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First AWA Essay. Any critique welcome!

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First AWA Essay. Any critique welcome! [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2014, 01:11
Hello,

This is my first AWA essay. Would love to hear any critique to improve my writing for the exam and what grade you think this could get. Will continue to work on more so any advice is much appreciated!

Prompt: The following appeared as part of a business plan recommended by the new manager of a musical rock group called Zapped. “To succeed financially, Zapped needs greater name recognition. It should therefore diversify its commercial enterprises. The rock group Zonked plays the same type of music that Zapped plays, but it is much better known than Zapped because in addition to its convert tours and four albums, Zonked has a series of posters, a line of clothing and accessories, and a contract with a major advertising agency to endorse a number of different products.”

The business plan recommended to the new manager of Zapped claims that to increase the band’s name recognition, and therefore popularity and success, the band should diversify its commercial enterprise. This argument is flawed through the lack of information of Zapped’s current investments, what the ROI of Zonked’s broad name recognition investments are, and a proper comparison between the two bands. While the argument has merit, it contains some major flaws that need to be addressed.

One of the most glaring flaws made in the argument is the lack of current data for Zapped. The term “diversify” implies there are actions already being done that need changing or expanding. However there is no data to support what Zapped’s actions have been. What is the range of actions that Zapped has already taken? What were the success and failure rates? If the argument would expand upon what Zapped’s current portfolio looks like, it would go a long way in convincing that the expansion of the portfolio would be a benefit to Zapped.

In contrast to the little amount of information given about Zapped’s brand recognition portfolio, the argument clearly details much of what Zonked is doing to spread its name. That is as far as it goes though. The conspicuous lack of information about the ROI of Zonked’s many different ventures makes the suggested expansion of Zapped’s portfolio difficult to assess. Without hard facts and data, the argument fails to explain whether or not Zonked’s investments were beneficial or costly mistakes. The argument should provide a cost/benefit analysis to properly ascertain which avenues have been the most successful for Zonked, which could also be applied to Zapped.

The final flaw in this argument is the poor comparative analysis of the two bands. The most the analysis provides is that the bands play the same type of music. This is insufficient comparative information. Necessary information such as how long both bands have been playing, and how large is each band’s current fan base is suspiciously lacking. This type of information will greatly affect how far their name recognition can go. The argument does state that Zonked has had concert tours and four albums, however no such comparable information is presented for Zapped. A more in depth comparative analysis of the two bands would lead to a greater understanding of how well both bands have done, for how long, and whether or not a diversified commercial portfolio is in actuality a feasible endeavor for Zapped.

In conclusion, this argument has unsupported assumptions and insufficient data. The argument lacks financial information regarding the success rate of both band’s brand recognition portfolios, proper information about Zapped, and an in depth comparison of the two bands. The argument would be more convincing if the author were to expand upon the needed information through detailed financial and comparative analyses.

Note: When I read through the prompt again I saw another flaw that could have possibly been better and I could have combined two of my points into one. The prompt states "Zonked is MUCH BETTER known than Zapped". Could this have been another flaw to write about? Or is my essay good as is? Thanks again!
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Re: First AWA Essay. Any critique welcome! [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2014, 05:00
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Hello,
That is a well crafted response!
You've analysed the potential flaws in the argument well, and you have written a response that address these aspects.

A few suggestions:
1. In the body paragraphs of your response
Start by addressing the assumption made by the argument / author.
Now, the flaws in an argument exist because the author makes assumptions that have not been substantiated.
If you start your argument by first discussing the flawed assumption and then exploring how this weakens the argument -
your response would seem more in-depth.

2. Spread your time wisely:
Ideally, allocate the first 5-7 minutes to brainstorm
The next 15ish minutes to Write
and the last 10 minutes to proof read and add details you might have missed.
This way, when you realise (during proof reading) that a particular perspective needs more discussion - you'll actually have time to do it!


Your essay as is should get a 4.5 - 5 out of 6.

Hope this helps :)
Ajeeth Peo
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Re: First AWA Essay. Any critique welcome! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2014, 05:14
Wow thanks so much Ajeeth. It does help a lot. I will try your advice on my next essay and see how it turns out. Kudos to you and thanks again!
Re: First AWA Essay. Any critique welcome!   [#permalink] 23 Apr 2014, 05:14
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