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Reading Comprehension: Structure Questions

The first paragraph fulfills which of the following functions?

Incorrect.

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The passage states that Professor Crone was the first to question the logic behind the assumption that elaborate trading networks were important to the rise of Islam. Therefore, it can be inferred that Professor Crone's theory does not find a trading network in Mecca to be of great importance.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The first paragraph introduces two theories of the rise of Islam, the traditional account and Professor Crone's. Only Professor Crone's account is criticized in the second paragraph.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

The first paragraph introduces Professor Crone's theory, whereas the second paragraph questions her account of the rise of Islam.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice is a dangerous distractor, as the first paragraph does indeed present a comparison. However, the answer choice is eliminated by the fact that Professor Crone does not present her own account of the rise of Islam - she merely provides evidence to discredit the prevailing theories that Mecca's position as a trading center was one of the reasons behind the rise of Islam. The comparison is drawn between these two versions of Mecca's viability as a trading stop - not between two different accounts of the rise of Islam.

Good!

[[snippet]]

The first paragraph introduces Professor Crone's theory and the second paragraph shows why her theory fails to convince her readers. In other words - the second paragraph criticized Professor Crone's theory.

It presents the traditional account of the rise of Islam which is questioned in the second paragraph.
It shows the importance of an elaborate trading network in Mecca to Professor Crone's theory.
It questions Professor Crone's account of the rise of Islam.
It introduces Professor Crone's theory which is then criticized in the second paragraph.
It compares the traditional and Professor Crone's accounts of the rise of Islam.