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Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author

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Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2019, 13:28
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84% (01:39) correct 16% (02:37) wrong based on 75 sessions

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Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author were compared to those in a work of uncertain authorship sometimes attributed to that author. Many patterns were studied, including frequency of specific words and recurrence of certain phrases. The questioned work displayed verbal patterns very similar to those in the other four works, establishing that the same author wrote all five.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the conclusion above?

(A) No two writers are likely to display similar verbal patterns in their works.
(B) Writers from different historical periods sometimes use the same words and phrases, but the meanings of such words and phrases change over time.
(C) Many writers consciously attempt to experiment with innovative verbal patterns in each new work.
(D) A relatively small number of words in any language occur with great frequency, and those words make up the largest portion of all discourse.
(E) Word choice is generally considered an insignificant component of an author's style

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Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2019, 17:40
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Jazzmin wrote:
Isn't choice A to extreme?

Hi Jazzmin.

GMAT verbal tends to test the level of sophistication of the thinking that at test-taker brings to bear when answering the questions. While eliminating a choice simply because it makes an extreme statement sometimes works, doing so is not a very sophisticated way of answering questions. Meanwhile, since an answer that makes an extreme statement may in fact be the correct answer, using this unsophisticated method can result in one's eliminating a correct answer.

In this case, while the statement "No two writers are likely to display similar verbal patterns in their works" is, in a way, extreme, it does support the conclusion, by providing reason to believe that that the presence of the observed verbal patterns is evidence sufficient for deciding that this particular writer did in fact write these works.

Generally speaking, in order to correctly answer Critical Reasoning questions consistently, one has to carefully analyze the logical relationships between the passages and the answer choices rather than seek to use topic matching or other simple strategies in eliminating or choosing answers.
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Re: Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2019, 09:30
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Re: Verbal patterns in four works known to be written by a certain author   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2019, 09:30
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