LSAT 9 – Section 4 – Question 09

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT9 S4 Q09
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Easiest 146.711 +SubsectionMedium
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We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “Myrna responds to Roland by…”

When dealing with a Method of Reasoning question, we know we are looking for an answer choice that correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. Our correct answer is going to fit the argument exactly. Our wrong answer choices likely explain argument structures we are familiar with, but that simply don’t apply to the specific question we are looking at. Knowing what the right and wrong answers are going to do, we can jump into the stimulus.

Immediately we should make note of the two speakers at play. This means we could possibly be dealing with two different conclusions with different levels of support. Our first speaker, Myrna, begins the discussion by introducing a claim; people’s calorie breakdown should consist of 30% or less of fat compared to the 37% that makes up a person’s diet in this country on average.

Roland responds to this claim with a hypothetical. The second speaker explains if everyone were to follow this recommendation, a very small percent of people would live a tiny bit longer than they would otherwise. Ronald concludes that such a sacrifice is not worthwhile as a result. Here, Ronald makes an assumption. By telling us that a possible 3 month extension is not worthwhile, Roland has assumed there are no possible worthwhile benefits aside from living for another 3 months.

Myrna points out this assumption in their reply. The speaker tells us a low-fat diet not only has the potential to extend life expectancy, but also it has the ability to reduce the recurrence of diseases that are impacting people on a daily basis. Myrna weakens Roland’s position by pointing out there are other benefits that may not be directly related to life expectancy. Having broken down the arguments of our speakers, we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) If Mryna were disputing the correctness of the facts we would expect them to introduce some information that misaligned with Roland’s argument. Because of this we can eliminate answer choice A.

Correct Answer Choice (B) This is exactly what we are looking for! This is the only answer choice that highlights Myrna’s method to have Roland consider benefits outside of life expectancy.

Answer Choice (C) Similar to answer choice A, this answer accuses Myrna of disputing the factual correctness of Roland’s statistics. Because Myrna introduces a completely new topic of consideration we can eliminate this answer choice.

Answer Choice (D) We do not see Mryna refer to the sources used to create Roland’s argument. We can eliminate answer choice D because of this.

Answer Choice (E) This answer choice accuses Myrna of engaging in circular reasoning - where we use the conclusion as the evidence for our conclusion. Without some sort of circular train of thought (we should follow the diet because we should follow the diet) we can eliminate this answer choice from contention.

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