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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
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If we take the below RC
rc-anthropologist-84078.html


Anthropologist David Mandelbaum makes a distinction between life-passage studies and life-history studies which emerged primarily out of research concerning Native Americans. Life-passage studies, he says, “emphasize the requirements of society, showing how groups socialize and enculturate their young in order to make them into viable members of society.” Life histories, however, “emphasize the experiences and requirements of the individual, how the person copes with society rather than how society copes with the stream of individuals.” Life-passage studies bring out the general cultural characteristics and commonalities that broadly define a culture, but are unconcerned with an individual’s choices or how the individual perceives and responds to the demands and expectations imposed by the constraints of his or her culture. This distinction can clearly be seen in the autobiographies of Native American women.
For example, some early recorded autobiographies, such as The Autobiography of a Fox Indian Woman, a life passage recorded by anthropologist Truman Michelson, emphasizes prescribed roles. The narrator presents her story in a way that conforms with tribal expectations. Michelson’s work is valuable as ethnography, as a reflection of the day-to-day responsibilities of Mesquakie women, yet as is often the case with life-passage studies, it presents little of the central character’s psychological motivation. The Fox woman’s life story focuses on her tribal education and integration into the ways of her people, and relates only what Michelson ultimately decided was worth preserving. The difference between the two types of studies is often the result of the amount of control the narrator maintains over the material; autobiographies in which there are no recorder-editors are far more reflective of the life-history category, for there are no outsiders shaping the story to reflect their preconceived notions of what the general cultural patterns are.
For example, in Maria Campbell’s account of growing up as a Canadian Metis who was influenced strongly, and often negatively, by the non-Native American world around her, one learns a great deal about the life of Native American women, but Campbell’s individual story, which is told to us directly, is always the center of her narrative. Clearly it is important to her to communicate to the audience what her experiences as a Native American have been. Through Campbell’s story of her family the reader learns of the effect of poverty and prejudice on a people. The reader becomes an intimate of Campbell the writer, sharing her pain and celebrating her small victories. Although Campbell’s book is written as a life history (the dramatic moments, the frustrations, and the fears are clearly hers), it reveals much about ethnic relations in Canada while reflecting the period in which it was written.

1. Which one of the following is the most accurate expression of the main point of the passage?
(A) The contributions of life-history studies to anthropology have made life-passage studies obsolete.
(B) Despite their dissimilar approaches to the study of culture, life-history and life-passage studies have similar goals.
(C) The autobiographies of Native American women illustrate the differences between life-history and life-passage studies.
(D) The roots of Maria Campbell’s autobiography can be traced to earlier narratives such as The Autobiography of a Fox Indian Woman.
(E) Despite its shortcomings, the life-passage study is a more effective tool than the life-history study for identifying important cultural patterns.


The first para Last line clearly states the Main Theme
So the Answer is C
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
In the above Questions its directly stated but generally we need to pick the answer option which generally talks in similar tone.

Hope this helped :-D
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
Wow thanku Alex this is really Helpful Thanku so much.
Hope we can get ur valuable suggestion on many more topics :)
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
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thanks all.Is there a way to eliminate the (E) option.I am sure the tips given by u all will be of great help.
Is it always reliable to use
1) para first line or last line
0r 2 nd para first line
or last para last line to find conclusion?
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
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Quote:
(E) Despite its shortcomings, the life-passage study is a more effective tool than the life-history study for identifying important cultural patterns.

E is another example of an element of the passage that may be true, but is too narrow in scope to be the "main point" of the passage. Think about it this way; if (E) were really the right answer, what would the passage really look like? Or, another way to look at it is: if you were given choice (E) as a prompt for an essay, what would you write?

Well, you might start by explaining the difference between the two types of studies, as this passage does. You might include this sentence, as the passage does: "Life-passage studies bring out the general cultural characteristics and commonalities that broadly define a culture, but are unconcerned with an individual’s choices or how the individual perceives and responds to the demands and expectations imposed by the constraints of his or her culture." But THEN you would very clearly explain why one is more "effective" than the other in certain circumstances. You would illustrate the cultural patterns that life-passage studies can identify, and that life-history studies cannot. Perhaps a whole paragraph would be devoted to the "shortcomings" of the life-passage study.

But you would NOT use one example after another about studies of Native American women. You would NOT include vague sentences like this, which compare the two types of studies without making any clear comparison between them in terms of "effectiveness": The difference between the two types of studies is often the result of the amount of control the narrator maintains over the material; autobiographies in which there are no recorder-editors are far more reflective of the life-history category, for there are no outsiders shaping the story to reflect their preconceived notions of what the general cultural patterns are.

Basically, you would write a different essay.

Whereas, with the right answer:
Quote:
(C) The autobiographies of Native American women illustrate the differences between life-history and life-passage studies.

Yes, this is just the essay you would write. It explains and compares the theories, using Native American autobiographies to exemplify each. Perfect fit.
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
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Re: How to improve with MAIN IDEA rc question [#permalink]
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