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# For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c

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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]

1. E (cautious opposition)

2. B (Planners of highly complex projects should expect some unintended negative consequences, even if they cannot foresee what those consequences will be.)

Would like to understand the OE after some discussion.....
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
Before reading the explanation I selected E, but when I saw D in the explanation, I realized that the important sentence is "but it would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswan Dam.", this means he supports it more than he rejects it, not by much though.

A) There is no inconsistency, he simply presents counter facts which he acknowledges.

B) Incorrect, as he stands on one side.

C) He stands on one side, but not to the point of being "enthusiast". The language is too extreme.

D) Correct.

E) Incorrect, as he supports the project.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
Can you post the link,the one you mentioned, about the usual" Red flags"in CR

parker wrote:
Tough passage. The super-tricky thing about it is that it *seems* to follow a tried and true format (pro-con) but at the last possible minute--and without warning--the author declares his/her overall point of view (pro) with a sneaky double-negative, making the structure (pro-con-pro).

Question (1)

That last part of the final sentence: "it would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswam Dam" actually means "yes, the Egyptian government probably should have built the dam." "Untenable" means "unable to be defended from attack"-- so if a conclusion is "untenable," it means that conclusion is wrong. If we say that the conclusion that they should NEVER have built the dam is WRONG, that means they SHOULD have built the dam.

The author is clearly coming out in favor of the dam (despite some very serious negative effects laid out in most of the 2nd paragraph), so nix (B) and (E). Those serious negative effects kick (C) out of the running, since the author's support of the dam is not without reservation. This leaves (A) and (D). The wording of (A) is also quite tricky, because a reasonable person might say "hey, he/she's being inconsistent by swinging so strongly from pro to con to pro." But while the author's *tone* may seem inconsistent, and that last *sentence* may seem a little inconsistent with what immediately precedes it, the author's *support* itself is consistent internally--he/she supports the project. Choice (D) is our answer.

Question (2)

I just posted in the CR forum about watching out for certain suspicious "red flag" words in CR questions. The same thing holds true for RC questions.

(A) "should"-- if you see the word "should" (or another word that implies a recommendation), make sure there is an actual recommendation asserted somewhere, and if there is one, that the recommendation's scope is worded very precisely. Not only is this a huge jump to make (all plans? really? with any kind of consequences?) but the author says nothing directly about a link between his/her approval of the damn and the fact that it met intended goals. Out.

(B) "should" again--they should? always? says who? Out.

(C) This is very similar to the last sentence of the passage, right down that nasty double negative. Hold onto it.

(D) "should" again. The author makes no recommendation about weighing side effects before starting the project. Also "before" (and other time markers) can often fall into that "red flag word" category. Out.

(E) "necessary" and "all"--make sure any absolute statements are supported absolutely in the passage. ALL outcomes? Every possible one? That's a tall order. And NECESSARY? Says who?

You didn't post an OA for this q, but I'd go with C.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
I answered question 2 wrongly .
Please explain why the author’s attitude toward the Aswan Dam Project is mild endorsement.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
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arvind910619 wrote:
I answered question 2 wrongly .
Please explain why the author’s attitude toward the Aswan Dam Project is mild endorsement.

In last paragraph the author implies - Even though The dam construction is giving bad results in some. We cannot deny that the construction should be avoided. i.e. He is favoring the dam construction, though he is agreeing about the disadvantages.

This is a tone question.

+kudos if you liked my answer.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
Shivikaa wrote:
Hi,
I got Q5 Wrong. I chose D. Please explain.

Shivikaa

In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built.
(A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.
(B) The conclusion of the passage supports the idea that the author thinks the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, not vice versa. In addition, the adverb "usually" raises a red flag; the author presents only one example and makes no attempt to draw a universal conclusion.
(C) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage ("it would be untenable..."); the author does not agree with those who think the dam should not have been built.
(D) The passage discussed a problem (flooding), a solution (the Aswan Dam), and some positive and negative effects of the project. The passage did not focus on the
implementation of the project, i.e., the construction of the dam.
(E) The main idea encompasses both positive and negative effects, not just the negative ones. In addition, the author makes no comment or claim about poor planning.

Hope this helps!
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
ttdontcry wrote:
Can anyone explain the 4th question?
I chose E.

