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Read For The Nuanced Conflict

Every text has a conflict

If you don't think there's a conflict, look again.

The conflict will not be a simple binary

Simple Binaries

  • A vs. B
  • Dogs are better than cats.
  • The proletariat must resist the oppression of the capitalists.

The LSAT favors nuance.

Nuanced conflicts

  • You cannot understand the evolution of anti-trust law without understanding neoliberalism.
  • Torts and Contracts are functionally the same area of law.
  • Although judges claim to be neutral, ideology predicts the outcome of cases more reliably than precedent.

To understand the conflict, you should understand both the...

  1. content and
  2. degree of the disagreement.

Know what the author believes, know what they're against, and know how strongly they're against it.

Read for the why

Most LSAT texts come from academia and high-end journalism. Academics and high-end journalists write because they believe they have some new and brilliant insight.

There's always a reason they wrote this text. As you read, pause to ask yourself: "Why did they write this?"

Every word was included for a reason. Use your understanding of the author's purpose to contextualize the details. Use the why to understand the whats.

Some useful clues

Clue How to find it What it shows
Thesis sentence End of paragraph 1 / beginning of paragraph 2. Overall purpose
Pivots "but", "yet", "however", "although" Conflict
Topic sentences First (or second) sentence in a paragraph Purpose of that paragraph
Strong language "must," "no," "cannot," "should," "always" Importance / Opinion
Repetition similar words or ideas Importance
Questions "?" Conflict
Roadmap sentences "first we will show X, second we prove Y..." Structure