QUESTION TEXT: Critic: The Gazette-Standard newspaper recently increased its…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: Increasing the editorial staff did not work to reduce factual errors.
REASONING: The Gazette-Standard is running many more factual corrections than its main competitor is.
ANALYSIS: To weaken an argument, you have to think about the whole situation, and then about the conclusion. Ask yourself “how could that not be true”?
This argument switches terms. There’s a crucial difference between these two things:
- Number of errors that exist.
- Number of errors that are corrected.
The stimulus gives evidence about the number of errors corrected. But its conclusion is about the number of errors that exist. It’s possible that the competitor has more errors, but corrects fewer of them because it’s sloppy at catching them.
- Salaries aren’t directly relevant to the number of errors caught.
- Length of time in business has no direct relation to the number of errors caught.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. If the Gazette-Standard is more active at correcting errors, then it’s possible the paper has fewer errors even though it publishes more corrections.
* Gazette-Standard: 100 errors, 95 corrections
* Competitor: 200 errors, 70 corrections
- A tempting answer. But this would only explain errors that are corrected before they appear. (Checking occurs before an article is published, typically). If the Gazette’s articles are more thoroughly checked, why are more errors being corrected after the fact?
- This might support the argument. If there are fewer reporters then the reporters may be busier, and have less time to check their facts before submitting them to editors. This answer explains the argument, but we’re supposed to weaken it.
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