LSAT Reading : Recognizing Details of Humanities Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for LSAT Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from The Prince by Nicholas Machiavelli (1513; trans. Marriott, 1908)

A prince ought to have no other aim or thought nor select anything else for his study than war and its rules and discipline, for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules. The first cause of your losing a state is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art. Francesco Sforza, through being martial, from a private person became Duke of Milan, and the sons, through avoiding the hardships and troubles of arms, from dukes became private persons. For among other evils that being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on.

Concerning Things for Which Men, and Especially Princes, are Blamed

It remains now to see what ought to be the rules of conduct for a prince toward subject and friends. And as I know that many have written on this point, I expect I shall be considered presumptuous in mentioning it again, especially as in discussing it I shall depart from the methods of other people. But it being my intention to write a thing which shall be useful to him who apprehends it, it appears to me more appropriate to follow up the real truth of the matter than the imagination of it; for many have pictured republics and principalities that in fact have never been known or seen because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.

Hence, it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity. All men when they are spoken of, and chiefly princes for being more highly placed, are remarkable for some of those qualities that bring them either blame or praise; and thus it is that one is reputed liberal, another miserly; one is reputed generous, one rapacious; one cruel, one compassionate; one faithless, another faithful. And I know that everyone will confess that it would be most praiseworthy in a prince to exhibit all the above qualities that are considered good, but because they can neither be entirely possessed nor observed, for human conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him to be sufficiently prudent that he may know how to avoid the reproach of those vices that would lose him his state.

Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to be Loved than Feared

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed, they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant, but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined, because men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

According to the author, why is it better to be feared than to be loved?

Possible Answers:

A ruler who is feared carries the weight of punishment with every commandment he makes, whereas a rule who rules through love is subject to the will and resolve of the common man.

A ruler who is beloved by his subjects has their allegiance only when it is convenient, whereas a ruler who rules through fear can command allegiance at all times. 

A ruler who is beloved is likely to be betrayed by his subjects when it suits them, for man’s nature is self-serving. 

None of these answers. 

All of these answers. 

Correct answer:

All of these answers. 

Explanation:

Evidence to support all of these answer choices can be found in this passage, particularly in its final section. The author states, amongst other things, that “men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage" and finally “fear preserved you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”

Example Question #22 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from “The History of Freedom in Antiquity” in The History of Freedom and Other Essays by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (1900)

Liberty, next to religion, has been the motive of good deeds and the common pretext of crime from the sowing of the seed at Athens, two thousand four hundred and sixty years ago, until the ripened harvest was gathered by people of our time. It is the delicate fruit of a mature civilization, and scarcely a century has passed since nations that knew the meaning of the term resolved to be free. In every age its progress has been beset by its natural enemies, by ignorance and superstition, by lust of conquest and by love of ease, by the craving for power. During long intervals it has been utterly arrested, when nations were being rescued from the grasp of strangers and when the perpetual struggle for existence, depriving people of all interest and understanding in politics, has made them eager to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, and ignorant of the treasure they resigned. At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities who have prevailed by associating themselves with auxiliaries whose objects often differed from their own. This association, which is always dangerous, has been sometimes disastrous, by giving to opponents just grounds of opposition, and by kindling dispute over the spoils in the hour of success. No obstacle has been so constant, or so difficult to overcome, as uncertainty and confusion touching the nature of true liberty. If hostile interests have wrought much injury, false ideas have wrought still more, and its advance is recorded in the increase of knowledge as much as in the improvement of laws. The history of institutions is often a history of deception and illusions, for their virtue depends on the ideas that produce and on the spirit that preserves them, and the form may remain unaltered when the substance has passed away.

By liberty I mean the assurance that every person shall be protected in doing what he or she believes to be his or her duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion. The state is competent to assign duties and draw the line between good and evil only in its immediate sphere. Beyond the limits of things necessary for its well-being, it can only give indirect help to fight the battle of life by promoting the influences which prevail against temptation—religion, education, and the distribution of wealth. In ancient times, the state absorbed authorities not its own, and intruded on the domain of personal freedom. In the Middle Ages it possessed too little authority, and suffered others to intrude. Modern states fall habitually into both excesses.

The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities. Liberty, by this definition, is the essential condition and guardian of religion, and it is in the history of the Israelites that the first illustrations of my subject are obtained. The government of the Israelites was a federation, held together by no political authority, but by the unity of heritage and faith, and founded, not on physical force, but on a voluntary covenant. The principle of self-government was carried out not only in each tribe, but in every group of at least one hundred and twenty families; and there was neither privilege of rank nor inequality before the law. Thus the example of the Hebrew nation laid down the parallel lines on which all freedom has been won—the doctrine of national tradition and the doctrine of the higher law, and the principle that a constitution grows from a root, by process of development, and not of essential change. The operation of these principles, in unison, or in antagonism, occupies the whole of the space that constitutes freedom.

