In this topic, students are presented with a paragraph and are asked to identify conclusions / assumptions / supporting or weakening arguments. There are four main components of a paragraph – premise and conclusion which are stated in the paragraph and assumptions and inferences which are unstated but implied by the paragraph.
Premise: Premise are the facts stated in the paragraph. Conclusions are drawn on the basis of the facts stated. For eg., Amit is the most deserving candidate for promotion because he has been in this company for the longest time. Here the premise is “Amit has been in the company for the longest time” on which the conclusion that he deserves the promotion is based.
Assumption: An assumption is not explicitly stated in a paragraph but it is necessary to arrive at conclusion. For eg, “All men are mortal, therefore Socrates is also mortal” In this sentence, the premise is all men are mortal and the conclusion is that Socrates is also a mortal. But to arrive at this conclusion, it is necessary to assume that Socrates is a man, even though it is not stated in the paragraph.
Conclusion: A conclusion is explicitly stated in the paragraph. For example, consider the sentence “Amit is the most deserving candidate for promotion because he has been in this company for the longest time”. Here the conclusion is “Amit is the most deserving candidate”.
Inference: Inference is a conclusion that is not explicitly stated in the paragraph but one that can be arrived at using the information in the paragraph.
Argument: An argument is a statement or group of statements which are not stated in a paragraph and which strengthen or weaken the conclusions, i.e a supporting argument supports the conclusion while a weakening argument contradicts the conclusion.
Statement: According to a survey conducted by a magazine Pulse, College XYZ ranked best among all the MBA institutes in the country. Which of the following statements substantiates the fact expressed in the above statement?
a) A large number of students of College XYZ find better placement after completing their course.
b) There are many institutes which have better infrastructure than the College XYZ
c) The rate of enrolment in the College XYZ has come down in the recent years.
d) Majority of the institutes have contradicted the finding of the magazine Pulse.
e) None of these
Statements in options b), c) and d) negate the findings of the survey. The statement in option a) says that a large number of students find good placements after graduating from college XYZ. So option ‘a’ strengths the finding of the survey. So, option a) is the correct answer.