« on: March 12, 2004, 09:40:08 PM »
On many questions in the LR section, you can reduce them to logic and letters. Some are more obvious than others, like:
"Only if the electorate is moral and intelligent will a democracy function well."
First, you change it to--as you should know from your logic course--if/then statements.
"If a democracy is functioning well, then the electorate is moral and intelligent."
As also taught in logic courses, you can just use either A, B and C in your head or written out beside the statement, or you can use the beginning letter of the most significant words (or whatever is easiest for you):
If A, then B & C or A--> B & C
If F, then M & I or F-->M & I
The question goes something like:
"Which one of the following can be logically inferred from the claim above?" in reference to the original statement.
Well, as your logic course also teaches, you can see that "and" means it has to be BOTH of them. If even one of those two (moral and intelligent) is not true, then the democracy can't be functioning well. Or, in other words:
If -B, then -A or If -M or -I, then -F
I know there's something taught in logic that represents when you have a and/or/both situation, but I always don't really remember that one and feel that -B, then -A works much the same and keeps me from having to memorize a whole bunch of logic.
By the way, I'm getting this from "10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests, test IX, section 4, question 4 just to let everyone know and to reference the source.
So the answer choices--you look at them, see which one looks most like the formal logic work you know/do...
You see that (C) says:
"If the electorate is not moral or not intelligent, then a democracy will not function well."
Breaking that down to logic, that's going to look something like that "If -B, then -A" concept. They say "or," so that means that one of those is not true when BOTH have to be true. If they said "and"--that's even more obviously the answer.
There are tons of other real problems in this book that illustrate logic on the LR section. A good question type to use logic on is parallel reasoning. I was taught in logic that you could turn just about any statement into an if/then statement, so that's all you have to think of many questions in the LR section as.
Same test/section, question 24, first sentence (the conclusion):
"It now becomes clear that the significant role initially predicted for personal computers in the classroom has not become fact."
This looks like a lot, but cut through the crap to break it down to:
R--> -F (the Role has not become Fact)
This is especially helpful in parallel reasoning because, most of the time, the structure of the answer choice is going to be the same...ie, in this case, it should be something that says:
Though not obviously written, the main point of the correct answer, which is (D), is that consumers are not using or buying microwave ovens as much, or C--> -U, as well as a few other parallelism that show this as the correct answer over others (because there will often be two answers, or maybe more, that have similar structure, though sometimes one of them might say -A-->B, which is backwards but can still trick someone up).
Like others said, you can just learn this kind of stuff from a study guide rather than a course. I also believe that the LR section will take most people more than just finding the evidence and the conclusion. For some people, breaking down statements like this helps them see the answer more clearly, though.