Which of these is NOT part of the author’s argument in the second paragraph?

Possible Answers:

An explanation of the author’s definition of freedom

A description of the inequities of the state in the Middle Ages

The limits that ought to be placed on the power of the state

A brief statement on the importance of religion in the pursuit of freedom

An affirmation of the accomplishments of the modern state

Correct answer:

An affirmation of the accomplishments of the modern state

Explanation:

The author explains his definition of freedom in the opening line of the second paragraph when he says, “By liberty I mean the assurance that every person shall be protected in doing what he or she believes to be his or her duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.” The author also explains the limits he believes ought to be placed on the power of the state when he says, “The state is competent to assign duties and draw the line between good and evil only in its immediate sphere.” He gives a brief statement on the importance of religion immediately after when he names religion as one of the influences that ought to be promoted by the state. And, finally, he suggests that the state in the Middle Ages suffered from severe lack of strength, and in doing so "suffered others to intrude.” The only piece of information not included in the author’s argument is “An affirmation of the accomplishments of the modern state.” Instead, the author seems to suggest that the modern state, too, remains deficient and unable to fully fulfill its duties.

Example Question #23 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from The Prince by Nicholas Machiavelli (1513; trans. Marriott, 1908)

A prince ought to have no other aim or thought nor select anything else for his study than war and its rules and discipline, for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules. The first cause of your losing a state is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art. Francesco Sforza, through being martial, from a private person became Duke of Milan, and the sons, through avoiding the hardships and troubles of arms, from dukes became private persons. For among other evils that being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on.

Concerning Things for Which Men, and Especially Princes, are Blamed

It remains now to see what ought to be the rules of conduct for a prince toward subject and friends. And as I know that many have written on this point, I expect I shall be considered presumptuous in mentioning it again, especially as in discussing it I shall depart from the methods of other people. But it being my intention to write a thing which shall be useful to him who apprehends it, it appears to me more appropriate to follow up the real truth of the matter than the imagination of it; for many have pictured republics and principalities that in fact have never been known or seen because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.

Hence, it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity. All men when they are spoken of, and chiefly princes for being more highly placed, are remarkable for some of those qualities that bring them either blame or praise; and thus it is that one is reputed liberal, another miserly; one is reputed generous, one rapacious; one cruel, one compassionate; one faithless, another faithful. And I know that everyone will confess that it would be most praiseworthy in a prince to exhibit all the above qualities that are considered good, but because they can neither be entirely possessed nor observed, for human conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him to be sufficiently prudent that he may know how to avoid the reproach of those vices that would lose him his state.

Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to be Loved than Feared

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed, they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant, but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined, because men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

The aside about Francesco Sforza and his sons tells us that __________.

Possible Answers:

Sforza could never have won his kingdom without the help of his two sons.

Sforza was born into power and was able to hold it through an appreciation of the art of warfare, but his sons were born without the same appreciation and so lost what had been in the family for generations.

His sons were not interested in the art of ruling and wished to return to private life.

Sforza won his power through warfare and his sons lost that power through ignoring the study of warfare.

His sons were capable military leaders, but were terrible leaders during peacetime.

Correct answer:

Sforza won his power through warfare and his sons lost that power through ignoring the study of warfare.

Explanation:

The author introduces a brief story about Francesco Sforza's rise to power in order to reinforce his argument that the study of warfare is crucial to the maintenance of power. He says, “Francesco Sforza, though being martial, from a private person became Duke of Milan; and the sons, through avoiding the hardships and troubles of arms, from dukes became private persons.” Sforza studied warfare and so gained power for himself, but his sons ignored the study of warfare and so lost power.

Example Question #24 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from The Diary Of Samuel Pepys (1893) by Samuel Pepys.

September 1st. Up and at the office all the morning, and then dined at home. Got my new closet made mighty clean against to-morrow. Sir W. Pen and my wife and Mercer and I to "Polichinelly," but were there horribly frighted to see Young Killigrew come in with a great many more young sparks; but we hid ourselves, so as we think they did not see us. By and by, they went away, and then we were at rest again; and so, the play being done, we to Islington, and there eat and drank and mighty merry; and so home singing, and, after a letter or two at the office, to bed.

