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A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly

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A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2011, 15:49
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A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly spreads across grasslands, was inadvertently introduced into Canada from the United Kingdom in the late 1960's. This weed takes nutrients and moisture from the soil that would otherwise go to timothy grass, the most common Canadian grass varietal. To help track the spread of spear thistle, the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed—the fact sheets contain pictures of the weed and explain its effect on soil; the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.
(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.
(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass.
(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours.
(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock.
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Re: Knewton CR - Spear Thistle  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2011, 19:43
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intended effect of agencies action - Spread of Spear thistle needs to be curbed. Farmers will be willing to help in the process. This will be supported by any additional fact that states the farmers have an incentive in weed them out.

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.if there are several foreign species, weeding out spear thistle might not be the farmer's first priority
(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.Animals are uninterested but that does not prove that farmers will be inclined to weed them out. there could other sources of animal fodder.
(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass. this is just funny :)
(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours. this does not help. irrelevant.
(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock. If timothy grass is the main source of nutrition for the animals and from the passage we know that spear thistle affects the growth of timothy grass negatively then farmers will definitely want to weed out spear thistle. thus weeding out spear thistle is a win-win for both farmers and the agency

ans E
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Re: Knewton CR - Spear Thistle  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2011, 13:05
this question is VERY similar to a question from OG..i think it was some kind of fish eating other fish in a ocean
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Re: Knewton CR - Spear Thistle  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2011, 15:03
+1 for E

If the animals eat timothy grass and dont eat spear grass, i will grow spear grass so that animals of my neighbours dont graze on my field and kill my plantations :)
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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2014, 11:23
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RivaM wrote:
A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly spreads across grasslands, was inadvertently introduced into Canada from the United Kingdom in the late 1960's. This weed takes nutrients and moisture from the soil that would otherwise go to timothy grass, the most common Canadian grass varietal. To help track the spread of spear thistle, the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed—the fact sheets contain pictures of the weed and explain its effect on soil; the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.
(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.
(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass.
(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours.
(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock.



Step 1. Identify the question.
Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?

The words "If true" and "most support for the prediction" indicates that this is a Strengthen question.

Step2. Deconstruct the question.

A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly spreads across grasslands, was inadvertently introduced into Canada from the United Kingdom in the late 1960's --- It is a fact. It can be background or premise. Sentence uses word "inadvertently", it means ST may create some problem. Let us move further.

This weed takes nutrients and moisture from the soil that would otherwise go to timothy grass, the most common Canadian grass varietal.--- More information about ST. Another fact. Indirectly, ST harms TG.


To help track the spread of spear thistle, the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed—the fact sheets contain pictures of the weed and explain its effect on soil; the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land.-- here is the Plan & Goal.

Goal: Track spread of ST
Plan: Gov has released a fact sheet to farmers. Sheet contains pic of ST & explain its effect on soil. Sheet also asks farmers to report any outgrowth of weed on their land.

How Goal will be achieved ? Government assumes that farmer will report them growth of ST.
Prethinking --Why farmer will report them growth of ST ?

It is a strengthen question I need to find something that makes this plan a little more likely to be valid.


Step -3. Check answer choices. Work from wrong to right.

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers. -- Constant information. It is already available in argument that ST draws nutrients from the soil. It does not strengthen the argument. If it does something, it weakens the argument because it says "one of several foreign weed species. Eliminate it.

(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns. --If animals are uninterested in eating ST, it will grow more. And it will harm timothy grass more and indirectly farmers who keep animals would get affected. They would like to inform government about ST in their fields. I have to make too many assumption here. Also I don't know how many farmers gets affected. But it still seems to strengthen the argument. Let us keep it in and check other options.

(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass. -- very abstract information. ST leaves thorns on ground, which can poke holes in TG so what ?

(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours. It clearly weakens the argument.

