IMAT 2011 Q37 [Conclusion | Legal Documents]

The general public cannot understand laws and legal documents unless they are written in clear and simple language. Therefore, the traditional style in which laws and legal documents are written must change. Citizens in a democracy must be able to understand what their legal rights and duties are.

Which one of the following best expresses the conclusion of this argument?

A. There must be a change in the style in which laws and legal documents are written.

B. It is necessary in a democracy for citizens to know their legal rights and duties.

C. Many laws and legal documents are written in old-fashioned and complicated language.

D. The general public can fully understand only those laws and documents written in simple language.

E. If citizens can understand laws and legal documents, they will be able to play their proper role in a democracy.

Steps to help solve the question:

  1. Read the Question (Every question)
  2. Go through the text and underline evidence
  3. Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  1. Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”

First we can go through the text and identify the main ideas. We are first presented with a problem, that the general public cannot understand the laws and legal documents unless in simple language. Next, we are presented with a solution, which is to change the laws and documents. Finally, we are presented with the “why”, which is because citizens need to be able to understand their legal rights and duties.

The argument here is arguing why we need to change the legal documents. Now that we have done some analysis, let’s break down our answer choices.

A This is what the solution is to our argument. It is what the author has formulated as an appropriate response to this problem. The text uses the fact that there is a need for citizens to be able to understand their rights as evidence to support this as the conclusion. This evidence explains why the author believes we need to change legal language. Therefore A is the correct answer.

B This is stated in the text as evidence to back up the conclusion. Why is this evidence and not the conclusion? Because this statement is not formulated by the author in order to solve the problem at hand. Instead of providing a “how”, it provides a “why”. If this was not stated in the text, it would be an assumption we need to reinforce the conclusion, however if the actual conclusion was not present, then this answer would not prove anything as it is a supporting statement only. Therefore B is not the correct answer.

C This is not a conclusion but rather a statement or a fact. This is what the passage opens with, there is no contributing opinion from the author in this sentence, because it is nothing but a fact. Therefore it cannot be the correct answer.

D This is similar to the first sentence in the text, and it is not a conclusion. This statement is used to introduce a problem, it is part of the problem. The problem is that the laws are written in complicated language but the public can only understand when they are basic and clear. The author’s opinion on how to solve this problem will be the conclusion. Therefore D cannot be the correct answer.

E This statement is an assumption. The first part is directly stated in the text, but we have to assume that with this knowledge they will be able to play their proper role in a democracy. Because the author does not formulate this idea or directly lead us to it, this is not the conclusion. Therefore E is not the answer.