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Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover

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Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2004, 19:12
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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 governor’s ultimate goal, since after being released from 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 inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does.

(E) The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2004, 19:19
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I picked C.

If the inmates who chose to take college class were already less likely to commit crimes after release, then taking away access to college classes may not have any affect on their crime rates after prison.

Sinced the conclusion states that "inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates", this conclusion must assume that all inmates have the same likelihood to commit a crime after release and it's the college classes that reduces this likelihood.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2007, 16:42
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C as well: The argument claims that inmates who take college level courses are less likely to commit crimes when they get out. But it may be that those inmates who had taken those classes did so because they seek out education and a way out of crime, thus less likely to commit a crime with or w/o the college level classes. Option C clarifies that prior to taking the classes, all inmates are just as likely to commit crimes when they are released, and that the college classes reduce this likelihood.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2007, 20:09
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ttram wrote:
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 governor’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 inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does.
E. The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.


I fail to see why C would be a better answer than A.

The hypothesis is: "this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal." And we can infer that the ultimate goal refers to "less crime."

Without A, the argument falls apart because it's giving a reason why it's not counterproductive in lowering crime.

C is the opposite of what we want, because it's saying that it doesn't matter if we have courses to begin with because the people taking them are already less likely (and will still be less likely) to commit crimes when they get out.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2010, 13:57
I don't get your logic for A. C works to me. If we hold that the courses didn't actually affect the proclivity of released felons to recommit crimes like C infers (because the better behavior wasn't due to the education, rather this good group sought out education) then the narrorator's point against the governor's plan falls apart because the governor's change will actually not encourage criminal behavior.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2010, 03:11
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vannbj wrote:
I don't get your logic for A. C works to me. If we hold that the courses didn't actually affect the proclivity of released felons to recommit crimes like C infers (because the better behavior wasn't due to the education, rather this good group sought out education) then the narrorator's point against the governor's plan falls apart because the governor's change will actually not encourage criminal behavior.

hi , the logic by which i replied A is that in C i think there is change in scope.....
the passage is concerned if guv's plan "to deny inmates the access they formerly had to college-level courses" would be helpful however the scope is shifted in C to if these courses are helpful..... only A is the assumption closest to scope
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Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2010, 21:46
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The following is Ron Purewal's (i.e the GOD of GMAT verbal) explanation:

nah, this should definitely be (c). you probably just have the wrong answer key.

the argument depends upon the assumption that eliminating college-level courses will have an effect on inmates' rates of recidivism ("counter to the governor's ultimate goal"). in other words, the argument is assuming that the college-level courses CAUSE differences in the inmates' behavior.

if you're going to argue that X causes Y, one necessary precondition (assumption) is that Y DOESN'T cause X.
this is precisely what is asserted in (c), which should be the correct answer.

--

not only is (a) in incorrect assumption, but (a) actually runs EXACTLY COUNTER to the argument.

if the presence/absence of college courses will NOT DETER crime, then that is essentially saying that it has no effect.
therefore, since there's no effect, this action will NOT be "counter to the governor's ultimate goal".

hence (a) is not only a wrong assumption; it actually undermines the argument!
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Sep 2010, 22:47
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amitjash wrote:
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 governor’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 inmate’s subsequent behavior than taking college-level courses does.
E. The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something effective is being done about crime.


At first glance option A and C were narrowed down. Option C looks to me as being the best assumption that the argument depends even though the OA is option A.

Here is my reasons for siding with option C.

Argument: Governor’s ultimate goal, since after being released form prison, inmates who had taken such courses committed far fewer crimes overall than other inmates.

Option A: This option attacks the need for courses access by prison inmates. This has nothing to do with revoking the access to the courses ... in fact.... this option is further strengthening the action taken by the governor [to revoke the course access.]

Option C: This statement is the best assumption and it brings out the correlation versus causality debate. The fact that the former inmates who have taken course work have committed less crimes could be a correlation and it does not indicate cause and effect relationship. This is the assumption made in the argument.
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Originally posted by ezhilkumarank on 18 Sep 2010, 22:38.
Last edited by ezhilkumarank on 18 Sep 2010, 22:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2010, 22:47
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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.

This can not be the assumption. If you negate the assumption, it should weaken the argument. But after negation this option strengthen the argument.

D and E are out of scope.

B). We are not concerned with general population. This comparison is not relevant.

Thus by POE -> A

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.
is actually
A. 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.

Yes A is an assumption. if you negate this A, the conclusion is weaken.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2010, 20:48
What is the source of this question? As ezhil pointed out, I felt like the answer was C too.
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Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2010, 08:31
whiplash2411 wrote:
What is the source of this question? As ezhil pointed out, I felt like the answer was C too.

Hey whip,

The answer is C according to Ron Purewal:

"nah, this should definitely be (c). you probably just have the wrong answer key.

the argument depends upon the assumption that eliminating college-level courses will have an effect on inmates' rates of recidivism ("counter to the governor's ultimate goal"). in other words, the argument is assuming that the college-level courses CAUSE differences in the inmates' behavior.

if you're going to argue that X causes Y, one necessary precondition (assumption) is that Y DOESN'T cause X.
this is precisely what is asserted in (c), which should be the correct answer.

