QUESTION TEXT: Polls have shown that a higher percentage of…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: People with a university education are more likely to be in favor of keeping or increasing government social services.
REASONING: Compared to entering students, university students about to graduate are more likely to oppose cuts to government services.
ANALYSIS: This is a shoddy argument. The author’s evidence compares fourth year students to entering students. But then the conclusion compares university graduates to the general population!
“Entering students” aren’t the general population. Only a portion of the population goes to university. And “students about to graduate” aren’t the same as “university grads”. The former group are mostly 22 year olds, whereas the latter group has people from ages 22-100+. The larger group may have much more diverse opinions than a narrow age band.
This is a weaken question, so the answer will most likely just have some contradictory information.
- This increases the validity of the polls, strengthening the argument. We’re trying to weaken it.
- This talks about the entire group of people with a university education, ages 22-100+. The argument only gave evidence about students about to graduate, age 22.
By giving information about all graduates, this answer strengthens the conclusion, which was about all graduates.
- This answer does properly compare graduates to non-graduates. However, this answer strengthens the argument by showing that in retirees, graduates are more likely to support government services.
- CORRECT. This says that people who graduated 5+ years ago support cutting social services. That’s the opposite of the conclusion, so this weakens the argument.
- “Strong opinions” are irrelevant. The conclusion is only about whether people have an opinion one way or the other, not how strong it is.
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