June 2013 LSAT, LR1, Q11, Shakespeare's contemporaries

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project I can't answer the Editor's question, can you? I have such a shitty education. Public school for 13 years in Ripon, California. My freshman year in high school, I learned how to type... that remains, by far, the most useful thing I have ever learned at any level of education. B.S. from UC Davis. M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern. M.B.A. from Babson. J.D. from UC Hastings. Alphabet soup over here. Name a single poet who lived at the same time as Shakespeare? Not a clue. I tried to Google it and I still couldn't answer it.

But I admit that I have a bad education, and my true reasons have nothing to do with Shakespeare. (Not speaking Spanish and not understanding chemistry are much bigger gripes.) Anyway, on the LSAT, I will always argue with the speaker. So, Mr. Editor, let me ask you this: Why the fuck are Shakespeare and his contemporaries so important, anyway? Is it really "deeply wrong" that high school kids can't name another poet of Shakespeare's era? According to whom?

The question asks "The statement that the majority of students picked a twentieth-century poet functions primarily in the argument" [in which of the following ways]. My strategy here involves a series of questions:

1) Is it the conclusion of the argument? Did the Editor come here primarily to tell you that the majority of students picked a modern poet? No, I don't think so.

2) If no, then what is the conclusion of the argument? The "clearly" gives it away. The conclusion is "there is something deeply wrong with the educational system."

3) OK then, does the statement in question "students picked twentieth-century poets" support the conclusion "there is something deeply wrong"? Yes, I think it does. The Editor has said BECAUSE students picked 20th century poets, THEREFORE we know something is deeply wrong.

So "the majority of students picked a twentieth-century poet" functions to support the conclusion of the argument. In other words, it's a premise. Now all we have to do is look through the answer choices and find it.

A. I like "evidence" in this answer, but I don't think the conclusion was "students are ignorant of the history of poetry." Rather, the conclusion was "there's something wrong."

B. Huh? This is simply bizarre.

C. No, this was nowhere near the point of the argument. B and C are some super-shitty answers.

D. Jesus Christ. The Editor came here to tell you "there is something wrong," not to make some weird point about "ambiguity." Still looking.

E. Um, yeah. Exactly what we were looking for.

Our answer is E, and we predicted it before looking at the answer choices.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!


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Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project