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AWA: please review [#permalink]
09 Oct 2010, 17:12
I would appreciate if someone could review and critique my essays:
The following appeared in a letter from a staff member in the office of admissions at Argent University.
“The most recent nationwide surveys show that undergraduates choose their major field primarily based on their perception of job prospects in that field. At our university, economics is now the most popular major, so students must perceive this field as having the best job prospects. Therefore, we can increase our enrollment if we focus our advertising and recruiting on publicizing the accomplishments of our best-known economics professors and the success of our economics graduates in finding employment.”
The argument claims that the university can increase its student enrolment by publicizing its strength in the subject of economics, the most popular major among students. This argument is based on the evidence provided by a newspaper survey stating that undergraduates choose major field based on their perception of job markets. The argument fails to explicitly mention several key factors based on which it could be evaluated. The argument is based on poor reasoning, due to which it is unconvincing.
First, the argument bases its conclusion solely on the nationwide survey. The argument fails to mention the factors involved in the survey. For example, the survey may be based on a very small percentage of people, nationwide. As a result, it may not be not representative of the public , as a whole. Furthermore, the argument fails to mention about the quality of the survey. To illustrate, it is possible that the people involved in the survey are not actually students themselves, instead, a broad group of people from all the sectors, who in fact, might not even have the idea how students choose their major field. If the argument had mentioned some more key factors on the survey or the methodology of surveying , it would have been clearer.
Second, The argument is based on the questionable assumption that economics is popular major field only because students consider its bright job prospects. While, in reality, it might be the case that , the university has a very acclaimed set of economics professors and a very good funding in the economics department because of which , the subject may be a popular choice for students. The argument fails to recognize other factors which may be the reasons for the popularity of economics field among students.
Third, the argument does not take into account other factors that students might consider when choosing their universities. It assumes that by publicizing a popular major field, the enrollment of students will increase. Students might also consider other factors like the ranking , facilities provided and the fees prescribed by the universities while choosing a university. Therefore, just by publicizing a popular major field will not lure the students to enroll in the university, if the other factors are bad.
The argument fails to address several key points, some of which are mentioned above. If the argument had thrown more light atleast on a couple of other factors, rather than the survey alone, it would have been more convincing. Hence the argument is flawed and therefore, unconvincing.
. “Most people today place too much emphasis on satisfying their immediate desires. The overall quality of life would be greatly improved if we all focused instead on meeting our long-term needs.”
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
Some people believe that all the desires in the life needs to be satisfied, irrespective of whether they are short term or long term. Others , believe that in order to lead a quality life, they have to concentrate more on fulfilling their long term desires. While, the issue might be controversial, a closer look into it will show that focusing on satisfying long term needs will lead to a better quality of life.
One reason is that, short term desires appear important only for a point of time. It is mainly dependent on the time frame and the kind of environment we live in. After that time frame passes, the goal which was considered the most important at that point of time seems meaningless. To illustrate, when the food chain, Pizza Express newly opened up, it focused a lot on its promotional offers, introductory discounts and publicity. However, it paid less attention on the main factors like service and the food quality. Even though it managed to attract a huge customer base due its offers and publicity, within a few months, the customer numbers had a steep fall. Had the food chain concentrated more on meeting its long term need of holding the initial customer base, it would have succeeded.
Another reason is that, in order to achieve a long term desire we need to forego a lot of insignificant small term desires. On the other hand, if we chose to achieve all our short term desires , we may end up losing the purpose of life. Of course, it would be wonderful to achieve all the short term desires as well as the long term desires. However, we cannot have a piece of cake and eat it too! In order to lead a quality life, we need to sacrifice some small term desires. For instance, as students, we may all have sacrificed immediate desires like watching a movie, going on a holidy, playing football etc when exams are nearing. Here, an analogy can be made between all these insignificant activities, which might have seemed significant then to immediate desires, while exams, in turn career, as a long term need.
It can be argued that fulfilling short term desires can improve the quality of life by keeping a person happy for the moment. In addition, the continuous process of fulfilling immediate desires will add up and lead to a better quality of life. However, in reality, by focusing only on immediate desires, we lose focus on our long term goal ,thus losing the essence of life. For instance, a person might be happy throughout his life because he has been achieving all his desires. However, when he looks back ,if he finds that he has nothing that can be considered as a concrete achievement in life, it will only depress him like no other .
Although the issue can be argued on both sides, the positive effects from focusing on long term needs certainly outweighs the need for satisfying out immediate desires. Hence, in order to lead a quality life, focus on long term needs is more crucial than focusing on immediate desires