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I just started studying for AWA. Below is my first AWA essay. I thought I'll post it up here to gain valuable insight from the group.
I highly appreciate your constructive insight/comment/critisism in advance. I look forward to all your valuable review. Thanks in advance!!
AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Argument ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in a trade publication for the insurance industry:
“Each generation of Americans has lived longer that the ones preceding it, as the national life expectancy has approached 80 years old in recent years. The progress of medical technology shows no sign of abating. Therefore, we can confidently predict that most children born in America in the next decade will live past the age of ninety.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
MY RESPONSE: The writer believes that most children born in America in the next decade will live past the age of ninety. But there are several reasons to doubt if new born children in America in the next decade can indeed live past the age of ninety.
First, though medical technology shows no sign of abating, the cost of medical insurance is increasing to a new level every year that normal American citizens are not able to afford new innovation of medical technology that could prevent their children from severe diseases.
Second, pollution to planet Earth has increased steadily over the years due to industrialization in United States. Therefore, the very air the children will breathe and water the new children will drink have been affected with chemicals harmful to human body which might degrade their health body from living longer.
To conclude, with medical technology being very expensive and planet Earth being polluted with air and water rigorously, the new children might not pass the life expectancy as their predecessor.
You have some excellent points but I am afraid you dont have the meat in this essay.
Also I guess the essay is very small , you have around 150-160 words. I guess the standard is probably between 250 - 350 words ( Arco says 325).
So guess you have to improve here in adding more content and prove points you raise.
otherwise the points you have raised is excellent.
I think there are two types of AWA - analysis of an issue and analysis of an argument. If there's a problem with your piece, it may be that it is more an analysis of the issue, rather than an analysis of the argument.
For me, the key part of the argument can be summarised as "medical technology is getting better, therefore life expectancy will continue to improve". If we want to analyse the argument we need to identify its weaknesses. The main weakness is an assumption that medical technology is the only driver of life expectancy. This is not true. You have identified two alternative drivers of life expectancy a) availability of medical technology b) pollution. It would be worth including other possible drivers of life expectancy - poor diet and sedentary lifestyles may be good examples.
"You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion. "
I don't think your piece specifically addressed any of these prompts - but you could probably suggest the inclusion of statistical analysis etc. Whatever information you have to hand may be less relevant than showing a willingness to challenge the argument that has been presented.
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...