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Critical Reasoning: Conclusion Strengthening Questions

The Kraew reef is a diverse underwater ecological system that has yet to be officially protected by wildlife protection authorities. Local inhabitants of the area claim that fencing off the reef to preserve it is an unfair act since doing so will prevent them from being able to access the site freely. At the moment, damage is being done to the reef by speedboats and jet skis being driven directly over it by some of the inhabitants. Closing off the area is a necessary action if the reef is to survive in the long-term.

Which of the following, if true, supports the argument's conclusion?



This answer choice weakens the conclusion by diminishing the gravity of the damage done by local inhabitants, and stressing that there are many ways in which such a reef can be damaged. However, your goal is to find a statement that strengthens the conclusion.



This answer choice is only relevant if we assumes that if the area is closed off, public interest will decrease. This may not be the case, but if it is, this answer choice weakens the conclusion which supports the closing off of the area. Remember, you are looking for a statement that strengthens the conclusion.



Although the author doesn't seem to care much for the local inhabitants, this answer choice weakens the conclusion by presenting a negative side of the closing-off plan the author promotes. 



At best, this answer choice is too general and neither weakens nor strengthens the conclusion. Alternately, proving that motor boats and jet skis ban are sufficient to save the reef may mean that closing off the area is unnecessary, therefore weakening the conclusion. Either way, it's not what you're looking for.

Very well done!


This answer choice strengthens the conclusion by providing an example of another case with similar characteristics. In this example, we are given a cause-and-effect relationship: unmonitored visiting -> severe, long-lasting damage. The conclusion favors the closing-off the area and, therefore, monitoring visits to the reef, and this example supports that position.

Underwater ecological systems are damaged by a wide variety of external factors.
When tourism and public interest are reduced, funding for the protection of a certain area, or facility, can become problematic.
A similar reef some 250 kilometres from Kraew is estimated to need more than a century for its recovery from the damage caused by unmonitored visiting.
The banning of motor boats and jet skis from natural habitats would prevent some of the damage being done to ecological systems around the world.
Closing off a marine area is costly and may result in an increase in taxation of inhabitants of the area, or an entrance fee to be paid by visitors.