Joined: 21 Feb 2012
WE: Information Technology (Retail Banking)
, given: 3
Kindly rate my AWA argument. Taking GMAT in less than a week [#permalink]
03 Nov 2012, 03:17
The following appeared in an article in a consumer-products magazine:
“Two of today’s best-selling brands of full-strength prescription medication for the relief of excess stomach acid, AcidEase and Pepticaid, are now available in milder nonprescription forms. Doctors have written 76 million more
prescriptions for full-strength Acid-Ease than for full-strength Pepticaid. So people who need an effective but milder
nonprescription medication for the relief of excess stomach acid should choose Acid-Ease.”
In the preceding statement the author makes the claim that Acid-Ease is more effective than Pepticaid since doctors have written more prescriptions for the stronger Acid-Ease over Peptiacid. Though the argument may very well have its merit, it is based on several questionable premises and assumptions, and based on the evidence provided, it is certainly not conclusive.
The primary issue lies in the author’s unsubstantiated premises. First, the author claims that the doctors have written 76 million more prescriptions for the full-strength Acid-Ease, however he does not mention the total number of prescriptions. If, for example the total number of prescriptions were 10 billion, the difference- 76 million is a very small number. Also, he does not mention source of the facts and the duration of the survey. If for example, the duration was last 10 years and Pepticaid was available in the market only in the last 2 years, then this number is questionable. The author’s premises, the basis of the argument, lack evidence.
In addition to this, the author makes several assumptions in the above argument. First the author assumes that more written prescriptions must certainly mean most effective medicine. It could be that the company that manufactures AcidEase treated the doctors very well, by providing the doctors and their families with all-paid expense trips. The doctors could, hence be biased in their prescription of medication. Also, even if AcidEase was effective. It need not be that the milder AcidEase also be effective. There is a possibility that Pepticaid may be more effective in the case of milder medications. The author weakens the argument by making these assumptions.
While in the above argument has several key issues, it cannot be said that the argument is completely off base. The author could have provided more evidence for the above premises by giving more details of the source of facts and by providing more details like the time since both medications are available in market. Though there are several flaws in the argument, with more research and clarification, the author can significantly improve the argument.
In sum, the author’s illogical argument is based on many unsubstantiated premises and questionable assumptions that render the conclusion invalid. If the author truly hopes to change the readers’ minds he needs to fix the flaws in logic, clarify his assumptions and provide more evidence. Without these, the poorly structured argument would convince few people.