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Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to

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Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2016, 03:10
There are various versions of these questions available across the forums, but this is the one that actually comes in GMAT prep question Pack 1 -

Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village. Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete. This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines. Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax. This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures. Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded; and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy. Therefore, it is reasonable to think that the reported declines did not happen.

In the historian’s argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

A) The first presents a finding to support the position the historian seeks to establish ; the second is a consideration that has been used to argue against that position.

B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.

C) The first is a position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is evidence that has been used to argue against that position.

D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position ; the second is that position.

E) The first is the claim that the historian rejects ; the second is a conclusion drawn to justify that rejection.

The Official answer to this question is B. I am still not convinced with the OA.

While researching for basic concepts I stumbled upon the magoosh blog, which says that-

Keep in mind the huge difference between evidence and a conclusion or position. Evidence is always fact, stone cold fact — “Unemployment numbers rose“, “This company bought that company“, “this medicine has such-and-such side effects.” Sometimes evidence is given as something one of the voices in the argument “says” or “points out.” Evidence is always about what actually happened in the objective world: in most arguments, the evidence itself is beyond dispute, and what the argument is about is how to interpret the evidence.

A conclusion is an interpretation, a deduction, based on the evidence. Someone else who accepts the evidence may or may not accept a given conclusion based on the evidence. Look for signal words, such as since, because, therefore, “we can conclude that“, etc.

A position is any opinion or point of view someone might hold — “I think Q is right” or “I think people who think Q is right are crazy!” or “People who dismiss the believers of Q are being unfair.” — those are positions. Anything that is an opinion or a judgment based on the evidence is a position: in particular, the conclusion of the argument is the position that the argument as a whole takes.

Based on the above can we say that Position is a kind of Intermediate Conclusion, not the final or main conclusion.

Please help me in his question and also in discovering one more term "Judgement" in context to GMAT reasoning.
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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2016, 11:33
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crunchboss wrote:
There are various versions of these questions available across the forums, but this is the one that actually comes in GMAT prep question Pack 1 -

Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village. Village census records for the last half of the 16005 are remarkably complete. This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines. Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax. This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures. Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded; and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy. Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.

Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.


A) The first presents a finding to support the position the historian seeks to establish ; the second is a consideration that has been used to argue against that position.

B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.

C) The first is a position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is evidence that has been used to argue against that position.

D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position ; the second is that position.

E) The first is the claim that the historian rejects ; the second is a conclusion drawn to justify that rejection.

The Official answer to this question is B. I am still not convinced with the OA.

While researching for basic concepts I stumbled upon the magoosh blog, which says that-

Keep in mind the huge difference between evidence and a conclusion or position. Evidence is always fact, stone cold fact — “Unemployment numbers rose“, “This company bought that company“, “this medicine has such-and-such side effects.” Sometimes evidence is given as something one of the voices in the argument “says” or “points out.” Evidence is always about what actually happened in the objective world: in most arguments, the evidence itself is beyond dispute, and what the argument is about is how to interpret the evidence.

A conclusion is an interpretation, a deduction, based on the evidence. Someone else who accepts the evidence may or may not accept a given conclusion based on the evidence. Look for signal words, such as since, because, therefore, “we can conclude that“, etc.

A position is any opinion or point of view someone might hold — “I think Q is right” or “I think people who think Q is right are crazy!” or “People who dismiss the believers of Q are being unfair.” — those are positions. Anything that is an opinion or a judgment based on the evidence is a position: in particular, the conclusion of the argument is the position that the argument as a whole takes.

Based on the above can we say that Position is a kind of Intermediate Conclusion, not the final or main conclusion.

Please help me in his question and also in discovering one more term "Judgement" in context to GMAT reasoning.

Dear crunchboss,
I'm happy to respond, my friend. :-)

I will request that when you post a question for my review, please take care to make sure it is posted without errors. This adds unnecessary difficulties into feedback process.

