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# Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

Politician: the political situation between Countries X and Y is explosive and may pose a serious threat to the stability of the entire region. My concern is founded both on the intelligence reports we have received and on the saddening end of negotiations between the respective ministers of foreign affairs. The suggested peace talks may be helpful, but I remain concerned.

In the argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

An assumption is an unfounded statement upon which a conclusion is based. However, the first boldface portion is based on other facts; it is the conclusion. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Do you understand why the first boldface is a conclusion?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The first portion is founded upon something, meaning it is the conclusion. The clue to the fact that the first portion is a conclusion can be found in the first words of the second sentence: My concern is founded both on...etc. Also, the first boldface portion does not enhance the following facts - it is based on them.

The second portion says  The suggested peace talks may be helpful. This sounds like a prediction, or conclusion; but does this make sense? Look at what the argument is saying: the second portion cannot be the conclusion, as it contradicts the politician's concern - which is the argument's real conclusion.

The bottom line is: it's not enough to mechanically identify a conclusion or premise just according to clues - such as a sentence that sounds like a prediction. Clues are a good start, but the characterization of the boldface has to be validated by the logic of the argument.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The second portion includes a consideration (the suggested peace talks) that weakens the politician's concerns, rather than supports them.

Did you find the term "consideration" confusing?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

According to the argument's second sentence, the first portion is founded upon something, meaning it is the conclusion. It therefore cannot be correctly characterized as a fact (=premise).  You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest, but the second part of the answer choice is also flawed - the second boldface portion is not the conclusion of the argument, as the argument's bottom line is that the "politician remains concerned".

Well done!

[[snippet]]

The first portion is founded upon the premises while the second portion is a premise which weighs against the opinion of the argument's author, i.e., the politician's concerns.

Did you find the term consideration at all confusing?

Good. Remember that a conclusion may appear in the beginning of an argument.

Sure. The first important thing to remember is that a conclusion may also appear in the beginning of an argument. The clue to the fact that the first portion is a conclusion can be found in the first words of the second sentence: My concern is founded both on...etc.

The words my concern refer to the first portion, in which the politician expresses concern about the explosive situation. The words founded..on indicate that this concern is based on something else, i.e. it is a conclusion.

Good. The answer choices don't always stick just to the basic terms premise, conclusion, or assumption. Sometimes other words are used to make the question more challenging.

Here, consideration simply means "something that is considered or weighed up" in respect to a certain problem or issue. In this case, the suggested peace talks are considered in respect to the tense political situation.

Okay, that's understandable.

The answer choices don't always stick just to the basic terms premise, conclusion, or assumption. Sometimes other words are used to make the question more challenging.

Here, consideration simply means "something that is considered or weighed up" in respect to a certain problem or issue. In this case, the suggested peace talks are considered in respect to the tense political situation.

Good.

Okay, that's understandable.

The answer choices don't always stick just to the basic terms premise, conclusion, or assumption. Sometimes other words are used to make the question more challenging.

Here, consideration simply means "something that is considered or weighed up" in respect to a certain problem or issue. In this case, the suggested peace talks are considered in respect to the tense political situation.

The first is an assumption drawing on following pieces of evidence; the second is a consideration against the opinion of the argument's author.
The first is a fact resulting from following facts; the second is the conclusion of the argument.
The first is a fact which enhances following facts; the second is a prediction.
The first is an inference; the second is a consideration in favor of the conclusion of the argument.
The first is a conclusion drawing on following pieces of evidence; the second is a consideration against the opinion of the argument's author.
Yes, I get.
No, can you explain again?
Not really.
I sure did.
Not in the least.
Yes, it threw me off a bit.