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# Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav

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Updated on: 28 Sep 2018, 03:52
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Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.

(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.

(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.

(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.

(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 157: Critical Reasoning

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Originally posted by singh_amit19 on 29 Sep 2007, 10:13.
Last edited by Bunuel on 28 Sep 2018, 03:52, edited 5 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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QOTD: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country  [#permalink]

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15 Nov 2017, 04:18
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Here we have a know-it-all guidebook writer who comes to the following conclusion: "carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently." How does the guidebook write arrive at that conclusion? (And if you prefer your explanations in video form, check out our YouTube webinar on strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions.)

• The writer has visited hotels throughout the country. From the context, we can infer that the writer has visited hotels built both before 1930 and after (or in) 1930.
• The writer has "noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward." Okay, so the writer has been observing the quality of the original carpentry work while staying at hotels throughout the country. Apparently, the writer has found the quality of the carpentry work in the pre-1930 hotels to be superior to the quality of the carpentry work in the post-1930 hotels.
• Next, the author tries to EXPLAIN these observations. Why is the quality better in the pre-1930s hotel? If the carpenters who worked on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than later carpenters, that would certainly explain the difference in quality.

Based on the evidence, the author has concluded that a POSSIBLE explanation is the correct explanation, but is that actually the case? We need to find the answer choice that most seriously weakens the author's argument:

Quote:
(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.

We are trying to explain the quality difference between pre-1930 hotels and post-1930 hotels. How the quality in hotels generally compares to the quality in houses, stores, etc., has no relevance and does not help us evaluate the author's argument or conclusion. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.

Okay, post-1930 hotels can accommodate more guests, but does that impact the quality of the carpentry? Perhaps we could dream up a reason why the higher capacity would negatively affect the original carpentry, but that would require making our own assumptions and introducing ideas not found in the passage. On its own, choice (B) does not help us evaluate the author's argument or conclusion, so it can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.

If the materials available to carpenters working before 1930 WERE significantly different in quality, then that would possibly explain the difference in the quality of the carpentry. Having such an alternate explanation would indeed weaken the author's argument. But choice (C) tells us that this alternate explanation is not valid. This only strengthens the author's argument, so eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.

Choice (D) implies that buildings with low-quality carpentry are likely to fall into disuse and be demolished. So what about the low-quality hotels built before 1930? Well, if choice (D) is true, it is likely that those old, low-quality hotels have fallen into disuse and been demolished. If that's the case, most of the pre-1930s hotels that have NOT been demolished are likely to have HIGH-quality carpentry.

Now the author's argument is in trouble. The author says, "Most of the pre-1930 hotels have better quality. Therefore, pre-1930 carpenters were better." But what if many or even most of the hotels built before 1930 are no longer there? What if they had low-quality carpentry and were already demolished? Perhaps most of the low-quality pre-1930 hotels have been demolished and most of the high-quality pre-1930 hotels are still standing. If (D) is true, then we have no idea what proportion of hotels built before 1930 were high/low-quality. In other words, the writer's data only includes pre-1930 hotels that are still standing and does not take into account pre-1930 hotels that have already been demolished.

Although choice (D) doesn't necessarily disprove the author's conclusion, it certainly weakens the author's reasoning by offering an alternative way to explain the writer's observations. We can no longer conclude that the author's POSSIBLE explanation is the correct one. Now we need more information to reach a logical conclusion. Thus, choice (D) looks good.

Quote:
(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.

This might imply that today's carpenters are less skilled when they begin working than were pre-1930 carpenters. This, in turn, might explain why carpenters work with less skill, care, and effort today, but that would only serve to strengthen the author's argument. Eliminate (E).

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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2010, 05:59
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vaivish1723 wrote:
I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

We want to weaken the argument that carpenters before 1930 were better than carpenters after 1930.

A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores. The writer isn't comparing hotels to other buildings - irrelevant.

B. Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930. Irrelevant

C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930. STRENGTHENS the argument - if both sets of carpenters have the same quality tools, then the pre-1930's carpenters were probably doing better work with those tools

D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished. Makes sense - it's not that every single hotel built before 1930 was better than the ones built after, but instead that the VERY BEST hotels are still around, while the lesser ones have long since been demolished. The proportion of badly built hotels before 1930 could have been much higher than it is now, but all of the bad ones have been demolished and replaced with modern buildings, so the writer is only seeing the best of the best that were built.