--

not only is (a) in incorrect assumption, but (a) actually runs EXACTLY COUNTER to the argument.

if the presence/absence of college courses will NOT DETER crime, then that is essentially saying that it has no effect.
therefore, since there's no effect, this action will NOT be "counter to the governor's ultimate goal".

hence (a) is not only a wrong assumption; it actually undermines the argument!
"

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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2010, 10:05
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A does not make sense

Not taking course ---> won't deter crime which X may otherwise commit

But this has no bearing on how TAKING the course (which is the crux of the Q - the assumption has to explain why taking the course helped) will impact the commission of crime

With C --- we know the prisoner study grp members were not less violent than other prisoners, i.e., they were just as violent... but the Q states that after the course they committed less crimes ---> which means the course helped and this is the assumption one has to make here...
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2014, 03:06
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 governor’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 inmate’s subsequent behavior
than taking college-level courses does.
E. The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something
effective is being done about crime.


Hi EGMAT,

My analysis, conclusion of the argument is "this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal". keeping this understanding , i can eliminate option B,D&E.

now in option A.

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.

This is a new information and negation of this sentence would be

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.

So that actually says govt goal can be achieve and shatters the author conclusion.

Now for Option C

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.

Negating this argument says

C. The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were already less likely than
other inmates to commit crimes after being released.

In argument it is given that inmates are already commited fever crime. the only difference in the option C , while negating it says that they will less likely to commit crimes after being released.

i thought option C is just re-statement with only difference after being released.

So I'm confused ,please clear my understanding.

Thanks
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2014, 23:07
1
Nitinaka19 wrote:
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 governor’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 inmate’s subsequent behavior
than taking college-level courses does.
E. The governor’s ultimate goal actually is to gain popularity by convincing people that something
effective is being done about crime.


Hi EGMAT,

My analysis, conclusion of the argument is "this action is clearly counter to the governor’s ultimate goal". keeping this understanding , i can eliminate option B,D&E.

now in option A.

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.

This is a new information and negation of this sentence would be

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.

So that actually says govt goal can be achieve and shatters the author conclusion.

Now for Option C

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.

Negating this argument says

C. The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were already less likely than
other inmates to commit crimes after being released.

In argument it is given that inmates are already commited fever crime. the only difference in the option C , while negating it says that they will less likely to commit crimes after being released.

i thought option C is just re-statement with only difference after being released.

So I'm confused ,please clear my understanding.

Thanks


Hi Nitin,

First of all, thanks for sharing your analysis. I truly appreciate that you put in the required efforts before asking a questions :)

I see that your negation of option A is not entirely correct and this may be contributing to the confusion.

What do you think is the negation of the below statement?

He is unlikely to kill anyone.

Which of the following 2 is the negation?
1. He is likely to call anyone
2. He is likely to kill someone.

I look forward to your response on this.

Now, coming to option C.

The argument says that people who take course commit fewer crimes. Right?

On the basis of this, the argument concludes that the governor's plan will be counterproductive.

So, what is the most fundamental assumption underlying?

The most fundamental assumption is that the courses are somewhat responsible for the fewer crimes. (Please note the difference between this assumption and the statement given in the passage. The statement in the passage is about correlation i.e. two things (course and fewer crimes) co-exist. This assumption is about causality i.e courses are responsible for fewer crimes. You are missing this difference in your analysis).

Now, if we somehow prove that the courses are not responsible for fewer crimes, both the above assumption and the conclusion will fall apart. Right?

This is what option C does.

Its negation says that people who chose the courses were in any case likely to commit fewer crimes. So, this means that the courses didn't lead to fewer crimes; such people were in any case going to commit fewer crimes.

Since the negation of option C topples the conclusion, option C is a correct assumption.

Does it help?

Feel free to ask in case of any further queries :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2014, 00:57
Hi Chiranjeev,

Thanks for the clarification,Still there are certain queries i need to clarify,

As you mention its a causative statement, which i really found very useful and really make this analysis a bit easy to understand. :)
So going with this understanding , Criminal who took courses leads to fewer crime.
Now in option A states after negating , Criminal not taking course will leads to no fewer crime and this means its not a valid assumption. (No X no Y structure is not a valid assumption)

But in Option C your negated statement says " people who chose the courses were in any case likely to commit fewer crimes."
whereas mine negated statement is "The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released."

howcome "were already less likely than other inmates " leads to "any case likely to ?

what i assume is less likely than other inmates is just a part of modifier which can be neglected while negating.

Please correct my understading where i'm wrong?

and answering to your questions.

He is unlikely to kill anyone negated statement would be

He is likely to kill anyone or can we say He is unlikely to kill no one ? i'm having doubt on the latter statement?