2nd (Lord's day). Some of our maids sitting up late last night to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her window, and thought it to be on the backside of Marke-lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. So to my closet to set things to rights after yesterdays cleaning. By and by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish-street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J. Robinson's little son going up with me; and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge; which, among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King's baker's' house in Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned St. Magnus's Church and most part of Fish-street already. So I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running further, that in a very little time it got as far as the Steeleyard, while I was there. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another. And among other things, the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loath to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconies till they were, some of them burned, their wings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an hour's time seen the fire: rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as far as the Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high and driving it into the City; and everything, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the very stones of churches, and among other things the poor steeple by which pretty Mrs.————lives, and whereof my old school-fellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, an there burned till it fell down: I to White Hall (with a gentleman with me who desired to go off from the Tower, to see the fire, in my boat); to White Hall, and there up to the Kings house in the Chappell, where people come about me, and did give them an account dismayed them all, and word was carried in to the King. So I was called for, and did tell the King and Duke of Yorke what I saw, and that unless his Majesty did command houses to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire. They seemed much troubled, and the King commanded me to go to my Lord Mayor—[Sir Thomas Bludworth.]—from him, and command him to spare no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way. The Duke of York bid me tell him that if he would have any more soldiers he shall; and so did my Lord Arlington afterwards, as a great secret.

Here meeting, with Captain Cocke, I in his coach, which he lent me, and Creed with me to Paul's, and there walked along Watlingstreet, as well as I could, every creature coming away laden with goods to save, and here and there sick people carried away in beds. Extraordinary good goods carried in carts and on backs. At last met my Lord Mayor in Canningstreet, like a man spent, with a handkerchief about his neck. To the King's message he cried, like a fainting woman, "Lord! What can I do? I am spent: people will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses; but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it." That he needed no more soldiers; and that, for himself, he must go and refresh himself, having been up all night. So he left me, and I him, and walked home, seeing people all almost distracted, and no manner of means used to quench the fire. The houses, too, so very thick thereabouts, and full of matter for burning, as pitch and tar, in Thames-street; and warehouses of oil, and wines, and brandy, and other things. Here I saw Mr. Isaake Houblon, the handsome man, prettily dressed and dirty, at his door at Dowgate, receiving some of his brothers' things, whose houses were on fire; and, as he says, have been removed twice already; and he doubts (as it soon proved) that they must be in a little time removed from his house also, which was a sad consideration.

Which of the following is primarily mentioned in the passage as a possible consequence of people fleeing the fire?

Possible Answers:

Difficulty in putting out the fire.

Difficulty in reaching the blaze. 

Disobedience against authority.

Drowning in the river.

Irresponsibly waiting in houses until the fire reached them.

Correct answer:

Difficulty in reaching the blaze. 

Explanation:

All of these things can be inferred to be true but the most important is the blockage of roads which would make it difficult to reach the blaze. As the author says: “there walked along Watlingstreet, as well as I could, every creature coming away laden with goods to save, and here and there sick people carried away in beds. Extraordinary good goods carried in carts and on backs. At last met my Lord Mayor in Canningstreet”. The emphasis should be on the phrase “as well as I could” as it shows there was difficulty getting to the Mayor which in turn would lead to things like a difficulty in putting out the fire or disobedience against authority.  

Example Question #21 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from English Literature: Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World by William J. Long (1909)

Coleridge left Cambridge in 1794 without taking his degree, and presently we find him with the youthful Southey—a kindred spirit who had been fired to wild enthusiasm by the French Revolution—founding his famous Pantisocracy for the regeneration of human society. "The Fall of Robespierre," a poem composed by the two enthusiasts, is full of the new revolutionary spirit. The Pantisocracy was to be an ideal community that combined farming and literature; work was to be limited to two hours each day. Moreover, each member of the community was to marry a good woman and take her with him. The two poets obeyed the latter injunction first, marrying two sisters, and then found that they had no money to pay even their traveling expenses to the new utopia.

During all the rest of his career a tragic weakness of will takes possession of Coleridge, making it impossible for him, with all his genius and learning, to hold himself steadily to any one work or purpose. He studied in Germany; worked as a private secretary, till the drudgery wore upon his free spirit; then he went to Rome and remained for two years, lost in study. Later he started The Friend, a paper devoted to truth and liberty; lectured on poetry and the fine arts to enraptured audiences in London, until his frequent failures to meet his engagements scattered his hearers; was offered an excellent position and a half interest (amounting to some £2000) in the Morning Post and The Courier, but declined it, saying "that I would not give up the country and the lazy reading of old folios for two thousand times two thousand pounds—in short, that beyond £350 a year I considered money a real evil.” His family, meanwhile, was almost entirely neglected; he lived apart, following his own way. Needing money, he was on the point of becoming a Unitarian minister, when a small pension from two friends enabled him to live for a few years without regular employment.

A terrible shadow in Coleridge's life was the apparent cause of most of his dejection. In early life he suffered from neuralgia, and to ease the pain began to use opiates. The result on such a temperament was almost inevitable. He became a slave to the drug habit; his naturally weak will lost all its directing and sustaining force, until, after fifteen years of pain and struggle and despair, he gave up and put himself in charge of a physician, one Mr. Gillman of Highgate. Carlyle, who visited him at this time, calls him "a king of men," but records that "he gave you the idea of a life that had been full of sufferings, a life heavy-laden, half-vanquished."

