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31 Aug 2012, 04:50
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.

My response:

The author claims that the caption seafood restaurant should be quite popular and profitable among Bay City restaurants because the consumption of sea food has increased by 30% among Bay City restaurants and because City Bay residents prefer eating out. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key points on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which no clear evidence has been cited. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.

Firstly, the author readily assumes that the food offered by Bay City restaurants is not better than the sea food offered by Caption seafood restaurant. This statement is a stretch and is not substantiated in any given way. For instance, it might be possible that the Caption seafood restaurant specialized in kind of seafood that is not preferred by Bay City residents while the other Bay City restaurants serve sea food that is liked by the local residents. For Example in capital of India, a local chain sells called Indian Burger is preferred by the city residents to McDonald’s because the local chain uses local ingredients. In order to strengthen the argument the author must provide reasons that establish that the seafood that Caption seafood restaurant offers is liked and is popular among the residents of Bay City.

Secondly, the author assumes that the food offered by Caption seafood restaurant is more healthier than served by other Bay City restaurants. Clearly this statement is not supported by the argument. For instance, its possible that the Caption seafood restaurant uses excess oil in cooking its sea food while other Bay City restaurants use less oil in cooking their sea food. Also it might be possible that the Caption seafood restaurant deep fries its seafood killing all the nutrients. In order to strengthen the argument the author needs to provide more details that support the contention that the food offered by Caption seafood restaurant is healthier than other City Bay restaurants.

On top of the above logical flaws, the author fails to answer some key questions, which further weaken the argument. Are Bay City restaurants cheaper than Caption seafood restaurant? The author mentions that majority of families in Bay City prefer eating out but fails to consider that Bay City restaurants might be significantly cheaper than the Caption seafood restaurant and hence preferable. This further weakens the assumption of the author that bay city residents would prefer Caption seafood restaurant over other Bay City restaurants. Another question that needs to be considered is that is the location of Caption seafood restaurant better than City Bay restaurants? Because it might be possible that the proposed location of the Caption seafood restaurant is such that it would be least convenient for City Bay residents to go there for food. Without a clear answer to these questions one is likely to believe that the argument is more a result of wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is weak owing to the type of evidence used, assumptions involved and weak reasoning. It could have been considerably strengthened if the author provided more information that could help bridge the logical gaps. In order to access the merits of a given situation its necessary to have complete information on all the contributing factors. In this case, without this information the argument remains unconvincing and open to debate.
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