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GMAT Critical Reasoning Bold Faced & Finding Structure: 7 BB Technique

GMAT Critical Reasoning Bold FacedThe structure of an argument in GMAT Critical reasoning comes in two forms: Bold Faced and Summary. In Bold Faced question type, the parts of the arguments that the test taker should focus are marked in Bold Font, while for the Summary, the test creators will ask how the argument is structured – whether the author starts with supporting evidences followed by a conclusion, a supporting premise, followed by a contradicting evidence, and finally a conclusion. The permutation and combinations are many. Before you read the answer choices, you have to understand the essential and non-essential elements of a compelling argument.

At its basic level, an argument has a Premise, Assumption, and a Conclusion, but when the question is about the structure of the argument, assumptions are never part of the answer choice. It is the one ‘invisible’ element. What we have are seven building blocks, not all of them mandatory but most of them will be part of one permutation or the other.

1) Primary Evidence/Premise (Mandatory)

2) Primary Evidence not Relevant to the Argument (Optional)

3) Primary Evidence weakening the Conclusion (Optional)

4) Secondary Evidence/Supporting Facts (Optional)

5) Secondary Evidence not Relevant to the Argument (Optional)

6) Secondary Evidence weakening the Conclusion (Optional)

7) Conclusion (Mandatory)


Example: The Activist investor, Ron Burkle bought 9.8 million shares when he saw the stock price of Whole Foods fall by 11%. With 7% of the stock under his control, Ron went on to set terms for the board with suggestions to increase short-term earnings by slowing growth initiatives. With the board firmly supporting CEO/Chairman Mackey, the company pursued its strategy of faster growth with short-term sacrifices. However, Mackey had to step down as the Chairman, and the following year, share the responsibilities of the CEO position with Walter Robb. The strategy remained the same, and Whole Food’s grew its revenue by 50% in just four years, with the Earning per Share tripling in the same period. The stocks saw 750% increase in value. Activist intervention has its short-term value but in the long-term CEOs and Board Members who have a long-term stake in the future of the company knows what is best.

1) Primary Evidence/Premise

If you want to identify a primary evidence or premise, read the conclusion first, and then scan through other sentences in the argument, and see which one of them is required for the statement to be true.

Conclusion: Activist intervention has its short-term value but in the long-term CEOs and Board Members who have a long-term stake in the future of the company knows what is best.

Rephrase (Conclusion): Activist intervention is based on short-term value but for sustained growth the expertise of CEOs and Board Members who have a long-term stake in the future, knows what is best.

Which sentence will support the conclusion?

Primary Evidence/Premise (Mandatory):
The strategy remained the same, and Whole Food’s grew its revenue by 50% in just four years, with the Earning per Share tripling in the same period. The stocks saw 750% increase in value.

By not conceding to Ron Burkle’s suggestions, the company grew its revenue by 50% in just four years from its 11% loss. More importantly, the increase in the value of the stock is mentioned in the next sentence, which is the focus of the contention between activist investors and long-term well-wishers of the company.

Now let us categorize the argument to the remaining 6 building blocks....

GMAT CR Bold Faced
Q) The Activist investor, Ron Burkle bought 9.8 million shares when he saw the stock price of Whole Foods fall by 11%. With 7% of the stock under his control, Ron went on to set terms for the board with suggestions to increase short-term earnings by slowing growth initiatives. With the board firmly supporting CEO/Chairman Mackey, the company pursued its strategy of faster growth with short-term sacrifices. However, Mackey had to step down as the Chairman, and the following year, share the responsibilities of the CEO position with Walter Robb. The strategy remained the same, and Whole Food’s grew its revenue by 50% in just four years, with the Earning per Share tripling in the same period. The stocks saw 750% increase in value. Activist intervention has its short-term value but in the long-term CEOs and Board Members who have a long-term stake in the future of the company knows what is best.

What role do the two boldfaced sections play in the above argument?

A. The first interprets the evidence that supports the conclusion; the second is the conclusion.
B. The first is the evidence that supports the conclusion; the second is the evidence that weakens the conclusion
C. The first is an evidence that supports the .....
D. The first is ....
E.  The first is the main....



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