The shadow is dark indeed; but there are gleams of sunshine that occasionally break through the clouds. One of these is his association with Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, out of which came the famous Lyrical Ballads of 1798. Another was his loyal devotion to poetry for its own sake. With the exception of his tragedy Remorse, for which he was paid £400, he received almost nothing for his poetry. Indeed, he seems not to have desired it; for he says: "Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has soothed my afflictions; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude, and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me." One can better understand his exquisite verse after such a declaration. A third ray of sunlight came from the admiration of his contemporaries; for though he wrote comparatively little, he was by his talents and learning a leader among literary men. Wordsworth says of him that, though other men of the age had done some wonderful things, Coleridge was the only wonderful man he had ever known. Of his conversation it is recorded: "Throughout a long-drawn summer's day would this man talk to you in low, equable but clear and musical tones, concerning things human and divine; marshaling all history, harmonizing all experiment, probing the depths of your consciousness, and revealing visions of glory and terror to the imagination."

Which of the following is mentioned by the passage as a possible consequence of the French Revolution?

Possible Answers:

The development of Coleridge's early radical views

The descent of France into anarchy

The development of ideas that would later be included in Lyrical Ballads

Coleridge and Southey's friendship

The reform of Western society

Correct answer:

The development of Coleridge's early radical views

Explanation:

Of the statements provided as answer choices, there is only one that is supported by the text. This is "the development of Coleridge's early radical views." We cannot say that Southey and Coleridge became friends because of the French Revolution as that much is not stated by the text. Likewise, we may know it to be true that the French Revolution caused reforms in Western society and that France descended into anarchy for a time, but these points are not mentioned by the text.

Example Question #22 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from a work by Oscar Wilde in Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde (1914)

Art begins with abstract decoration, with purely imaginative and pleasurable work dealing with what is unreal and non-existent. This is the first stage. Then Life becomes fascinated with this new wonder, and asks to be admitted into the charmed circle. Art takes Life as part of her rough material, recreates it, and refashions it in fresh forms, is absolutely indifferent to fact, invents, imagines, dreams, and keeps between herself and reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of decorative or ideal treatment. The third stage is when Life gets the upper hand, and drives Art out into the wilderness. That is the true decadence, and it is from this that we are now suffering.

Take the case of the English drama. At first in the hands of the monks Dramatic Art was abstract, decorative, and mythological. Then she enlisted Life in her service, and using some of life’s external forms, she created an entirely new race of beings, whose sorrows were more terrible than any sorrow man has ever felt, whose joys were keener than lover’s joys, who had the rage of the Titans and the calm of the gods, who had monstrous and marvelous sins, monstrous and marvelous virtues. To them she gave a language different from that of actual use, a language full of resonant music and sweet rhythm, made stately by solemn cadence, or made delicate by fanciful rhyme, jeweled with wonderful words, and enriched with lofty diction. She clothed her children in strange raiment and gave them masks, and at her bidding the antique world rose from its marble tomb. A new Cæsar stalked through the streets of risen Rome, and with purple sail and flute-led oars another Cleopatra passed up the river to Antioch. Old myth and legend and dream took shape and substance. History was entirely re-written, and there was hardly one of the dramatists who did not recognize that the object of Art is not simple truth but complex beauty. In this they were perfectly right. Art itself is really a form of exaggeration; and selection, which is the very spirit of art, is nothing more than an intensified mode of overemphasis.

But Life soon shattered the perfection of the form. Even in Shakespeare we can see the beginning of the end. It shows itself by the gradual breaking-up of the blank-verse in the later plays, by the predominance given to prose, and by the over-importance assigned to characterization. The passages in Shakespeare—and they are many—where the language is uncouth, vulgar, exaggerated, fantastic, obscene even, are entirely due to Life calling for an echo of her own voice, and rejecting the intervention of beautiful style, through which alone should life be suffered to find expression. Shakespeare is not by any means a flawless artist. He is too fond of going directly to Life, and borrowing Life’s natural utterance. He forgets that when Art surrenders her imaginative medium she surrenders everything.

The author’s primary issue with the underlined “entirely new race of beings” is that __________.

Possible Answers:

They willingly sacrifice their intellect and their reason for their passions.

They are forced to suffer under the tyranny of artistic imitation.

They have become so obsessed with accurate representation of life that they have completely forgotten how to be artists.

They experience emotions with a zenith and nadir that are above and below the range of standard human feelings.

They are overly concerned with including life in the process of art, which ought to be abstract and removed.

Correct answer:

They experience emotions with a zenith and nadir that are above and below the range of standard human feelings.