4.
The question asks for the significance of the author’s statement about the quantity of electricity produced by the dam, not just for the significance of the fact that the dam
generated electricity at all. The correct answer will have something to do with the author's desire to highlight the magnitude of this particular benefit of the dam.
(A) The passage does not comment on Egypt's other electricity needs (and, in fact, the passage tells us that the dam provided only half of the country's output, so Egypt did have other sources of electricity).
(B) CORRECT. The author quantified the output in order to demonstrate the magnitude of this particular benefit.
(C) Although the author concludes the passage by mildly indicating that the positive effects outweighed the negative, the only positive effect he mentions there is the lack
of flooding. Moreover, he does not argue that any one effect of the dam is more “important” than any other effect.
(D) The passage did not provide or imply any expectations for the magnitude of the electricity output.
(E) The sentence in question does not mention anything about negative effects, nor does it contrast the positive and negative effects. Although the second paragraph as a
hole might be considered a contrast of the positive and negative effects of the dam, the author would not need to quantify the electricity output in order to make such a
contrast.

Hope this helps!
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
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DmitryFarber GMATNinja @everyone else

in theprimary purpose - where does the author say the dam is a "business plan " ... just because it is necessary for economic development, it doesnt mean " business plan " ... this is more of a general principle... if the author wanted to make such a claim then he shouldve mentioned the entire "dam" thing as an example of a generlisation.

I seriously doubt this question ... nowhere has author mentioned " business plan " ...
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

1.
The first paragraph of the passage introduces the reasons that the Egyptian government undertook to build the Aswan Dam and also lists the main benefits of the completed dam. The second paragraph begins with an example of a positive result, but then offers a significant and unexpected negative consequence. It ends by stating that "it is difficult to draw... conclusions" when there are strong positive and negative effects, "but it would be untenable" to say that the dam shouldn't have been built. The first half of this last sentence indicates the author's acknowledgment that this is a complex topic without any one right opinion or answer. The second half, though, states that the author disagrees with those who believe the dam should not have been built.

(A) The answer is too extreme; the author discusses only one example in the passage and does not make any sweeping conclusions. He does not imply that anything that achieves its goals should be carried out.
(B) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. The author does not discuss what planners should or should not expect anywhere in the passage.
(C) CORRECT. The passage essentially states that, despite mixed consequences, we cannot defend the position that the dam should not have been built, as the last sentence indicates that would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswan Dam." This mirrors the idea that "unpredictable" or mixed results do not necessarily lead to "condemning the entire endeavor."
(D) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. Nowhere in the passage does the author discuss what actions should be taken before starting sizable projects.
(E) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. The author does not discuss what criteria to use in order to decide whether to denounce a project. In fact, the author states that it is "difficult to draw definite conclusions" even though the positive and negative outcomes are known in this circumstance.

2.
The passage is fairly balanced but turns positive at the end. The author first states the intended positive consequences and acknowledges the unintended negative effects of the dam before stating, in the last sentence, that the dam was ultimately successful. The author concludes this last sentence by giving the opinion (very mildly stated) that the dam should have been built.
(A) While the author does show mild support for the project, there is no sign of inconsistency in the author's support. The author does not switch viewpoints regarding the merits of the Aswan Dam, even while weighing the pros and cons.
(B) While most of the passage maintains a fairly neutral tone, the final sentence states the author's opinion that the dam should have been built. This undermines a position of "strict" neutrality.
(C) While the author does ultimately show support for the project, it is very mild. "Keen enthusiasm" is much too optimistic a phrase to describe this passage.
(D) CORRECT. The author examines both sides of the issue before asserting that the dam should have been built; this reflects a mild endorsement.
(E) Though the author mentions some negative effects of the dam, he ultimately concludes it should have been built; this cannot be categorized as "opposition" to the project.

3.
Inference questions require us to draw a conclusion based only upon the information presented in the passage.
(A) The passage states that "before the dam” was built, blocking the flow of silt, “the Nile floodplain was famously productive." However, this choice goes too far by stating that crops “cannot” grow without silt. In fact, the passage indicates that farmers still grow crops on the land, despite the lack of silt in the soil.
(B) While it is reasonable to suppose that some farmers feel this way, the passage does not provide any information about the farmers' approval or disapproval of the dam.
(C) CORRECT. In the second paragraph, the passage states "before the dam, the Nile floodplain was famously productive" and goes on to say that farmers now have to use artificial fertilizers. This implies that the land is not as fertile as it was before the dam was built.
(D) This idea was presented in paragraph one as a reason for the government to build the dam, but the rest of the passage does not address whether the government succeeded in this goal.
(E) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage, in which the author disagrees with those who think the dam should not have been built.