E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930. Would strengthen the argument - carpenters train less now than they used to.

I dont know the answer, Kindly explain along with the right answer
##### General Discussion
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2007, 18:45
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IMO D

It can be inferred from the statement that only the best of the best hotels built before 1930 are still around, the rest are demolished. Thus, the author did not get to see the full quality spectrum of hotels built before 1930.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 08:32
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D it is

I may be wrong but This is what I think and I explain it with an example

Few years ago somebody ask me why do all the hollywood movies dubbed in hindi are good...
and I instinctively answered because only good movies are dubbed into hindi.

Similarly here, the reason why he found all the carpentry good in hotels before 1930, is because all the other hotels who had bad carpentry were either demolished or fallen down making the average of hotels made before 1930 with good carpentry the BEST

correct me if i'm Wrong.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2009, 04:01
12
Nasty one, I would go with D. My reasoning follows:

gurpreet07 wrote:
Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores. Doesn't get to the point, which is comparing the quality of the work done by carpenters in hotels before 1930 vs. the quality of the work done by the carpenters in hotels after 1930.
B. Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930. This could imply that carpenters working after 1930 were forced to do more work in the same amount of time, thus worsening the quality, or that more carpentry needed to be done using the same resources. However, we don't have anything to compare the skills of workers before and after 1930. I'll discard it.
C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930. This strengthens the conclusion rather than weakening it, because it states that using the same materials the carpenters working before 1930 were able to do a better job than those working after 1930.
D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished. I'LL GO WITH THIS ONE!! If this is true, it means that only the hotels built with the best carpentry are still up and operating; the hotels built with bad carperntry have been demolished, and thus the author hasn't had the opportunity to visit them and see the job made by less skilled carpenters working in hotels before 1930.
E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930. This could imply that carpenters that began to work after 1930 had less time to learn how to get a good job done. However, I think that this one weakens the argument at a minor extent than D.

In this question, we have several possible answers that somewhat weaken the author's conclusion (B, D and E). But still we have to look for the one that weakens the most the conclusion and that provides evidence against it. That's why I chose D.

Really curious to see which one is the OA (and other gmatclubbers' answers as well).
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2009, 04:42
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A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.
B. Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.
E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.

My Explanation:
---------------
A.) Nothing has been mentioned about houses and stores. It's just a distraction.

B.) This can either go against or in favour of the carpenters working post 1930. We can say that they might compromised on quality of work and instead focused on creating more space. On the other hand, we can also say that they were better skilled.
To conclude, we don’t have sufficient info to reach any concrete conclusion, so discard it.

C.) This can only strengthen the conclusion.

D.) If we go by method of elimination, we’ll be left with this option as the correct one. Moreover, on the basis of this option, we can say that the hotels built before 1930, which were examined by the writer are definitely of good quality. This means that hotels of inferior quality that were built before 1930 have not been taken into consideration for reaching the conclusion. This option, therefore, weakens the writer’s argument.

E.) What it can only do is strengthen the argument.
---------------

So, I will also go for option D.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2009, 16:21
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Definitely D. The wording of the question is misleading, as many of them are. It is not true that one of the answers weakens the argument more than another or some others; one of the answers DOES weaken the argument, and the others DON'T.

The conclusion claims that the "skill, care and effort" of carpenters who worked on hotels before 1930 exceeded that of carpenters who worked on hotels after 1930. This is an extremely specific conclusion, and it does not have any of the more common loopholes -- such as comparing carpenters who worked on hotels before 1930 to ALL carpenters afterwards. The evidence is also quite specific: The author has seen that the "quality of the original carpentry work" (which clearly excludes materials, artistry of design, etc.) is generally better in hotels that were built before 1930 than in hotels that were built afterwards.

I for one was not able to see a missing assumption in this argument; it looks quite solid. But it is a Weaken question, and that means that there must BE a missing assumption. One of the answers must undermine or contradict that assumption, because that is how an argument is weakened on the GMAT. So let's look at the answer choices, and see which one points at the assumption that escaped our notice.

