How to Answer LSAT Questions that Feature Analogy Arguments
Remember that analogy arguments on the LSAT rely on the similarity of the two persons, things, or ideas being compared. Therefore, if the author uses an analogy to reach a conclusion, answer choices that show similarities between the compared elements support the conclusion, and choices that emphasize the differences between the elements weaken the conclusion. Take a look at this example of an analogy argument:
Hundo is a Japanese car company, and Hundos run for many miles on a gallon of gas. Toyo is also a Japanese car company; therefore, Toyos should get good gas mileage, too.
The author’s argument would be best supported by which one of the following, if that statement were true?
(A)All Japanese car manufacturers use the same types of engines in their cars.
(B)British cars run for as many miles on a tank of gas as Hundos do.
(C)The Toyo manufacturer focuses on producing large utility vehicles.
(D)Toyo has been manufacturing cars for more than 20 years.
(E)All Japanese cars have excellent service records.
Recognizing the premises and conclusion in this argument is simple. The author states directly that Hundo cars are Japanese and get good gas mileage and that Toyo cars are Japanese; therefore, Toyos also get good gas mileage. Your job is to find the answer that bolsters the similarity between Hundos and Toyos.
You can eliminate answer choices that introduce irrelevant information, such as Choices (B), (D), and (E). The author compares Japanese cars, so British cars have nothing to do with the argument. The length of time that Toyo has been in business tells you nothing about how similar its cars are to Hundo’s. And the question is talking about gas mileage, not service records, so don’t waste time on Choice (E).
Choice (C) tells you the focus of Toyo producers, but it doesn’t give you any information about how that compares to Hundo, so the best answer is Choice (A). If all Japanese manufacturers supply their cars with the same engines, and Hundo and Toyo are both Japanese manufacturers, it’s more likely that Toyos will achieve a gas mileage similar to that experienced by Hundos.