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I have just started working on the AWA piece and below was my first real attempt. It would be great if somebody could rate my response below. Thanks is advance.
Question: The following appeared in a print advertisement for a dietary supplement:
“According to a recent study, professional bodybuilders who used Train & Gain, a new protein supplement, over the course of three months experienced an increase in measured strength of up to 20%. Since Train & Gain is now available without prescription at all major pharmacies, superior results are no longer limited to professional athletes. Try Train & Gain today and you too can boost your strength and achieve professional-level performance in just a few months.”
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.
Answer: The advertisement says that the protein supplement helped in increasing professional bodybuilders' measured strength by 20% in 3 months. It then contends that the supplement can now be used by the general public to booth their strength and achieve professional-level performnace within a few months.
The argument assumnes that the supplemnet will have similar effect among the non-professional users as it had among the professional bodybuilders. This is the most serious flaw in the logic. The supplement might have varying effects on various type of users which the argument fails to point out.
Moreover, the study used as an evidence to support the argument does not explicitly say that the increase in strength was because of the supplement, there might have been several factors such as increased amount of exercise contributing to the increase in the strength.
Further, the argument assumes that the professional level performance can be achieved by having more strength. While strength might be one of the criteria to achieve professional level performance, it might not be the only criteria to do so. There might be other factors such as skill to achieve that. The argument fails to point this out.
A further analysis of the study might reveal that the supplemt had actually a very small conribution towards increasing the strength among the professional-bodybuilders sighted in the argument.
A study among the non-professional users clearly indicating the effects of the supplemt will be the useful in supporting the argument.