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The Importance of Statement-Scope(and words to look out for)

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Joined: 17 Mar 2011
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Concentration: General Management, Technology
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The Importance of Statement-Scope(and words to look out for) [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2011, 08:19
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Hey all,

Just wanted to post a bit about what I'm calling "Statement-Scope". GMAT prep books probably have a much nicer and more applicable term for it, but I'm not sure what it is, so I'll be using Statement-Scope (SS).

Also, this may be very obvious to you. It may not be. Hopefully there are a couple people who read this and gain at least some marginal benefit.

Any statement, generally has a purpose: Say something(1) about something(2).

Often, something(2) is a group or category.

For example, in the statement "Track athletes are fast", "Track athletes" is the "something(2)", and "are fast" is the something(1).

For EVERY statement, this is a statement scope. Statement scope is the subset of something(2) to which something (1) applies

It is very important to pay close attention to the SS, as it is often VERY relevant to finding the assumption on which the argument relies, or to the weakness of the argument.

Words such as:
Quote:
always
never
all
some
a few
occasionally
none
many
etc...

Are SS terms. These explicitly tell you what the scope of the statement is.

If no SS term is present, it is implied that the SS is 'all'.

For example, in the sentence above, "Track athletes are fast", it is assumed that ALL track athletes are fast.

If the sentence read "Some track athletes are fast", you can see that the SS only applies to a certain subset of the group. The sentence "Most track athletes are fast" indicates that "Some track athletes are not fast".

The following simple example illustrates how a SS term can change the validity of an argument.
Quote:
Argument 1:Some track athletes are fast. Joe is a track athlete. Therefore, Joe must be fast
Argument 2: Track athletes are fast. Joe is a track athlete. Therefore, Joe must be fast

GMAT questions will test your understanding of SS, and it won't always be as obvious as the example above.
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The Importance of Statement-Scope(and words to look out for)   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2011, 08:19
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