LSAT

Argument strategy 4-step process

1. Evaluate the Question Task
2. Analyze the Argument
3. Apply the Strategy
4. Use Process of Elimination

Main Point or Main Conclusion

the main point is"
"the main conclusion is"
"the argument leads to the conclusion that"
"statements commit X to the position that

The Task Is To

Identify the argument's conclusion: what the person making the argument wants you to believe

Analyze and Apply By

finding the conclusion, if it's explicitly stated; if not, the opposite of the conclusion may be stated instead

Avoid Choices That

are worded more strongly than the argument; go beyond the conclusion; are premises of the argument

Look for Choices That

bring the whole argument together; are specific rather than general

Conclusion Variants: Point At Issue or Agree/Disagree

the main point at issue is"
"an issue in dispute is"
"are committed to disagreeing about"
"express a point of agreement

The Task Is To

find a statement about which the participants in a conversation definitely hold different opinions or, possible, the same opinion

Analyze and Apply By

finding the conclusion and premises for each participant's argument; summarizing the exact thing they're arguing about

Avoid Choices That

pertain to one side of the conversation but not the other; rely on implication; answer the wrong question (agree rather than disagree)

Look for Choices That

pertain to what's explicitly stated; are clearly something about which the participants would say "yes" or "no

ID Reasoning

the argument proceeds by"
"a method of reasoning employed by the argument"
"a technique of reasoning employed by the argument

The Task Is To

describe how an argument supports its conclusion

Analyze and Apply By

finding the conclusion and the premises, then summarizing the process used in the argument

Avoid Choices That

do not match the argument closely, especially the main point or purpose of the argument

Look for Choices That

match the argument piece by piece; correctly describe the relationship between the premises and the conclusion

ID Reasoning Variant: ID Response

X responds by"
"responds in which one of the following ways"
"uses which one of the following techniques in countering

The Task Is To

In a conversation, describe how a response relates to the first person's argument in the conversation

Analyze and Apply By

finding the conclusion and the premises of both parts of the conversation, then summarizing the relationship between them as specifically as possible

Avoid Choices That

Pertain to the first argument rather than the second; identify flaws in the first argument not exploited in the response do not match the response closely; get the relationship between the two arguments wrong

Look For Choices That

match the response piece by piece; correctly describe whether the two participants agree or disagree; correctly identify the point of agreement or disagreement

ID Reasoning Variant: Role of The Statement

the role of the statement X in the argument is"
"the statement X figures in the argument in which one of the following ways

The Task Is To

describe the indicated part of an argument in terms of its overall logical structure

Analyze and Apply By

finding the conclusion and the premises, then summarizing which of these two roles in the statement plays; if neither, summarizing the relationship between the statement and the premises and conclusion

Avoid Choices That

do not match the argument closely; mistakenly identify the conclusion; mistakenly identify a statement as the main conclusion when it is only a step in the argument's chain of reasoning

Look for Choices That

match the argument piece by piece; correctly describe the relationship between the indicated statement and the conclusion

Inference

must also be true"
"can most properly be concluded"
"most strongly support the inference"
"which of the following conclusions can be properly drawn

The Task Is To

find a statement that has to be true on the bases of passage information note that these passages are often not arguments

Analyze and Apply By

summarizing the passage; if its seems to lead to a specific conclusion, you should find it before moving on; some may involve a series of related conditional statements that can be diagrammed

Avoid Choices That

are too strongly worded; use terms with no clear relationship to passage material; are too specific or demand too much input to be relevant; involve questionable comparisons

Look for Choices That

are wishy-washy and say as little as possible; are specific, but not too specific; include stipulations or qualifications; seem to restate passage material

Inference Variants: Could be True/Must Be False

which one of the following could be true"
"each of the following could be true EXCEPT:"
"CANNOT be true

The Task Is To

usually find a statement that is directly contradicted by passage information; occasionally, find a statement that is not contradicted by passage information

Analyze and Apply By

summarizing the passage; it is unlikely that you will be able to predict the right answer

Avoid Choices That

Could Be True: are broad or strongly worded; are contradicted by a specific example presented in the passage
Must Be False: (or Could Be True EXCEPT:) could even possibly be true; involve instances not dealt with by the passage; are qualified or wishy-was

Look For Choices That

Could Be True: could even possibly be true; involve instances not dealt with by the passage; are qualified or wishy-washy
Must Be False (or Could Be True EXCEPT:) are broad or strongly worded; are contradicted by a specific example presented in the passag

Inference Variant: Fill-in

most logically completes the argument"
"provides a logical completion"
(the arguments ends with _________)

The Task Is To

usually supply the conclusion logically supported by the passage statements; occasionally, find the assumption required by the argument; occasionally, apply a rule in the argument to a specific case

Analyze and Apply By

summarizing the passage if it seems to lead to a specific conclusion, you should find it before moving on

Avoid Choices That

are too strongly worded; use terms with no clear relationship to the passage material; are too specific or demand too much input to be relevant

Look for Choices That

bring all the passage material together; involve terms mentioned in the argument; are specific rather than general

Assumption

an assumption on which the argument depends"
"is assumed by the argument"
"is required in order for the conclusion to be properly drawn"
"relies on the fact that

The Task Is To

find a statement that has to be true in order for the argument's conclusion to be true

Analyze and Apply By

Finding the conclusion, the premises, and any gap or flow in the reasoning; find the most specific notion of the argument's problem that you can

Avoid Choices That

weaken the argument; explain why or how too specifically; are more strongly worded than the argument's conclusion; are not directly relevant to the conclusion

Look for Choices That

help the conclusion; logically connect pieces oft he argument to one another; if false, weaken the conclusion; are weakly worded; eliminate a possible weakness of the argument

Weaken

most seriously weakens the argument"
"undermines the conclusion"
"calls into question"
"casts doubt upon"
"conclusion would not follow if"
"overlooks the possibility that