CARS 108 Section 1 Q30

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CARS 108 Section 1 Q30

Postby Lionroar » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:40 am

Hello. For question 30, I don't understand why C is correct and B isn't. Even if Gaine's early work focused on the individual, the author's main idea is that as a whole, his works (probably including later works) reflect the African tradition. I don't see a contradiction there. On the other hand, the beginning of the passage states explicitly that "Olney's discussion of two distinct forms of autobiography is useful to distinguish between Hemingway's and Gaines's writings". To suggest that Gaines was "heavily influenced" by Hemingway, as B suggests, would contradict the above statement of "two distinct forms". In any event, it's no less of a contradiction than what C suggests.
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Re: CARS 108 Section 1 Q30

Postby NS_Tutor_Andrew » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:23 pm

Hi Lionroar,

As usual, great question! I absolutely see your point, and I think that this question is actually a very good illustration of CARS-like reasoning. For a question like this, you're looking for the answer choice that most directly contradicts the words on the page, with an absolute minimum of additional reasoning or hypotheticals. The passage simply states that "Gaines's works can be seen as representing a more African notion of autobiography," with no indication that this statement focuses primarily on his later works or that we have any wiggle room to account for his early works as being distinct from his later works. C contradicts this fairly directly. On the other hand, although B certainly doesn't seem in the spirit of what the author seems to be saying, "writing" is a very generic term (does this refer to style? content? we really don't know) and there's not a single place in the text we can point to so directly to say "here's a contradiction!" (I see what you're saying about that statement in paragraph 1, but distinguishing between two authors' writing doesn't mean they couldn't have influenced each other).

To summarize: keep your thought process short, keep it direct, keep it focused on the words on the page.

In general, be careful about going out on a limb of your own reasoning. Even the "reasoning beyond the text" questions generally only expect you to take one leap beyond what the text gives you, not embark on an extended thought process. I often like to frame this advice as not being "too smart for CARS." Unlike literature classes, CARS doesn't inherently reward you for having insightful thoughts or asking open-ended questions. Instead, you have to play the game. This means recognizing that by definition, the question writer must think that one answer choice is right and the others are wrong for reasons that can be explicitly written out, and your job is to reverse-engineer that process. In order to do so, you have to get a feel for the kind of reasoning they like to reward, and I think this question does a fairly good job of indicating that.

Hope this helps, and please feel free to follow-up!
Andrew D.
Content Manager, Next Step Test Prep.

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