First, I will say that there's not really a distinction between a "position" and a "conclusion" --- these words can be used more or less interchangeably. Similarly, they are more or less interchangeable with "judgment." All of these mean something that one person with one point of view thinks. They are all different from evidence, which is the material beyond dispute, the material about which everyone is in agreement.

In this argument, the first bold statement is: "Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete." This is evidence. This is a factual and unambiguous. Anyone can do an see this complete list of census records. This is beyond dispute. Notice, this is not evidence that supports the argument: the next sentence is really the evidence for the arguments. This sentence provides what we might call background information.

BTW, the word "finding" is close to evidence: it is something that anyone simply would find when they are looking in the right place.

The second bold statement is: "[Obviously,] whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded." The word "obviously" is not part of the bold statement, but I include it because it is word used rhetorically to bolster a claim that someone is making. This statement is not unambiguous fact: this is someone's interpretation of what has happened. This is a claim, a position, a conclusion, a judgment, an argument. Often, the GMAT will use the word "conclusion" to mean the biggest claim of the argument, and will use one of these other terms to distinguish a smaller claim from this. Arguments in the real world are not so simple, but the cookbook arguments of GMAT CR follow this pattern.

Now, we can look at the argument. Here are the statements about the first BF statement, which is a totally factual statement that provides background for the evidence most relevant to the argument.

A) The first presents a finding to support the position the historian seeks to establish = seems reasonable
B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish = seems reasonable
C) The first is a position that the historian seeks to establish = NO!
D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position = NO!
E) The first is the claim that the historian rejects = NO!
Something factual and unambiguous cannot be a position, an assumption, or a claim.

Now, look at what is said about the second statement, which an assumption, a claim, a position, that the historian takes in supporting his main conclusion.
A) ... the second is a consideration that has been used to argue against that position. = NO, this consideration supports the historian's main conclusion.
B) ... the second is the judgment advanced to support that position. = seems reasonable
C) ... the second is evidence that has been used to argue against that position. = NO, this is NOT evidence.
D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.
E) ... the second is a conclusion drawn to justify that rejection. = NO, describes a completely different kind of argument

The only choice that is plausible for both is (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2016, 22:32
mikemcgarry wrote:
crunchboss wrote:
There are various versions of these questions available across the forums, but this is the one that actually comes in GMAT prep question Pack 1 -

Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village. Village census records for the last half of the 16005 are remarkably complete. This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines. Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax. This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures. Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded; and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy. Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.

Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.


A) The first presents a finding to support the position the historian seeks to establish ; the second is a consideration that has been used to argue against that position.

B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.

C) The first is a position that the historian seeks to establish ; the second is evidence that has been used to argue against that position.

D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position ; the second is that position.

E) The first is the claim that the historian rejects ; the second is a conclusion drawn to justify that rejection.

The Official answer to this question is B. I am still not convinced with the OA.

While researching for basic concepts I stumbled upon the magoosh blog, which says that-

Keep in mind the huge difference between evidence and a conclusion or position. Evidence is always fact, stone cold fact — “Unemployment numbers rose“, “This company bought that company“, “this medicine has such-and-such side effects.” Sometimes evidence is given as something one of the voices in the argument “says” or “points out.” Evidence is always about what actually happened in the objective world: in most arguments, the evidence itself is beyond dispute, and what the argument is about is how to interpret the evidence.

A conclusion is an interpretation, a deduction, based on the evidence. Someone else who accepts the evidence may or may not accept a given conclusion based on the evidence. Look for signal words, such as since, because, therefore, “we can conclude that“, etc.

A position is any opinion or point of view someone might hold — “I think Q is right” or “I think people who think Q is right are crazy!” or “People who dismiss the believers of Q are being unfair.” — those are positions. Anything that is an opinion or a judgment based on the evidence is a position: in particular, the conclusion of the argument is the position that the argument as a whole takes.

Based on the above can we say that Position is a kind of Intermediate Conclusion, not the final or main conclusion.

Please help me in his question and also in discovering one more term "Judgement" in context to GMAT reasoning.

