Today I started looking in for AWA section. I just analyzed chineseburned template and tried writing an essay on first question from GMAC Analysis of an Argument Questions document.
Please review it. I just want to know if I am following the right approach for writing an essay(even though I am using a pre-defined template for now, and I know I am pretty bad at writing something). If possible, please rate it.
The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen foods:
“Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn how to do things better, they become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
The argument claims that as the organizations learn to do things better and become more efficient, the costs of processing the products go down. The argument states one example on color film processing, stating that cost of a 3-by-5-inch print has fallen from 50 cents for five-day service in 1970 to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on example from a different field, for which there is no clear indication of its relation with food processing industry. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that cost of processing go down as organizations learn to do things efficiently. This assumption is a stretch and not substantial in any way. There are numerous examples in other areas of business or commerce, where the cost of processing has gone up over time. For instance, in soft-drinks industry costs of processing has gone up in recent years. Yet, the consumption of soft-drinks has gone up among children and elders alike and the machinery used to fill the bottles and the time to pack them has improved over time. But maintenance cost and need for replacement of the machineries have made the overall costs of processing go up. Another example is the processing of food that the argument mentions. The author fails to consider factors which can affect the processing cost in food industry. To meet the continuous increasing demand of processed food, Olympic Foods needs to look for some alternate methods and advanced machineries. The argument would have been much clearer if it explicitly gave examples of technical needs of present day food processing industry.
Second, the argument claims that the example of color film processing can also be applied to food processing industry. This is again a very week and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the technologies used in color film and food processing. If any such correlation had been shown then the author would have sounded a bit more convincing. In addition, if the argument provided evidence that some techniques in color film and food processing are same, the argument could have been strengthened even further.
Finally, the argument concludes that Olympic Foods’ long experience will enable it to minimize the costs and maximize the profits. From this statement again, it is not at all clear about the demand of Olympic Foods products in the market over the years. Without supporting evidence and data, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than subjective evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.
In summary, the argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts about the food processing organizations. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.
This is a solid first effort! It looks like you have a pretty good sense of where your essays are going and how they are structured.
However, I want to call your attention to the second paragraph. You start by saying that the author "assumes the cost of processing goes down." This, technically, isn't correct. An assumption on an argument essay is by definition unstated
. What' you've identified is the authors conclusion. And so what you did in this paragraph is, in some sense, outside the scope of your assigned task. It is useful to point out that in other food industries, costs haven't gone down; your soda example is good. But the way you used it, to directly contradict the author's stated conclusion, isn't what you're supposed to be doing
Rather, you third paragraph is directly on task. The author thinks any organization can improve processing because the photo companies did so--so the unstated
assumption is that photography development is representative
of other tasks. You could have made that paragraph the first flaw you explored, introduced the cola example as part of it. "In fact, the cola industry clearly demonstrates that what happened to photography isn't necessarily true of food, because..."
Right now, I give this essay a 4--but you're well on your way to a better score, so good job!
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