LSAT 60 – Section 3 – Question 15

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT60 S3 Q15
Main conclusion or main point +MC
+Medium 146.416 +SubsectionMedium

We start with the question stem: Which of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion drawn in the argument? This is a Main Conclusion question.

The author begins by stating that it is technologically possible to build non-polluting hydrogen-fueled cars, but the problem is that there isn't a national system of fuel stations that would provide those cars with fuel. Alright, that does seem like an issue. Without a system of fuel stations to make the cars move, all you have are nonpolluting, hydrogen-efficient paperweights. Let's see what the author has to say about this problem.

The next sentence begins with the word "However," indicating a turn to the author's argument. He claims, "this infrastructure is likely to appear and grow rapidly." Was that referential phrasing? You know the drill, we need to find what the referential phrase is referring to. The infrastructure is the hydrogen car fuel system. So the author is claiming that the hydrogen car fueling systems are likely to appear and grow rapidly. At this point, we have some hints that this claim is the conclusion. We have a Context Indicator (however) + Referential Phrasing (this infrastructure). As a rule of thumb, many main conclusions of Main Conclusion questions will have both. Knowing this, we can proceed to the next sentences and ask if they support the claim that the hydrogen fuel system will appear rapidly. If they do, then we have found our Main Conclusion.

The author proceeds by giving an example of how there were no gas stations at one point, but they quickly sprung up in response to consumer demand. OK, so the author is trying to claim, "Hey, remember how there were no gas stations at one point, and then they appeared after consumers started wanting them? Well, the same thing will happen with Hydrogen fuel stations." Terrible argument? Absolutely. However, our job is not to evaluate the argument; it's to find the Main Conclusion that is supported by other claims. While the gas station example fails to make the author's argument valid, it does mildly support the claim that hydrogen fuel stations will likely appear and grow rapidly. Bingo, we have found our main conclusion: The national system of hydrogen fuel stations is likely to appear and grow rapidly. Now, all we need to do is find an answer choice that expresses the same idea.

Answer Choice (A) is context. The author used the fact that it is technologically possible to build hydrogen-powered cars to introduce the problem presented in Answer Choice B. She then turned to her argument that the fuel stations would appear and grow rapidly.

Answer Choice (B) is also context. The author used (A) to introduce the fact that there was no fueling system for hydrogen-powered cars. Both (A) and (B) set up her argument that the fuel system would appear and grow rapidly.

Answer Choice (C) may be appealing, but if you picked (C), you likely thought that hydrogen fuel systems were the new kind of technology that was developed. Well, that would fulfill the sufficient condition, and you would get the outcome that the infrastructure needed to support that technology (the hydrogen cars) would quickly develop in response to consumer demands. That kind of looks like our main conclusion, but there are multiple problems. First, our conclusion did not take the form of a conditional. Second, this answer choice is way too broad. Our author limited her argument to the fueling infrastructure for hydrogen-powered cars. (C) talks about new technology in general. Third, the author mentions nothing about consumer demands in the conclusion of her argument. While she does talk about consumer demands in the gas station example, her conclusion has little to do with consumers. So this is no good.

Correct Answer Choice (D) is almost word for word what the author says, but it replaces the referential phrasing “this infrastructure” with "the fuel-distribution infrastructure." We've got it.

Answer Choice (E) would strengthen the argument by making the hydrogen stations more similar to the gasoline station example. However, our job isn't to strengthen the argument. It is to find a paraphrase of the main conclusion.

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