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# RC Annotation Method and BR (GNP vs. Human Indicators passage)

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edited February 2016 401 karma
Hey guys after watching Nicole Hopkins' webinar on RC Methods and Jimmy Quicksilver's webinar on RC Question Types and Tips I thought it would be helpful to start sharing our notes/annotations for each passage because each of us reads a different way and we all see different things. I want to be clear that I’m no expert by any means and this is just the way I personally annotate that is a combination of Nicole Hopkins’s “Toolbox” method and JY’s Memory Method. Also note that I’m doing RC a slightly similar way to Pacifico’s Fool Proof method in that I’m doing the passage 2x one after the other and then once again the following day. While time consuming this definitely is allowing me to read more efficiently for structure and see the similarities in each passage which I know will help me in the long run.

I hope this helps you guys and I look forward to seeing what you guys see in each passage!

Notation Breakdown:
Who: Important Nouns
• Box it along with the quantifier
What: Term or phrase that’s defined or has relevant information afterwards
• Box with a tail
When: Date or time
• Circle it
Where: In what context
• Put brackets around it
Pivots: Switching between viewpoints
• Marked with >
• Also may help if you distinguish which opinions each are
Questions: Questions someone raised that could be answered in the passage
• Mark with a Q or a ? In the margins

Paragraph 1:

Box with tail “many political economists” until the end of that sentence
• Let’s you know the exact position the political economists are taking
• Immediately when this happens you should be expecting a flip “many people think X… but those people are wrong”

Put a pivot after the first sentence
• Let’s us know that we’re about to introduce another position or at least provide evidence against the political economists position

Box with tail “Human indicators … these economists”:
• This is letting you know an alternative position so we have GNP vs. Human Indicators

Put a bracket until the rest of the paragraph with HI in the margins
• Let’s you know some examples of human indicators should you be asked about them

What is the role of paragraph 1:

Introduces the 2 positions:
• Political Economists: The best indicator of economic health is the GNP
• Author: Human Indicators not GNP is the best indicator of economic health

Where are we going from here:
• We are probably going to talk about either why the GNP is worse than human indicators or give other specific reasons why Human Indicators are a better indicator of a nation’s economic health

Paragraph 2:

Box with tail “The Economists claim that… indicators”:
• Let’s you know that we’re talking about the political economists again so you can keep your view points clear
• Provides reason why political economists think their position is right

Pivot: Switching back to the Author’s argument
• This gives us the author’s first defense against the political economist’s last point
• Also put a 1 in the margin so you can be able to quickly find the reasons why if asked “each of the following is an argument in favor of HI except”

Bracket and put EX in the margins for lines 28-32:
• Gives support for the author’s last point that improvements in GNP don’t necessarily translate to improvements in human indicators

Box “In addition because GNP is an averaged figure it often presents a distorted picture of the wealth of a nation”:
• This is the author’s second point against the PE view
• Put a 2 in the margin so you can quickly find the author’s second point

Bracket lines 35-39 and put Ex in the margins
• Provides more evidence for the author’s point

Box the last sentence of the second paragraph
• Gives the author’s final reason against the PE viewpoint (Measuring a nation’s economic health only by total wealth frequency obscures a lack of distribution of wealth across the society as a whole
• Put a 3 in the margin

What is the role of paragraph 2:

Introduces the author’s 3 main points
• Improvements in GNP do not necessarily improve human indicators
• Because GNP is an averaged figure it presents a distorted picture of the wealth of a nation
• Measuring a nation’s economic health only by total wealth frequently obscures a lack of distribution of wealth across the society as a whole

Where are we going from here:
• We can either see a rebuttal and then the author’s final response or we can see the implications moving forward based on the author’s position listed in paragraph 2

Paragraph 3:

Box such imbalances: Referential phrasing to the author’s 3rd point

Box/Underline the last sentence (53-58):
• Gives us the author’s position for moving forward based on the evidence that he provided
• Could be helpful if we received a question like “Based on the passage which of the following could be properly inferred” and had an answer choice saying that the author believes that some countries will switch to human indicators as their primary measure of health moving forward.