Explanation:

When discussing this “entirely new race of beings,” the author laments that these characters created by the inclusion of life in art experience highs and lows that are unrealistic and inhuman. “At first, in the hands of the monks, Dramatic Art was abstract, decorative, and mythological. Then she enlisted Life in her service, and using some of life’s external forms, she created an entirely new race of beings, whose sorrows were more terrible than any sorrow man has ever felt, whose joys were keener than lover’s joys, who had the rage of the Titans and the calm of the gods, who had monstrous and marvelous sins, monstrous and marvelous virtues.” They experience “sorrows more terrible than any sorrow man has ever felt,” and “had the rage of the Titans and the calm of the gods.” This indicates that the author believes that this “entirely new race of beings” experiences emotions far removed from the standard human experience.

Example Question #1 : Business Passages

While hotels have traditionally held a firm grip on the market of vacation-goers, the emergence of companies fostering short-term rentals are dramatically changing the landscape of the travel industry. Before the advent of the modern online forum, short-term rentals were an arrangement limited by sheer logistics. Information about the availability of (and desire for) a short-term rental was difficult to transmit and share. However, with the current explosion of social media and cyber enterprise, the business model of short-term rentals has blossomed.

In 2011, 40% of travelers reported that they would be staying in a short-term rental during the year, as opposed to a traditional hotel. By 2013, this figure had jumped up to a staggering 49%. The short-term rental business is a $24 billion market, holding 8% of the total market of U.S. travel. Rapidly expanding and growing with the innovations of creative renters, the question that hangs in the air is what this means for communities. Short-term rentals have had a polarizing effect in many ways, becoming a source of joy for venturists and cause of dismay for many homeowners.

In recent news, there have been incredible scandals in which short-term renters have abused the property loaned to them, causing thousands of dollars' worth of property damage. Other accusations include disturbing the peace and the commission of criminal acts. Homeowners' Associations (HOAs) have been up in arms, and the legal backlash has been significant. New York enacted firm restrictions on short-term renters, and many HOAs now embed limits on the purposes that a space may be used for, barring short-term rentals.

However, this reaction is an over-reaction, and a detrimental one at that. Cities and towns that set hard limits against short-term rentals are halting the economic growth that would otherwise accompany them. Vacationers are likely to be deterred from venturing out to towns that have banned more affordable short-term rentals. While some vacationers might opt to stay at a hotel in desirable locations, as the short-term rental industry continues to grow, it will become more and more likely that vacation-goers will simply choose alternative destinations that actually allow for short-term rentals.

This is not to say, however, that short-term rentals should be completely unregulated. The key is imposing useful regulations that are mutually beneficial to both communities and to the proprietors of short-term rentals. One potential solution would be to impose reasonable taxes on visitors that use short-term rentals; having requirements for minimum stays could also ensure more consistency for the communities. This also has the added benefit of generating income for towns and cities. There is no reason why communities should see the short-term rental industry as an adversary, when it can just as easily be made into an ally.

Which of the following most likely explains why Homeowners' Associations do not tend to support short-term rentals?

Possible Answers:

Homeowners' Associations see short-term rentals as being competition for the market of vacationers. 

Homeowners' Associations, as a general policy, have always looked down upon short-term rentals because they are unsanitary. 

Short-term rentals, due to the transitory nature of their inhabitants, can make the members of a community feel uncomfortable, thereby negatively impacting the Homeowners' Association. 

Short-term rentals directly confer extra fees on Homeowners' Associations.

Short-term rentals do not confer a benefit on the Homeowners' Association that is comparable to that conferred on the proprietor of a short-term rental. 

Correct answer:

Short-term rentals, due to the transitory nature of their inhabitants, can make the members of a community feel uncomfortable, thereby negatively impacting the Homeowners' Association. 

Explanation:

The best answer is "Short-term rentals, due to the transitory nature of their inhabitants, can make the members of a community feel uncomfortable, thereby negatively impacting the Homeowners' Association." Given that the patrons of short-term rentals are constantly coming and going, the nature of short-term rentals can upset members of a Homeowners' Association, who usually strive for consistency and stability. 

While short-term rentals may be competition for hotels, there is no evidence that they are competition for Homeowners' Associations. Therefore, this answer choice is wrong: "Homeowners' Associations see short-term rentals as being competition for the market of vacationers."

The fact that short-term rentals experience success would not be an upsetting factor for Homeowners' Associations. Therefore, this answer choice is wrong: "Short-term rentals do not confer a benefit on the Homeowners' Association that is comparable to that conferred on the proprietor of a short-term rental."

There is no evidence in the passage to support either "Short-term rentals directly confer extra fees on Homeowners' Associations" or "Homeowners' Associations, as a general policy, have always looked down upon short-term rentals because they are unsanitary."

Example Question #26 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from Rough Riders (1899) By Theodore Roosevelt

Up to the last moment we were spending every ounce of energy we had in getting the regiment into shape. Fortunately, there were a good many vacancies among the officers, as the original number of 780 men was increased to 1,000; so that two companies were organized entirely anew. This gave the chance to promote some first-rate men.

