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# Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the

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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2010, 21:01
Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the detective’s dull companion. Clues are presented in the story, and the companion wrongly infers an inaccurate solution to the mystery using the same clues that the detective uses to deduce the correct solution. Thus, the author’s strategy of including the dull companion gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution.
Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?
(A) Most mystery stories feature a brilliant detective who solves the mystery presented in the story.
(B) Mystery readers often solve the mystery in a story simply by spotting the mistakes in the reasoning of the detective’s dull companion in that story.
(C) Some mystery stories give readers enough clues to infer the correct solution to the mystery.
(D) The actions of the brilliant detective in a mystery story rarely divert readers from the actions of the detective’s dull companion.
(E) The detective’s dull companion in a mystery story generally uncovers the misleading clues that divert readers from the mystery’s correct solution.
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02 Mar 2010, 09:00
OA C.

This question is from PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible
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02 Mar 2010, 22:23
Would like to go with B...
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04 Mar 2010, 19:50
(D) The actions of the brilliant detective in a mystery story rarely divert readers from the actions of the detective’s dull companion.

I chose D if the actions of brilliant detective rarely divert readers and the they are influenced by the actions of his dull companion.
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04 Mar 2010, 19:51
please anyone post OA and if possible OE
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2010, 15:02
finally pulled the trigger to join the forum because of this question.

I chose A. But the OA is C... which i still struggle to accept.

The reason that A is supposed to be wrong is because of the often/most discussion. I have seen quite a few other CR questions where this discussion of frequency is key to solving the question. Like whenever the answer has 'any' or 'never' make sure the stimulus is strong enough to support the strong conclusions.

B cannot be right.. the stimulus clearly states .." while diverting them from the correct solution"...

C is sort of tricky. It plays on your emotion of just having eliminated B as an answer choice which sounds very similar... plus the same " while diverting them from the correct solution" applies... if the readers are diverted from the correct solution.. how the hell are they still able to "infer the correct solution"..

we are reasoning with psychos... god help us.

also.. i am not sure if i am allowed to ask for kudos so i can access the goldmine of questions.. if i am .. kudos me .. if not.. pm me and i will delete
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2010, 16:26
Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the detective’s dull companion. Clues are presented in the story, and the companion wrongly infers an inaccurate solution to the mystery using the same clues that the detective uses to deduce the correct solution. Thus, the author’s strategy of including the dull companion gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution.
Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?
(A) Most mystery stories feature a brilliant detective who solves the mystery presented in the story.
(B) Mystery readers often solve the mystery in a story simply by spotting the mistakes in the reasoning of the detective’s dull companion in that story.
(C) Some mystery stories give readers enough clues to infer the correct solution to the mystery.
(D) The actions of the brilliant detective in a mystery story rarely divert readers from the actions of the detective’s dull companion.
(E) The detective’s dull companion in a mystery story generally uncovers the misleading clues that divert readers from the mystery’s correct solution.

The conclusion reads "the author’s strategy of including the dull companion gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution".

Option C essentially paraphrases this by saying these stories give readers enough clues to have a chance to solve or infer the correct solution.
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2010, 17:01
blakemancillas wrote:
Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the detective’s dull companion. Clues are presented in the story, and the companion wrongly infers an inaccurate solution to the mystery using the same clues that the detective uses to deduce the correct solution. Thus, the author’s strategy of including the dull companion gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution.
Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?
(A) Most mystery stories feature a brilliant detective who solves the mystery presented in the story.
(B) Mystery readers often solve the mystery in a story simply by spotting the mistakes in the reasoning of the detective’s dull companion in that story.
(C) Some mystery stories give readers enough clues to infer the correct solution to the mystery.
(D) The actions of the brilliant detective in a mystery story rarely divert readers from the actions of the detective’s dull companion.
(E) The detective’s dull companion in a mystery story generally uncovers the misleading clues that divert readers from the mystery’s correct solution.

The conclusion reads "the author’s strategy of including the dull companion gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution".

Option C essentially paraphrases this by saying these stories give readers enough clues to have a chance to solve or infer the correct solution.

give readers enough clues .. yes... but .. while also diverting them from the correct solution. so this is a parallel process of you getting the chance to solve mysteries ( or you think) while you are being carried in the wrong direction , away from the correct answer.

but then according to the OA... you end up solving the mystery anyway. this is where the discrepancy lies in my opinion...
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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22 Mar 2010, 23:12
I think it's B.

Pls post OA.
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24 Mar 2010, 05:08
my answer was E, but I got the idea that misleading clues is the wrong part of this answer.

But answer C looks more appropriate for assumption question. If we try to negate it, then the conclusion stated in the argument won't work. Can anyone explain this please!
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23 Apr 2010, 01:01
Noboru, where are you?
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29 Jun 2010, 11:40
Noboru - pls post OA... Many ppl have already discussed.... I too think it should be E but you say it is not. Pls let us know the OA
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2010, 13:38
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Hi,

several posters have already posted the OA: it's C.

Because the brilliant detective uses presented clues to solve the mystery, we can infer that some mystery stories give readers enough clues to solve the mystery (whether or not readers will actually use these clues is a different issue).

Choice A cannot be inferred because of "most". We can't infer from "often" in the passage to "most" in choice A.

We can't infer what fraction of readers actually solve the mystery (or indeed if any of them actually do). Thus, choice B cannot be inferred.

