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# Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the

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Joined: 13 Jun 2004
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Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2004, 10:41
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Newspaper editorial:

In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the governor is getting tough on criminals and making prison conditions harsher. Part of this effort has been to deny inmates the access they formerly had to college-level courses. However, this action is clearly counter to the governorâ€™s ultimate goal, since after being released form prison, inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed.
B. Former inmates are no more likely to commit crimes than are members of the general population.
C. The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were not already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released.
D. Taking high school level courses in prison has less effect on an inmateâ€™s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does.
E. The governorâ€™s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.

I chose A but not sure if it's right, because i don't have the anwer, anybody can help?

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13 Jun 2004, 20:07
A and C are very close. I'm not even sure which is better. Both seem to be assumptions. Are you sure there are no typos in the answer choices? I'm not sure this is an ETS quality question
A) there are 2 ways to negate this:
negation1 = being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed
negation2 = not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is likely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed
If 1 is true, what would be the point of taking college-level courses if it is unlikely to deter former inmates to commit crime. If 2 is true, then it is preferable not being able to take college-level courses. A seems to be a required assumption
B) We are not interested about the rest of the population. Only prison inmates are our subject of interest
C) negation: The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released. This directly casts some doubt in the validity of the statistics. If the inmates who took college-level courses were already less likely to commit crimes, will removing those courses have any effect at all? C needs to be assumed
D) who cares? we are not interested about high-school-level courses
E) governer's goal is not what we want to know. This is out of scope
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Best Regards,

Paul

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14 Jun 2004, 07:21
(A) supports governors position.
(C) is the best as described by Paul.

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14 Jun 2004, 07:57
I am lost but will pick C as my FA.

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15 Jun 2004, 11:23
I don't think that A supports governor's position. Paul mentioned that there are two ways to negate the statement.

If you negate the statement using the first approach, which is "Being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed", only then you're supporting the governor's position. Therefore A seems like a required assumption for the author's statement.

Negating C also makes C appear like a required assumption.
I would pick C just b/c it's a bit more straight forward than choice A.

tough question...

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18 Jun 2004, 00:28
I would like to go wuth A ...

the premise means '' taking these courses was one the MEASURES to control the crime '' and the conclusion talks about '' cos this was not allowed any mor may be the crime wud be mor''

onlt A talkz relating both the premise and the conclusion... while C is very close in my view... but it assumes only some thing which was not even mentioned in the argument...

I could well be out of way ...as so mnay experts here go with C hey but who knows some timez....
correct me in case
Have Fun
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the whole worldmakes way for the man who knows wer he's going... good luck

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18 Jun 2004, 01:42
Tough one! confused between (A) and (C), inclined more towards (C).
(A) looks like an asusmption for a part of the sentence, while (C) looks like an assumption for the whole sentence.

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18 Jun 2004, 05:23
This is how I got to C from A & C. It's a difficult CR question and even though there were a lot of comments already, I still decided to give a shot at breaking this one down on my own.

Goal - reduce crime rate
How - make prison conditions harsher
How - no college level courses for prisoners

Harsher conditions i.e. no college courses -> reduce crime rate

Argument:

No college courses -> increase crime rate

Assumption:

Maybe 'college courses' are something of a positive influence over the inmates, all other conditions being equal. To prove that they are a positive influence, all other conditions need to be equal.

(A) appears to be a circular argument

no college courses -> not likely to prevent crimes
college courses -> likely to prevent crimes

Says the same thing as the argument itself

(C) provides for all other conditions being equal = all inmates in prison are equally likely to commit crimes after being released if none of them take college courses
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18 Jun 2004, 05:35
right smashinggrace, A has to do with circular reasoning. However, it bothers me that if A is negated, the argument still falls apart...
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Best Regards,

Paul

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18 Jun 2004, 05:35
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# Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the

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