Dear crunchboss,
I'm happy to respond, my friend. :-)

I will request that when you post a question for my review, please take care to make sure it is posted without errors. This adds unnecessary difficulties into feedback process.

First, I will say that there's not really a distinction between a "position" and a "conclusion" --- these words can be used more or less interchangeably. Similarly, they are more or less interchangeable with "judgment." All of these mean something that one person with one point of view thinks. They are all different from evidence, which is the material beyond dispute, the material about which everyone is in agreement.

In this argument, the first bold statement is: "Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete." This is evidence. This is a factual and unambiguous. Anyone can do an see this complete list of census records. This is beyond dispute. Notice, this is not evidence that supports the argument: the next sentence is really the evidence for the arguments. This sentence provides what we might call background information.

BTW, the word "finding" is close to evidence: it is something that anyone simply would find when they are looking in the right place.

The second bold statement is: "[Obviously,] whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded." The word "obviously" is not part of the bold statement, but I include it because it is word used rhetorically to bolster a claim that someone is making. This statement is not unambiguous fact: this is someone's interpretation of what has happened. This is a claim, a position, a conclusion, a judgment, an argument. Often, the GMAT will use the word "conclusion" to mean the biggest claim of the argument, and will use one of these other terms to distinguish a smaller claim from this. Arguments in the real world are not so simple, but the cookbook arguments of GMAT CR follow this pattern.

Now, we can look at the argument. Here are the statements about the first BF statement, which is a totally factual statement that provides background for the evidence most relevant to the argument.

A) The first presents a finding to support the position the historian seeks to establish = seems reasonable
B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish = seems reasonable
C) The first is a position that the historian seeks to establish = NO!
D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position = NO!
E) The first is the claim that the historian rejects = NO!
Something factual and unambiguous cannot be a position, an assumption, or a claim.

Now, look at what is said about the second statement, which an assumption, a claim, a position, that the historian takes in supporting his main conclusion.
A) ... the second is a consideration that has been used to argue against that position. = NO, this consideration supports the historian's main conclusion.
B) ... the second is the judgment advanced to support that position. = seems reasonable
C) ... the second is evidence that has been used to argue against that position. = NO, this is NOT evidence.
D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.
E) ... the second is a conclusion drawn to justify that rejection. = NO, describes a completely different kind of argument

The only choice that is plausible for both is (B).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Thank you so much Mike Mc Garry sir. I am sorry can you please point out the errors so that i do not repeat them in future. I didn't do them deliberately sir. I still have few doubts -

These words are quite often used in critical reasoning:
context and consideration - Can you Please explain sir how are they used in GMAT CR.

D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.

Can you Please also elaborate "but doesn't work with first part" How?

I have few doubts in B also -

B. The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is a judgment advanced to support that position.
Which position(For Option A also) is in discussion in the above example and to what section is the context pointing?
_________________

Richa Champion | My GMAT Journey - 470 720 740

Target 760+

Not Improving after Multiple attempts. I can guide You.
Contact me richacrunch2@gmail.com

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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 14:01
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crunchboss wrote:
Thank you so much Mike Mc Garry sir. I am sorry can you please point out the errors so that i do not repeat them in future. I didn't do them deliberately sir. I still have few doubts -

These words are quite often used in critical reasoning:
context and consideration - Can you Please explain sir how are they used in GMAT CR.

D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.

Can you Please also elaborate "but doesn't work with first part" How?

I have few doubts in B also -

B. The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is a judgment advanced to support that position.
Which position(For Option A also) is in discussion in the above example and to what section is the context pointing?

Dear crunchboss,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

The two errors in your post are the two items I highlighted in red in my previous response. One was typing "the 16005" for "the 1600's." The former sounds like a US Zip Code, whereas the latter clearly refers to a time period, the seventeenth century. The second was that, in lieu of the prompt question, you repeated the final sentence at the end of the passage. The final sentence is, "Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen." This appeared correctly at the end of the paragraph, but then is was repeated in the place of this prompt question, "In the historian’s argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles? " I had to find the question posted on another page to verify the nature of the prompt. It's never good if what you ask requires the person helping you to go to other pages to get the information that should have been in your post. Does this make sense, my friend?