(A) Irrelevant. The evidence compares carpentry work in two groups of hotels, and the author reaches a conclusion about carpentry work in those two groups of hotels. How well the older carpenters did their work OUTSIDE of hotels does not matter.

(B) Irrelevant. This might be seen as a reason why carpenters after 1930 were less careful, but that does not affect the argument. The argument STARTS from the observation that the quality of the work in the newer hotels is not as good as in the older hotels, and then reaches a conclusion about the carpenters' behaviour. In order to weaken the argument, we need to show that OBSERVING lower quality does not necessarily mean that the carpenters WERE less careful. Why they may have been less careful does not affect the linkage between the observation and the behavioural conclusion.

(C) Strengthens the conclusion. It eliminates the possibility that the quality in the newer hotels is worse because the materials were actually so bad that even with the same level of care on the carpenter's part, the result looks bad. (Notice, however, that we have identified at least one assumption here. The argument assumes that the materials after 1930 were not so bad that they affect the visible quality of the work. Unfortunately, the answer choice supports the assumption rather than contradicting it.)

(D) This one says that a building with lower quality carpentry is more likely to be destroyed. Obviously, hotels built before 1930 have had more time to be destroyed than hotels built afterwards. THIS weakens the argument; it says that the guidebook writer is much less likely to SEE the hotels which were built with bad carpentry before 1930, because those are most likely to have disappeared. Consequently, the hotels STILL STANDING which were built before 1930 may not be a representative sample of all hotels which were built back then. Now we can see the assumption, which is that the hotels seen by the writer are representative of both the pre-1930 and the post-1930 time periods. (D) undermines that assumption, and weakens the argument.

(E) This is somewhat like (B). It could explain why later carpenters did not HAVE as much skill as earlier carpenters. It is irrelevant to the argument, however, which starts from observational evidence and concludes that they either did not have as much skill or did not use as much skill/care. To weaken the argument, we have to attack the linkage between the observations and the conclusion, and only (D) does that.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2009, 01:17
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A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.
- Irrelevant

B. Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
- Possible. Diffentiate between the 2 structures but no direct relationship with the caprpentary until we argue that carpentry was damanged by accomodatine more guests blah. Disregard

C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
- Doesnt weaken infact strengthen.
D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.
-This gives us the idea that the old buildings have good carpentry since all other similarly aged buildings would have fall into misuse and demolished due to bad carpentry. Since the comparison is not fair in nature, it weakens the author's original argument.

E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.
- Doesnt weaken infact strengthen.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2009, 13:47
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"The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished."....It means that most hotels built before 1930 have been put into disuse or demolished...only a few remain with has been compared with modern hotels(which may or may not have better carpentry).

It is like comparing two scores say 3/3 with 8/10....clearly first ratio is greater,but success rate is more in second as first one ignores failed cases.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2015, 20:03
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Option D does not impact the two groups of hotels in the same way: this preservational bias will be stronger the older the hotel. Shoddy buildings that are new are more likely to be standing than are those that are old, as the former will be demolished once they get older.

As for B, how does this difference influence the quality of the original carpentry work.

The lesson to be learned from this question: be wary of studies and surveys; ensure that the sample is representative of the population in question.

Imagine that there were a study of men grouped according to their ages, (A) over 90 , (B) close to 65, (C) close to 30. If it were found that, on average, the blood of the A men contained more a certain protein than did the blood of the B men, who in turn contained more of this protein than did the blood of the C men, would it be safe to conclude that the amount of this protein in a man's blood tends to increase as the man ages ?
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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05 Apr 2015, 20:15

Magoosh explanation

Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels build afterwards. [This is a factual observation.] Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, car, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels build subsequently. [This is a conclusion that would explain the factual observation.]

We are asked to weaken the argument. This means, we have to find another explanation for the factual observation (pre-1930 have good carpentry) that would support it even when the conclusion (pre-1930 carpenters were better than carpenters since) is false. In other words, even if pre-1930 carpenters are no better than later carpenters, why would the critic still observes much higher proportions of good carpentry in pre-1930 hotels?

Notice, some logical reflection has clarified our task for us, but there’s really no glaringly obvious alternate explanation for the higher proportions of good carpentry in pre-1930 hotels. We will have to look for relevant perspectives among the answer choices.

