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MGMAT CAT AWA

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MGMAT CAT AWA [#permalink]  19 Aug 2009, 12:35
Today I took my first full length CAT (MGMAT #6) with AWA. I don't think I really need to practice the essays much since I'm a native speaker. I thought the Analyze the Argument one was pretty easy but the Analysis of the Issue essay was slightly confusing. It took me a bit to figure out what exactly the question entailed. Anyway, I figured I'd post my essays here. I think they are decent guides and might be of some use as a template. If anyone bothers to read these some advice would be appreciated as well. I know there is a typo in one of them since I was editing as time ran out, but if there are any glaring issues (complicated language, confusing structure), any advice would be appreciated.

ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in The Homebuilder magazine, a local publication with a focus on construction and sale of real-estate properties:

“According to the most recent survey of our readers, nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home over the next 2 years. These results indicate that the growth in the construction industry is likely to accelerate in the near future. Therefore, this industry continues to offer lucrative opportunities for investment.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

The authors claims that because of the results of a survey, growth in the construction industry is like to accelerate, leading in lucrative opportunities for investment. However, the author neither investigates potential biases in the data nor states the necessary assumptions in order to justify his conclusion As a result, this argument suffers on multiple facets and can be considered weak at best.

First, the author fails to address any potential flaws in the survey. The name of the magazine itself, "The Homebuilder" suggests that people who read the magazine are likely interested in housing or construction, and thus this base of respondents is not representative of the general population. Clearly, people who subscribe to such magazines are more likely to build or purchase new homes, thus skewing the data. Furthermore, the argument states that 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home, while failing to mention the overall proportion of readers who responded to the survey. It is quite possible that only those interested in building or construction would respond to such a survey. Thus, the survey may suffer from a second selection bias in that, out of the population of readers interested in home building, only those who plan to build a new home responded.

Second, the author jumps from his premise to his conclusion without stating his assumptions. He argues that the growth of the industry "is likely to accelerate." Without knowing what the current percentage of people who might build or purchase a home over the next 2 years, it is impossible to determine whether 70% represents a growth or decline. Furthermore, his ultimate conclusion assumes that a growth in construction will continue to lead to lucrative investment opportunities. Without explaining how one causes or is correlated with the other, the author fails to justify this link. If he were to state assumptions, such as "growth in the construction industry always leads to lucrative investment opportunities because construction itself signifies future economic prosperity," his argument would be strengthened.

If the author had addressed potential problems in the data and had stated his assumptions, his argument would have been much stronger. Unfortunately, the argument in its current form suffers as a result and thus can not be considered logically sound.
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Re: MGMAT CAT AWA [#permalink]  20 Aug 2009, 09:54
bipolarbear,
Nice essay, but I felt it is little bit shorter. Minor grammar mistakes like

The authors claims

And I am not sure of the sentence structure

Without explaining how one causes or is correlated with the other,
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Re: MGMAT CAT AWA [#permalink]  20 Aug 2009, 09:56
I wrote an essay on same topic. I am not sure whether to post it on the same thread. However, I am posting as a reply so that ppl can have two different essays on same topic from one place. I talk tons of crap, but stumble when it comes to writing . I took an hour to write 400 words. I will greatly appreciate, if somebody can review/rate my following essay.

====================================================================================
The argument states that a survey conducted by Homebuilder magazine indicates nearly 70 % of the respondents are planning to construct or purchase a new home over the next couple of years, and the growth in the construction industry is likely to be accelerated in near future. Stated this way, the argument lacks more evidence and fails to consider many key factors, which are essential to evaluate this argument. The argument concludes by stating that construction industry continues to offer lucrative opportunities for investment and this conclusion is based on wrong assumptions.

First, there is lack of more evidence or data. When the argument states that 70% of respondents are planning to construct or buy new homes, it is not known that how popular Home Builder magazine is and how many percentage of the entire population the respondents of the survey represent. The criteria that is used to sample the respondents, is also unclear. Had the argument provided more information about the respondents, their age group and socio-economic background, it would have helped the argument.

Second, the argument overlooks demand and supply rule. According to the argument, more homes that are new will be there in next couple of years; however, if the demand remains the same, there will be more homes and few buyers. This will lead to buyers' market and will not be lucrative for people who have invested in construction industry. Overlooking this simple rule, demand and supply, makes the argument sound weak.

In addition, the argument fails to consider many key factors that influence construction industry such as economy and interest rate. The most important factor that influences any industry is a country's economy. For instance, the current recession has taken a heavy toll in US construction industry and has led to record high foreclosures. The argument fails to talk about the interest rate that would prevail in next couple of years. Higher interest rates will not attract more builders and buyers. The argument assumes that the economy will remain the same and interest rates will be lower for next couple of years, and these are wrong assumptions to make.

To conclude, the argument lacks more evidence, fails to consider many key factors, and concludes on wrong assumptions. Therefore, for the above-mentioned factors, the argument is weak, flawed and unconvincing.
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Re: MGMAT CAT AWA [#permalink]  06 Sep 2009, 01:06
Good analysis and I will give it a 5+.
Re: MGMAT CAT AWA   [#permalink] 06 Sep 2009, 01:06
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