QUESTION TEXT: Film director: It’s inaccurate to say that filmgoers…
QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: The 1-2 negative reviews weren’t the reason my film didn’t get many filmgoers.
REASONING: My film shared an opening weekend with several other similar films. The number of viewers who like that type of film is small.
ANALYSIS: This is a reasonable argument. So reasonable, that you may have missed an unstated assumption: the director is assuming that his type of moviegoers only go to one film in a weekend.
This is certainly true of normal moviegoers, but it helps to state assumptions explicitly.
- This weakens the argument by showing that 100% of the films reviews were negative.
- CORRECT. This shows that the competing films were a factor: if a moviegoer went to a competing film, they wouldn’t have also gone to the director’s film.
This seems obvious, but stating an assumption explicitly always strengthens an argument.
- This weakens the argument. The director was arguing that his potential audience was small.
- This is similar to answer A. It emphasizes reviews. This weakens the director’s claim that reviews weren’t a factor.
Note also that this answer is too vague. The competing movies might have received 1-2 positive reviews and 10 negative reviews. When a strengthen/weaken answer is vague you have to take it at its least useful.
- So? This has zero impact on the argument. Most filmgoers may like variety, but it’s still true that on opening weekend there was a certain segment of the audience interested in seeing films like the director’s film.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly