Hi,

Say that I was asked to write an essay on the topic below.

'Investigate and discuss the biology of 'handedness'. Describe the possible causes of right- vs left-handedness. Discuss the history of discrimination against left-handed people and, if possible , compare to discrimination generally against such groups as women, homosexuals, or ethnic minorities.'

How do you interpret the use of 'if possible' above? I mean, Am I given the choice to write on the part that follows 'if possible' or it is a must? If it is a must, why was 'if possible' used?
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quote:
'Investigate and discuss the biology of 'handedness'. Describe the possible causes of right- vs left-handedness. Discuss the history of discrimination against left-handed people and, if possible , compare to discrimination generally against such groups as women, homosexuals, or ethnic minorities.'

I agree that the instructions here are unclear.

'If possible' might be taken to mean 'if it is indeed possible compare the discrimination against lefties to women OR to homosexuals OR to minorities.'

Maybe the answer the test-makers is looking for that there is no comparison, or that the comparisons are different in some ways.

But more important -- take this item off the test, or reword the instructions so that they are clear.

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