One of the most useful members of the regiment was Dr. Robb Church, formerly a Princeton football player. He was appointed as Assistant Surgeon, but acted throughout almost all the Cuban campaign as the Regimental Surgeon. It was Dr. Church who first gave me an idea of Bucky O'Neill's versatility, for I happened to overhear them discussing Aryan word roots together, and then sliding off into a review of the novels of Balzac, and a discussion as to how far Balzac could be said to be the founder of the modern realistic school of fiction. Church had led almost as varied a life as Bucky himself, his career including incidents as far apart as exploring and elk hunting in the Olympic Mountains, cooking in a lumber camp, and serving as doctor on an emigrant ship.

Woodbury Kane was given a commission, and also Horace Devereux, of Princeton. Kane was older than the other college men who entered in the ranks; and as he had the same good qualities to start with, this resulted in his ultimately becoming perhaps the most useful soldier in the regiment. He escaped wounds and serious sickness, and was able to serve through every day of the regiment's existence.

Two of the men who made Second Lieutenants by promotion from the ranks while in San Antonio were John Greenway, a noted Yale football player and catcher on her baseball nine, and David Goodrich, for two years captain of the Harvard crew. They were young men, Goodrich having only just graduated; while Greenway, whose father had served with honor in the Confederate Army, had been out of Yale three or four years. They were natural soldiers, and it would be well nigh impossible to overestimate the amount of good they did the regiment. They were strapping fellows, entirely fearless, modest, and quiet. Their only thought was how to perfect themselves in their own duties, and how to take care of the men under them, so as to bring them to the highest point of soldierly perfection. I grew steadily to rely upon them, as men who could be counted upon with absolute certainty, not only in every emergency, but in all routine work. They were never so tired as not to respond with eagerness to the slightest suggestion of doing something new, whether it was dangerous or merely difficult and laborious. They not merely did their duty, but were always on the watch to find out some new duty which they could construe to be theirs. Whether it was policing camp, or keeping guard, or preventing straggling on the march, or procuring food for the men, or seeing that they took care of themselves in camp, or performing some feat of unusual hazard in the fight—no call was ever made upon them to which they did not respond with eager thankfulness for being given the chance to answer it. Later on I worked them as hard as I knew how, and the regiment will always be their debtor.

Greenway was from Arkansas. We could have filled up the whole regiment many times over from the South Atlantic and Gulf States alone, but were only able to accept a very few applicants. One of them was John McIlhenny, of Louisiana; a planter and manufacturer, a big-game hunter and book-lover, who could have had a commission in the Louisiana troops, but who preferred to go as a trooper in the Rough Riders because he believed we would surely see fighting. He could have commanded any influence, social or political, he wished; but he never asked a favor of any kind. He went into one of the New Mexican troops, and by his high qualities and zealous attention to duty speedily rose to a sergeantcy, and finally won his lieutenancy for gallantry in action.

The tone of the officers' mess was very high. Everyone seemed to realize that he had undertaken most serious work. They all earnestly wished for a chance to distinguish themselves, and fully appreciated that they ran the risk not merely of death, but of what was infinitely worse—namely, failure at the crisis to perform duty well; and they strove earnestly so to train themselves, and the men under them, as to minimize the possibility of such disgrace. Every officer and every man was taught continually to look forward to the day of battle eagerly, but with an entire sense of the drain that would then be made upon his endurance and resolution. They were also taught that, before the battle came, the rigorous performance of the countless irksome duties of the camp and the march was demanded from all alike, and that no excuse would be tolerated for failure to perform duty. Very few of the men had gone into the regiment lightly, and the fact that they did their duty so well may be largely attributed to the seriousness with which these eager, adventurous young fellows approached their work. This seriousness, and a certain simple manliness which accompanied it, had one very pleasant side. During our entire time of service, I never heard in the officers' mess a foul story or a foul word; and though there was occasional hard swearing in moments of emergency, even this was the exception.

Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a possible consequence of one officer being more mature yet holding the same attributes as the younger men?

Possible Answers:

Being extremely valuable and avoiding becoming an invalid. 

A greater sense of fraternity between the soldiers.

Being looked up to by the younger soldiers.

A faster training output as the older man could keep up.

Animosity towards said officer for trying to fit in.

Correct answer:

Being extremely valuable and avoiding becoming an invalid. 

Explanation:

The author is talking about Kane and says: “Kane was older than the other college men who entered in the ranks; and as he had the same good qualities to start with, this resulted in his ultimately becoming perhaps the most useful soldier in the regiment. He escaped wounds and serious sickness, and was able to serve through every day of the regiment's existence.” So his youthful spirit yet advancement in years meant he became an indispensable soldier who escaped becoming sick or wounded.

Example Question #271 : Analyzing Humanities Passages

Adapted from Rough Riders (1899) By Theodore Roosevelt

Up to the last moment we were spending every ounce of energy we had in getting the regiment into shape. Fortunately, there were a good many vacancies among the officers, as the original number of 780 men was increased to 1,000; so that two companies were organized entirely anew. This gave the chance to promote some first-rate men.

