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# The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward

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Senior RC Moderator
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The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2015, 02:51
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78% (01:06) correct 22% (01:12) wrong based on 232 sessions

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Nick: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward from the crime. The writer should first decide what the crime is and who the perpetrator is and then come up with the circumstances and clues based on those decisions.

Which one of the following illustrates a principle most similar to that illustrated by the passage?

(A) When planning a trip, some people first decide where they want to go and then plan accordingly, but for most of us, much financial planning must be done before we can choose where we are going.

(B) In planting a vegetable garden, you should prepare the soil first and then decide what kinds of vegetables to plant.

(C) Good architects do not extemporaneously construct their plans in the course of an afternoon; an architectural design cannot be divorced from the method of constructing the building.

(D) In solving mathematical problems, the best method is to try out as many strategies as possible in the time allotted. This is particularly effective if the number of possible strategies is fairly small.

(E) To make a great tennis shot you should visualize where you want the shot to go and then determine the position you need to be in to execute the shot properly.

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Re: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2015, 04:49
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Gnpth wrote:
Nick: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward from the crime. The writer should first decide what the crime is and who the perpetrator is and then come up with the circumstances and clues based on those decisions.
the principle is to look at the outcome and then work backwards for the requirements for achieving it..

Which one of the following illustrates a principle most similar to that illustrated by the passage?

(A) When planning a trip, some people first decide where they want to go and then plan accordingly, but for most of us, much financial planning must be done before we can choose where we are going.
here we have a choice which at first looks similar but the activity of choosing a place is not the final out come. it is a middle stage , which requires some planning before and thereafter.

(B) In planting a vegetable garden, you should prepare the soil first and then decide what kinds of vegetables to plant.
It is ofcourse the normal planning

(C) Good architects do not extemporaneously construct their plans in the course of an afternoon; an architectural design cannot be divorced from the method of constructing the building.
out of the context

(D) In solving mathematical problems, the best method is to try out as many strategies as possible in the time allotted. This is particularly effective if the number of possible strategies is fairly small.
same as C

(E) To make a great tennis shot you should visualize where you want the shot to go and then determine the position you need to be in to execute the shot properly.
this is what we are looking for..

the principle is to look at the outcome and then work backwards for the requirements for achieving it..
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Re: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward [#permalink]

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18 Dec 2015, 11:55
chetan2u wrote:
Gnpth wrote:
Nick: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward from the crime. The writer should first decide what the crime is and who the perpetrator is and then come up with the circumstances and clues based on those decisions.
the principle is to look at the outcome and then work backwards for the requirements for achieving it..

Which one of the following illustrates a principle most similar to that illustrated by the passage?

(A) When planning a trip, some people first decide where they want to go and then plan accordingly, but for most of us, much financial planning must be done before we can choose where we are going.
here we have a choice which at first looks similar but the activity of choosing a place is not the final out come. it is a middle stage , which requires some planning before and thereafter.

(B) In planting a vegetable garden, you should prepare the soil first and then decide what kinds of vegetables to plant.
It is ofcourse the normal planning

(C) Good architects do not extemporaneously construct their plans in the course of an afternoon; an architectural design cannot be divorced from the method of constructing the building.
out of the context

(D) In solving mathematical problems, the best method is to try out as many strategies as possible in the time allotted. This is particularly effective if the number of possible strategies is fairly small.
same as C

(E) To make a great tennis shot you should visualize where you want the shot to go and then determine the position you need to be in to execute the shot properly.
this is what we are looking for..

the principle is to look at the outcome and then work backwards for the requirements for achieving it..

i have a problem in such kind of CR questions. Do we have a specific way in which these questions can be solved?
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The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward [#permalink]

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08 Apr 2017, 02:39
Gnpth wrote:
Nick: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward from the crime. The writer should first decide what the crime is and who the perpetrator is and then come up with the circumstances and clues based on those decisions.

Which one of the following illustrates a principle most similar to that illustrated by the passage?

(A) When planning a trip, some people first decide where they want to go and then plan accordingly, but for most of us, much financial planning must be done before we can choose where we are going.

(B) In planting a vegetable garden, you should prepare the soil first and then decide what kinds of vegetables to plant.

(C) Good architects do not extemporaneously construct their plans in the course of an afternoon; an architectural design cannot be divorced from the method of constructing the building.

(D) In solving mathematical problems, the best method is to try out as many strategies as possible in the time allotted. This is particularly effective if the number of possible strategies is fairly small.

(E) To make a great tennis shot you should visualize where you want the shot to go and then determine the position you need to be in to execute the shot properly.

OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Solution: E

As evidenced by the phrase, “illustrates a principle most similar,” this is a “Mimic the Reasoning” question, a subtype of the Method of Reasoning category. The question stem also indicates that we are not trying to mimic an entire argument, but simply trying to mimic a “principle.” Thus, we do not need to isolate or categorize individual premises or conclusions; we only need to find the underlying principle in the original prompt and then find the answer that illustrates that same principle. As we do so, remember that Method questions are best answered when we step backwards and divorce ourselves from the subject matter, looking instead for the “big picture.” The original question prompt indicates that a good detective story writer works backward from the crime. Thus we are looking for an answer that proposes a strategy where the subject first determines the end, then the plans the means to that end. Diagramming the logic is completely unnecessary here.

Answer choice “A” seems to begin mimicking the principle of working backward, but it then detours midway through the sentence and recommends the opposite position. The Testmaker here is hoping that we failed to read the entire statement and only looked for confirming evidence.

Answer choice “B” clearly does not work backward from the end product. Instead, it recommends undertaking initial preparations prior to deciding what to plant. “B” suggests the exact opposite of the principle we are looking for.

Answer choice “C” is a trap answer written by the Testmaker to see if we identified the right principle in the first place. “C” suggests that, during the design process, architects must take into consideration how a building should be constructed. However, this does not focus on the end result, and then determine the means to that end. Instead, it focuses on an intermediate step – construction – when planning out the process. The “end product” of a designed building is the purpose or use of a building; constructing the building is actually another part in the process to achieve that end result. With this answer, the Testmaker is hoping that we missed this crucial distinction. This would certainly happen if we thought that the initial principle to be mimicked was something like, “think about stuff before you do it.” Make sure that when you formulate the “big picture” in a Method question that you are specific. Divorcing ourselves from the subject matter is crucial, but we must be careful of making generalized, vague statements that could apply to multiple different answers.

Answer choice “D” certainly does not propose “working backward.” Instead, it recommends a sort of “spaghetti on the wall” approach – just throw whatever you have at it and see what sticks. “D” cannot be right answer.

Answer choice “E” mimics the principle of working backward perfectly. It recommends that tennis players focus on the eventual destination of the shot, and then determine where they need to be to make that shot happen. Answer choice “E” is correct.
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Re: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2017, 09:10
B and E are completely contrast to each other.
Other options are out of scope.
Re: The best way to write a good detective story is to work backward   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2017, 09:10
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