Here is (D):
(D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
The problem with this is the word "assumption." The first is NOT an assumption. It's factual: it's evidence. The rest of (D) would be fine without this word:
The first is a ______ that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
That could be right, depending on what we put in that blank. The second half of this could be fine, but unfortunately, the word "assumption" make the entire choice incorrect.

To understand (B), here's a line-by-line analysis of the entire argument:
(1) Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village.
Factual background information. Very general.

(2) Village census records for the last half of the 16005 are remarkably complete.
The first bold statement. This is also background information, but more specific and more surprising than sentence (1). This sentence provides important context for sentences (3)-(5).

(3) This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines.
Important piece of evidence #1.

(4) Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax.
Important piece of evidence #2

(5) This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures.
This simply provides some more background information to provide context for sentence (4).

Everything up to this point in the argument has been evidence, purely factual, purely unambiguous. Now, the speaker's arguments will start.

(6a) Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded;
This contains the second BF statement. This is not pure fact. This is now the historian's judgment, the historian's interpretation of the motives of folks who lived 300+ years ago. This is position #1, which will support the main conclusion.

(6a) and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy.
Also, a judgment, not factual. This is position #2, which also will support the main conclusion.

(7) Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.
This is the BIG conclusion of the argument, supported by the positions in (6a) and (6b).

Now, (B) says:
The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.
In other words:
The first BF = (2) provide context for certain evidence (3) - (5), and this evidence supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).
The second BF = (6a) is not evidence---it's a sub-argument, a judgment, that also supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

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Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2016, 11:36
mikemcgarry wrote:
crunchboss wrote:
Thank you so much Mike Mc Garry sir. I am sorry can you please point out the errors so that i do not repeat them in future. I didn't do them deliberately sir. I still have few doubts -

These words are quite often used in critical reasoning:
context and consideration - Can you Please explain sir how are they used in GMAT CR.

D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.

Can you Please also elaborate "but doesn't work with first part" How?

I have few doubts in B also -

B. The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is a judgment advanced to support that position.
Which position(For Option A also) is in discussion in the above example and to what section is the context pointing?

Dear crunchboss,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

The two errors in your post are the two items I highlighted in red in my previous response. One was typing "the 16005" for "the 1600's." The former sounds like a US Zip Code, whereas the latter clearly refers to a time period, the seventeenth century. The second was that, in lieu of the prompt question, you repeated the final sentence at the end of the passage. The final sentence is, "Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen." This appeared correctly at the end of the paragraph, but then is was repeated in the place of this prompt question, "In the historian’s argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles? " I had to find the question posted on another page to verify the nature of the prompt. It's never good if what you ask requires the person helping you to go to other pages to get the information that should have been in your post. Does this make sense, my friend?

Here is (D):
(D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
The problem with this is the word "assumption." The first is NOT an assumption. It's factual: it's evidence. The rest of (D) would be fine without this word:
The first is a ______ that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
That could be right, depending on what we put in that blank. The second half of this could be fine, but unfortunately, the word "assumption" make the entire choice incorrect.

To understand (B), here's a line-by-line analysis of the entire argument:
(1) Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village.
Factual background information. Very general.

(2) Village census records for the last half of the 16005 are remarkably complete.
The first bold statement. This is also background information, but more specific and more surprising than sentence (1). This sentence provides important context for sentences (3)-(5).

(3) This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines.
Important piece of evidence #1.

(4) Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax.
Important piece of evidence #2

(5) This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures.
This simply provides some more background information to provide context for sentence (4).

Everything up to this point in the argument has been evidence, purely factual, purely unambiguous. Now, the speaker's arguments will start.

(6a) Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded;
This contains the second BF statement. This is not pure fact. This is now the historian's judgment, the historian's interpretation of the motives of folks who lived 300+ years ago. This is position #1, which will support the main conclusion.