Thanks
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2014, 20:07
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Nitinaka19 wrote:
Hi Chiranjeev,

Thanks for the clarification,Still there are certain queries i need to clarify,

As you mention its a causative statement, which i really found very useful and really make this analysis a bit easy to understand. :)
So going with this understanding , Criminal who took courses leads to fewer crime.
Now in option A states after negating , Criminal not taking course will leads to no fewer crime and this means its not a valid assumption. (No X no Y structure is not a valid assumption)

But in Option C your negated statement says " people who chose the courses were in any case likely to commit fewer crimes."
whereas mine negated statement is "The group of inmates who chose to take college-level courses were already less likely than other inmates to commit crimes after being released."

howcome "were already less likely than other inmates " leads to "any case likely to ?

what i assume is less likely than other inmates is just a part of modifier which can be neglected while negating.

Please correct my understading where i'm wrong?

and answering to your questions.

He is unlikely to kill anyone negated statement would be

He is likely to kill anyone or can we say He is unlikely to kill no one ? i'm having doubt on the latter statement?

Thanks


Hi Nitin,

Let's struggle on this together :)

Even though you have rejected option A, your reason is still not correct. So, there's more to learn here :)

Before we look at option A again, let's look at the simple examples of negation that I asked you to attempt:

Statement: He is unlikely to kill anyone.

To negate any statement, you need to first understand the meaning of the statement. Reliance on rules (negating the verb etc) is not always helpful. What is the meaning of the above statement?

It means that there is very less chance that he will kill anyone. So, it is a milder version of saying that He will not kill anyone. Right?

Now, what will be the negation of this statement?

Negation means saying something exactly opposite of the original statement.

The negation would be a milder version of "He will kill someone" (If he kills anyone, the original statement falls apart. He need not kill everybody to breakdown the original statement. Even if he kills one person, the original statement falls apart)

Now, the negation would be "He is likely to kill someone".

Now, what if you just said "He is likely to kill anyone". What would it mean?

It would mean that any person who comes in front of him is likely to be killed. In other words, it means that he is likely to kill everyone. But you know now that this is not what we require in the negation.

Hope this part is clear! :) If not, spend some more time on it before moving forward.

Coming to option A now,

The negation of option A would be:

Not being able to take college-level courses while in prison is likely to deter some people from crimes that they might otherwise have committed.

Now, here you need to clearly understand the original meaning of option A. Only then would you be able to see how exactly the above negation is arrived at.

What does this negated statement means?

It means that "not taking college-level courses" is actually good for some people as it deters them from crime. Right?

Now, it does weaken the conclusion, which indicates that we should offer college-level courses.

Right?

But how should negation of an assumption affect the conclusion?

Should it weaken the conclusion or break it down?

The answer is that the negation of an assumption should break-down the conclusion. In other words, once the assumption is negated, we should not have any belief in the validity of the conclusion.

Now, this is not the case here. Agreed that option A indicates that not taking college level course will help some people but what about the rest (or even majority) of the people? If the college level courses help majority of the people, then we should have them even if some people are benefited from not having them. (So, you can see the conclusion can still hold even after negating option A)

Now coming to option C,

We are both saying the same thing, Nitin :)

I am saying they are likely to commit fewer crimes.

You are saying they are less likely to commit crimes.

See there is a word "fewer" in my sentence, which is missing in yours.

Both mean the same. :)

I hope it helps!

Please let me know if you still have questions :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2015, 19:29
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virendermidha wrote:
Isn't the answer A ? Also checked at Manhattan forum, the answer seems to be A. Please explain.


This question has an incorrect answer in various forums. C is definitely the correct answer (try negating). A is not an assumption, it actually weakens the argument by saying courses have not deterring effect on crime.

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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2016, 11:36
hi, sayantanc2k

i always go wrong when CR is involved with complex sentences like A and C with double negatives. i have hard time understanding them. please help me how to approach them. Thank you
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2016, 08:11
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DeepikaV wrote:
hi, sayantanc2k

i always go wrong when CR is involved with complex sentences like A and C with double negatives. i have hard time understanding them. please help me how to approach them. Thank you


You may try rephrasing into a positive sentence. For example you may try reading option A as:

Not Being able to take college-level courses while in prison is unlikely to deter anyone some from a crime that he or she might otherwise have committed.

(Make sure to change any and some correctly.)

Negative of "unlikely to deter anyone" = "likely to deter some"

BUT there may be a major issue in some cases:

Not taking the medicine will not heal you.
The above does not imply:
Taking the medicine will heal you.

Unfortunately the same issue arises in option A as well. The rephrased option A is NOT the same as the original option A - but at least rephrasing would give you an idea about "for or against" kind of situation. Option A and rephrased option A takes ( supports or opposes) one particular side of the argument. This linking may sometimes help wrap the brain around double negatives.
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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 20:27
Just wanted to appreciate egmat for the crystal clear explanation. Wonderful. Instead of directly saying option A is wrong for this reason, she kinda walks with the student so the student doesn't feel lost and ultimately does not understand why the option is wrong. One of the best explanations I've ever seen.
Kudos egmat

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Re: Newspaper editorial: In an attempt to reduce the crime rate, the gover &nbs [#permalink] 06 Sep 2018, 20:27

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