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Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay

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Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 00:41
Hello. I have just started prepping for the GMAT, and I have taken the diagnostic test to gauge where I stand right now. I have also written an essay for one of the AWA arguments presented in the OG. I timed my writing exactly to the requirements of the GMAT, and I do notice that I need to learn to manage my time better. I am now looking for someone to grade this essay, and also to provide any pointers if it's not too much trouble. Any help would be appreciated! :)

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 1970to 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 you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence inthe argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might'weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.


My essay
The premises used by the argument in order to assert the maximization of profits is primarily flawed because it makes certain omissions which are otherwise vital to the context. For example, the argument uses a singular variable, which is production cost, to determine the effect on overall profits, across two different industries.

First, the argument plays upon a general human preconception and assumes that things only get better with time, and that production costs are a function of efficiency alone, which is bound to get better with time. We know that this, in fact, is not necessarily true. The production costs would depend on a variety of factors, of which efficiency is only one. Other factors might include the prices of raw materials used, labor legislations, health and safety regulations and so on. Even though the factors might have weighed positively on the film processing industry, the same might not be true for the food industry, where health and safety regulations carry much more bearing.

Secondly, the argument assumes that decreasing costs translate into higher profits for organizations. Again, this is not necessarily true. Lifestyle choices would also influence the cost vs. profit graph. An increase in consumption of processed foods might translate into higher demand, prompting stiffer competition. Or a decline in the consumption of processed foods would translate into lower sales numbers. Hence, either a stiff competition or a decline in demand might very well outweigh the impact of decreasing production costs.

Addressing the above issues could have strengthened the argument. It would strengthen the argument if we the author were to evaluate factors such as Olympic Foods’ placement in the market, the trends in demand as well as market share, any marketing programs that are likely to influence sales, etc.
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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2013, 20:44
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AbsarShah wrote:
Hello. I have just started prepping for the GMAT, and I have taken the diagnostic test to gauge where I stand right now. I have also written an essay for one of the AWA arguments presented in the OG. I timed my writing exactly to the requirements of the GMAT, and I do notice that I need to learn to manage my time better. I am now looking for someone to grade this essay, and also to provide any pointers if it's not too much trouble. Any help would be appreciated! :)

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 1970to 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 you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence inthe argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might'weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.


My essay
The premises used by the argument in order to assert the maximization of profits is primarily flawed because it makes certain omissions which are otherwise vital to the context. For example, the argument uses a singular variable, which is production cost, to determine the effect on overall profits, across two different industries.

First, the argument plays upon a general human preconception and assumes that things only get better with time, and that production costs are a function of efficiency alone, which is bound to get better with time. We know that this, in fact, is not necessarily true. The production costs would depend on a variety of factors, of which efficiency is only one. Other factors might include the prices of raw materials used, labor legislations, health and safety regulations and so on. Even though the factors might have weighed positively on the film processing industry, the same might not be true for the food industry, where health and safety regulations carry much more bearing.

Secondly, the argument assumes that decreasing costs translate into higher profits for organizations. Again, this is not necessarily true. Lifestyle choices would also influence the cost vs. profit graph. An increase in consumption of processed foods might translate into higher demand, prompting stiffer competition. Or a decline in the consumption of processed foods would translate into lower sales numbers. Hence, either a stiff competition or a decline in demand might very well outweigh the impact of decreasing production costs.

Addressing the above issues could have strengthened the argument. It would strengthen the argument if we the author were to evaluate factors such as Olympic Foods’ placement in the market, the trends in demand as well as market share, any marketing programs that are likely to influence sales, etc.


Hi AbserShah, after reviewing your essay, I'm hoping I can give you a couple of quick pointers to help maximize your score on the exam. Overall I think the the content is good and you really seem to grasp the crux of the flaw in the essay. There are a couple of minor grammatical mistakes to correct in order to maximize your score.

Firstly, you mentioned two different points, but only previewed one in the introduction paragraph. It's always a good idea to at least mention all the arguments you're going to elaborate on in the introduction. This serves as a kind of executive summary to the reader, and ensures that no one is blindsided by topics that come up in paragraphs 2 and 3 (and 4 if need be). Three arguments is also the golden number you should be looking for. It's fine to only have two if you elaborate on them a little more. Either option is fine but I recommend three faults if you can find them.

Secondly, some of your sentences are a little long. Be aware that short, direct sentences are very efficient. Furthermore, they are less prone to grammatical mistakes. A simple example is your very first line: You mention that the premises (some descriptive words) is flawed... If you slash and burn the unnecessary words, you quickly see that the verb agreement here is incorrect. These mistakes happen less in shorter sentences. Also, this is a typical Sentence Correction mistake, so the AWA is sensitive to mistakes you should be detecting in the rest of your exam.

Overall, I'd say this is a solid essay that's a good base for a couple of quick improvements. I'd probably put it in the 4.5 range, so if you can make a couple of quick adjustments you should be ready to get at least a 5 on test day. Good luck!

