Please rate my AWA. Thanks! Kudos for reviews : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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# Please rate my AWA. Thanks! Kudos for reviews

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Intern
Joined: 10 Aug 2013
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30 Aug 2013, 12:46
The following appeared in the City Council Proceedings section of the local newspaper in Smithville:
"The city council of Smithville has instituted changes to police procedures to improve the visibility of the police force. These changes required that the town hire more police officers, budget more funds for police overtime, and direct officers to patrol significantly more often on foot rather than from their patrol cars. These improvements in visibility will significantly lower the crime rate in Smithville and make its citizens feel safer."

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered to decide how likely the stated recommendation is to yield the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

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The recommendation by city council at Smithville to increase police force visibility is based on a flawed argument. Firstly, its recommendations for how to increase police visibility are probably not the only ways to do so, and does not adequately explain how those recommendations would avoid making some citizens feel more afraid or even provoke criminals to commit more crime. Secondly, the more egregious flaw is that it does not argue for why police visibility will lower crime in the first place.

First, the recommendation does not explain why police visibility that will be effective in reducing crime and reassuring residents should take the form of more police officers, more overtime, and more foot patrols. Of course, this is one way for the police force to become more visible, and is indeed the most obvious one. However, one weakness of such a method is that it is very expensive. Secondly, such an aggressive show of visibility may provoke criminals, especially organized crime, to prove itself in the form of committing more crime. Also, such a direct show of police presence, may even carry the implicit message that crime is a credible and strong threat in the city, making some citizens feel even more afraid. City council's recommendations and arguments fail to address these concerns and answer why increasing officers and officer patrols are the best way to effectively manifest police visibility. By contrast, some jurisdictions have increased police visibility in a more gentle way which reassures citizens and is much more frugal. For instance, some police forces have participated in community fairs by staffing a table or booth with a pair of police officers armed with brochures, a smile, and a willingness to answer questions. Some jurisdictions have even sent police officers to speak at high school assemblies. These are all simple ideas that city council failed to consider, or at least explain why they have chosen not to follow.

Secondly, the most serious logical error in council's argument is that it simply assumes, without arguing, why police visibility automatically reduces crime. As already mentioned above, some police visibility may even have the opposite effect. It could be that there are deep underlying reasons for crime in their town that are economic or social in nature, such that simply showing the town that the police are there would only be a band-aid solution. Or, it might be that the community needs to be better educated on how to discourage identity theft, or even simply to lock their windows better. The fact that council has failed to support its crucial assumption is the most serious failing of its argument.

The questions that council must answer, then, are what underlying issues play into crime in their town. Perhaps it could hire a consulting firm to investigate this question. Further, council needs to ask the question of what kind of visibility, if any, would be best employed in town. A consulting firm could also be employed to help answer this question. Without getting clear on these questions first, their recommendation as it stands is seriously flawed.
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
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31 Aug 2013, 04:53
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I like this -- I'd love to see three support paragraphs, instead of just two. Plus, that second support paragraph is SUPER long -- almost too long.

I'd put this in a 4.5 range. A third support paragraph would do wonders here.

Good work!
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Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina

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Intern
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31 Aug 2013, 08:12
Hi Brian,

Thanks for the feedback, helpful advice. Question. If at the time I couldn't think of 3 points, but only 2, should I just break up the 2 points into 3 support paragraphs (i.e. split my second paragraph into two)? Because you advised me to use 3 support paragraphs.

B

brianlange77 wrote:
I like this -- I'd love to see three support paragraphs, instead of just two. Plus, that second support paragraph is SUPER long -- almost too long.

I'd put this in a 4.5 range. A third support paragraph would do wonders here.

Good work!
Manhattan GMAT Instructor
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31 Aug 2013, 17:53
Remember -- this is not a submission for a Pulitzer Prize. Figure out a way to come up with three points -- they don't need all be A+ thinking, but 3 'points' will create a better looking paragraph than just 2 'points.

Hope this helps.

-Brian
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Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina

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Re: Please rate my AWA. Thanks! Kudos for reviews   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2013, 17:53
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