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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## Expert's Help: Author's Opinion This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies imskpwr Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Joined 14 Sep 2011 Posted: 377 messages Followed by: 1 members Thanked: 10 times Target GMAT Score: 750 #### Expert's Help: Author's Opinion Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:28 am Elapsed Time: 00:00 • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME]) Can any expert share his or her views on the below understandings? I believe that ANY Conclusion presented in a passage MUST BE an OPINION of Author if no other group/person is mentioned. Further, the final Author's POV( Author's conclusion) is the MAIN IDEA. Believing in above points, I observe that most of the GMAT passages are opinionated. But the passage tone is NEUTRAL, unless main idea is about some persuasion or criticism of the subject. Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums! ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2447 messages Followed by: 115 members Thanked: 1153 times GMAT Score: 770 Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:13 am imskpwr wrote: Can any expert share his or her views on the below understandings? I believe that ANY Conclusion presented in a passage MUST BE an OPINION of Author if no other group/person is mentioned. Further, the final Author's POV( Author's conclusion) is the MAIN IDEA. Believing in above points, I observe that most of the GMAT passages are opinionated. But the passage tone is NEUTRAL, unless main idea is about some persuasion or criticism of the subject. Yeah, that appears to be a reasonable understanding of how passages on the GMAT operate. It's also helpful to be primed to recognize that certain structural markers indicate that the author is about to present her own opinion, which will often contradict a notion that someone else has professed. For example: Professor Horkins published his study regarding the importance of lower marginal tax rates in 1987, however, more recent, higher quality work has since undermined those conclusions. _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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Mike@Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:23 am
imskpwr wrote:
Can any expert share his or her views on the below understandings?

I believe that ANY Conclusion presented in a passage MUST BE an OPINION of Author if no other group/person is mentioned.
Further, the final Author's POV( Author's conclusion) is the MAIN IDEA.

Believing in above points, I observe that most of the GMAT passages are opinionated.
But the passage tone is NEUTRAL, unless main idea is about some persuasion or criticism of the subject.
Dear imskpwr,
I'm happy to respond.

I like the comment that my colleague DavidG at Veritas shared.

I will add that it's very hard to make one-size-fits-all rules for the GMAT CR. Students often want to cling to a hard and fast rule, but the GMAT excels at defying our expectations. Yes, a general rule, the only time an author would quote someone is either to use it as support for his own argument or to qualify or refute it (what DavidG suggested). Those definitely are the general patterns, but I would be quite reluctant to say that every quote in every GMAT CR passage falls neatly into one of those two categories. Each argument on the GMAT CR is so different--it's just hard to say.

Rather than formulate fixed rules for the GMAT CR, I think it is considerably more productive to understand how the logic of the business world plays into CR questions. See this blog article:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge

Does all this make sense?
Mike

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imskpwr Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:24 am
Mike@Magoosh wrote:
I will add that it's very hard to make one-size-fits-all rules for the GMAT CR.
Mike
Sir,
I am sorry, but my previous post was in fact about Reading Comprehension Passages.
However, the CR article you shared was quite useful.

Last edited by imskpwr on Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total

imskpwr Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:56 am
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Yeah, that appears to be a reasonable understanding of how passages on the GMAT operate. It's also helpful to be primed to recognize that certain structural markers indicate that the author is about to present her own opinion, which will often contradict a notion that someone else has professed. For example: Professor Horkins published his study regarding the importance of lower marginal tax rates in 1987, however, more recent, higher quality work has since undermined those conclusions.
Thanks a lot. That was quite a relief.

Considering the point u raised, I understand that such structural markers indicate a change in POV( often one of them will be of AUTHOR). On such occassions, I usually check how the POV is related to the main point.

However when these structural markers indicate a change in FACTS, do I have to understand the implications/Inferences from such change?
Generally, I have seen that descriptive passages that lacks an explicit main idea have their main idea dependent upon these factual changes.

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DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:26 am
imskpwr wrote:
DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
Yeah, that appears to be a reasonable understanding of how passages on the GMAT operate. It's also helpful to be primed to recognize that certain structural markers indicate that the author is about to present her own opinion, which will often contradict a notion that someone else has professed. For example: Professor Horkins published his study regarding the importance of lower marginal tax rates in 1987, however, more recent, higher quality work has since undermined those conclusions.
Thanks a lot. That was quite a relief.

Considering the point u raised, I understand that such structural markers indicate a change in POV( often one of them will be of AUTHOR). On such occassions, I usually check how the POV is related to the main point.

However when these structural markers indicate a change in FACTS, do I have to understand the implications/Inferences from such change?
Generally, I have seen that descriptive passages that lacks an explicit main idea have their main idea dependent upon these factual changes.
Typically, these passages will operated according to following structure/logic.

1) Traditionally, people believed 'x' was true.
2) However, recent studies have revealed 'y,' which contradicts x.'
3) An explanation for the above.

This is all to say that you're right - it's crucial to understand the impact it has on the passage when a long-accepted hypothesis (or perceived fact) is overturned. And paragraph 3 could go a number of ways. It's possible that the explanation will somehow reconcile the two hypotheses so that they merely appear to contradict each other, but are complementary in a surprising way. But it's also possible that the explanation will reveal additional evidence substantiating claim 'y.' Mostly, you want to be able to use transitions and structural clues to develop an intuitive sense of when the thrust of the passage shifts, and then be prepared for a variety of potential interpretations of what the shifts mean in terms of the passage's main idea.

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