IMAT 2012 Q9 [Conclusion |Shower Gel]

Shower gel is now used much more than soap when people take a shower. This is unfortunate. Shower gel requires much more packaging which means more rubbish. There is also a tendency for people to use more of it when washing in comparison with soap. Therefore more natural resources are consumed in the manufacturing process than would be if people used only soap. So, the trend towards shower gel is bad for the environment. This is because it creates more problems of waste disposal and uses up more resources than soap. We should make people more aware of the environmental impact of such simple decisions.

Which one of the following is an expression of the main conclusion of the above argument?

A. The increased popularity of shower gel is bad for the environment.
B. It is unfortunate that shower gel has become more popular than soap.
C. People should be made more aware of the environmental consequences of choosing shower gel.
D. The use of shower gel increases the problems of waste disposal.
E. The manufacture of shower gel is more wasteful of natural resources.

Key Steps

  1. Read the question (do this every question!)
  2. Read the passage
  3. In your own words, make a conclusion for the passage. What is the author’s main idea?
  4. Find a sentence in the text that matches the conclusion you made, and underline it.
  • Keep an eye out for giveaway words and phrases
  1. Find an answer that matches the underlined sentence.

There is quite a strong opinion by the author here, and we can quickly figure out that they are against the use of shower gel over soap due to the environmental impact. The evidence is based on package waste, amount consumed (per shower), and the manufacturing process. We can formulate our own conclusion based off these facts: Choosing shower gel over soap can have great environmental consequences. Now that we have this loosely stated conclusion, we can go back to the text and match it with the final sentence, which says that people should be more conscious of the environmental impact of these simple decisions (refering to soap choice as an example of a simple decision).

Now let’s examine our answers:

A This is a fact proven by the author in the text, but it is not the take home message. What the author wants to leave the reader with is the final statement in the text: to be more aware of the environmental impact of such simple decisions. No one can debate whether or not the increase popularity in shower gel is bad for the environment, instead we need to make sure people are more aware of this, because the author wants change (which will only come from more people knowing). Therefore A is not the answer.

B This is not the conclusion because it is the opinion of the author. He introduces this statement and then goes on to explain why using different evidences that show us why shower gel is worse than soap. He then offers a solution at the end, which is the actual conclusion. Therefore this option just introduces the opinion of the author and the problem, without concluding and providing a solution. B is not correct.

C This is the correct answer because it is what the author wants to leave the reader with. He uses different examples and arguments all to try and have the reader question the environmental impact of simple decisions such as soap choice. Therefore C is the correct answer.

D Note that D and E are the same concept and are not correct for the same reasons. This is just evidence used to help prove the authors argument. Therefore D is incorrect.

E This is an example used by the author in the text. Although it likely true, it is just a statement that the author has used to prove other opinions. Therefore E is not the correct answer.