4.
The question asks for the significance of the author’s statement about the quantity of electricity produced by the dam, not just for the significance of the fact that the dam generated electricity at all. The correct answer will have something to do with the author's desire to highlight the magnitude of this particular benefit of the dam.
(A) The passage does not comment on Egypt's other electricity needs (and, in fact, the passage tells us that the dam provided only half of the country's output, so Egypt did have other sources of electricity).
(B) CORRECT. The author quantified the output in order to demonstrate the magnitude of this particular benefit.
(C) Although the author concludes the passage by mildly indicating that the positive effects outweighed the negative, the only positive effect he mentions there is the lack of flooding. Moreover, he does not argue that any one effect of the dam is more “important” than any other effect.
(D) The passage did not provide or imply any expectations for the magnitude of the electricity output.
(E) The sentence in question does not mention anything about negative effects, nor does it contrast the positive and negative effects. Although the second paragraph as a whole might be considered a contrast of the positive and negative effects of the dam, the author would not need to quantify the electricity output in order to make such a contrast.

5.
In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built.
(A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.
(B) The conclusion of the passage supports the idea that the author thinks the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, not vice versa. In addition, the adverb "usually" raises a red flag; the author presents only one example and makes no attempt to draw a universal conclusion.
(C) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage ("it would be untenable..."); the author does not agree with those who think the dam should not have been built.
(D) The passage discussed a problem (flooding), a solution (the Aswan Dam), and some positive and negative effects of the project. The passage did not focus on the implementation of the project, i.e., the construction of the dam.
(E) The main idea encompasses both positive and negative effects, not just the negative ones. In addition, the author makes no comment or claim about poor planning.

6.
Specific detail EXCEPT questions require us to search the passage for four details which are mentioned in the passage; the fifth is not mentioned and is, therefore, the right answer. One helpful technique is to label each answer choice with a T (for "true") if you find it in the passage and an F (for "false") if you cannot.
(A) True. The last sentence of the first paragraph says the dam will "supply a steady source of water for residents and agricultural activities."
(B) True. The first sentence of the second paragraph says "the dam provided approximately half of Egypt's entire electricity output."
(C) True. The second sentence of the first paragraph says that the dam would "enable the country's economic development to be on a par with that of Western nations," and it is clear from the passage that the actual completion of the dam served to move Egypt toward this goal.
(D) True. The last sentence of the first paragraph says the dam "would prevent the annual flooding" and the last sentence of the second paragraph confirms that the dam succeeded in this goal.
(E) CORRECT. False. In fact, the opposite is true; the dam led farmers to use fertilizers which caused pollution and harmed the animal and plant life in the area.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
gmat1393 wrote:
Shivikaa wrote:
Hi,
I got Q5 Wrong. I chose D. Please explain.

Shivikaa

In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built.
(A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.
(B) The conclusion of the passage supports the idea that the author thinks the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, not vice versa. In addition, the adverb "usually" raises a red flag; the author presents only one example and makes no attempt to draw a universal conclusion.
(C) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage ("it would be untenable..."); the author does not agree with those who think the dam should not have been built.
(D) The passage discussed a problem (flooding), a solution (the Aswan Dam), and some positive and negative effects of the project. The passage did not focus on the
implementation of the project, i.e., the construction of the dam.
(E) The main idea encompasses both positive and negative effects, not just the negative ones. In addition, the author makes no comment or claim about poor planning.

Hope this helps!

Hi, this is in my opinion not a good question. Let me explain why.

We can easily come down to A & D, let us write them down side by side

(A) to explain that varied effects can result even from sound business plans that accomplish their goals
(D) to describe the implementation of a project with significant environmental effects

A - is not correct because pay attention to how the sentence has been written "....fro sound business plans.."
First of all this is a massive generalisation which the author does not make. Secondly, the ASWAN dam may or may not be considered as a "business plan", and I would be leaning towards NOT a business plan.

D - this actually is a better choice than A, but is still flawed. The passage talks about a project (ASWAN dam) but actually does not go in any details of this project. The passage does not 'describes' the implementation. All the author is trying to say is what considerations were made before building the dam and what were the results(positive or negative) of the dam.

So to summarise, in my opinion, neither is correct but if I have to choose one I will go with D as it is less flawed than A.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
Gmat will never use words such as untenable, at least in conclusion/point of passage. Expert your input please...???
Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c [#permalink]
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