If you use my strategy based on passage structure
, you'll get the answer no matter how confusing the text. Focus on structure to help you answer the question
If you take the following snippet:
"Reform in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through the extension of this metaphor of the race, wider inclusion of competitors, “a piece of the action.” As it were, of the disenfranchised. There is no attempt to call off the race. Since our only stability is change. America seems not to honor the quite work that achieves social interdependence and stability"You will see that the phrase "a piece of the action" is part of the sentence that starts out as "Reform in America has been sterile because..."
And here you ask yourself, why was reform in America sterile?
We know that everything else in the sentence is going to help us answer this question, based on sentence structure. Since "a piece of the action" is part of the sentence, it must be part of the answer to that question and support it in some way.
Answer choice B gets us the answer. Take the answer choice and restate what it implies. Why was American reform sterile? Because Americans (as B says) were resistant to profound social change. Is this true?Then you re-read to make sure the whole answer choice is correct. Was it an "example" of Americans' resistance to social change?
Yes, because the sentence is in this format: "Reform in America has been sterile because it can imagine no change except through [A, B, and C]."
"A piece of the action" happens to be one of these points and therefore is an example that supports the sentence.
"It can imagine no change except through [A, B, and C]"
What does this mean? It just means America can't imagine any change except for the listed items. OR, in other words, these listed items are very small changes and they are the ONLY changes that America CAN possibly imagine. Basically anything along the lines of having little impact/change is described in [A, B, and C].
If you read (B) again, it indicates resistance to profound social change which matches what we expect based on sentence structure - something that has little impact/change. (B) supports that thinking and fits well into our sentence structure. There are no inconsistencies that we see, so (B) is the answer.
Even as you read the following sentences, you'll see they all support the statement that American reform was sterile. Other reasons for reform being "sterile" were that there was "no attempt to call of the race" and that America did not honor social work. All of these reasons also are along the same lines as the first - a negative attitude towards social change! And we know that because that's just how the sentence structure was written - one statement followed by supporting sentences. They ALL have to support each other! By understanding sentence structure well, you can nail down any complex RC question! Just follow my thinking.The reason you had read it first as positive is because
the first paragraph is all positive. I didn't know that this passage is actually 2 paragraphs until I noticed the tone change starting with that sentence "Reform in America has been STERILE
Well paragraph 1 was about how change
because of so and so. But then I started reading that sentence and it used the word STERILE
when describing reform/change
. This was the opposite approach from paragraph 1 so I immediately knew the author was going in a different direction with that sentence.
Be careful to follow KEY transitive phrases when answering RC questions. The key is to use passage structure to help you answer RC questions.