’t matter what pay adjuncts should receive. It only matters what pay teaching assistant should receive. This answer hasn’t shown adjunct pay is relevant to teaching assistant pay.
- CORRECT. This shows the administrator is wrong. There are other motives for hiring teaching assistants. In this case, the university wants to hire more of them to save money.
- “Funding education” usually includes living expenses. So the higher-than-tuition stipends may still be entirely intended to fund education.
- So? People don’t earn money merely for working hard. This doesn’t affect the administrator’s claim that the lack of employee benefits is justified because the jobs are charity jobs.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly