QUESTION TEXT: Some scientific issues are so complex and…
QUESTION TYPE: Strengthen
CONCLUSION: Some of the most interesting scientific stories are not covered in popular science magazines.
REASONING: Complex science stories are often very interesting for readers, but also too complex to be understood by readers.
ANALYSIS: This may already seem like a good argument. If so, you’re probably making an unstated assumption: popular science magazines won’t run a story if readers don’t understand it.
We can strengthen the argument by making this assumption explicit. Also, note that you can identify the conclusion because it comes before “since”. Anything before “since” is generally a conclusion.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. This provides the unstated assumption. If this is true, then the popular science magazines won’t run those stories, even though those stories would have been fascinating.
- The conclusion was about whether interesting stories would be run. Whether or not a magazine stays in business is irrelevant.
- This shows that there are more potentially fascinating stories. But this doesn’t show that magazines won’t run those stories.
- This shows that readers may not realize that they won’t understand. But it doesn’t help show whether or not magazines will run complex stories.
- Who bloody cares? The question is only about whether magazines will run stories. What readers do when not reading magazines is irrelevant. If anything, this shows that readers will never fix their gaps in understanding. That presents no change to the status quo, and it can’t affect the argument.
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