What is the role of paragraph 3:
• Provides the author’s final thoughts and gives his outlook for the future

What is the overall structure of the passage:
• P1: Provides the 2 main positions
• P2: Provides the author’s rebuttals to why his position is right
• P3: Implications moving forward

Question Analysis:

1) “Which one of the following titles most accurately expresses the main point of the passage”

Very similar to MP question

What we’re looking for:
• We want something that provides the 2 viewpoints (GNP and Human Indicators) and that Human indicators should be preferred between the two

A) Wrong: There is nothing in the passage that talks about the shifting meaning in per capita GNP, the passage was focused more on human indicators. Also because it says “historical perspective” you need to think back if there were any historical data or examples that GNP gave in the passage.

Why one would accidentally choose this: If you misinterpreted this to mean that instead of wanting to choose human indicators over GNP that in actuality we were trying to shift the meaning of GNP to human indicators. In this case there were some examples but even then the answer choice is a stretch. In this case don’t let your brain deceive you, when the answer choice doesn’t mention human indicators and the author’s position was for human indicators then this answer choice should probably be wrong.

Wrong: This is factually inaccurate, the passage is actually attacking the measurement of Per capita GNP not defending it. Also the majority of the passage was the authors position not him mostly reporting an economists position. This one just doesn’t sound right at all.

Why one would accidentally choose this: You could accidentally choose this if you read it as an attack against Per Capita GNP because in a way the author is attacking the practice of using GNP instead of human indicators. However, his main point is that human indicators should be used over GNP not that GNP shouldn’t be used. This was just one of the ways they used to support his position.

C) Correct: This is exactly what we’re looking for, it states that we should prefer human indicators over GNP which is exactly what the author’s main point was.

Why you would accidentally NOT choose this: You might accidentally not choose this because you were looking for an answer choice that included both GNP and human indicators in the answer choice, however in RC rarely do you get a slam dunk answer choice, so don’t be afraid to go with the correct answer choice, even if it doesn’t just jump out right at you.

D) Wrong: This misses the point, the passage doesn’t talk about “total wealth vs. distribution of wealth” it talks about human indicators vs. GNP. Don’t fall for this trap because it just used phrases that you remember seeing in the passage but really were not the main point.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you’re panicking on time and you’re just looking for anything you remember, most people will remember seeing both of those phrases and by the time you’ve gotten to answer choice D you’ve already sunk some time into the question. Don’t worry, feel confident in your ability and use your time smartly, if you’ve already invested 40 seconds into it take another 10 to make sure you answer it right.

E) This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE because it makes you think that this is exactly what you’re looking for. However, this is totally wrong. This makes you think that the answer choice is saying you should use Human Indicators instead of GNP for calculating a nation’s economic health. In actuality this is saying that you have a new measure of calculating GNP which we’re not trying to do.

Why you would accidentally choose this: This is a bunch of tricks blown into one, the testmakers have a very attractive answer choice that plays with your mind, it’s the last answer choice so you’ve sunk a bunch of time into it and it’s strong that any of the other answer choices. You need to make sure that you don’t fall for the trap, take a few seconds and really think about what the answer choice is saying, not what you want it to say.

2) The term “welfare” is used in the first paragraph to refer to which of the following?

Fill in the blank question

On one of the webinars I believe it was Jimmy Quicksilver gave a really good way to do these questions and turn them into a fill in the blank question, just mark out the term so that you can’t see it and then you read the sentence without the word in there, then you fill in the blank and choose the synonym which best matches the word you chose.

GNP…. A figure reached by dividing the total value of goods produced yearly in a nation by its population and taken to be a measure of the _______ of the nation’s residents. But there are many factors affecting resident’s ________ that are not captured by per capita GNP.