One of the most useful members of the regiment was Dr. Robb Church, formerly a Princeton football player. He was appointed as Assistant Surgeon, but acted throughout almost all the Cuban campaign as the Regimental Surgeon. It was Dr. Church who first gave me an idea of Bucky O'Neill's versatility, for I happened to overhear them discussing Aryan word roots together, and then sliding off into a review of the novels of Balzac, and a discussion as to how far Balzac could be said to be the founder of the modern realistic school of fiction. Church had led almost as varied a life as Bucky himself, his career including incidents as far apart as exploring and elk hunting in the Olympic Mountains, cooking in a lumber camp, and serving as doctor on an emigrant ship.

Woodbury Kane was given a commission, and also Horace Devereux, of Princeton. Kane was older than the other college men who entered in the ranks; and as he had the same good qualities to start with, this resulted in his ultimately becoming perhaps the most useful soldier in the regiment. He escaped wounds and serious sickness, and was able to serve through every day of the regiment's existence.

Two of the men who made Second Lieutenants by promotion from the ranks while in San Antonio were John Greenway, a noted Yale football player and catcher on her baseball nine, and David Goodrich, for two years captain of the Harvard crew. They were young men, Goodrich having only just graduated; while Greenway, whose father had served with honor in the Confederate Army, had been out of Yale three or four years. They were natural soldiers, and it would be well nigh impossible to overestimate the amount of good they did the regiment. They were strapping fellows, entirely fearless, modest, and quiet. Their only thought was how to perfect themselves in their own duties, and how to take care of the men under them, so as to bring them to the highest point of soldierly perfection. I grew steadily to rely upon them, as men who could be counted upon with absolute certainty, not only in every emergency, but in all routine work. They were never so tired as not to respond with eagerness to the slightest suggestion of doing something new, whether it was dangerous or merely difficult and laborious. They not merely did their duty, but were always on the watch to find out some new duty which they could construe to be theirs. Whether it was policing camp, or keeping guard, or preventing straggling on the march, or procuring food for the men, or seeing that they took care of themselves in camp, or performing some feat of unusual hazard in the fight—no call was ever made upon them to which they did not respond with eager thankfulness for being given the chance to answer it. Later on I worked them as hard as I knew how, and the regiment will always be their debtor.

Greenway was from Arkansas. We could have filled up the whole regiment many times over from the South Atlantic and Gulf States alone, but were only able to accept a very few applicants. One of them was John McIlhenny, of Louisiana; a planter and manufacturer, a big-game hunter and book-lover, who could have had a commission in the Louisiana troops, but who preferred to go as a trooper in the Rough Riders because he believed we would surely see fighting. He could have commanded any influence, social or political, he wished; but he never asked a favor of any kind. He went into one of the New Mexican troops, and by his high qualities and zealous attention to duty speedily rose to a sergeantcy, and finally won his lieutenancy for gallantry in action.

The tone of the officers' mess was very high. Everyone seemed to realize that he had undertaken most serious work. They all earnestly wished for a chance to distinguish themselves, and fully appreciated that they ran the risk not merely of death, but of what was infinitely worse—namely, failure at the crisis to perform duty well; and they strove earnestly so to train themselves, and the men under them, as to minimize the possibility of such disgrace. Every officer and every man was taught continually to look forward to the day of battle eagerly, but with an entire sense of the drain that would then be made upon his endurance and resolution. They were also taught that, before the battle came, the rigorous performance of the countless irksome duties of the camp and the march was demanded from all alike, and that no excuse would be tolerated for failure to perform duty. Very few of the men had gone into the regiment lightly, and the fact that they did their duty so well may be largely attributed to the seriousness with which these eager, adventurous young fellows approached their work. This seriousness, and a certain simple manliness which accompanied it, had one very pleasant side. During our entire time of service, I never heard in the officers' mess a foul story or a foul word; and though there was occasional hard swearing in moments of emergency, even this was the exception.

Which one of the following is mentioned in the passage as a possible consequence of the selection of officers?

Possible Answers:

Only those who had proven themselves in numerous battles being in charge.

A misunderstanding of who was leading and who was following.

Very few soldiers of the lower classes in positions of authority.

Tumultuous use of foul language in the company.

A good system of command with little internal conflict. 

Correct answer:

A good system of command with little internal conflict. 

Explanation:

The author states at the end of the passage that: “This seriousness, and a certain simple manliness which accompanied it, had one very pleasant side. During our entire time of service, I never heard in the officers' mess a foul story or a foul word” or that as a result of the excellent choice of men for command there was little to no internal conflict or use of foul language between the officers. Granted a lot of the chosen men had proved themselves worthy of the position but this is a precursor to the cohesiveness of the company.

