Chapter 6 – LR – a piece ≠ the puzzle

    • May 20, 2016 at 7:49 am #1880

      Hi Mike,

      I have just recently started focusing more on LSAT and have started taking the LSAT seriously. I plan to give the exam on December 3, 2016. I am in the incompetent phase right now, having low confidence as well, so please don’t mind me asking this question. I know the question may sound absurd but it is more of a clarification. In the lsat trainer, you elaborated the category of a piece does not equal the puzzle, stating “to mistake a piece for the puzzle is to overreach in trying to justify a conclusion, using supporting evidence that may turn out to be just one part of a bigger picture.”

      I am trying to relate the term to the examples:

      “Sally is careful about what she eats, so she must be in great health.”

      “Ted is strong, so he must be good at football.”

      “Since the popular girls say I should get a haircut, I should get a haircut.”

      “Since the house is made of very small bricks, the house itself must be small.”

      “Since the restaurant is crowded for breakfast, it must be crowded all day.”

      “Bob has a fancy watch and drives a BMW. He must be rich.”

      The issue I am facing is, I could relate the explanation for the term with these examples. But to think of the term itself in relation to the examples, which part would be considered to be the puzzle? For example, in the Sally case, would the puzzle be considered as the overall good health? and the piece as Sally being careful of what she eats? To understand it in whole as to have a good health there is more than to just eating carefully.

      I am trying to understand, which part is the piece (is it the support?) and which part is the puzzle (is it the bigger picture?)? And why would you name the bigger picture as a puzzle? Either I am misunderstanding the concept when thinking of it in the term “a piece does not equal the puzzle,” or I am asking a totally stupid question.

      Please help!!


      Sandhya Reddy

    • May 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm #1886
      Mike Kim

      Hello Sandhya! –

      Nice to meet you online and I hope you are finding the Trainer helpful —

      I think I understand your concern — and if I had to guess — please forgive me if I am wrong — I believe you are perhaps someone who did not grow up learning English in the United States? — the reason I mention that is because the phrase has to do with an idiom that I now realize perhaps only people who grew up in America might be familiar with —

      So, my flaw title is a play on the term “piece of the puzzle,” which describes one part of a whole. The idiom comes from the playing of jigsaw puzzles, which are puzzles where different pieces are brought together to create a complete picture, known as the total puzzle.

      In each of these arguments, as you mentioned, the author is taking support about a part and reaching a conclusion about something more general.

      Does that clear it up? Sorry for any confusion that might have caused, and if you need anything else at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch —

      Mike Kim

    • May 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm #1905

      Hi Mike,

      Yeah I am from India. I now understand that the phrase was an idiomatic expression. Thanks for the clarification.



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