Let me know if my answer is an oversimplification -- but I don't think you should automatically assume that one paragraph is a strengthen and one is a weaken. You might need several points of strength -- or you might want to attack the argument in different ways. You need at least three support paragraphs.
I read your comments and tried to implement them.
Please read my new AWA and tell me what do you think.
p.s: I tried to make it into 5 paragraphs but couldnt find the third support/flaw.
“Neither stronger ethics regulations nor stronger enforcement mechanisms are
necessary to ensure ethical behavior by companies doing business with this
department. We already have a code of ethics that companies doing business with
this department are urged to abide by, and virtually all of these companies have
agreed to follow it. We also know that the code is relevant to the current business
environment because it was approved within the last year, and in direct response to
specific violations committed by companies with which we were then working—not
in abstract anticipation of potential violations, as so many such codes are.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
The argument claims that the companies who are doing business with the department are following a certain ethical code that is acceptable by the department. Therefore, there is no need for stronger regulations or stronger mechanisms to ensure the company's ethical behavior. This conclusion is based on the fact that the companies who agreed to follow the ethical code are actually following it. In addition, the author claims that the code is relevant to the current business environment. The author based this claim on the fact that the code was approved within last year in a response to specific violations of the code. Although at first the arguments may seem to make common sense, the author relies on several assumptions that may not necessarily apply to his argument. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and has several flaws.
The first issue to be address is the assumption that the companies who have agreed to follow the code are actually following it. This assumption is weak since it is well known that in today's business environment an agreement which is not enforced tends to be broken. Furthermore, a recent study shows that in the last 10 years 95% of the agreements that were not enforced have been broken. On the contrary, the study shows that only 5% of the agreements that were enforced have been broken. Therefore, without data about the actual number of agreements that were broken or at least their percentage out of the total agreements, this assumption fails to support the author's conclusion.
Second, the argument claims that the code is relevant because it was approved within the last year in direct response to specific violations that committed by the companies that used to work with the department. In this argument the author assumes that the department has encountered enough violations to make the code relevant. However, there is high possibility that the department has not experienced enough violations and therefore the code is irrelevant. If the author had provided evidence that the department has encountered a large number of violations, it could serve to strengthen the argument and make it more convincing.
In conclusion, the argument presented is flawed and not persuasive. It could be considerably strengthened if the author had provided the missing data that I mentioned above. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all the relevant factors.