Example Question #28 : Recognizing Details Of Humanities Passages

Adapted from “Federalist No. 11” by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay (1788)

The importance of the Union, in a commercial light, is one of those points about which there is least room to entertain a difference of opinion, and which has commanded the most general assent of men who have any acquaintance with the subject. This applies as well to our intercourse with foreign countries as with each other.

There are appearances to authorize a supposition that the adventurous spirit, which distinguishes the commercial character of America, has already excited uneasy sensations in several of the maritime powers of Europe. They seem to be apprehensive of our too great interference in that carrying trade, which is the support of their navigation and the foundation of their naval strength. Those of them which have colonies foresee the dangers that may threaten their American dominions from the neighborhood of States, which have all the dispositions, and would possess all the means, requisite to the creation of a powerful marine. Impressions of this kind will naturally indicate the policy of fostering divisions among us and of depriving us of an active commerce in our own bottoms. This would answer the threefold purpose of preventing our interference in their navigation, of monopolizing the profits of our trade, and of clipping the wings by which we might soar to a dangerous greatness.

If we continue united, we may counteract a policy so unfriendly to our prosperity in a variety of ways. By prohibitory regulations extending throughout the States, we may oblige foreign countries to bid against each other for the privileges of our markets. This assertion will not appear chimerical to those who are able to appreciate the importance of the markets of three millions of people to any manufacturing nation, and the immense difference there would be to the trade and navigation of such a nation between a direct communication in its own ships and an indirect conveyance of its products and returns to and from America in the ships of another country. Suppose, for instance, we had a government in America capable of excluding Great Britain from all our ports; what would be the probable operation of this step upon her politics? Would it not enable us to negotiate, with the fairest prospect of success, for commercial privileges of the most valuable and extensive kind in the dominions of that kingdom? When these questions have been asked, upon other occasions, they have received a plausible, but not a solid or satisfactory answer. It has been said that prohibitions on our part would produce no change in the system of Britain, because she could prosecute her trade with us through the medium of the Dutch, who would be her immediate customers and paymasters for those articles which were wanted for the supply of our markets. But would not her navigation be materially injured by the loss of the important advantage of being her own carrier in that trade? Would not the principal part of its profits be intercepted by the Dutch, as a compensation for their agency and risk?

A mature consideration of the objects suggested by these questions will justify a belief that in such a state of things, our trade would derive the most substantial benefits. Such a point gained from the British government, and which could not be expected without an equivalent in exemptions and immunities in our markets, would be likely to have a correspondent effect on the conduct of other nations, who would not be inclined to see themselves altogether supplanted in our trade.

A further resource for influencing the conduct of European nations toward us, in this respect, would arise from the establishment of a federal navy. There can be no doubt that the continuance of the Union under an efficient government would soon put it in our power to create a navy which, if it could not vie with those of the great maritime powers, would at least be of respectable weight if thrown into the scale of either of two contending parties. This would be more peculiarly the case in relation to operations in the West Indies. Our position is, in this respect, a most commanding one. And if to this consideration we add that of the usefulness of supplies from this country in the prosecution of military operations in the West Indies, it will readily be perceived that a situation so favorable would enable us to bargain with great advantage for commercial privileges. A price would be set not only upon our friendship, but upon our neutrality. By a steady adherence to the Union we may hope, erelong, to become the arbiter of Europe in America, and to be able to incline the balance of European competitions in this part of the world as our interest may dictate.

In the underlined portion of the passage, the author is mostly expressing his belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

If the United States is to gain equal economic footing with Britain, we will have to offer certain exemptions to them that might seem to be against our best interests

once a concession on commerce has been gained from the British, the United States would be likely to see the other European nations following suit

the rise of the United States is inevitable, and the British would be best served by recognizing this and signing economic treaties with the United States before other European countries beat them to it

the United States, at this time, is not commercially viable as an independent and unified nation, but given time and confidence, this situation ought to develop

an economic agreement that favors the British might have the negative effect of encouraging the other European powers to trade with the British as an intermediary instead of trading with us directly

Correct answer:

once a concession on commerce has been gained from the British, the United States would be likely to see the other European nations following suit

Explanation:

Throughout this passage, the author is trying to convince his audience of the economic viability of an independent and united America. In the paragraph in which the underlined text is contained, the author is arguing that Britain are certain to realize the benefits of relaxing their limitations on trading with the United States and in doing so will provide America with a market to grow and flourish. The “point gained” from the British government that the author mentions is a concession on commerce, and when the author says it is likely to have a “correspondent effect on the conduct of other nations, who would not be inclined to see themselves altogether supplanted in our trade,” he is arguing that a concession from the British will encourage similar concessions from the other nations who would not wish to see American trade dominated by Britain. The overall point being America’s economic freedom and prosperity is bound to increase once the British realize the benefits of trading freely and responsibly with the United States.

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