How to Identify a Subsidiary Conclusion on the LSAT
A subsidiary conclusion is the second part of a premise-conclusion statement.
A premise-conclusion statement is a specific type of logical reasoning and the LSAT tests how quickly test-takers identify this particular structure.
The premise-conclusion structure is: “Premise one, conclusion two.” The first part (premise) is an assumption that you are given in order to access what’s on the other side (the conclusion).
When it comes to identifying a subsidiary conclusion on the LSAT, there are some tell-tale signs that will tip you off. These include:
1) A statement in which one of the propositions is “necessarily true,”
2) The use of words such as “both,” “neither,” or “no” when referring to two or more choices, and
3) When a sentence begins with words such as “given that” or “since.”
An example of a premise-conclusion statement is: “If I get in this car, then we’ll be late. Therefore (conclusion), let’s take the subway instead.”
Another example of a premise-conclusion statement is: “The government should increase taxes. This will allow them to pay for health care, education, and other services.”
The conclusion is how you are supposed to arrive at a certain inference from an assumption given by the premise.
It may seem as though you should just take both parts together, but that isn’t how to read it on the LSAT. You have to separate them and treat each one individually. In order to do that, you must identify the conclusion of one sentence.
The right way to answer the question is to first identify how you should arrive at the conclusion. Then, once identifying how we should do it, ask yourself if that makes sense given what has been stated in the premise.
This process can be applied to all other types of questions on the LSAT.