(6a) and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy.
Also, a judgment, not factual. This is position #2, which also will support the main conclusion.

(7) Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.
This is the BIG conclusion of the argument, supported by the positions in (6a) and (6b).

Now, (B) says:
The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.
In other words:
The first BF = (2) provide context for certain evidence (3) - (5), and this evidence supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).
The second BF = (6a) is not evidence---it's a sub-argument, a judgment, that also supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


You are a genius you have made such a complicated thing looks so simple. :-D
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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2016, 12:08
crunchboss wrote:
You are a genius you have made such a complicated thing looks so simple. :-D

Dear crunchboss,
Thank you for you kind words. Best of luck to you.
Mike :-)
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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2017, 00:16
I am bumping this thread after a years gap, sir. I have forgotten some of the concepts. If there are any extra input that you can give so that I can understand context more clearly. Thanks sir.
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Contact me richacrunch2@gmail.com

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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2017, 15:26
RichaChampion wrote:
I am bumping this thread after a years gap, sir. I have forgotten some of the concepts. If there are any extra input that you can give so that I can understand context more clearly. Thanks sir.

Dear RichaChampion,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you are asking. If you could clarify your question, perhaps I can help you.

Mike :-)
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Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2017, 07:41
mikemcgarry wrote:
crunchboss wrote:
Thank you so much Mike Mc Garry sir. I am sorry can you please point out the errors so that i do not repeat them in future. I didn't do them deliberately sir. I still have few doubts -

These words are quite often used in critical reasoning:
context and consideration - Can you Please explain sir how are they used in GMAT CR.

D) ... the second is that position. = seems reasonable, but doesn't work with first part.

Can you Please also elaborate "but doesn't work with first part" How?

I have few doubts in B also -

B. The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is a judgment advanced to support that position.
Which position(For Option A also) is in discussion in the above example and to what section is the context pointing?

Dear crunchboss,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

The two errors in your post are the two items I highlighted in red in my previous response. One was typing "the 16005" for "the 1600's." The former sounds like a US Zip Code, whereas the latter clearly refers to a time period, the seventeenth century. The second was that, in lieu of the prompt question, you repeated the final sentence at the end of the passage. The final sentence is, "Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen." This appeared correctly at the end of the paragraph, but then is was repeated in the place of this prompt question, "In the historian’s argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles? " I had to find the question posted on another page to verify the nature of the prompt. It's never good if what you ask requires the person helping you to go to other pages to get the information that should have been in your post. Does this make sense, my friend?

Here is (D):
(D) The first is an assumption that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
The problem with this is the word "assumption." The first is NOT an assumption. It's factual: it's evidence. The rest of (D) would be fine without this word:
The first is a ______ that the historian explicitly makes in support of a certain position; the second is that position.
That could be right, depending on what we put in that blank. The second half of this could be fine, but unfortunately, the word "assumption" make the entire choice incorrect.

To understand (B), here's a line-by-line analysis of the entire argument:
(1) Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to determine the population of each village.
Factual background information. Very general.

(2) Village census records for the last half of the 16005 are remarkably complete.
The first bold statement. This is also background information, but more specific and more surprising than sentence (1). This sentence provides important context for sentences (3)-(5).

(3) This very completeness makes one point stand out; in five different years, villages overwhelmingly reported significant population declines.
Important piece of evidence #1.

(4) Tellingly, each of those five years immediately followed an increase in a certain Drindian tax.
Important piece of evidence #2

(5) This tax, which was assessed on villages, was computed by the central government using the annual census figures.
This simply provides some more background information to provide context for sentence (4).

Everything up to this point in the argument has been evidence, purely factual, purely unambiguous. Now, the speaker's arguments will start.

(6a) Obviously, whenever the tax went up, villages had an especially powerful economic incentive to minimize the number of people they recorded;
This contains the second BF statement. This is not pure fact. This is now the historian's judgment, the historian's interpretation of the motives of folks who lived 300+ years ago. This is position #1, which will support the main conclusion.

