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# Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on

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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. One thousand readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second.

The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument?

B. How many people chose books other than 1984?

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?

D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?

E. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

The conclusion of the argument is the first sentence: “George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers.” The basis for this conclusion is that 1984 was the second most named book in a survey about influential books. The argument contains a serious error: just because 1984 came in second in the survey does not mean that “a great number” of readers selected it as influential. To illustrate this proposition, consider the following example:

Number of people surveyed = 1000

Number of people naming the Bible as the most influential book = 999
Number of people naming 1984 as the most influential book = 1

In this example, 1984 has come in second, but no one would say this second place finish supports a conclusion that “1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers.” You can expect the correct answer to address this issue.

Answer choice (A): The survey in the argument asks readers to name the one book with the most influence in their lives; the number of books read does not affect this answer. To apply the Variance Test, try opposite answers of “1” and a large number, say “10,000.” These numbers will not alter the evaluation of the argument, and thus this answer is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer, but it can be difficult since the wording is a bit unusual. The question is intended to reveal how many people selected 1984 relative to the other choices, and this addresses the issue raised in the analysis of the stimulus. Consider how the variance test works for this answer choice:

First try the response, “999.” In this case, only one person selected 1984 as the most influential book, and the argument is greatly weakened.

Next try the response, “501.” In this instance, 499 people selected 1984 as the most influential book and the conclusion is strengthened (the other 501 people would have selected the Bible). Note that you cannot try a number larger than 501 because that would mean that the Bible was not named most often.

Because the varied responses produce different evaluations of the argument, this answer is correct. Answer choice (C): This answer is not relevant to the columnist’s argument. Apply the Variance Test to disprove this answer by using opposite answers of “0” and a very large number, such as “1 million.”

Answer choice (D): Because the argument is about Orwell’s 1984, other Orwell books chosen by the readers have no impact on the argument. Apply the Variance Test, using opposite answers of “0” and a small number such as “10” (Orwell wrote dozens of essays, but not dozens of books).

Answer choice (E): The survey in the argument addresses influence, not the actual reading of the book. A person might be influenced by a book like the Bible through church teachings, etc. without actually having read the book. To apply the Variance Test, try opposite answers of “0” and “1000.”
General Discussion
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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Hi, Everyone

thanks for your help! all of you!

Well, this is my opinion:

Conclusion:
George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
great number of this newspaper’s readers
Facts:
One thousand readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on
their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second
Assumptions?
Here, it's important to make some relationship between the readers of the newspaper and the Orwell's book......
And
The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument?

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper? For me, this one, make this RELATIONSHIP!

what do you think guys?

Cheers!
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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This question comes down to B & E.

E is supposed to be the trick answer for this question. One must keep in mind that a book doesn't have to be read in its entirety (or at all) in order to be influential on people. A perfect example of this would be religious texts; without getting into particularly sensitive specifics, there are plenty of people out there who will do crazy things and citing religious doctrine written in some "holy religious text" as justification, even if they have not read said text in its entirety or have no understanding of its context.

B is the neatly "hidden" right answer for the exact reason cited by vraptor in the post above.
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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https://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q24 ... t4797.html

here the question is different from what is in this post. The people who were surveyed were readers of the news paper. This information is helpful to eliminate C.
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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IMO E.

The statement of Columnist says '1984' stood second. Now there is a possibility that out of 1000, only 5 chose '1984', in which case its influence is not that high. Moreover, lets consider that the book '1984' stood second with 999 readers but there is a third book ''XYZ' which stood third with 998 readers, even this assumption calls influence of 1984 into question. Hence, it is necessary to know how many chose '1984' in order to accept it as 'Much Influential'.
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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jugglerG2
IMO E.

The statement of Columnist says '1984' stood second. Now there is a possibility that out of 1000, only 5 chose '1984', in which case its influence is not that high. Moreover, lets consider that the book '1984' stood second with 999 readers but there is a third book ''XYZ' which stood third with 998 readers, even this assumption calls influence of 1984 into question. Hence, it is necessary to know how many chose '1984' in order to accept it as 'Much Influential'.

How come the book '1984' stood second with 999 readers, in that case only 1 chose bible and "1984" become the first.
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. One thousand readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second.

Author claims that - George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. THis is based on a survey of 1000 members.

2nd best popular => so influenced a great no. of the people's reader.

The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument?

A. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?
Although this option questions the validity of sample size, Just knowing how many people read the columnist wont help to evaluate further. if it is 2000, 20000, or 200000, we still dont know what sample size is appropriate that represent the entire population. So C inccorect.

D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?
How many books won't help. even if it is 50 books and 48 people chose 48 books and 476 chosen Bible and 474 1984, conclusion stands corrected. or 202 books and 200 people chose from 200 books (other than bible) and rest almost equally bible and 1984, conclusion stands corrected.

E. How many people chose 1984?

Lets say only 10 people chose 1984,and all other people chose other books (bible or any other book) can we say "George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. " No, because 10 is not a great number.

But a different reasoning could be this

what no. is good enough for "George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. " I mean 400, 200, 300 ????
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. One thousand readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second.

The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument?

A. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?

D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?

E. How many people chose 1984?

Premises:
1000 readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on their lives.
The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second.

Conclusion: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great numberof this newspaper’s readers.

A. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?
The readers claim that the book influenced their lives. Whether the book cover was profound or the preface took their breath away or they actually read the book, we don't know. They claim that the book influenced their lives and that's that. Whether they actually read the book is irrelevant.

Again, doesn't matter. Even if they read just one book, if it influenced their lives, it did have the most influence on their lives. Just because one person read 1000 books, his claim is not more justifiable than the person who read only 10 books.