What we’re looking for:
• We want to fill in the blank to have something about overall quality of life so that’s what we’re looking for and with these eliminating should be extremely easy as long as we did our process correctly

A) Correct: This matches out anticipated answer choice almost verbatim choose it and move on.

Wrong: We’re concerned about the quality of life not the services provided.

C) Wrong: Not concerned about the material wealth we’re concerned about the overall quality of life for the citiziens.

D) Wrong: This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE. This is stated later in the passage and you don’t need to worry about that the question is asking solely about the first paragraph and in those sentences we’re wanting an answer choice that says the overall quality of life.

E) Wrong: This is very similar to “D” because this also is stated later in the passage, but the question is asking solely about the first paragraph and in those sentences we’re wanting an answer choice that says the overall quality of life.

3) The passage provides specific information about each of the following EXCEPT:

This is as cookie cutter as it gets, find a line/paragraph that shows that each answer choice was talked about and choose the one that isn’t.

A) Wrong: Per capita GNP is talked about in lines (4-6)

Wrong: This is talked about all throughout the passage that PE believe that GNP is the best measure of a nation’s economic health. But for a specific reference lines (1-3) provide evidence of it.

C) Wrong: The author talks about this in paragraph 2 as a reason why human indicators should be preferred because a nation can have low per capita GNP and actually be healthier than a high per capita GNP due to the human indicators

D) Wrong: The author goes into immense detail on this throughout paragraph 2 on why human indicators provide not only a different picture but a better picture than GNP

E) Correct: Nowhere in the passage is this talked about. Don’t believe that just because this is answer choice E that you can’t pick it, you just need to make sure that this is actually right and you’re not falling for a trap by the test makers.

4) Which of the following scenarios, if true, would most clearly be a counterexample to the views expressed in the last paragraph of the passage?

Weaken Question: We are looking for a “counter-example” for the last paragraph so essentially we are wanting to weaken the author’s argument

What we’re looking for: We want a case where we can increase the health of the economy that is measured in human indicators in some other fashion

A) Wrong: We’re looking for an answer choice that is going to improve health by human indicators standards, however, that improvement is caused by GDP not human indicators. This has the two entities reversed and isn’t what we want.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you flipped the two entities around then you would end up with this answer but you have to remember that we’re trying to weaken the author’s argument so we want a case where we can increase the health of the economy that is measured in human indicators in some other fashion

Correct: This is what we’re looking for. This weakens the argument because our author’s point is that we should focus on increasing human indicators because if human indicators are the best measure of our country’s health. However, in this scenario if we focus on increasing GDP we actually increase human indicators and in doing so we provide an example that directly weakens the author’s argument, since he claimed that improving GDP wouldn’t improve human indicators.

Why you would accidentally NOT choose this: If you didn’t understand what we were looking for then you could run into some trouble because a lot of the other answer choices sound similar and could trip you up. You just need to remember what the author is saying and then remember that we’re trying to weaken his argument.

C) Wrong: This is similar to “A” the only difference is that it brings a huge amount of change. We’re looking for an answer choice that is going to improve health by human indicators standards, however, that improvement is caused by GDP not human indicators. This has the two entities reversed and isn’t what we want.

Why you would choose this: If you flipped the two entities around then you would end up with this answer but you have to remember that we’re trying to weaken the author’s argument so we want a case where we can increase the health of the economy that is measured in human indicators in some other fashion

D) This is similar to “A” and “C” the only difference is that this fails to bring about any change. We’re looking for an answer choice that is going to improve health by human indicators standards, however, that improvement is caused by GDP not human indicators. This has the two entities reversed and isn’t what we want.

