45.R.9 & 46.R.9 (medium)
Answer Choices D and C are correct, because Lines 23-26 tell us that, “the biomechanist [Martone] simply wanted to better understand the toughness of C. cheilosporioides, which dwells in the harsh habitat of intertidal zones along rocky shores.” Just prior to this, the Passage tell us “Martone didn’t set out to locate lignin in algae.” These two sentences best match Answer Choice D, which says Martone’s research interest in lignin should be considered “initially secondary, because it was undertaken to support particular questions about C. cheilosporioides.” Answer Choice A is incorrect because Martone made a new discovery about the existence of lignin but didn’t fundamentally change the way it’s understood. Moreover, there’s no Text that supports this option. Answer Choice B is incorrect because Martone didn’t based his conclusions on an atypical sample — nothing about the algae he uses is described as atypical. Answer Choice C is incorrect, because the Passage doesn’t give us any evidence that Martone checked his findings multiple times.
How to solve this? Question 45 asks, “It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that Martone’s research interest in lignin should be considered [...]?” Because this is a Paired Question, we should begin by going through the answer choices for Question 46, looking for evidence that describes Martone’s research interest in lignin. [We should remember two general rules here: (1) the linear pacing rule and (2) the question-text organization rule. The first tells us that we should probably not consider texts that come before the first mention of Martone (in Lines 21) and the second tells us that we should more closely consider texts that follow the sequence already established in the questions. Because Question 44 already references Lines 9-12, we should primarily consider texts that come after this point.]
For Question 46, Answer Choice A states that lignin production was considered “a key adaptive achievement of vascular plants.” This text doesn’t tell us anything about Martone’s research interest, and violates both of our rules above, so we should eliminate this option. Answer Choice B says that the finding in the passage points to a deeper evolutionary root for the “biological building block” of lignin than was previously thought. This also doesn’t directly reference Martone or his research interests, and violates the [Linear Pacing rule], so we should eliminate this option as well. Answer Choice C tells us that “the biomechanist simply wanted to better understand the toughness of C. cheilosporoides, which dwells in the harsh habitat of intertidal zones.” Remembering [the Pronoun rule], we should go back and note that the “biomechanist” mentioned here refers to Martone, who we’re told, in the previous sentence, “didn’t set out to locate lignin in algae.” This answer choice seems good, because it tells us about Martone and his research interests — that he wasn’t trying to discover lignin, but happened upon it while working on a different project — and because it doesn't violate either of our prior two rules. So, we should keep this option. Answer Choice D says, “the puzzling thing is that it’s also present in calcified portions of the algae,” which comes in the context of a general discussion about his findings. Because this answer choice focuses more Martone's findings, and specifically a question yet to be answered, it doesn’t provide us the best evidence about his research interest, especially when compared with Answer Choice C. So, we should choose Answer Choice C for our Text.
Our Text tells us that Martone didn’t initially set out find lignin in algae, but instead “simply wanted to better understand the toughness of C. cheilosporoides.” So we should look for an answer choice that describes his research in this way. For Question 45, Answer Choice A that his research interest in lignin should be considered “unusually insightful, because it has fundamentally changed the way lignin is understood.” We should notice that the claim “unusually insightful” carries a large burden of proof, as does “fundamentally changed the way lignin is understood.” Even though Martone’s findings have changed the way scientists understand red algae and its evolutionary origins, the text doesn’t support the claim that he has “fundamentally changed the way lignin is understood.” More importantly, though, this Answer Choice doesn’t match our chosen Text, so we can eliminate this option. Answer Choice B describes Martone’s interest as “somewhat questionable, because Martone based his conclusions on an atypical sample.” We should note that this answer choice has [some pejorative, unscientific flair], which should make us discount it, and, moreover, that the Passage gives us no evidence that he based his conclusions on an atypical sample, so we should eliminate this option as well. answer Choice C describes Martone’s research as “properly cautious, because Martone checked his findings about C. cheilosporoides multiple times.” Because the Passage doesn’t mention Martone going through his findings multiple times, and because this doesn’t match our chosen Text, we can eliminate this option. Answer Choice D describes Martone’s research as “initially secondary, because it was undertaken to support particular questions about C. cheilosporoides.” This answer choice does match our chosen Text, that describes Martone as not initially looking lignin but instead focusing on another research interest, so we should choose Answer Choice D.