GRE Verbal : Argument in Single-Answer Questions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Single Answer Questions

Baseball, Then and Now, by Will Floyd

The twenty-first-century baseball fan would hardly recognize the nineteenth-century version of the national pastime. The massive stadiums, pristine uniforms, and even most articles of equipment integral to the modern game were all unfamiliar to players in the late-nineteenth-century.

The current number of balls and strikes that each batter is allowed was not settled until the 1890s. Fielding gloves were not utilized until the 1880s. Players could even call for a high or low pitch as recently as 1900. The biggest misconception about nineteenth-century baseball from a modern point-of-view is assuming all pitching was done the way it is now. In fact, until 1893 pitchers operated out of a box a mere 45 feet away. The short distance was no problem, as the original rules for pitching required an underhand motion. As athletes have done for centuries, pitchers of the nineteenth century figured out ways to throw harder and circumvent the rules. Eventually, pitchers were taking a running start from 45 feet away and throwing overhand. Baseball players and administrators quickly realized that such pitching was a safety hazard at 45 feet, and it creates a tedious game in which no one could score. Baseball pushed the pitcher back to sixty feet and six inches, introduced the pitcher’s mound, and the slab the pitcher must be rooted to, pushing baseball closer to its modern form. These changes in baseball’s early years made the game the treasured sport it is today.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

throwing overhand from 45 feet and getting a running start is a dangerous way to pitch

nineteenth-century baseball would be a very odd thing to see for a modern baseball fan

nineteenth-century baseball and modern baseball are extremely different games

nineteenth-century baseball was a worthless game

nineteenth-century baseball needed to figure out its rules to continue to prosper

Correct answer:

nineteenth-century baseball was a worthless game

Explanation:

The author largely celebrates nineteenth-century baseball and its various attempts to change the rules to make a better game. This means the correct answer will most likely have a negative view of nineteenth-century baseball. The best choice is "nineteenth-century baseball was a worthless game."

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

Fact and Representation by Will Floyd

Professional wrestling is frequently criticized because of its unreality. For the wrestlers, promoters, and fans who love professional wrestling, the very fact that professional wrestling is “fake” is central to their love of wrestling. This love finds its home in the concept of “kayfabe.” Kayfabe is the fabricated world of wrestling, covering every element of its storytelling, from the outlandish characters to bitter feuds, even to the specific politics about which wrestler will become champion.

Throughout the twentieth century, kayfabe was a closely guarded secret held only by those who were in the know about a wrestling company. Wrestlers could not appear out of character at any moment they were in public, for fear this revelation would give away the secrets of the wrestling promotion. A good guy wrestler could never even socialize with a bad guy wrestler, for fear that fans would see enemies together. While still quite fake, this strict adherence to the created world issued an air of believability for wrestling’s biggest fans. In recent years, wrestling’s curtain of believability has been torn apart, as the internet has allowed many personal details about wrestlers to come to light. Nonetheless, many wrestling fans still only refer to their heroes by their created names, understanding them through their invented personalities.

The author would agree with the statement that __________

Possible Answers:

kayfabe has been completely and utterly destroyed by the internet

professional wrestling is a silly enterprise that should no longer exist.

kayfabe is only appreciated by wrestling fans not clever enough to understand they are being deceived.

professional wrestlers are liars who never let anyone know their real names or histories.

kayfabe is the key element of professional wrestling's appeal.

Correct answer:

kayfabe is the key element of professional wrestling's appeal.

Explanation:

The author repeatedly praises the concept of "kayfabe" and the role it plays in professional wrestling. The correct answer choice will need to reflect this positive approach from the author. Of the choices, only "kayfabe is the key element of professional wrestling's appeal" is the only one with such a tone.

Example Question #21 : Argument In Single Answer Questions

Adapted from "Ramblings in Cheapside" by Samuel Butler (1890)

Walking the other day in Cheapside I saw some turtles in Mr. Sweeting’s window, and was tempted to stay and look at them. As I did so I was struck not more by the defenses with which they were hedged about, than by the fatuousness of trying to hedge that in at all which, if hedged thoroughly, must die of its own defensefulness. The holes for the head and feet through which the turtle leaks out, as it were, on to the exterior world, and through which it again absorbs the exterior world into itself—"catching on” through them to things that are thus both turtle and not turtle at one and the same time—these holes stultify the armor, and show it to have been designed by a creature with more of faithfulness to a fixed idea, and hence one-sidedness, than of that quick sense of relative importance and their changes, which is the main factor of good living.