(6a) and concealing the size of a village's population from government census takers would have been easy.
Also, a judgment, not factual. This is position #2, which also will support the main conclusion.

(7) Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen.
This is the BIG conclusion of the argument, supported by the positions in (6a) and (6b).

Now, (B) says:
The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.
In other words:
The first BF = (2) provide context for certain evidence (3) - (5), and this evidence supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).
The second BF = (6a) is not evidence---it's a sub-argument, a judgment, that also supports the historian's position, his big main conclusion = (7).

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Hello mikemcgarry,

I hope you are doing good.

In the above argument, I don't understand one thing: how does 1 BF "support" the main conclusion.

The 1 BF is "Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete". But in order to avoid tax, villagers tend to provide smaller number than the actual number. Thus, we have the final conclusion:Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen. --In short, the 1 BF is falsified by the main conclusion, for the numbers given by the villagers weren't accurate, proving that the census records weren't actually complete.

In my opinion, 1 BF is just a neutral statement, a fact set, that just provides additional information. I am unable to comprehend as to how does it support the main conclusion.

Clearly I am missing something integral here. Kindly throw some light on my above doubt.

Regards
_________________

Kudos if my post helps!

Long And A Fruitful Journey - V21 to V41; If I can, So Can You!!


My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant
2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation
3. LSAT RC compilation
4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal
5. QOTD RC (Carcass)
6. Challange OG RC
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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2017, 16:34
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello mikemcgarry,

I hope you are doing good.

In the above argument, I don't understand one thing: how does 1 BF "support" the main conclusion.

The 1 BF is "Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete". But in order to avoid tax, villagers tend to provide smaller number than the actual number. Thus, we have the final conclusion:Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen. --In short, the 1 BF is falsified by the main conclusion, for the numbers given by the villagers weren't accurate, proving that the census records weren't actually complete.

In my opinion, 1 BF is just a neutral statement, a fact set, that just provides additional information. I am unable to comprehend as to how does it support the main conclusion.

Clearly I am missing something integral here. Kindly throw some light on my above doubt.

Regards

Dear gmatexam439,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Consider the exact wording of the OA:
(B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.

It's not that BF#1 simply provides direct blanket support for the conclusion, BF#2. Instead, BF#1 provides "context"--in this context, we understand other evidence, and it's this other evidence, not the context, that supports the conclusion.

Does this distinction make sense?
Mike :-)
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Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 13:01
mikemcgarry wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello mikemcgarry,

I hope you are doing good.

In the above argument, I don't understand one thing: how does 1 BF "support" the main conclusion.

The 1 BF is "Village census records for the last half of the 1600's are remarkably complete". But in order to avoid tax, villagers tend to provide smaller number than the actual number. Thus, we have the final conclusion:Therefore, the reported declines probably did not happen. --In short, the 1 BF is falsified by the main conclusion, for the numbers given by the villagers weren't accurate, proving that the census records weren't actually complete.

In my opinion, 1 BF is just a neutral statement, a fact set, that just provides additional information. I am unable to comprehend as to how does it support the main conclusion.

Clearly I am missing something integral here. Kindly throw some light on my above doubt.

Regards

Dear gmatexam439,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

Consider the exact wording of the OA:
(B) The first provides a context for certain evidence that supports the position that the historian seeks to establish; the second is the judgment advanced to support that position.

It's not that BF#1 simply provides direct blanket support for the conclusion, BF#2. Instead, BF#1 provides "context"--in this context, we understand other evidence, and it's this other evidence, not the context, that supports the conclusion.

Does this distinction make sense?
Mike :-)


Thank you mikemcgarry :)
_________________

Kudos if my post helps!

Long And A Fruitful Journey - V21 to V41; If I can, So Can You!!


My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant
2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation
3. LSAT RC compilation
4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal
5. QOTD RC (Carcass)
6. Challange OG RC
7. GMAT Prep Challenge RC

Re: Historian: In the Drindian Empire, censuses were conducted annually to   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2017, 13:01
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