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Two-Part Analysis.

In this type of question, we’re given a passage of text in which there is an argument or several arguments being made. We are then presented with a series of statements which refer to the text, and we have two criteria, arranged in two columns, by which we need to judge each statement.

For example, in this case, we are asked for each statement whether it supports or weakens two conclusions which are found in the text. Here, as in all two-part analysis questions, only one of the statements fits each of the criteria: meaning we have to go over the statements and select only one of them in each of the two columns, while leaving the rest of the statements unchecked.

So how do we go about solving a question like this? First we have to read through the text, paying special attention to identifying the conclusion we’re asked about – in this case they are clearly marked as a) and b) ,but they won’t always be. Sometimes we’ll have to find our own conclusions.

Then, in a question such as this, which asks us to strengthen or weaken the arguments, we’ll go straight to the given statements, rather than try to imagine hypothetical statements which could strengthen or weaken them. We’ll go over statement by statement, and ask – does this support the first conclusion? Does it weaken it? Does it do either for the second one?

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