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Please rate my AWA essay, thank you very much

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Please rate my AWA essay, thank you very much [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2012, 21:54
The following appeared as part of the business plan for a health centre:

After introducing martial arts and dance classes, our members used the health center 15% more than they had previously. Therefore, in order to increase membership, we should continue to add more of these `` non traditional `` programs, including meditation classes, rock climbing and yoga. Being the only center to offer these programs will elevate us over our competitors.
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The argument that more members are visiting the health center, because of an increase in non-traditional courses is flawed. Throughout the argument, the author makes several assumptions which need to be addressed.

The author assumes that there is a causal link between an increase in membership and adding nontraditional courses such as yoga, meditation. To evaluate this argument, more information would be helpful. For example the author could include the results from a survey which asks members the reason for visiting the health center. If the members indicate that they are visiting the health center for the non-traditional classes, then we have a correlation between the 2 variables. Alternatively, the author could use numbers such as an increase in the number of visitors and an increase in the numbers of participants in the non-traditional classes to show the relationship. Without any evidence we cannot simply conclude that there is a relationship between the 2 variables.

Secondly, the author assumes that the increase in non-traditional courses is the only reason for the increase in members visiting the facility. Maybe there are other reasons why members are visiting the health center more such as a discount for the membership fee or new.

Finally the author says that being the only health centre will give them an edge over their competitors. The reasoning is flawed, because the author simply assumes that non-traditional courses are popular in his city. If the citizens are not into yoga or meditation then we cannot say for sure that adding this course will elevate them against their competitors. Maybe other health centres offers incentives such as a reduced membership or better equipment which entices visitors to come to their facility. Without any given information, we cannot conclude that more members will visit than other health centers.

Because the argument includes several questionable assumptions, the conclusion does not logically follow from the premise. The author makes unwarranted assumption about a relationship between adding non-traditional courses and an increase in members visits, adding non-traditional course being the only reason for the increase in members visit, and that non-traditional courses will give them an edge over its competitors. In order to make the argument more convincing the author needs to address these flaws.
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Re: Please rate my AWA essay, thank you very much [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2013, 19:43
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In my opinion, this paper seems to be a clear 3.0.

3.0. The paper does not identify or analyze most of the important features of the argument, although some analysis of the argument is present



The first paragraph includes some analysis of the argument.
Quote:
The author assumes that there is a causal link between an increase in membership and adding nontraditional courses such as yoga, meditation. To evaluate this argument, more information would be helpful. For example the author could include the results from a survey which asks members the reason for visiting the health center.

However, this analysis is flawed. First of all, the author does not quite assume a causal link between an increase in membership and adding nontraditional courses. The author assumes a causal link between an increase in attendance and adding nontraditional courses. The author then concludes that there should be a causal link between an increase in membership and a further addition of the courses. The analysis fails to make a distinction between increased attendance and increased membership, which is one of the key features of the argument.

In fact, even if, the analysis suggests, a survey established that the members were visiting the center more often for the dance classes, this would not be sufficient to establish the importance of the "non-traditionality" of the classes. Perhaps the classes were simply added at a convenient time, and most members do not really care which fitness class to take. (I know this industry, and this is not far from the truth ;-)).

The analysis fails to identify another important distinction: the distinction between adding nontraditional courses in the past vs. continuing to add such courses in the future. Just because adding a few courses seems to have helped does not mean that adding more and more course will continuously bring results.

The analysis fails to compare the disciplines of martial arts and dance to the disciplines of meditation, rock climbing, and yoga. For example, many Christians object to meditation and yoga on religious grounds. It is also clear that many people would be reluctant to attempt rock climbing, even if they are enjoying martial arts and dance. Thus just because martial arts and dance classes are popular, it does not necessarily imply that meditation or rock climbing classes would be just as popular. This is another important feature of the argument that is missed by the analysis.

The analysis fails to analyse the danger that as the center is offering too many classes in too many different disciplines, the perception of the quality of those classes may lower.

The analysis fails to attempt to clarify the meaning of the ambiguous term "elevate us over our competitors", assuming that it is basically the same as increasing the membership.

The analysis fails to question that the center would be the only center offering such classes - the competitors may do the same.


3.0. The paper mainly analyzes tangential or irrelevant matters, or reasons poorly.


The first full paragraph is confusing increased membership with increased attendance, as was already explained. It does contain a relevant suggestion about checking whether the members were attending the new classes, but fails to develop this line of reasoning.

The second paragraph is wrong and irrelevant:
Quote:
Secondly, the author assumes that the increase in non-traditional courses is the only reason for the increase in members visiting the facility. Maybe there are other reasons why members are visiting the health center more such as a discount for the membership fee or new.

Never does the author assume that the increase in non-traditional courses is the ONLY reason for the increase in attendance. Of course, there are always all kinds of factors affecting attendance and/or membership such as the weather, the state of the economy, the competition, the time of the year, etc. There are always infinitely many other reasons. We are only studying the effect of adding nontraditional courses.


