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# GRE RC Strategy #1 [Deconstructing Passages-I]

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GRE RC Strategy #1 [Deconstructing Passages-I] [#permalink]  21 Sep 2014, 05:18
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Deconstructing Passages - I

In this module, or this lesson, I've given us a relatively short passage, and you will, of course, get relatively short passages on the GRE. But for the longer passages, this technique applies as well. The basic 3 techniques are-

1. Read Actively
2. Read for General meaning.
3. Create a Structure in your head.

The idea is we want to read actively, and by read actively, I mean we want to get involved in the passage. We want to know what's going to happen or want to know really what's going to happen next. What is it going to talk about, this passage? And we go from sentence to sentence and when we read actively, we're also creating this--of course, we're reading for general meaning--but we're creating this structure in our heads. That's the key word for reading actively here, not just stringing sentence upon sentence, word upon word, trying to get to the end. You're actually reading for a general meaning, and in the process, creating a structure in your head.
So those are the three important things to keep in mind. Now, let's actually take a look the passage.

Passage

For any new story to get told, there has to be an opening, a sudden tectonic jarring of a discipline's conventional wisdom. Thomas Kuhn described this critical moment with now much weathered phrase "Paradigm Shift". Its the precise moment of tilt between an old world view and a new one. And that's where we are now in the sub-discipline of ancient American archaeology, poised between those two views held (as always) by moss backed conservative traditionalists on one side and young agitated revolutionaries on the other.

Analysis

1st Sentence "For any new story to get told, there has to be an opening, a sudden tectonic jarring of a discipline's conventional wisdom."You go, "OK, there's a challenge to the common wisdom of something", and for a new theory to kind of challenge the conventional wisdom or the current theory, there has to be a sudden shaking here of this current view. It has to be challenged. All of a sudden, people say, "Wait a second. Maybe the conventional view is not correct." Of course, you don't want to use so many words to do so, but that's the gist of it.

2nd & 3rd Sentence "Thomas Kuhn described this critical moment with the now much weathered phrase, "paradigm shift"".So, when conventional wisdom here is jarred, challenged by a new story, we call this a paradigm shift. That's all that sentence does, and then it goes on. Elaborates here, "It's the precise moment of the tilt." You go from one way of looking at the world to a new way, a new theory, a new story coming out of, or going, against this old world view.So again, we need this old world view to be challenged. That's where we are now. So it comes basically this passage in the first part is dealing with, what is a paradigm shift? What's happening? How is the new story relating to the old story? There comes the 4th sentence as a specific example-

4th Sentence Now, we have a specific example. "And that's where we are now in the sub-discipline ancient American archaeology, poised between those views held (as always) by the conservatives and on one side." So this would be the conventionalism, and then the agitated revolutionaries are the ones with the new story.

Hopefully, they're shaking the conventional wisdom so people will start listening to their story. So when you get to the end here, you just want to be able to summarize that in your head. OK, it's about something called a paradigm shift, when there's a new story or new world view challenging the old one, and the example here is in ancient American archaeology.
With that, again, that doesn't take very long, you are better equipped to answer any question on this passage.

Question

According to the passage, the author of the passage regards the current debate in ancient-American archaeology to be one in which
A) a compromise is imminent.
B) both sides have reached an impasse.
C) the conventional view is now challenged.
D) archaeology will be forever changed.
E) the traditionalists will be proven wrong

OK, so we know it's one in which there's a paradigm shift happening. There is a new story challenging the old story. A compromise is imminent. Let's look at A. Imminent means, about to happen. A compromise is both sides agree on something.

They say, "OK, you both have a point. We both have a point." And that's definitely not what's going on here. We have this tilt, this paradigm shift, between the old view and the new view; that is, the new view is challenging the old view.

B both sides have reached an impasse. This is where there is no agreement. They're sort of banging heads together. So that's not the case. Again, there's movement, there's a tilt. C, the conventional view is being challenged.

And here, we have an answer that very much matches up with the answer that we came up with. That is, the new view is challenging the old view. When the old view is challenged in such a way, this is called the paradigm shift.

D, archaeology will be forever changed. You notice that word, 'forever'. It's very strong. It's an extreme answer choice that we want to avoid. Archaeology maybe change or will probably or likely change. Even that's a little bit of a stretch. But this forever, this extreme line, is definitely wrong.

Finally, E, the traditionalists will be proven wrong. Do we know that based on the passage? Does it say that? All we know is that the old theory, the traditionalist theory, is being challenged. We don't know if it will ultimately be proven wrong.

And just like that, there we have the answer.
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GRE RC Strategy #1 [Deconstructing Passages-I]   [#permalink] 21 Sep 2014, 05:18
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# GRE RC Strategy #1 [Deconstructing Passages-I]

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