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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

In a forest often visited by the residents of a small town bordering it, a plant was discovered that is believed to have been accidentally introduced by colonialists who tried to grow foreign vegetables in the area. The plant carries a potent neurotoxin, and upon digestion is capable of killing small to medium-sized animals. To cease the dwindling population of a small deer species that populates the forest, authorities are planning to erect explanatory signs at all the main entrances to the forest pleading to visitors to uproot and dispose of any such plants if identified.

Which of the following, if true, provides the most solid reason to expect that the authorities' plan will succeed?

Incorrect.

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This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the authorities' plan. The phrase offered small monetary incentives tells us that the people were given money for participating in the glass recycling project. However, the plan to save the deer offers no monetary reward for cooperation. Therefore, we cannot use this data to support the authorities' plan.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice neither strengthens nor weakens the authorities' plan. Although the deer may be a significant image to the town and its people, we cannot know if the specific plan described in the argument will work because of this. This statement does nothing to support the idea of putting up signs at the entrances to the forest.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice weakens the authorities' plan. If the plant's poison can be absorbed by the skin, and is strong enough to kill a human, then it is far more likely that people would refrain from handling the plants, and that the plan will fail.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice weakens the authorities' plan. The authorities want to put up signs at all the main entrances to the forest. This answer choice tells us that the townspeople know of countless hidden paths leading into the forest. It follows that perhaps only a small number of townspeople, if any, will see the signs placed at the main entrances since they might be used to using the secret entrances.

Outstanding!

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This answer choice provides support for the authorities' plan by confirming the assumption. We are told here that the townspeople own dogs and often walk with them. The argument tells us that the plant can kill animals. Therefore, it is likely that the townspeople will want to participate in the project not only to help the deer, but also to protect their own prized (beloved) dogs from the plant.

A glass recycling project that was initiated by the authorities of the town had very successful results primarily because of the enthusiastic cooperation of the townspeople, who were offered small monetary incentives.
The elimination of the plants is imperative since the sap carrying the active neurotoxin that can be absorbed by the skin, oozes from picked leaves and results in cardiac symptoms, often fatal to humans.
The emblem of the town, a yellow and cobalt blue coat of arms, has in its center a stylized image of the deer species that inhabits the forest, and appears on municipal buildings, statues, and documents.
Continuing an age-old tradition started by the founders of the town, many townspeople engage in the breeding of dogs and can often be seen strolling the vicinity with two or three of their prized animals.
Mysterious to foreigners, the forest is a territory well-known to the townspeople, who as youths often wander through it, becoming familiar with the countless hidden paths leading into it.