The turtle obviously had no sense of proportion; it differed so widely from myself that I could not comprehend it; and as this word occurred to me, it occurred also that until my body comprehended its body in a physical material sense, neither would my mind be able to comprehend its mind with any thoroughness. For unity of mind can only be consummated by unity of body; everything, therefore, must be in some respects both knave and fool to all that which has not eaten it, or by which it has not been eaten. As long as the turtle was in the window and I in the street outside, there was no chance of our comprehending one another.

The passage assumes all EXCEPT which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The reader has an understanding of how stores operate.

None of the other answers.

The reader understands how a turtle can hide in its shell.

The reader has looked through a store window before.

The reader has never encountered a turtle.

Correct answer:

The reader has never encountered a turtle.

Explanation:

The opening sentence makes passing reference to stores and shop windows, indicating the reader should understand these concepts. Also, while turtles, or at least a turtle, are described in great detail, the general conversation assumes a great deal of knowledge about turtles.

Example Question #122 : Gre Verbal Reasoning

"Developments in Understanding Ancient Greek Art" by Will Floyd

Most people imagine stark white temples and plain marble statues as the ideal of ancient Greek art. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the ancient Greeks lavished their statues, sculptures, and buildings with bright colors. The common misconception of plainly adorned Hellenic art can be blamed on the ancient Greeks’ biggest proponents in history. Enlightenment-era classicists eagerly visited ancient ruins in the eighteenth century and saw artifacts that had been weathered to plain white stone through decades of neglect. By the time nineteenth-century archaeologists found proof that the Parthenon and images of the Gods were meant to be in vivid hues, eminent scholars in Europe refused to countenance that pure white marble was not antiquity’s aesthetic paradigm. Widespread acknowledgement of the ancient Greeks’ adoration of bright colors only came in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as scientific tests proved ancient statuary and buildings had once been covered in polychrome paint.

The author would agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

polychrome paint is an unnecessary element of Greek art

ancient Greek art was not popular in its own time

the ancient Greeks were derivative artists

the ancient Greeks had a particular aesthetic sense

ancient Greek art has no value to the modern world

Correct answer:

the ancient Greeks had a particular aesthetic sense

Explanation:

The entire passage is about a debate regarding how ancient Greeks made and saw their own art. To have such a debate demonstrates that ancient Greeks had a particular aesthetic sense, and that they usually stick to it.

Example Question #291 : Comprehension

Adapted from Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy By the President by Joshua Reynolds (1778)

All the objects which are exhibited to our view by nature, upon close examination will be found to have their blemishes and defects. The most beautiful forms have something about them like weakness, minuteness, or imperfection. But it is not every eye that perceives these blemishes. It must be an eye long used to the contemplation and comparison of these forms—and which, by a long habit of observing what any set of objects of the same kind have in common, that alone can acquire the power of discerning what each wants in particular. This long laborious comparison should be the first study of the painter who aims at the greatest style. By this means, he acquires a just idea of beautiful forms; he corrects nature by herself, her imperfect state by her more perfect. His eye being enabled to distinguish the accidental deficiencies, excrescences, and deformities of things from their general figures, he makes out an abstract idea of their forms more perfect than any one original—and what may seem a paradox, he learns to design naturally by drawing his figures unlike to any one object. This idea of the perfect state of nature, which the artist calls the ideal beauty, is the great leading principle by which works of genius are conducted. By this, Phidias acquired his fame. He wrought upon a sober principle what has so much excited the enthusiasm of the world—and by this method you, who have courage to tread the same path, may acquire equal reputation.

The author's view of artistic ability is best described as __________.

Possible Answers:

equal in all who possess it

unable to replicate objects in nature

useless to humanity

only worthwhile for the the naturally gifted to study

able to be improved through study

Correct answer:

able to be improved through study

Explanation:

The entire passage is essentially a piece of advice to artists, regarding the study of objects in nature. Above all, the passage is predicated on the notion that artistic ability can and should be improved through careful study.

