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Kindly evaluate this essay, experts!

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Director
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Status: Gonna rock this time!!!
Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 550
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 2: 630 Q47 V29
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
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Kindly evaluate this essay, experts! [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 06:59
The argument is made at the discussion on the failing revenues of the company at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery. Delays in manufacturing is considered the reason for the failing revenues as apparently both the delays in manufacturing and the failing revenues happened at the same time. It is further noted that the delays is largely caused due to the poor planning in purchasing metals. This is despite the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw metals has excellent background in business, psychology, and sociology. It is mentioned that the manager hardly has any knowledge of properties of metals and for this reason, it is advised that the company replace the current manager with a scientist from the research division and move the current manager to the sales department. This argument makes many assumptions and fails to provide information about other factors that could be responsible for the failing revenues. Hence, this argument is flawed and unconvincing.
Firstly, it assumes that the scientist from the research department would have all the necessary prerequisite business related knowledge required to run the purchasing department. It assumes that there will not be any problems with regards to the inventory management and the knowledge of scientist of properties of metals would be sufficient to handle the inventory management. This is unconvincing as no information is provided about the probable training that the scientist would be provided on the inventory management or about the possible transition of knowledge from the manager to the scientist. Argument can be strengthened if information about training or transition is provided.
Secondly, it also assumes that solving the issue of planning in purchasing metals would solve the issue of failing revenues. This is also flawed since there could be other minor issues, for instance, issues with sales that could be responsible for the failing revenues. Argument provides no information about the other issues and can be strengthened by mentioning that other issues do not contribute to the failing revenues.
Thirdly, it also assumes that moving the manager to the sales department would be beneficial to the company. It assumes that his knowledge on business, psychology, and sociology would be sufficient to handle the sales department. This is also unconvincing. Similar to the training that scientist may need on inventory management or on day to day affairs of purchasing department, manager also may need training to handle the sales department. Had sufficient information been given in the argument about this concern, argument would have sounded more convincing.
Hence, we find that the argument is flawed, weak and unconvincing for the above mentioned reasons. If the above mentioned concerns would have been addressed, argument could have been strengthened.
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Re: Kindly evaluate this essay, experts! [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2013, 01:53
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Hi Sachin9,

Here's a few suggestions to improve your essay:

1. You are summarizing the argument in a little too much depth in the intro and should give a condensed summary in the intro, and then summarize specific parts in more depth later as you address that part of the argument's reasoning.

2. You should not have your second paragraph focus on the main claim/conclusion of the argument, but rather begin by critiquing/challenging the argument's premises (e.g., that the decline in sales is due to poor planning, that the employee in charge of the division is responsible for the delays [as opposed to the supplier/shortages/etc.]). Your points in the body of the essay should follow the order of the argument more. By showing the premises for the main claim of the argument (substituting employees will solve problem) are problematic, you built greater support for the points you have to make about the main claim. This makes your argument more logically convincing.

I score and provide a 2-page feedback report on practice GMAT essays for $18 ea. I'm also offering a live online course on the GMAT AWA for International Students that begins Feb. 11 and is on Monday & Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. IST. Feel free to email me if you'd like more info on either.

Good luck on your prep!
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Re: Kindly evaluate this essay, experts! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 17:00
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I am giving this paper a 3.0. May also be 3.5.

3.0: The paper does not identify or analyze most of the important features of the argument. Specifically:


    1. The failing revenues coincide with delays in manufacturing, but may or may not be related. The paper identifies this issue
    Quote:
    Secondly, it also assumes that solving the issue of planning in purchasing metals would solve the issue of failing revenues.

    However, the paper fails to analyze this issue. The problem is not that
    Quote:
    there could be other minor issues, for instance, issues with sales that could be responsible for the failing revenues.

    The real problem is that delays in manufacturing only coincided in time with the failing revenues. In fact, those two phenomena may be completely unrelated.

    2. It is not at all clear that a research scientist would be a good person to handle purchases, even if proper training was provided. Frankly, this sounds like a terrible idea! How is knowledge of the metals supposed to help him with making purchases so as to ensure no delays in manufacturing ?! The analysis mentions a few issues:
    Quote:
    This is unconvincing as no information is provided about the probable training that the scientist would be provided on the inventory management or about the possible transition of knowledge from the manager to the scientist.

    However, this information is only marginally relevant. Why not bring somebody from the sales department to handle purchases? Why not hire a new person? Either approach sounds better than taking a research scientist who was presumably doing great research and trying to teach him to handle purchases. A good scientist would just leave for a more reasonable company that has a little bit of sanity. This is not to mention that many scientists are terrible at dealing with people, terrible at negotiations, terrible at planning and organization. Inventory management is not something that can be taught overnight.

3.0: The paper mainly analyzes tangential or irrelevant matters, or reasons poorly


For example, it is largely irrelevant whether the manager will be effective at the sales department.
Quote:
Thirdly, it also assumes that moving the manager to the sales department would be beneficial to the company.

No such assumption is being made. Moving the manager to the sales department may not be a smart move (as opposed to, say, laying him off), but it has nothing to do with either eliminating delays in manufacturing or increasing revenues, and thus is out of scope of the current discussion.

Quote:
Firstly, it assumes that the scientist from the research department would have all the necessary prerequisite business related knowledge required to run the purchasing department.

No such assumption is being made. While the argument definitely overlooks some issues with bringing a scientist from the research department to handle purchases, it is too far-fetched to say that the argument assumes that the scientist would have ALL the necessary knowledge. The analysis would be strengthened by questioning the very choice to train a professional scientist to handle purchases since the knowledge of metals since to have little value for this position - or, at least, no information is provided in this respect.


3.0: The paper is limited in the logical development and the organization of ideas


The introduction is a bit too lengthy, as PeakPerformance has already pointed out. The body of the argument contains three parts: "Firstly...", "Secondly...", "Thirdly..." Not only is this structure simple and not very interesting, but it is also confusing. The "Firstly" and "Thirdly" parts are similar, discussing the issues with moving a person between two departments. The "Secondly" part is different, actually dealing with one of the main flaws in the original argument. It would be more logical to put the "Secondly" part either before or after both the "Firstly" and the "Thirdly parts.

Furthermore, the conclusion of the argument does not add anything. It fails to even summarize the argument:
Quote:
Hence, we find that the argument is flawed, weak and unconvincing for the above mentioned reasons. If the above mentioned concerns would have been addressed, argument could have been strengthened.

In fact, even if the above mentioned concerns were addressed, the argument would still be quite weak. I am also not quite sure about the appropriateness of the grammatical structure "would have been... could have been".


3.0: The paper offers support of little relevance and value for points of the critique


The paper mentions minor issues with sales that could be responsible for falling revenues as well as possible issues with training the scientist and/or the manager when moving them to another department. All of these points are minor and/or tangential, as was already discussed.


4.0: The paper demonstrates sufficient control of language to convey ideas with reasonable clarity.


I would say, the meaning is quite clear.

4.0: The paper generally follows the conventions of standard written English but may have some flaws.


Most of the errors are in the first paragraph. It thus creates a very bad first impression. I was surprised that the rest of the essay is virtually free from errors.
Quote:
Delays in manufacturing is considered the reason...

Quote:
This is despite the manager of the department that handles purchasing of raw metals has excellent background in business, psychology, and sociology.

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Re: Kindly evaluate this essay, experts!   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2013, 17:00
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