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28 Aug 2012, 20:27
A recent sales study indicates that consumption of seafood dishes in Bay City restaurants has increased by 30 percent during the past five years. Yet there are no currently operating city restaurants whose specialty is seafood. Moreover, the majority of families in Bay City are two-income families, and a nationwide study has shown that such families eat significantly fewer home-cooked meals than they did a decade ago but at the same time express more concern about healthful eating. Therefore, the new Captain Seafood restaurant that specializes in seafood should be quite popular and profitable.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be addressed in order to decide whether the conclusion and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to the questions would help to evaluate the conclusion.
The argument claims that opening a Captain Seafood restaurant in Bay City will be popular and profitable. However, this argument is based on number of unwarranted assumptions. Stated in this manner, the argument fails to mention several key factors to fully evaluate the conclusion.
First, the argument readily assumes that income level of two-income families in Bay City is comparable to the two-income families in the nationwide survey. Even though the two-income families in the survey eat few home cooked meals, surveyed families may have considerably more income than the two-income families in Bay City. For example, the surveyed families may have more money left over after paying rent and utilities to eat out more frequently versus Bay City two-income families. Clearly, to improve the argument, it should compare the income levels of Bay City and nationwide surveyed two-income families.
Second, the argument claims that a thirty percent increase over five years at Bay City Restaurant can translate into profitability for a new specialized seafood restaurant. The increase at Bay City Restaurant can be represented by selling zero dishes to 30 dishes over five years; even though, this may be significant in percentages, it may not be considerable increase in actual numbers. For this reason, this argument’s claims is based on percentages that can be misleading. Clearly, to improve the argument, the author should have included an actual increase in number of seafood dishes sold at Bay City Restaurant; this information could better indicate if opening an Captain Seafood restaurant could be profitable.
Finally, what do the people surveyed in nationwide study considered healthful eating? Is seafood dishes allowed? If seafood dishes are not considered at healthy by people surveyed by nationwide study, then the argument is clearly cannot claim its conclusion. The argument would have been a lot more convincing if it had given more details about what is considered healthy eating.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the authors mentioned all the relevant facts such as definition of healthy eating, the actual amount of thirty percent increase and comparison of dollar amount income of two-income families in nationwide survey and recent study. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.