-Ron

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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2013, 20:30
Thanks for the valuable pointers, Ron. Much appreciated :D
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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2013, 08:57
hi ron can you rate my essay?
The following appeared in the opinion section of a national newsmagazine:

“To reverse the deterioration of the postal service, the government should raise the price of postage stamps. This solution will no doubt prove effective, since the price increase will generate larger revenues and will also reduce the volume of mail, thereby eliminating the strain on the existing system and contributing to improved morale.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion, be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MY ESSAY:
-------------
In the argument presented above the person who gives the opinion has not considered the pace of technology that has been increasing over the past few years with the postal department.There are various reasons for the deterioration of the postal services and the price of postage stamps is not one of the main reasons.So the suggestion given above would yield a negative effect rather than a positive effect.


When we see the various reasons for the failure of the postal services, an important one would be the E-mail world. By using emails we can connect to anyone from anywhere in the world.All we need is a computer,tablet or a mobile. Technology today has provided us a number of gadgets to connect with various people.Instead of taking a paper,jotting the needed thoughts,finding a cover for the letter and then posting it, all we need to do is click 'compose mail' button,type and click 'send' button.Using the email feature we can also do a grammar check and decorate our thoughts with various colors and fonts which indeed is a time-consuming task in papers.

Another main reason is that apart from email we can also contact people through various aspects of the technology.For example we can send messages in apps like Whatsapp developed by The Apple company,send personalized messages through facebook or post statuses in our facebook wall.One can argue that this has made people lazy but when it comes to conveying a message to a large group of say 100 people, posting a status in our facebook wall is ten times better than posting the same letter to 100 people.It saves time as well as energy.There is no need to do a job in a tedious way when we have easier ways to do the same..

The opinion given in the above argument will have a negative effect for the same reason stated in the argument itself.If the price of postage stamps was also one of the reasons for the deterioration of the postal services then increasing the prices of the same is not going to prove effective.People will start to neglect the services more and resort to other ways.In today's world everyone has a gadget that has some sort of technological connection with the world so it is easier to connect with people through more than one means.Therefore in order to increase the revenue of the postal services, the price increase of postal stamps will not be helpful.They should resort to other methods before which they should find the actual reason for the failure.It can be due to the few number of post offices available,high prices of stamps or the difficulty of writing a letter on paper than typing it on an email.While the first two reasons can be resolved to some extent , the third reason depends of the preference of the people who write and so can not be evaluated.
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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2013, 07:31
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swakar wrote:
hi ron can you rate my essay?


Hi swakar, usually you'd have to make a separate post so as to not hijack this one, but since I think this thread is complete and you were nice enough to ask for me by name, I'll evaluate it here for you.

I'll give you my overall impressions: I think you're only really hitting on one point here. The post-office wants to increase the price of stamps but that won't be helpful because of technological advances such as e-mail and Facebook. In general, you're trying to find 2 or 3 issues that are relevant to the argument and deconstruct them. E-mail and facebook are about as different as gmail and outlook, so essentially that's one issue: The speed at which people communicate. Mail (or snail mail) is antiquated in that regard and can no longer compete with friendly communication. However, people still use the mail all the time, for bills, invitations, packages, proof-of-delivery, etc. In your conclusion (which looked a lot like a third paragraph), you mentioned a relatively few number of post offices, but that was the first time you mentioned that topic. Why not expand on that in a separate paragraph?

Basically, a structured AWA looks like this:
1) Introduction, in which you introduce the different topics you're going to broach (Recently a proposal has been made to increase the price of postage stamps in an effort to improve the service at the post office, but this effort is unlikely to prove successful. For one, the author does not account for the rise of e-mail and other instantaneous messaging that has curtailed the flow of letters through the postal system. Further, the author claims that an increase in stamp prices will lead to an increase in revenue, which is strikingly unsupported in the argument. Finally, the scarcity of post offices in most cities will continue to make going to the post office a chore...

And then you expand on each paragraph discussing what is lacking in the author's argument, and what is needed to improve the argument in order to make it more persuasive. Finally, the conclusion recaps what you just wrote and reiterates that the argument is weak.

I'm not sure what grade you'd get for the article submitted, but I'd surmise it's in the 4-4.5 range, and you can easily increase that by a full point just by following the steps I've outlined. Feel free to change the topics, but there should be three (two at a minimum, but three is optimal) points that each pertain to the argument proposed and why it is weak.

Hope this helps!
-Ron

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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2013, 11:12
Thanks a lot Ron.Your suggestions were really helpful.I posted my essay as a separate thread but i did not receive any reviews. Next time after a write a test can i PM the essay to you and can you let me know my improvements for at least 1 or 2 essays?
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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2013, 10:01
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swakar wrote:
Thanks a lot Ron.Your suggestions were really helpful.I posted my essay as a separate thread but i did not receive any reviews. Next time after a write a test can i PM the essay to you and can you let me know my improvements for at least 1 or 2 essays?


Sure thing, Swakar. It's true that I rarely look at AWA entries because I find I repeat myself a lot, so I don't tend to notice them. If you want me to rate one, you can PM me, but you'll see pretty quickly that I always advise the same things (mostly because they work!)

Cheers
-Ron

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Re: Looking for someone to rate my first AWA essay   [#permalink] 11 Jul 2013, 10:01
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