Will really appreciate if you can rate and provide feedback on my first AWA.
The following is taken from an editorial in a local newspaper.
“Over the past decade, the price per pound of citrus fruit has increased substantially. Eleven years ago, Megamart charged 5 cents apiece for lemons, but today it commonly charges over 30 cents apiece. In only one of these last eleven years was the weather unfavorable for growing citrus crops. Evidently, then, citrus growers have been responsible for the excessive increase in the price of citrus fruit, and strict pricing regulations are needed to prevent them from continuing to inflate prices.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
The argument claim that over the past decade the price of citrus fruit has increased substantially. To back this claim it provides a signal example of Megamart which charged 5 cents a piece of lemon, but today is commonly charging 30 cents apiece. It further says that in only one of these last eleven years was the weather unfavorable for growing of citrus crops. Based on this claims it concludes that citrus grower have been single handily responsible for the excessive increase in the price of the citrus fruit and strict pricing regulation are needed to prevent them from continuing to inflate prices. Stated in this way argument manipulate facts and convey distorted view of the situation. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumption for which there is no clear evidence. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.
First the argument readily assumes that only factor that can affect the prices of citrus fruit is weather. This statement is a stretch as it readily ignores other sources of price raises for example inflation, increase in transportation or distribution cost, change in demand supply equation etc. Clearly the charge that citrus grower have unnecessarily increased the price can be substantiated only if these and other possible factors can be completely ruled out as contributing to the price increases.
Second the argument provide a single example of Megamart which increased the price of citrus fruit by 6 folds during last eleven years and assumes that industry wide prices have increased on similar scale. It can happen that such severe price rises could only be restricted to Megamart due to issues purely restricted to Megamart for example poor management, poor distribution, poor customer service resulting customer apathy etc. The argument could have been better supported if industry wide statistics where provided rather than single instance of Megamart for claiming that prices of citrus fruits have increase 6 folds during past eleven years.
Finally arguments claims that only way to fix the problem of price rise should be through strict price regulation. It has not provided any evidence to demonstrate how price regulation would help in preventing price increases. It can happen that after strict price regulation grower no longer have the same levels of incentive for growing citrus fruits and would rather grow other fruits resulting in shortage of citrus fruits in the market making the situation worse. Moreover argument also does not rule out any other ways in which prices can be controller for example increased competition, improving infrastructure etc. Without answers to this question argument leaves an impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than based on substantive evidence.
In conclusion the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing it could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly rules out any other cause of price increase and means of controlling price increases and mentions industry wide data on price increase.
Great stuff -- I'd feel confident in this work. Structure, good length, solid writing style. Definitely at least a 4.5, if not higher. Which also means, you should feel free to never worry about the AWA again. With this AWA ability under your belt -- time to move on to other (more important) parts of the exam.
Hope this helps.
Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina
Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile