GED Social Studies : Inferences About the Author

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Text Analysis

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

Albania is a relatively small country in southeastern Europe; however, the people who live there believe their country should be much larger. They contend that the countries of Kosovo, Macedonia, and parts of Northern Greece all belong to the larger territory of Greater Albania. This suggests potentially destructive conflicts in the near future. After all, Serbia also claims Kosovo as part of it’s territory; Kosovo generally favors close relations with Albania, but believes itself to be an independent country; Macedonians think of themselves as closer to Greece than Albania, and Greeks certainly would resist any territorial incursions. Of course, this is not a part of the world unfamiliar with the convulsions of war. Perhaps the only saving grace is that the people of Albania consider themselves as averse to conquest. They generally believe they are a defensive nation, an opinion reinforced by history, concerned with protecting what they have and unwilling to take land from others.

The author of this passage is primarily concerned that __________

Possible Answers:

conflict might break out between Albania and it’s neighbors.

Albania will have to fight once again to defend itself from it’s neighbors.

Albanian territorial claims are being ignored by the international community.

the people of Kosovo are threatened by Serbia and Albania.

peace in Albania is untenable.

Correct answer:

conflict might break out between Albania and it’s neighbors.

Explanation:

The author of this passage is primarily worried about conflict breaking out between Albania and it’s neighbors over Albanian claims to the territory of other nations. The author notes that “they contend that the countries of Kosovo, Macedonia, and parts of Northern Greece all belong to the larger territory of Greater Albania. This suggests potentially destructive conflicts in the near future.” The author also seems concerned that the people of Kosovo might be threatened by Serbia and Albania, but this is not the author’s primary concern.

Example Question #32 : Text Analysis

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

On Christmas Day 1914, during the early stages of World War One, the British and German soldiers on either side of no man’s land apparently put down their weapons and walked over to greet one another. Gifts were exchanged, beer was drunk, and at one location a game of football was organized. The incident is now famous in British history and is often reflected on as a sign of our universal humanity. Yet at the time many of those involved were disciplined by their higher officers. Apparently, seeing the enemy as a human being was considered detrimental to the war effort.

The author’s attitude towards the “higher officers” is most likely one of __________

Possible Answers:

contempt.

understanding.

affection.

pride.

shame.

Correct answer:

contempt.

Explanation:

The author of this passage notes that those involved in the Christmas Day Truce were disciplined by their higher officers. The author then states that "apparently, seeing the enemy as a human being was considered detrimental to the war effort." Here you must use inference to try to determine the author’s attitude. He seems to be deriding the higher officers for disciplining soldiers for treating their enemies like human beings. The use of the word "apparently" also suggests a certain degree of anger or contempt.

Example Question #3 : Making Connections

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

The religion of Christianity began as a religion of suffering, pity, and forgiveness. This was Christ’s dominant message: the majority of people live to suffer, and we must take pity on those who are suffering and forgive those who cause it. Thus Christianity, by its basic tenets, was not meant as a religion of power. It was a religion for the powerless, the common man. It was meant to provide meaning to suffering and to give a form of power (power over one's own emotions) to the powerless.

For the first few hundred years after Christ’s death, Christianity lived up to this message. It was widely embraced by the common people around the western world, in particular the Roman Empire, and by and large they were persecuted for it. This was the whole point: you will suffer for me and I will reward you when I return. As generations went by and Christ failed to return, the message was violently corrupted. Constantine the Great, a Roman Emperor in the fourth century, adopted Christianity as the official religion of his army and later of his empire. In doing so, he took Christianity from a fringe religion, with a growing flock of dedicated believers, to the official religion of the world’s largest empire. In so doing he also militarized the cross. He took the religion of Christianity away from suffering, pity, and forgiveness and imbued it with qualities that were never supposed to be there: dominance over your enemies; power; warfare; wealth. This would have untold consequences for the history of the western world and the history of the Christian faith. No longer did its believers have to cower in fear of their enemies, but also no longer were they truly adhering to the teachings of Christ.

How would the author of this passage feel about the Crusades of the Medieval period?

Possible Answers:

The author would feel ashamed of the Crusades and would believe it was a great mystery that such a thing could ever be sanctioned by a Christian ruler.

It is impossible to say given the evidence at hand.

The author would offer his unconditional support for the Crusades.

The author would find them a violation of Christ’s teachings, but in-keeping with the manipulation of Christianity by those in power.

The author would support the intentions of the Crusades, but would likely decry the means as a corruption of Christ’s message.

Correct answer:

The author would find them a violation of Christ’s teachings, but in-keeping with the manipulation of Christianity by those in power.

Explanation:

The author of this passage is clearly focused on how the message of Christianity has been corrupted throughout history by those in power. You likely know that the Crusades were a series of religious wars waged by the Christian nations of Europe to try and retake the Holy Land (Jerusalem) from the Islamic Empires that held it at the time. The author would therefore see the Crusades as a violation of Christ’s teachings and something to be ashamed of, but he would not see them as a great mystery, as he goes to great lengths to explain the manipulation of Christianity by those in power.

Example Question #1 : Inferences About The Author

The following question refers to the information contained in this passage.

The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the United States. The roles of the Federal Reserve include regulating the monetary policy and supply, preventing financial panics, and supervising banking institutions. The Federal Reserve was created early in the twentieth century primarily in response to the frequent financial panics that would cripple the U.S. economy, most prominent of which was the Panic of 1907. The powers of the Federal Reserve have expanded throughout the years, usually in response to other financial disasters like the Great Depression. Recent evidence suggests the Federal Reserve is essentially powerless to prevent the destabilizing force that is our boom and bust economy.

With which of these statements about the Federal Reserve would the author most likely agree?

Possible Answers:

The American economic system offers numerous benefits

The Federal Reserve has little power over preventing economic recessions

The Federal Reserve has been successful at preventing financial panic

The creation of the Federal Reserve was a mistake

The Federal Reserve should be reformed

Correct answer:

The Federal Reserve has little power over preventing economic recessions

Explanation:

The author of this passage notes towards the end of the passage that "recent evidence suggests the Federal Reserve is essentially powerless to prevent the destabilizing force that is our boom and bust economy." The author does not suggest that the creation of the Federal Reserve was necessarily a mistake or that it needs to be reformed. He simply feels that the Federal Reserve has little power to prevent economic recessions. From the author’s comment about the boom and bust nature of the economy, he would likely contend that the economy needs to be reformed, not the Federal Reserve.

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