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June 2007, Passage 4, Question 23


So, question 23. This is a main point question and we know because it asks for the main point of the passage, no surprise there. Four main point question. You should already feel like you have the answer to the question, because if you read the passage and understood what the author was up to, you'll have a pretty good indication of what the answer here is gonna be.

Our author was not particularly shy about their main point. The very first paragraph they told us that there's something that historians are trying to do, their problems with it. And there's a new method that people are using to try to overcome those old problems. So we go to the answer choices.

Answer choice A, analysis of fossilized pollen is a useful means of supplementing and in some cases correcting other sources of information regarding changes in the Irish landscape. This is exactly what we wanted. So the new method analyzing fossilized pollen. It's helping the older method, which was the documentary method and overall what we're studying is the Irish landscape.

Everything is great, answer choice A is our answer. Now just to say why the other answer choices are wrong. So answer choice B is half right and half wrong. It's true that historians have revised some of the previously accepted hypothesis. But they didn't do that because of analyses of historical documents.

They did that because of the pollen grains. So the pollen grains were responsible, not the historical documents. So answer choice B is not our answer. Answer choice C is confused. It says that analyzing fossilized pollen has proven to be a valuable tool. That part is right.

But not in the identification of ancient plant species. It's not like there are a bunch of plant species they couldn't identify, then they used pollen to figure it out. It was they weren't certain what plant species were being grown, they use the pollen to help them figure out what was being grown. Answer choice D, it's also sort of a half right half wrong answer.

Analysis of fossilized pollen has provided new evidence, but not new evidence that these crops had an impact. The crop having an impact to somebody that we already knew. The pollen grains provided evidence of when they were growing which particular crop. So answer choice E, while pollen evidence can sometimes supplement other sources, well it can sometimes, so that part of the answer's right, but the author never said the applicability was seriously limited.

And actually, the author says that it can be used to identify plant species. So this answer choice says it can't be. So if it gets the author's facts wrong, it can't be the author's main point. So answer choice A is our answer.

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