A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is general far superior to the quality of carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.
True, but not helpful. Pre-1930 hotels had better carpentry than pre-1930 houses and stores. Post-1930 hotels have better carpentry than post-1930 houses and stores. This fact does not explain why any difference would not be apparent between pre-1930 hotels and post-1930 hotels.

B. Hotels build since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
How many guests a hotel can accommodate has virtually no bearing on the quality of the carpentry. If the observations about differences in quality of carpentry were made from some kind of survey of hundreds of hotel guests, perhaps we could deduce that more had stayed in pre-1930 hotels simply because those hotels can accommodate more guests. But, the observation was in fact made by a single guidebook writer, a single person, who presumably stayed in a very large number of hotels. That persons conclusions presumably would have absolutely nothing to do with how many other people are staying in the hotel. This fact may well be true, but it’s irrelevant to this argument.

C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
Same materials in both time periods would not provide an alternative explanation for the difference in quality between pre-1930 and post-1930 hotels. In fact, arguably, this fact would strengthen the argument, not weaken it.

D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.
This is fascinating. Old buildings with fine carpentry are more likely to be around still. Old buildings with mediocre carpentry are more likely to be no longer with us. Remember, the guidebook writer was implicitly speaking of proportions. The factual observation was, essentially: if we look at the proportion of pre-1930 hotel that have fine carpentry, and the proportion of post-1930 hotel that have fine carpentry, then the first proportion is greater than the second proportion. The guidebook writer argued that differences in the quality of the carpenters caused this difference in proportions.

This new fact provides an alternative explanation. Suppose carpenters now are just as good, just as skillful and careful, as carpenters from before 1930. For simplicity, suppose, on average, 3% of hotels built have fine carpentry, and the other 97% have mediocre/substandard carpentry, and assume that was just as true before 1930 as it is now. For hotels build before 1930, essentially all of those hotels with poor carpentry would have been knocked down, and the only ones still standing would be the 3% that had fine carpentry. Thus, when the guidebook writer goes to pre-1930 hotels still standing, still in service, the carpentry in almost all of them is of high quality. By contrast, hotels build in the past decade are all still standing, regardless of the quality of the carpentry. When the guidebook writer goes to these, only 3% have fine carpentry, and the rest do not. Thus, the guidebook writer could experience vast differences in the proportion of hotels with fine carpentry, and it would have nothing to do with the inherent quality of the respective carpenters. This is the correct answer.

E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declines significantly since 1930.
If anything, this would strengthen the argument. It would explain why pre-1930 carpenters would be more skillful. This does not weaken the argument.

Notice that we were asked to weaken the argument, and a couple of the answers did the opposite: provided information to strengthen the argument. That’s a typical GMAT CR pattern. Similarly, when you are asked to strengthen an argument, expect to see a couple answer choices that weaken the argument.

Notice, also, in all five answer choices, our reasoning was deeply bound to the context itself. We had to think through the details of the context to separate what was relevant from what was not relevant. That is quite different from the exercises of formal logic, which tends toward abstraction. GMAT CR logic is all about getting our hand dirty in the rough and tumble of real-world issues. That what the GMAT asks you to do because, once you’re a manager with your MBA and you’re out in the business world making decisions, that’s precisely what you are going to be doing all day every day in your job.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 08:58
Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built
subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.out of scope

(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.out of scope

(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930. out of scope, since the argument addresses the skill of the carpenter and not the materials used

(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.There could have been many less skilled carpenters who made buildings that were so poorly made that they fell into disuse and were demolished.

(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930. could strengthen the argument
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2016, 23:09
1
Guidebook Writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

So, Quality of furniture in hotels built before 1930 > Quality of furniture in hotels built after1930
Hence -> Quality of skill, care and effort is better for carpenters before 1930 > Quality of skill, care and effort is better for carpenters after1930

We need to weaken it. If we see it is A -> B -> so this is an causal argument
Some of the strategies we can use:
1) The data is biased.
2) B -> A
3) There is some other reason C, such that C -> B and A is just present there.

Lets check the options now:

A. The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.
As soon as you see "Other", most probably, it is out of scope as we are comparing furniture in hotel built before 1930 and furniture in hotel built after 1930 -> hence Wrong

B. Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
Guests don't have an impact on the furniture. Out of scope.

