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Please rate my Argument essey. Thank you.

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Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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Concentration: Finance, Economics
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Please rate my Argument essey. Thank you. [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2012, 01:27
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. The following appeared as part of an article in a popular science magazine.
“Scientists must typically work 60 to 80 hours a week if they hope to further their careers; consequently, good and affordable allday child care must be made available to both male and female scientists if they are to advance in their fields. Moreover, requirements for career advancement must be made more flexible so that preschool-age children can spend a significant portion of each day with a parent.”

The argument claims that if scientists want to advance in their careers they have to work 60 to 80 hours a week. Consequently, scientists have to provide their children a good child care, which will be replacement for their parents for part of a day. Also, requirements for advancement in career must be made more flexible so that children every day spend certain amount of time with their parents. Stated in this way the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak and has several flaws.

First, the argument assumes that scientist are the only people who have to work long hours and sacrifice private life in order to further their careers. This statement is a stretch since the argument claims that people with occupancies other that in science field do not have to work hard and long in order to advance in careers. Every employee who wants to achieve success in career has to be hardworking and prepared to do long hours. The argument could have been much clearer if it provided additional information that scientist job is not the same as any other job.

Second, the argument claims without justification that requirements for career advancement must be more flexible. This is again very weak and unsupported claim since the argument does not provide enough evidence to support its claim. To illustrate, it is absolutely possible that requirements provide sufficient time interval that scientist can use to spend time with their children. If the argument had provided evidence that scientist do not have enough time to spend with their families that the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case whether scientists job differs from other jobs and whether current requirements for career advancement are too strict. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
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Re: Please rate my Argument essey. Thank you. [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2012, 11:38
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Hi Stiv,

This essay is, unfortunately, weak, and it gets a 3.

It's well written and well organized, but the logic falls flat. Your second paragraph in particular is completely out of scope--the author's argument does not involve members of non-scientific careers, either directly or tangentially. He therefore does not assume that "only" scientists need this care! Your third paragraph is more on the mark, but it's very, very vague. You need to explore alternatives here, to explain how scientists can advance their careers without flexible requirements, or alternately, why it's acceptable for scientists with children to not advance careers.

Here's a few flaws in this stem, to help you out!

1) The author assumes that scientists working 60-80 hours a week aren't earning enough to afford child-care on their own.
2) The author singles out pre-school age children without justification, failing to explain why newborns and first-graders shouldnt' also spend time with parents
3) The author fails to establish that it is problematic for scientists with children to advance their careers
4) The author fails to establish that it's useful to have children spend a "significant portion" of each day with a parent.
5) The author fails to consider the proportion of scientists who have a stay-at-home spouse.
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Re: Please rate my Argument essey. Thank you.   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2012, 11:38
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Please rate my Argument essey. Thank you.

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