Why you would choose this: If you flipped the two entities around then you would end up with this answer but you have to remember that we’re trying to weaken the author’s argument so we want a case where we can increase the health of the economy that is measured in human indicators in some other fashion

E) Wrong: This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE. This would actually strengthen the author’s argument because it plays into exactly what we’ve said, also note that if you know that this strengthens then you can use it as a check for “B” to make sure that it’s right. In this it would provide more evidence that GDP can’t cause an increase in human indicators which would strengthen the author’s argument but we’re trying to weaken it.

Why you would choose this: If you misinterpreted the question to be trying to strengthen the author’s argument then you would choose this. Also if you misread it to be weakening the PE’s argument then you would choose this. You have to read carefully and understand what the question is asking and you won’t be tripped up by this.

5) “The primary function of the last paragraph of the passage is to”

Passage structure question:

What we’re looking for:
• This is why when you annotate you should always read for structure. The role of the 3rd paragraph is to summarize the points made in the first 2 paragraphs and then discuss the implications of these points moving forward.

A) Wrong: There is definitely no synthesis in the last paragraph. For this to be right the author would have to basically agree with the other position and move forward with a plan based on both of this new position. The author clearly is in no way wanting to settle he is digging in and saying that this is my position, I’m right, and here is what it means moving forward.

Why you might accidentally choose this: By seeing the word synthesis don’t immediately get flustered, use the words around it to try and determine its meaning. If you misinterpreted that to mean something else then you would have mistakedly chosen this answer choice

Wrong: The author definitely doesn’t expose anything in his position, and since his position is one of the two this answer choice is wrong. For this to be right the author would have to concede some of the political economists points and say okay I’m right on some things, you’re right on some things. It sounds exactly like “A” only if this were right it wouldn’t provide a solution moving forward.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you didn’t read the word BOTH in this answer choice you could mistakedly choose this because the author does take a few last minute jabs however the main function of this is to discuss the implications of his argument moving forward.

C) Wrong: This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE. It’s almost like the test makers were writing the correct answer and then ran out of ink. This just doesn’t give us enough to be able to choose this because not only does it summarize his argument it discusses what is happening moving forward and that’s the key factor that is missing in this answer choice.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you’re not careful and you rationalize that yeah the last paragraph does summarize the author’s main point. However you have to think, is that really what the role of the third paragraph is or is the summary like the sub-role of this paragraph where the main role is to discuss what is happening moving forward?

D) Wrong: The author doesn’t try to correct a weakness in the PE’s argument in this paragraph he simply summarizes his point and then discusses the implications moving forward

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you’re not reading carefully and you accidentally read the 2nd paragraph then this could potentially be right, or if you didn’t pick up that the major role of the last paragraph is to discuss what is happening moving forward

E) Correct: This is what we’re looking for it gives us the policy implications moving forward just like our anticipated answer choice.

Why you would accidentally NOT choose this: If you’re not careful and you rationalize that the last paragraph does summarize the author’s main point and that was the main role of the last paragraph. Also if you fall for the trap of just because an answer choice is “E” that it’s wrong. Don’t do this, read carefully and think is the main role of the third paragraph is or is the summary like the sub-role of this paragraph where the main role is to discuss what is happening moving forward?

6) Based on the passage, the political economists discussed in the passage would be most likely to agree with which one of the following statements?

This is essentially a MBT question where the correct answer choice must be supported by the passage so you will have to find a specific line or paragraph where it supports or implies the answer.

What we’re looking for: This is difficult to assess because it could be so many different things but remember that we’re looking for something that the PE agree with not the author.

A) Correct: This is stated verbatim in lines (18-23) in the second paragraph. Therefore we can safely say that this would be correct because the passage definitely supports it to the point where it proves it

Why you would accidentally NOT choose this: If when you were reading you didn’t do anything to annotate this it would be very difficult to find so maybe you skipped this and found an attractive answer choice that was a trap and chose that. Invest time in the beginning so you can reap the rewards when you get to the questions.