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?
Doesn't matter. The columnist is talking about the readers of the newspaper. That is the super set. How many are there in the super set is immaterial. We need to find what percentage of this super set claims that this book most influenced their lives.

D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?
Doesn't matter. We only care about 1984. All other George Orwell books are out of scope.

E. How many people chose 1984?
If out of 1000, 990 chose the Bible and 10 chose 1984, we CANNOT say that 1984 influenced a great number of readers.
If out of 1000, 501 chose the Bible and 499 chose 1984, we CAN say that 1984 influenced a great number of readers.
So the answer to this question is important in evaluating the columnist's argument.

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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
George Orwell???s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
great number of this newspaper???s readers: Conclusion

Premise: survey of 1000 readers suggests that 1984 was the second most often chosen book in terms of influence

If number of readers of newspaper is 1000000000 then the survey of 1000 people can t be used to conclude that a great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.

if number of readers of newspaper is 1010 then survey is right to conclude that great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.

What is the point I am missing here.
I often get CR questions wrong and dont even understand the correct answer explanation.
Where am I missing the point here and how do I improve ?

PS: already reading Powerscore CR and have gone through many OG questions and CR strategies.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Kudos !!

Regards,
Saksham
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
The conclusion of the argument is: The book has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspapers readers. Keywords to focus- "much influence", "great number" and "newspapers readers". Clearly we are concerned with just the readers of the newspaper. And for this conclusion to make sense it is important to know whether the readers who said that the book had influence on them were a considerable number for this argument to hold true. Only B gives an indication in that direction. Since if the number of people choosing the book is not greater by a considerable degree than people choosing other books, then the conclusion will not make sense. Hence, B.
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Re: Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
GMATNinjaTwo
Quote:
Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on
their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second. The
answer to which one of the following questions would most help in
evaluating the columnist’s argument?

B. How many people chose books other than 1984?
C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?
D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?
E. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?

Quote:
George Orwell???s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a
great number of this newspaper???s readers: Conclusion

Premise: survey of 1000 readers suggests that 1984 was the second most often chosen book in terms of influence

If number of readers of newspaper is 1000000000 then the survey of 1000 people can t be used to conclude that a great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.

if number of readers of newspaper is 1010 then survey is right to conclude that great number of newspaper readers are influenced by 1984.

What is the point I am missing here.
I often get CR questions wrong and dont even understand the correct answer explanation.
Where am I missing the point here and how do I improve ?

PS: already reading Powerscore CR and have gone through many OG questions and CR strategies.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Kudos !!

Regards,
Saksham

sakshamgmat, thanks for your question! You've already taken a great first step, which is, if possible, to identify the conclusion, "George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers." Now, make sure to pay close attention to what is being asked... we are looking for a question whose answer would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument. Note that this does not mean that we need to prove whether the columnist's conclusion is true or false. With that in mind, consider choice B..

Quote:
B. How many people chose books other than 1984?

If we know how many people out of the 1000 chose books OTHER than 1984, then we know how many people chose 1984 (ie if 990 people chose books other than 1984, that means that only 10 chose 1984; if 600 people chose books other than 1984, then 400 chose 1984). If only 10 chose 1984, then we could easily criticize the columnist's argument because we have no idea if only 10 readers were influenced by 1984 or if a large number of those not surveyed were also influenced by 1984. The actual number of newspaper readers influenced by 1984 could be 10 or it could be 10,000; without more information, we cannot safely reach the columnist's conclusion, but we can indeed evaluate the columnist's conclusion and determine that it is insufficient. Now, what if 400 people chose 1984? If the survey is reasonably accurate, this data tells us that nearly half of the newspaper's readers were influenced by 1984. Sure, it is possible that the newspaper actually has 1,000,000 readers and that only 400 total were influenced by 1984, but it is far more likely that a larger portion were influenced by 1984. And even if only 400 people in total were influenced by 1984, one could still argue that this is a "great number" of readers (the columnist only argued that a great number of readers were influenced by 1984, not that a large percentage of readers were influenced by 1984). Thus, the columnist's argument is reasonable.

Knowing the number of people out of the 1000 surveyed helps us evaluate the columnist's argument better than the answers to the questions in the other choices would, so choice B is the best option. I hope that helps!

Hi,

Wouldn't the same argument be applicable to choice C ? If the number of subscriptions were a billion, surveying a 1000 was of little use but if the number of subscriptions were 1000, then it makes sense.

Please guide. What's wrong in my understanding ?
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Re: Columnist: George Orwells book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
serbiano
Columnist: George Orwell’s book 1984 has exercised much influence on a great number of this newspaper’s readers. One thousand readers were surveyed and asked to name the one book that had the most influence on their lives. The book chosen most often was the Bible; 1984 was second.

The answer to which one of the following questions would most help in evaluating the columnist’s argument?

B. How many people chose books other than 1984?

C. How many people read the columnist’s newspaper?

D. How many books by George Orwell other than 1984 were chosen?

E. How many of those surveyed had actually read the books they chose?
First of all George Orwell's 1984 is actually a great book, not that i have read it but heard so.

I chose E but now realise that one reading the book is not a necessary condition for its influence to happen. So, it's not actually helping. A and D are plain wrong.
B and C are good contenders. C loses, as i see it, for it is again, like in E, not necessary to know how many read newspaper.

Also, briefly, i think B works within the realms of the passage i.e. only 1000 are to be considered as the results are according to them only.

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Re: Columnist: George Orwells book 1984 has exercised much influence on [#permalink]
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