Example Question #11 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

"Developments in Understanding Ancient Greek Art" by Will Floyd

Most people imagine stark white temples and plain marble statues as the ideal of ancient Greek art. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the ancient Greeks lavished their statues, sculptures, and buildings with bright colors. The common misconception of plainly adorned Hellenic art can be blamed on the ancient Greeks’ biggest proponents in history. Enlightenment-era classicists eagerly visited ancient ruins in the eighteenth century and saw artifacts that had been weathered to plain white stone through decades of neglect. By the time nineteenth-century archaeologists found proof that the Parthenon and images of the Gods were meant to be in vivid hues, eminent scholars in Europe refused to countenance that pure white marble was not antiquity’s aesthetic paradigm. Widespread acknowledgement of the ancient Greeks’ adoration of bright colors only came in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as scientific tests proved ancient statuary and buildings had once been covered in polychrome paint.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

polychrome painting was a key element of ancient Greek art

most ancient Greek art was first seen as plain white stone by most modern people

the ancient Greeks made use of a variety of artistic media

Enlightenment-era classicists greatly appreciated the ancient Greeks

ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments

Correct answer:

ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments

Explanation:

The author celebrates the achievements of the ancient Greeks in the realm of art. Every answer choice reflects this attitude except "ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments."

Example Question #81 : Reading Comprehension

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author does NOT believe __________.

Possible Answers:

Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity

Irish Christianity was free from the problems of Roman Christianity

Irish Christianity developed in its own manner

the Irish accepted Christianity as part of their traditions

Roman Christianity was full of superstition

Correct answer:

Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity

Explanation:

The author shows a clear disdain for all aspects of Roman Christianity, saying that it features "extreme ignorance and misapprehension." The statement "Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity" is the only answer choice the author would disagree with.

Example Question #12 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author views Roman faith as __________.

Possible Answers:

misguided but harmless

flawed and corrupted

problematic but worthwhile

just and righteous

egalitarian and fair

Correct answer:

flawed and corrupted

Explanation:

The author decries the "many corruptions and superstitions" of Roman Christianity. This note in the final sentence reinforces the general tone of the author towards Roman beliefs, present throughout the entire passage.

Example Question #12 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author would agree that __________.

Possible Answers:

the Greek missionaries converted the Irish to Christianity

the avatar of Vishnu and Krishna should be worshipped

Irish religion is full of corruptions and superstitions

the Romans had a superior religious faith

the Irish never needed Roman religion

Correct answer:

the Irish never needed Roman religion

Explanation:

The author repeatedly criticizes Roman beliefs while praising the Irish approach to religion. The "corruptions," "superstitions," and "misapprehensions" attributed to the Romans indicate that the author believes their faith was unnecessary in Ireland.

Example Question #31 : Drawing Conclusions

"A Short History of Recent Zoos" by Will Floyd

Throughout the twentieth century, zoos underwent large-scale transformations. Before World War I, zoos were small parts of larger municipal parks, and featured sparse cages with little room for their inhabitants. This model held sway until mid-century, with many zoos struggling to remain open during the Great Depression and World War II. The successful zoos survived through making themselves cheap family entertainment. In the 1960s, zoos began to change in drastic ways. With the growing strength of environmental and animal rights movements, the public clamored for more naturalistic and spacious environments in which the animals could live.

The most emblematic of these transformations was the development of the Los Angeles Zoo. In 1966, the cramped and antiquated zoo used grants from the city government to move to a brand-new facility. Although the zoo moved just two miles away, the new location was exponentially bigger, and it featured fresh landscapes that resembled the animals’ natural habitats, instead of dilapidated cages. As the Los Angeles Zoo developed, it was able to work on preservation and conservation efforts for endangered species. New educational programs also became key elements of the Zoo’s mission. Now the old Zoo’s cages stand as ruins and reminders of what past generations saw when they visited years ago.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

zoos do important preservation and conservation work

zoos provide excellent educational opportunities

animals in zoos need plenty of space in their habitats

the new model of zoos is preferrable to the old one

zoos have become useless tools of the animal rights movement

Correct answer:

zoos have become useless tools of the animal rights movement

Explanation:

Above all, the author is critical of the early-twentieth-century model of zoos and applauds all of the efforts zoos undertake currently. Also, the author only mentions the animal rights movement in a positive manner.

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