Similarly, we can't infer what effect the story has on the readers' interpretation, or on what the reader chooses to attend to (or not attend to). Thus, choices D and E cannot be inferred.
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Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the [#permalink]

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30 Jun 2010, 01:00
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This question has be now been fully explained, but it sounds like there is some confusion as to how to a approach an inference question:

What is an inference? An inference is what must be true if the conclusion is true!

How do you find the inference? Focus on the conclusion! Your answer must repeat the conclusion (or some part of the conclusion) without countering any of the premises.

Your job in answering this question is to repeat (as closely as possible) the sentence, "the author’s strategy... gives readers a chance to solve the mystery while also diverting them from the correct solution."

C ("Some mystery stories give readers enough clues to infer the correct solution to the mystery") is not perfect, but is the sentence closest to this one.

Hope that helps with future inference problems!

(More on inference questions can be found in CR Lesson 2 at gmaxonline!)

Best,
Sarai
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30 Jun 2010, 01:16
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Thanks, Sara!

Focusing on the main point (or conclusion) is indeed a GREAT way of approaching inference questions. In particular, if you see an answer choice that states the main point, which itself wasn't stated in the passage but was clearly implied by the passage, then that is the correct answer. Here, the test-maker is testing whether the student can judge what conclusion the passage was intended or designed to support. That's why focusing on the conclusion is a good strategy.

I would, however, add that the right answer to an inference question may simply be necessarily true based on any one (or more) statements in the passage. That is, it doesn't necessarily have to relate to the conclusion.

In fact, in some inference questions (such as this one for example!), there won't even be a conclusion; instead, there may just be a collection of facts, and we have to arrive at a deduction by combining two or more of those facts. In abstract:

If x, then y.
If y, then z.

Inference: If x, then z.

In this abstracted example, the passage was simply two facts (or two conditional statements to be accurate), and the correct answer is something that the combination of those statements proves must be true.
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30 Jun 2010, 05:52
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Hi Testluv,

Although I agree with your explanation of a tricky problem, I think it is important to differentiate between inference and conclusion questions.

When given a list of facts (and no conclusion), as in the hypothetical example you have offered, the question will be, "what conclusion can be drawn?" The test taker's job is, then, to synthesize the facts (premises) given.

An inference, however, is something that must be true if what is written is true. But premises are always true, so an inference is never based on a premise. If the question asks for an inference, the inference really is always based on the conclusion, which will indeed appear in the argument. Again, if there is no conclusion in the argument, the question will ask the test taker to provide a conclusion (not an inference).

GMAX Tip: Read the question before you read the argument! This way you will know ahead of time whether your job is to synthesize all the facts or repeat (more or less) the conclusion (or a part of the conclusion). In other words, reading the question first tells you where to focus.

More CR tips and tricks at gmaxonline!

Best,
Sarai
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30 Jun 2010, 12:41
Hi Sarai,

thanks for your response. I completely agree that inference questions are not the same as main point questions. Also, I agree with the tip you mentioned: starting with the question stem is in fact step 1 of the Kaplan method for CR.

Not surprisingly though, I disagree with some of what you have said.

I would argue that in my example, the question stem could easily have been:

"which of the following can be properly inferred?"

or

"if the statements above are true, which of the following must be true?"

Quote:
When given a list of facts (and no conclusion), as in the hypothetical example you have offered, the question will be, "what conclusion can be drawn?" The test taker's job is, then, to synthesize the facts (premises) given.

An inference, however, is something that must be true if what is written is true. But premises are always true, so an inference is never based on a premise

No, actually asking "what conclusion can be drawn?" is the exact same thing as asking "what can be properly inferred?". If mere factual statements strictly imply a new idea, then that new idea IS (by definition) a proper inference.

There are several examples of official GMAT inference questions in which the question stem reads "which of the following is most supported by the information above?" or "which of the follwing can be properly inferred?", and in which the passage is nothing more than a collection of facts without a cleary conclusionary statement. Moreover, in ALL inference questions, we must treat every statement in the passage as necessarily true (whether you choose to call it conclusin or evidence).
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03 Jul 2010, 01:14
Its close between B, C and E.
We cannot infer from the stimilus that most readers are diverted from the misleading claues when they read detective story. Thus E does not hold true.
Also, stimulus explains the incorrect solution derived using the "same" solution by a dull companion. We cannot infer that always readers will be able to spot real conclusion by spotting mistakes in reasoning of the dull companion. Thus B does not hold true.
C correctly states that enough clues are given to readers to spot the correct conclusion irrespective of the method readers use to spot the conclusion.
Thus C is best choice among others.
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03 Jul 2010, 01:40
Hi Testluv,

Well, I absolutely agree with your last sentence, "in ALL inference questions, we must treat every statement in the passage as necessarily true." But perhaps you could direct me to an inference question in the OG that demonstrates your point-- an inference question for an argument in which no conclusion is given. Do that, and I promise I'll cease to quibble

Best,
Sarai
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03 Jul 2010, 02:52
Wow this turning out to be nerve-wracking discussion here! Sara I have a question for you... So can we as GMAT Grapplers take for granted that ALL INFERENCE questions will necessarily have a conclusion somewhere in the passage? Meaning - if the passage is merely a collection of facts - we will NOT see an inference question but more likely see a conclusion question?

SaraiGMAXonline wrote:
Hi Testluv,

Well, I absolutely agree with your last sentence, "in ALL inference questions, we must treat every statement in the passage as necessarily true." But perhaps you could direct me to an inference question in the OG that demonstrates your point-- an inference question for an argument in which no conclusion is given. Do that, and I promise I'll cease to quibble

Best,
Sarai
Re: Mystery stories often feature a brilliant detective and the   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2010, 02:52

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