In this chapter we’re going to analyze argument structure to better answer Argument Structure questions, beginning with Main Idea questions.

CHALLENGE: Resolve the Paradox

A paradox is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.

These questions present you with a paradox and ask you to resolve it or explain how that contradiction could exist. Paradox questions are rare and more common at the higher skill levels. These questions usually contain the keywords explanation, resolve, or account. These questions often ask you to play the role of a top researcher where you have to reconcile conflicting data.

  • Which of the following, if true, would help to resolve the apparent paradox presented above?
  • Which of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the apparent discrepancy described above?
  • Each of the following could help account for this discrepancy, EXCEPT:

How to solve

  1. Read the argument and find the apparent paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction.
  2. State the apparent paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction in your own words.
  3. Use POE (the process of elimination). The best answer will explain how both sides of the paradox, discrepancy, or contradiction can be true. Eliminate answers that are out of scope.

Questions with Video Explanations

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