Essay, difficulties to find counter examples. : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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Essay, difficulties to find counter examples.

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Joined: 04 Aug 2012
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Essay, difficulties to find counter examples. [#permalink]

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New post 19 Aug 2012, 10:12
Hey guys, here is my second Awa. Again I used the recommended template created by one of the members of this forum. As I said in my last topic, my english is really rusty since I passed the toefl last year (110 with 27 at the writing section). Moreover, I have some troubles to find counter examples and counter arguments in order to construct a good critic.

Could you rate this essay please ? That would be very nice ;)

Thank you very much, bye bye

SUBJECT: '' Two years ago Nova High School began to use interactive computer instruction in three academic subjects. The school dropout rate declined immediately, and last year’s graduates have reported some impressive achievements in college. In future budgets the school board should use a greater portion of the available funds to buy more computers, and all schools in the district should adopt interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum.”

ESSAY (542 words): The argument claims that thanks to interactive computer, Nova High School achieved some significant improvements in its education system. Therefore, the author recommends the school to allow funds in order to buy other computers. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention key factors on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore the argument is rather weak, unconvincing and flawed.

First, the beginning of the passage assumes that thanks to purchase of several interactive computers Nova High School was able to both decrease classes drop out and improve achievement in college. This statement is a stretch as it does not provide any evidence. More precisely, the author does not take any example of achievement, and does not explain why the increase of attendance was a good thing. For example, in France, some private high schools require student to attend every class and forbid to drop out one of them. Despite a strict policy, a large number of these schools do not get better academic results. Actually, the success of high school students cannot be only explained by the rate of drop out. Clearly the author takes for granted that there is a strong correlation between students drop out and their success. Therefore, the argument would have been clearer if it had provided examples of achievements, or data demonstrating that thanks to a good attendance students increased their chances of success.

Second, the argument asserts that Nova High School, and other high schools should allow significant funds in order to buy new interactive computers for classes. This is again an unsupported claim as it does not demonstrate the correlation between the purchase of new computers and the improvement of an educative system. We can consider the instance of a company that makes similar investment like its competitors. As the company imitates competitors, it hopes that the results will be good. Nevertheless, sometimes these investments fail for an unknown reason. Consequently, we can say that there is a mass of contributing factors that are very difficult to assess. In brief, nobody can assert that the other schools that will purchase computers will experience a similar success as we do not know exactly why Nova High School recorded impressive achievements in its college.

Finally, the author should have taken examples of achievements mentioned at the beginning of the passage. Some instance would have been much more convincing for the reader as anybody would have been able to judge if these achievements were relevant or not. Furthermore, the lack of data represents a major weakness of the argument. Statistical data can show a correlation between an investment and the observed results. Without any answers to these questions one is left with the impression that the claim is much more a wishful thinking rather than substantiated evidence.

To put it in a nutshell, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons. The passage would have been strengthened if the author had considered some of the relevant facts cited before. Actually, in order to evaluate the merits of an investment, it is essential to have a full knowledge of all contributing factors. Without this information the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Essay, difficulties to find counter examples.   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2012, 10:12
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Essay, difficulties to find counter examples.

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