C. The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
So, the materials are of equal quality, so this option should support the conclusion instead of weaken the argument -> Hence wrong

D. The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.
Now, this option talks that data provided is distorted.

For example: lets say out of 100 hotel built before 1930, 10% of the hotel have good furniture
so 10 hotels with a good quality.
Now, out of 100, 50 hotels are demolished, so if we observe the quality now, we can see 10/50 = 20% so we have a false impression that we have there are more hotels with good furniture.

lets hotel built after 1930, 15% of the hotels have good furniture. Even though 15% > 10% but as hotels were demolished, we have a wrong set to compare.
Hence the data provided is wrong or biased -> Hence the option weakens the argument.

E. The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.
Average length of apprenticeship doesn't indicate the quality of furniture produced is low as we need to make another assumption that length of apprenticeship is directly proportional to quality of furniture manufactured -> Can be next best answer. -> but we have D) better answer

Let us know if you have any other queries.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2016, 15:02
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sagarsabnis wrote:
Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930
the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters
working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have
worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer's argument?

(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in
other structures, such as houses and stores.
(8) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from
the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and
be demolished.
(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.

to negate, we must prove that the skills of the carpenters did not get worse, or that the hotels which the writer visited were among the few of the ones built before 1930, which were built with high quality carpentry so that to last for a long time. it might be the case that carpets of some hotels from 1930 were not good, and thus, such hotels just simply did not last to live the writer's time...

A - other structures - irrelevant.
B - this might give alternative reason why the conditions of the carpets in hotels built after 1930 are worse. yet, it does not provide evidence that the quality is the same.
C - this actually strengthens the argument. same materials - but quality different. nowadays carpenters - bad.
D - ok, so the hotels built before 1930 are standing still, because they had better quality of carpentry. this means that there were hotels with lower quality, but which did not get to the writer's time... looks good. Now, the writer compares the hotels built before 1930, with exceptionally high quality, with hotels built after 1930, with "standard" quality. we can see that the comparison is not accurate.
E - this one strengthens the argument.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2016, 04:28
The guidebook writer states that carpentry work was superior in the old hotels than in the new ones. If the carpentry work was really superior it is implied that all those hotels should have endured the test of time. "D" implies that some of the buildings have already fallen into disuse and have been demolished which suggests that the carpentry work wasn't that superior.
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2017, 08:07
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gurpreet07 wrote:
Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores.
(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930.
(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished.
(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930.

This question could be categorized as a weaken the argument question or as a flawed argument question.

The Guidebook writer is trying to present a statistical argument, but fails to recognize that the SAMPLE is not representative of the ENTIRE POPULATION.

The SAMPLE consists of pre-1930's hotels that are still standing
The writer uses this sample to make a conclusion about ALL hotels built before 1930 (hotels that are still standing and those that are no longer standing)
So, there's already a problem with the argument, since it's quite possible that the carpentry in many pre-1930 hotels was so awful that those hotels fell apart very quickly.
So, just because the pre-1930's hotels that are still standing have great carpentry, we can't then make sweeping conclusions about the carpentry in ALL pre-1930's hotels

Answer choice D essentially says "the better the carpentry, the greater the chances of a hotel's survival"
It points out the possibility that many pre-1930's hotels could have had bad carpentry and, thus, had to be demolished.

Cheers,
Brent
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Re: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and hav  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2017, 12:22
Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country and have noticed that in those built before 1930 the quality of the original carpentry work is generally superior to that in hotels built afterward. Clearly carpenters working on hotels before 1930 typically worked with more skill, care, and effort than carpenters who have worked on hotels built subsequently.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the guidebook writer’s argument?

(A) The quality of original carpentry in hotels is generally far superior to the quality of original carpentry in other structures, such as houses and stores. -We are comparing the hotels with hotels in the passage.

(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930. -More guests? Out of scope

(C) The materials available to carpenters working before 1930 were not significantly different in quality from the materials available to carpenters working after 1930. -This strengthens the argument because if the materials available to the carpenters of both the eras are same then the authors conclusion is correct.

(D) The better the quality of original carpentry in a building, the less likely that building is to fall into disuse and be demolished. -Correct. Good quality things stay stable for longer time. Thus, the author visited only good quality hotels. Hence we can't conclude that "all" previous era carpenters are better.

