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I just started looking at the AWA section and tried to write a few practice essays. However, I'm having a bit of trouble with getting started.
I can see flaws in the assumptions of the author. I can think of counterexamples and alternative explanations that would weaken the argument. I can think of things that would make the argument more logical. I can tell if evidence was used to actually support the argument.
I just can't get going with the actual writing. In my first paragraph, I want to identify the argument but I can't seem to do that.
The example below is the one that I'm working on right now.
The following appeared in a memorandum issued by a large city’s council on the arts: “In a recent citywide poll, 15% more residents said that they watch television programs about the visual arts than was the case in a poll conducted five years ago. During these past five years, the number of people visiting our city’s art museums has increased by a similar percentage. Since the corporate funding that supports public television, where most of the visual arts programs appear, is now being threatened with severe cuts, we can expect that attendance at our city’s art museums will also start to decrease. Thus some of the city’s funds for supporting the arts should be reallocated to public television.”
My ideas: They state: 15% more (than 5 years ago) watch tv programs about arts. Number of ppl visiting museums has increased by same numbers. Since funding for tv programs is being threatened, less people will be going to the museums. More money should go to the arts.
They assume: Increase in museum attendance is tied to increased viewing of arts tv programs. Less arts tv means less museum attendance. The city's money for visual arts would be better spent on public tv
They conclude: More city money should go to public tv
Questions I raised: Why do they think that 2 unrelated facts (that the viewership went up and the museum attendance went up) are related? If they think that the tv programs make people want to go to museums are there other ways (that might be cheaper) to get people to go to museums? Are there other explanations for the increase in museum attendance? Like museums doing their own advertising & marketing Is there enough city money to go to arts programs?
So would the argument be.... Because there has been a simultaneous increase in viewership of visual arts programs and museum attendance, the city needs to allocate more funds to public television and less to supporting the arts so that museum attendance doesn't fall when funding for public television decreases.