In 1850, Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women

Question

In 1850, Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women, arguing in a treatise for women to have equal political and legal rights and for changes in the married women’s property laws.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

In 1850, Lucretia Mott published her Discourse on Women.

Please note the capitalization of “Discourse on Women”. The capitalization indicates that this phrase stands for a name.

Then begins a “comma+verb-ing” preceded by a clause. So, this verb-ing phrase modifies the preceding clause. It says “arguing in a treatise”. Clearly, “a treatise” is wrong (First problem with the sentence) because quite logically, we want to refer to “Discourse on Women”. So, we should have “the treatise”. Also, since the context is quite clear that the “arguing” will be in the treatise, it’s better to skip “the treatise” altogether.

The second problem with the sentence is that the verb-ing “arguing” is not presenting any relevant information to the preceding clause that talks about the “pulishing” of the treatise.

The third problem with the sentence is the lack of parallelism. We see that the sentence talks about two things that were argued for in the treatise:

  1. Equal political and legal rights for women
  2. Changes in the married women’s property laws

These two things are not presented in a parallel form in the sentence. “for women to have equal political and legal rights” and “for changes in…” are not parallel. They can be made parallel in any of the following ways:

  1. “for equal political and legal rights for women” AND “for changes in the married women’s property laws”
  2. “for women to have equal political and legal rights” AND “for changes to be made in the married women’s property laws”

Within the context of this sentence, the first set of parallel structures communicates the intended meaning much better than the second set.

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reasons explained above.

(B) Incorrect. Repeats the first two problems of the original sentence.

(C) Incorrect. This option changes the verb-ing modifier into a Noun+Noun modifier (a treatise that). In the Noun+Noun modifier, the Noun “a treatise” refers to “Discourse on Women”, and the Noun Modifier (“that” clause) provides additional information about the treatise. The use of Noun+Noun modifier is correct. This option is incorrect because the part after “and” (in the non-underlined part) i.e. “for changes in the...” is unidiomatic with “advocates”. The correct structure is “advocate xyz”, not “advocate for xyz”.

(D) Incorrect. Repeats the error of option C.

(E) Correct. All the errors of the original sentence have been corrected. “for equal political and legal rights” is parallel to “for changes in …”.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

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