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What do Flaw Questions look like?

Flaw questions ask you to identify an error in the reasoning of an argument.. Typically, this takes the form of a gap between the evidence and the conclusion, similar to Assumption, Strengthen, and Weaken questions. In Flaw Questions, however, the correct answer will be a description of the gap itself, rather than a fact that could help to widen or narrow that gap. For instance, I could argue that all stone fruits bloom in winter or early spring because my plum tree is blooming right now and it’s February. The gap is between what my plum tree is doing and what “all stone fruits” are doing. However, rather than looking for a fact like, “The apricot tree next door didn’t bloom until June,” we’re looking for a description of the gap. The correct answer will say something like, “The argument assumes that what’s true of one stone fruit must be true of all.”

Check out the post LSAT Logical Reasoning Flaw Questions for a more detailed overview of this question type and how to approach it, or visit our Logical Reasoning Library for tons of information on this section of the exam.

Below is a list of some of the common ways in which a Flaw question can be phrased. If you’ve seen one that isn’t on this list, please leave it in a comment so we can include it.

  • The argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it…
  • Which one of the following is an error in the argument’s reasoning?
  • A flaw in the reasoning of the argument is that…
  • A questionable technique used in the argument is that of…
  • The reasoning in the argument is misleading because it…
  • Which one of the following most accurately describes [some person]’s criticism of the argument made by [some other person]?

Most Flaw questions will contain the word “flaw,” “vulnerable,” “criticism,” or “questionable.” The last example is very difficult to recognize as a Flaw question. It is asking us to describe a criticism of an argument, and that is the essence of all Flaw questions. Normally, we have to find the Flaw on our own, but in this particular example, the flaw is right there in the text; all we have to do is properly identify it.With Flaw questions, you’ll always be describing the nature of an error, rather than identifying ways to address the error, as you are in Assumption, Strengthen, and Weaken questions.

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