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My First Integrated Writing Essay..Please review

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Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 171
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
GMAT Date: 07-23-2012
WE: Programming (Telecommunications)
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Kudos [?]: 35 [0], given: 4

My First Integrated Writing Essay..Please review [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 11:51
I wrote this essay in response to the Sample Writing topic discussed in the Official Guide for the Toefl.
Passage text:
In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects
is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack
a project offers several advantages. First of all, a group of people has a wider
range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is likely
to possess. Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater
resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task
assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and
issues. Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is
more likely to make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This
is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members
and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out
to be wrong.
Taking part in a group process can be very rewarding for members of the team.
Team members who have a voice in making a decision will no doubt feel better
about carrying out the work that is entailed by that decision than they might
doing work that is imposed on them by others. Also, the individual team
member has a much better chance to “shine,” to get his or her contributions
and ideas not only recognized but recognized as highly significant, because a
team’s overall results can be more far-reaching and have greater impact than
what might have otherwise been possible for the person to accomplish or
contribute working alone.

Lecture text:
Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would
turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible
for planning the projects and getting the work done. After about six months, the company
took a look at how well the teams performed.
On virtually every team, some members got almost a “free ride” . . . they didn’t
contribute much at all, but if their team did a good job, they nevertheless benefited
from the recognition the team got. And what about group members who worked especially
well and who provided a lot of insight on problems and issues? Well . . . the
recognition for a job well done went to the group as a whole, no names were named.
So it won’t surprise you to learn that when the real contributors were asked how they
felt about the group process, their attitude was just the opposite of what the reading
Another finding was that some projects just didn’t move very quickly. Why? Because
it took so long to reach consensus; it took many, many meetings to build the
agreement among group members about how they would move the project along. On
the other hand, there were other instances where one or two people managed to become
very influential over what their group did. Sometimes when those influencers
said “That will never work” about an idea the group was developing, the idea was
quickly dropped instead of being further discussed. And then there was another occasion
when a couple influencers convinced the group that a plan of theirs was “highly
creative.” And even though some members tried to warn the rest of the group that the
project was moving in directions that might not work, they were basically ignored by
other group members. Can you guess the ending to this story? When the project
failed, the blame was placed on all the members of the group.


My response:

The passage discusses a fascinating topic pertaining to advantages of working in a team of people rather than working alone by an individual. While the passage made some points in support of working in a team, the professor described findings of a real company when it decided to give new projects to teams of people. Thus, the reading passage fails to mention quintessential information that substantiates the argument that working in a team is indeed has several benefits as compared to taking the responsibilities of a project alone. The following essay attempts to demonstrate these differences in order to establish an objective view of the situation.

First, the reading passage discusses that all the team members get credit for the contribution they made in project. In contrast, the professor provides information that some members from the team get recognition, even if they do not contribute much to the project. In addition, the real contributors do not feel good about it because it is they whose contribution makes the project successful and not those who just get “free ride”. As a result, we can safely assume that working in team does not give actual recognition to those who made the project successful.

Second, the article pushes forth the idea that since a group of people has greater knowledge, skills and expertise it makes the task to be completed more quickly as compared the duration it take by a single individual. However, the professor confirms that when there are more people, it is difficult to reach a consensus as to how to complete the project. Consequently, we can argue that indeed projects do not move quickly when it is done in a team.

Finally, and most importantly, the professor mentions that some people may influence the decisions on behalf of the entire group. This differs from the passage which states that everyone has a say to make his or her points before reaching a conclusion. If one or two people influence an idea which may fail, then the blame is beared by the whole group and not by the people who influenced the decision.

In summary, a people of group may not provide all the advantages as it is described in the passage. The lecture mentions all relevant evidence to weaken the reasoning provided in the passage.

Word count: 481

FOCUS..this is all I need!


My First Integrated Writing Essay..Please review   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2012, 11:51
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