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Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

Addiction to prescribed medications became more and more of a concern for doctors as the twentieth century progressed. As a result of this concern, doctors are now more careful with the prescription of new drugs, especially drugs which may prove addictive. Thus, doctors today try to administer or prescribe less medication than did doctors in the beginning of the twentieth century.

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

Incorrect.

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The first portion, the growing problem of addiction to medication, is not the conclusion but a given state upon which the conclusion is based. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Incorrect.

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While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The second boldface portion is a conclusion based on the first boldface portion, and not on contradicting evidence (there is no contradicting evidence in this argument).

Excellent.

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The first boldface portion, the growing concern over addiction to medication, is the fact (premise)upon which the second boldface portion, the conclusion, is based.

Incorrect.

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The growing concern over the addiction to prescribed medications is presented as factual; an assumption is the opposite of factual data - it is an unfounded statement. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

The growing concern over the addiction to prescribed medications is presented as factual, which is the opposite of an assumption. Notice that an argument rarely opens with an assumption. There is no need to address the second boldfaced piece when the first is shown to be mistaken.

Incorrect.

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The growing concern over the addiction to prescribed medications is presented as factual, not as an opinion. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

The first is an inference; the second is a fact contrary to the first.
The first is a piece of evidence; the second is a conclusion which is based on evidence which contradicts the first.
The first is a fact; the second is a conclusion which is based on the first and additional evidence.
The first is an assumption; the second is a conclusion based both on fact and on the first.
The first is an opinion; the second is an inference based on the first.