Quote:
Finally the author says that being the only health centre will give them an edge over their competitors. The reasoning is flawed, because the author simply assumes that non-traditional courses are popular in his city.

This is just unfair! The author does not simply assume that non-traditional courses are popular in the city. Not at all! The author is using evidence, however limited and flawed it may be. Added courses - attendance increased. This is what the whole argument is about! Besides, the author does not assume that non-traditional courses are popular in his city.

Quote:
Without any given information, we cannot conclude that more members will visit than other health centers.

Once again, we do have information! The whole assignment is to see whether this information is sufficient to draw this conclusion. Note also that "more members will visit than other health centers" is not necessarily the same thing as "elevate us over our competitors". Perhaps they already have more members and they want to increase the distance, or "elevate" may be taken in some other sense. It may mean profits or publicity.

Quote:
The author makes unwarranted assumption about a relationship between adding non-traditional courses and an increase in members visits, adding non-traditional course being the only reason for the increase in members visit, and that non-traditional courses will give them an edge over its competitors.

The first one is true, the author does make this unwarranted assumption. The second assumption is never made. The third one is not an assumption - the author presents it as a conclusion.

4.0. Develops and organizes ideas satisfactorily, but may not connect them with transitions


I am not sure about this one. The organization of ideas is generally sound.

3.0. Offers support of little relevance or value for the points of critique


Quote:
Secondly, the author assumes that the increase in non-traditional courses is the only reason for the increase in members visiting the facility. Maybe there are other reasons why members are visiting the health center more such as a discount for the membership fee or new.

I have already discussed this one. We want to know if this increase is a cause, not necessarily the only cause.

Quote:
If the citizens are not into yoga or meditation then we cannot say for sure that adding this course will elevate them against their competitors.

This one is of little relevance or value. Even if the citizens are into yoga or meditation, we still cannot say that for sure. Besides, what does it mean, that "the citizens are into"? All of them?

Quote:
Maybe other health centres offers incentives such as a reduced membership or better equipment which entices visitors to come to their facility.

Maybe, or maybe not. I fail to see how this sentence contributes to the development of the argument.



3.0. Does not convey meaning clearly


Quote:
The argument that more members are visiting the health center, because of an increase in non-traditional courses is flawed.

This is actually an assumption. The argument was that the center should add more courses and that it would elevate them over the competitors.

Quote:
Maybe there are other reasons why members are visiting the health center more such as a discount for the membership fee or new.

A discount that was added at the same time as the new courses? What is "new"?

Quote:
If the citizens are not into yoga or meditation then we cannot say for sure that adding this course will elevate them against their competitors. Maybe other health centres offers incentives such as a reduced membership or better equipment which entices visitors to come to their facility.

If I understand correctly, what is meant here is "Maybe other health centers will offer... which will entice..."

Quote:
Finally the author says that being the only health centre will give them an edge over their competitors.

Not being the only health centre, but the only one offering nontraditional classes.

Quote:
If the citizens are not into yoga or meditation then we cannot say for sure that adding this course

Which course? Yoga or meditation?

3.0. Contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics..


Quote:
The argument that more members are visiting the health center, because of an increase in non-traditional courses is flawed.

The punctuation is confusing.

Quote:
The author assumes that there is a causal link between an increase in membership and adding...

"an increase" is not parallel to "adding". Perhaps change to "and the addition"

Quote:
more information would be helpful.

Sounds too informal to my ear. Compare with "I wish more people would be helpful".

Quote:
For example the author could include the results from a survey which asks members the reason for visiting the health center.

I'd say "which asked" in this case. Also I'd say "asked for the reason".

Quote:
an increase in the number of visitors and an increase in the numbers of participants

Singular vs. plural.

Quote:
Secondly, the author assumes that the increase in non-traditional courses

Idiom: "the increase in... courses" doesn't quite sound right.

Quote:
...why members are visiting the health center more such...

more often?

Quote:
such as a discount for the membership fee or new.

"on the membership fee". Also note the sudden ending "or new."

Quote:
Maybe other health centres offers...

Should be "offer" or "will offer" or "would offer".

Quote:
a reduced membership or better equipment

reduced membership fee?

Quote:
Without any given information, we cannot conclude that more members will visit than other health centers.

The comma is unnecessary. Also, health centers do not visit anyone (compare apples to apples). Furthermore, it would be nice to choose either "centre" or "center" and to follow the same spelling throughout the paper.

Quote:
The author makes unwarranted assumption about a relationship between adding non-traditional courses and an increase in members visits, adding non-traditional course being the only reason for the increase in members visit...

Need plural: "assumptions". I would also write "the relationship between adding...". "Being" is generally bad style. "Members visit" is ungrammatical.

Quote:
and that non-traditional courses will give them an edge over its competitors.

Who is "them" and what is "its"?
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I tutor in NYC: http://www.wyzant.com/Tutors/NY/New-Yor ... ref=1RKFOZ

Re: Please rate my AWA essay, thank you very much   [#permalink] 13 Jan 2013, 19:43
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