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Question regarding "similar" or "related" in strengthen or weaken questions

wonsuh1076wonsuh1076 Alum Member

I have a question regarding the use of word "similar" or "related" in strengthen and weaken choices. For an example, if a stimulus portrays the argument that Seals from the Baltics were more susceptible to disease from pollutants than those not from the Baltics. If an answer choice option stated that: A SIMILAR animal to the seal from the Baltic Seaalso was more susceptible disease from pollutants than those that are not from the Baltic Sea.......... would that strengthen the argument? Or if an answer choice stated, a RELATED animal to the seal from the Baltic Sea also was more susceptible disease from pollutants than those that are not from the Baltic Sea... would that strengthen the argument as well?


  • Willa.HaoWilla.Hao Yearly Member
    54 karma

    yes i think so. “similar” means these two kinds of animals are analogous, so it can add strength of validity of the argument. "related" means the seal might be the predator of the related animal, so it can also add strength of validity, but not necessary.

  • Gatsby96Gatsby96 Monthly Member
    102 karma

    i came across this question as well and had the same question, its tough

  • Confidence150Confidence150 Alum Member
    1417 karma

    I think the point is to understand and figure out the structure of the argument for strengthen and weaken questions. Analogous examples can add strength to the argument with added support. The animals do not have to be similar but there must be added support to stimulus. With weaken questions, we are trying to take away support between premise and conclusion. The animals can be similar or different but the point is take away support in stimulus.

  • lizzogonzolizzogonzo Alum Member
    623 karma

    I think I would be cautious of trying to use that method to eliminate answer choices. Like what @Magnificent2021 said, the structure of the argument is more important. This might seem obvious, but in these types of questions, there is only one answer that strengthens/weakens. The rest of them do not provide any support for the passage, at all. If you are stuck between two answer choices because they both sound right, then you have fallen for the LSAT's tricks. Focusing on "related" vs. "similar" I think is one of the traps (that I have also fallen for) that will cause you to posture for too long over the test and will eat into your time.

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