If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:6:14

Identify the conclusion | Video lesson

Video transcript

- [Instructor] This questions asks us, which one of the following most accurately expresses the conclusion drawn in the argument above? So we're looking at a task of identifying the conclusion. That means that the answer will be the main conclusion of the argument, and the other four choices will be a claim that either doesn't exist in the argument or does exist but it's the evidence or background instead of the main conclusion. Go ahead and pause your video now if you'd like to try this question on your own, otherwise let's move on to the explanation. Okay, let's read the stimulus together. Don't concentrate on the details or analyzing what the arguer is saying. I want you to just try to decide whether each claim is supporting something else or whether the claim is being supported. The passage reads, it is a given that to be an intriguing person, one must be able to inspire the perpetual curiosity of others. Constantly broadening one's abilities and extending one's intellectual reach will enable one to inspire that curiosity. For such a perpetual expansion of one's mind makes it impossible to be fully comprehended, making one a constant mystery to others. This is in what we might consider light reading. It's fairly abstract and that can be distracting on test day. Hopefully you were able to look for structural signals and other clues instead of really digging into what the meaning of it all is. Let's look at some signals together. The first sentence starts with the words, it is a given that. Well, that's probably not gonna be our conclusion, because if something is a given, then that's not an opinion that someone is trying to argue for. Even if you don't agree that what the arguer is saying is a given, the fact that the arguer sees it as a given means that that's not the thing he's trying to prove. It's more like background or context for what he is about to say. So our given is that you need to inspire other people's curiosity if you want to be intriguing. Great. Now, what's the function of the next sentence? It tells us a way that you'll be able to inspire that curiosity. Now this is more interesting to us, because we're being given a method of doing something. It's almost like a recommendation. And then we hit a gold mine on our last sentence, because it starts with the word for. The word for is used a lot in writing to mean because. Or in this case it really means that's because. Well, that's a strong strong indicator that this sentence supports the previous sentence, because it explains why something is the case. So we feel very certain that the first claim is context, that the third sentence is evidence, and that the second sentence is a borderline recommendation. It must be then that that second sentence is our main conclusion. The other claims in the passage support that second sentence. And the second sentence doesn't support or explain anything else. And that's the very definition of a main conclusion. And that means we have a specific prediction to head in to the choices with. You should expect to have a specific prediction every time you tackle and identify the conclusion question type. Alright, A reads, to be an intriguing person, one must be able to inspire the perpetual curiosity of others. Well, that matches the first claim in the passage, which we already said was context since we're told that it's a given. We can quickly eliminate this choice. B tells us that constantly broadening one's abilities and extending one's intellectual reach will allow us to inspire the perpetual curiosity of others. That's a match for the second claim, which we said was our main conclusion. So on test day we'll be done with this question and very happy to take our point and run. Just briefly for the remaining choices, C says if one's mind becomes impossible to fully comprehend, one will always be a mystery to others. That's part of the third claim, which we know is evidence because we notice that it starts with a signal word for. D is to inspire the perpetual curiosity of others, one must constantly broaden one's abilities and extend one's intellectual reach. Well, I'm glad that we would have picked B and stopped on test day, because this choice has a lot of the right words. It's in the wrong structure, but it's tempting nonetheless. This choice tells us that it's necessary to broaden your abilities and extend your intellectual reach. But the passage tells us that broadening abilities and extending reach are sufficient. See that phrase, will enable? That indicates sufficiency. This choice has must, which indicates necessity. It's so important to not just look for words, but to also see the structure of what's presented to you. Finally, E starts out great with, if one constantly broadens one's abilities and extends one's intellectual reach, that's a perfect match for the first half of the conclusion. Unfortunately the choice ends with, one will always have curiosity. And that's not what the passage says. The passage's conclusion is that these things will enable you to inspire the perpetual curiosity of others. Not to have curiosity yourself. So to recap, for identify the conclusion questions, you need to determine which claim is the one being supported by the other claims in the passage, and make sure that it doesn't also support any other claims. Sometimes you can save time if you just throw out everything that you know is evidence or context, and then you're left with the conclusion. Notice that here we didn't have any nice conclusion words like therefore or thus. But we did have good evidence and context signal words, so we were still able to see which claim is the one that represents what the arguer is trying to prove.