(E) The average length of apprenticeship for carpenters has declined significantly since 1930. -Out of scope
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QOTD: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2017, 12:09
souvik101990 wrote:
Quote:
(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
Okay, post-1930 hotels can accommodate more guests, but does that impact the quality of the carpentry? Perhaps we could dream up a reason why the higher capacity would negatively affect the original carpentry, but that would require making our own assumptions and introducing ideas not found in the passage. On its own, choice (B) does not help us evaluate the author's argument or conclusion, so it can be eliminated.

I stuck in this question between B and D and I don't understand why D is better. In D we also need to "dream up" something, which is not in the passage itself, namely we need to assume the year at which Guidebook writer made his visits. Answer D is correct if visits are made nowadays, but what about if the visites made in 1940? Then D logic flaws, because not too many hotels built before 30es had been demolished at that time, while greater accomodation in choice B could mean greater expluatation rate which impact the quality of carpentry. Passage doesn't tell us the time when guidebok writer made his conslusions and visits, so for me B looks stronger as the higher expluatation rate would cause damage to carpentry quickly, therefore argument in B can be applied in most of the cases disregarding time when visits were made.
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Re: QOTD: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2017, 07:38
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DimitriK wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
Quote:
(B) Hotels built since 1930 can generally accommodate more guests than those built before 1930.
Okay, post-1930 hotels can accommodate more guests, but does that impact the quality of the carpentry? Perhaps we could dream up a reason why the higher capacity would negatively affect the original carpentry, but that would require making our own assumptions and introducing ideas not found in the passage. On its own, choice (B) does not help us evaluate the author's argument or conclusion, so it can be eliminated.

I stuck in this question between B and D and I don't understand why D is better. In D we also need to "dream up" something, which is not in the passage itself, namely we need to assume the year at which Guidebook writer made his visits. Answer D is correct if visits are made nowadays, but what about if the visites made in 1940? Then D logic flaws, because not too many hotels built before 30es had been demolished at that time, while greater accomodation in choice B could mean greater expluatation rate which impact the quality of carpentry. Passage doesn't tell us the time when guidebok writer made his conslusions and visits, so for me B looks stronger as the higher expluatation rate would cause damage to carpentry quickly, therefore argument in B can be applied in most of the cases disregarding time when visits were made.

Yes, you have a point. Maybe all of the hotels visited were built between 1920 and 1940, the writer was traveling in 1940, and none of the hotels, even those with poor quality, have had time to fall into disuse. Choice (D) does not PROVE that the argument is flawed. But remember, we are looking for the choice that MOST seriously weakens the argument.

So let's start with choice (B). In order for that to be a weakener, you have to completely invent the idea that a larger capacity would negatively affect the carpentry. Where do you see something in the passage to support that theory? You don't. It is EQUALLY likely that a larger capacity POSITIVELY affects the carpentry for some reason. The passage doesn't give us any indication either way. So if you want choice (B) to be a weakener, you have to inject your own theory that larger capacity is bad for the carpentry.

As for choice (D), even if the passage were written in 1940, this would still weaken the argument. The author says, "hey look, the quality is generally better in hotels built before 1930!" Choice (D) tells us that some of the pre-1930 hotels with poor carpentry may have already been demolished. Sure, this doesn't prove that the author's argument is false, but at the very least it makes us doubt whether the pre-1930 hotels still in existence are actually representative of ALL pre-1930s hotels. Choice (D) adds a seed of doubt to the author's argument, so, without inventing anything, we've weakened the argument.

Furthermore, based on the tone and contextual clues of the passage, it doesn't seem likely that this passage was written soon after 1930. The author is comparing hotels from two different eras. If it were truly 1940, the author would likely refer to "hotels built within the last ten years". In order to draw general conclusions about hotels from each era, would it make sense if one era were 10 years long and the other were 100+ years long? Probably not... it seems as though the auther has at least a few decades of data both before and after 1930. We don't know for sure when the passage was written, but the author seems to be comparing new hotels to old hotels, not 20-year-old hotels to 10-year-old hotels.

Regardless, as described above, choice (D) is a weakener either way.
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Re: QOTD: Guidebook writer: I have visited hotels throughout the country   [#permalink] 15 Dec 2017, 07:38

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