(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock. ---Farmers use TG for their livestocks. Now TG is reduced, farmers need to know why? Farmers will ultimately find out that ST is causing reduction in TG. They have the govt flash cards with them. Using which they will be sure that ST is behind all this. They will report the ST to govt, and govt plan will succeed.
It seems to strengthen the argument.


Out of option B & E. E is better. IMO: E is answer.
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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2014, 23:20
I don't find of of the answer choices convincing

We have to strengthen the conclusion - " the agencies' action will have its intended effect of being able to track the spread of spear thistle"

The answer choice E) "Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock." doesn't impact the conclusion at all.

Experts please help
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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2014, 02:32
RivaM wrote:
A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly spreads across grasslands, was inadvertently introduced into Canada from the United Kingdom in the late 1960's. This weed takes nutrients and moisture from the soil that would otherwise go to timothy grass, the most common Canadian grass varietal. To help track the spread of spear thistle, the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed—the fact sheets contain pictures of the weed and explain its effect on soil; the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.
(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.
(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass.
(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours.
(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock.



The options are very indirect so you must look thoroughly into the question.

... would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?
What is agencies' action? It is "the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed... the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land."
So action is releasing a fact sheet to farmers.

What is the intended effect? to track the spread of spear thistle

So the agencies have released a fact sheet to farmers so that they can track the spread of spear thistle. Now, we need to find the option that provides support to the agencies' action having the desired effect i.e. agencies's plan succeeding.

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.
If there are several such foreign weed species, it is unlikely that the farmers would be very interested in this particular weed. Hence this option doesn't strengthen the plan.

(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.
Spear thistle is a weed and hence the agencies want to control it. This option does show that the farmers might be interested in tracking spear thistle since it has no use for them while it takes away nutrients that were to be used for timothy grass but we still don't know how relevant timothy grass is to the farmers. Cautiously hold this.

(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass.
No relevance to the plan.

(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours.
No relevance to the plan.

(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock.
This shows us that timothy grass is very relevant to most farmers. Hence if there is a weed that is affecting timothy grass, most farmers will take notice. Hence the plan of the Govt to get in touch with farmers to help it track the spread of spear thistle might actually work. This option is much better than option (B).

Answer (E)
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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2015, 12:10
RivaM wrote:
A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly spreads across grasslands, was inadvertently introduced into Canada from the United Kingdom in the late 1960's. This weed takes nutrients and moisture from the soil that would otherwise go to timothy grass, the most common Canadian grass varietal. To help track the spread of spear thistle, the Canadian government has released a fact sheet to farmers to help them identify the weed—the fact sheets contain pictures of the weed and explain its effect on soil; the sheets also ask farmers to report any outgrowths of the weed found on their land.


got to the answer choice by POE.
the assumption here is that people would actually report!!!
the strengthener would either be the assumption, or a statement that would make the conclusion more believable.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the agencies' action will have its intended effect?

(A) The spear thistle is one of several foreign weed species that draws nutrients from the soil of Canadian farmers.
well, tricky one. close, but not the correct answer. if ST is one of the several species, farmers might not pay attention to this one, as other species might be even more harmful. so..let's see other options first before eliminating this one.

(B) The animals that graze on timothy grass on Canadian farms are uninterested in eating spear thistle because of its thorns.
well, doesn't have any effects on conclusion, so B is out.

(C) The spear thistle leaves spiny thorns on the ground which can poke holes in timothy grass.
same as B, no effects on conclusion. C is out.

(D) Spear thistles usually draw nutrients out of the soil at night, but timothy grass usually grows during the daytime hours.
this would actually weaken the conclusion. I know there are a lot of buts, but anyways, not a good answer.

(E) Most Canadian farmers use timothy grass as the main varietal with which to feed and nourish their livestock.
ok, now this one is a good one. Looks like farmers are actually motivated to report any outgrowths. This actually supports the assumption, and thus the conclusion. E is better than A, therefore E should be the answer.
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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly  [#permalink]

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Re: A certain variety of spear thistle, a weed that quickly   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2019, 20:57
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