Wrong: This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE. This is wanting you to bring in your personal opinions if you were in the position of the political economists. But nowhere in the passage does it say that human indicators are irrelevant to the welfare of the individuals, the political economist’s argument is simply that GNP does a better hob than human indicators

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you fell for the trap of going to far and put yourself in the position of the political economists. Don’t bring in outside information and if the passage doesn’t support it for this question type then it’s not correct.

C) Wrong: This is a TRAP ANSWER CHOICE because the PE don’t have this view the author does so you need to make sure you answer the question that is asked and read carefully.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you read the question thinking that you were searching for something that the author said and not the political economists then you would choose this answer choice. Read carefully and underline that part of the question if you have to so you don’t make that mistake.

D) Wrong: The passage doesn’t support this because it doesn’t say it anywhere so we simply don’t know if this is true or not and therefore we can’t choose it.

Why you would accidentally choose this: You would accidentally choose this if you were trying to strengthen the political economists argument because then it would weaken the response given by the author, however you can’t add anything to the passage when trying to answer questions so don’t fall for that trap

E) Wrong: Again like “D” we just don’t know how the PE’s feel about this. We would like to think that a nation would benefit by assessing it’s health by using as many factors as possible but there is nothing in the passage that lets us know that the PE’s believe that

7) In the passage, the author’s primary concern is to:

In this you need to think about okay why did the author write this, what is he wanting to do. Is he trying to persuade me of something, inform me about something, etc.

What we’re looking for: We want something that says that the author is trying to convince us to prefer using human indicators over GNP as a means for measuring a nation’s overall health

A) Wrong: This is a way to confuse you into going what does this even mean and waste a ton of your time trying to figure out what “delineate” means. The other thing is we know what directing domestic economic efforts, but does the passage talk about a new method or a new focus to direct economic efforts to like a new industry and source of clean energy, no. The passage was written to convince us to measure our economic health using human indicators rather than GNP.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you didn’t know what delineate meant or you mistakedly thought that this was saying that a new method of measuring domestic economic efforts instead of “directing domestic economic efforts” you would choose this. Read carefully and use the context clues to figure out what the sentence is saying. Don’t get lost in the weeds!

Correct: This is exactly what we’re looking for, this is the way the author is trying to strengthen his argument that human indicators should be preferred over GNP.

Why you would accidentally NOT choose this: The language here isn’t strong and if you didn’t pick up the referential phrasing that “one standard for measuring a nation’s welfare” was talking about GNP and how it has some weaknesses. Use your basic grammer lesson taught in the course. As Iroh in Avatar the Last Airbender said “Remember your basics, they are your greatest weapons”

C) Wrong: This misses the point on what the passage is saying, this is simply used as a reason of why human indicators should be preferred over GNP. Don’t mistake a premise for the conclusion:

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you remember seeing that in the passage verbatim and didn’t read for structure then you could totally fall into the trap of thinking that this was the correct answer choice but this falls back onto your basic labeling fundamentals. This is simply a premise that supports the author’s conclusion, which is his primary concern not this answer choice.

D) Wrong: This is very similar to “C”. This misses the point on what the passage is saying, this is simply used as a reason of why human indicators should be preferred over GNP. Don’t mistake a premise for the conclusion:

Why you would accidentally choose this: : If you remember seeing that in the passage verbatim and didn’t read for structure then you could totally fall into the trap of thinking that this was the correct answer choice but this falls back onto your basic labeling fundamentals. This is simply a premise that supports the author’s conclusion, which is his primary concern not this answer choice.

E) Wrong: This is completely factually incorrect and the opposite of what the author is saying. He is directly going against their argument and in doing so if you chose this answer choice you would be being hypocritical because it would destroy his argument completely.

Why you would accidentally choose this: If you accidentally read this as “political economists alone should NOT be responsible for economic policy decisions” then this would have more merit. This is exactly what the test makers want you to do because you’re feeling the time pressure. Know that you’re not going to fall for their traps because you’re going to see them a mile away.
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