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Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

The city of Springlyville is spending a large portion of its budget on the construction of a cultural center for the performing arts. The city is not without problems in the social sphere, with reports documenting overcrowded homeless shelters and a number of schools that lack proper facilities. Many residents have rightly complained about the construction, insisting that it be stopped and that the funds be allocated to solve more pressing issues. The mayor made a public announcement claiming that the city council had made the decision based on the idea that although the conditions in shelters and schools were extremely important, the need to hold cultural events had to also be addressed immediately.

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

Incorrect.

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An opinion is someone's belief that has not been proven. The phrase with reports documenting tells us that the first boldface portion is not just a belief, but a fact that has been documented. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The word evidence means factual findings. The second boldface portion cannot be referred to as evidence since it is an opinion held by the city council.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



The argument opposes the decision of the city council and so the first boldface portion, which presents data about where money is needed more urgently, does not challenge the position of the argument - it support that position. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The word although is an indication that the second boldface portion opposes, not supports, the main position of the argument.

Impressive!

[[snippet]]



The first boldface contains the facts about the shelters and schools. In the first boldface portion this fact is used to support the argument's main position. The second boldface portion contains the mayor's opinion that this fact's importance is diminished, which serves to counter the position presented in the first part of the argument.

The first is an opinion that supports the main position of the argument; the second is an opinion that opposes this position.
The first forms a basis for the argument's position; the second is evidence that weighs against that position.
The first provides evidence forming a base for the argument's position; the second is an opinion that counters that position.
The first is used to challenge the position supported by the argument; the second supports this challenge.
The first establishes support for the argument's position in the form of evidence; the second supports the same position by introducing an opinion.