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Author's Attitude Questions

esmetrontzesmetrontz Alum Member

Hi, I'm curious about people's strategies with author's attitude questions. I pretty much consistently get these wrong even though they seem like the easiest questions. I am always able to rule out the positive/negative answer choices but am usually choosing between two. If I'm reading a passage where the author clearly does not believe a theory and thinks it's unsupported, choosing between "cautious skepticism" and "vehement opposition" is almost impossible. Please help!


  • 145 karma

    In the example that you gave, "vehement opposition" is a lot stronger than "cautious skepticism." I would read with the expectation of seeing this question and notice any clues in the passage of the author's attitude. How is the author describing the theory in the passage? What does she say about the theory? What does she say about proponents of the theory? What does she say about its opponents?

    For example, if the author is critical of the theory, but then qualifies her criticism, that tells us that she might be cautiously skeptical. Here, the author might say that more information or research is needed before a definitive conclusion can be drawn. Alternatively, she might concede some points in favour of proponents of the theory. But if the entire passage contains only her criticism and nothing else, that might be vehement opposition.

    Some of these Attitude questions can be quite tough, too.

  • esmetrontzesmetrontz Alum Member
    37 karma

    That’s really helpful, thank you!

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