Please rate my essay. : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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Joined: 16 May 2013
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26 Jul 2013, 12:07
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper.
This past winter, 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding for various state college programs. The other 12,000 Waymarsh students evidently weren’t so concerned about their education: they either stayed on campus or left for winter break. Since the group who did not protest is far more numerous, it is more representative of the state’s college students than are the protesters. Therefore the state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

The argument states that only 200 students from Waymarsh State college travelled to the state Capitol to protest the proposed plan to cut funds for various state college programs while the rest of the 12,000 students either stayed back on campus or left for winter break. The argument further concludes that since majority of the students did not protest , the state legislature need not heed to the appeals of the protesting student. The argument is poorly reasoned and is based on questionable assumptions and premises. It lacks statistical data without which the argument in unconvincing.
First, the author assumes that only the only the 200 odd students, protesting the cuts , are the only ones who are concerned about the education. It may be that the student body in Waymarsh State College has selected these students to represent the body consisting of all the students and voice their opinion against the cuts.
Second, the author fails to state if all the college programs or only a selected few programs in Waymarsh high school would be affected as a part of these cuts. It could be that students from the programs directly affected from the cuts are the ones protesting in front of the State Capitol. Such a situation would justify the decision of the remaining students not to take part in the protest.
The argument could be strengthened if the author could provide evidence that the student protesting outside the state capitol do not share the views of the 12000 student that stayed back or went for winter break.
As it stands , the argument is not well reasoned and would not stand without the support of evidence.
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27 Jul 2013, 00:23
Hi,

I would give your essay a 3.5 or a 4. First off, you make a good point in your second paragraph that the argument assumes that only the protesters are concerned about the cuts. But you need to develop your point more fully then you do and introduce additional reasoning that illustrates why it is problematic to assume that the protesters are the only ones who care because they showed up. For instance, the fact that the students had to travel to the State Capitol (involves transportation, time off work, etc.), or that the protest was during Winter Break also indicates that many students who might oppose the increase might not have been able to attend.

Second, your third paragraph is not really relevant or making a strong point that challenges the argument's main claim. You need to be addressing the assumption that not attending the protest means students are not concerned about their education. But even more importantly, you need to be challenging the idea that even if only 5 students cared about the cuts and protested, that the state legislature should be basing their actions and decisions on whether a group represents the majority or not. Simply because a group may represent the majority opinion does not mean that the opinion of the majority is valid and should be followed. The opposite also holds true: a minority view should not be dismissed as invalid simply based on quantity.

Hope this helps,
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Peak Performance Test Prep

Intern
Status: Yes. It was I who let the dogs out.
Joined: 03 Dec 2012
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27 Jul 2013, 21:33
koolgmat wrote:
The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper.
This past winter, 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding for various state college programs. The other 12,000 Waymarsh students evidently weren’t so concerned about their education: they either stayed on campus or left for winter break. Since the group who did not protest is far more numerous, it is more representative of the state’s college students than are the protesters. Therefore the state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.

The argument states that only 200 students from Waymarsh State college travelled to the state Capitol to protest the proposed plan to cut funds for various state college programs while the rest of the 12,000 students either stayed back on campus or left for winter break. The argument further concludes that since majority of the students did not protest , the state legislature need not heed to the appeals of the protesting student. The argument is poorly reasoned and is based on questionable assumptions and premises. It lacks statistical data without which the argument in unconvincing.
First, the author assumes that only the only the 200 odd students, protesting the cuts , are the only ones who are concerned about the education. It may be that the student body in Waymarsh State College has selected these students to represent the body consisting of all the students and voice their opinion against the cuts.
Second, the author fails to state if all the college programs or only a selected few programs in Waymarsh high school would be affected as a part of these cuts. It could be that students from the programs directly affected from the cuts are the ones protesting in front of the State Capitol. Such a situation would justify the decision of the remaining students not to take part in the protest.
The argument could be strengthened if the author could provide evidence that the student protesting outside the state capitol do not share the views of the 12000 student that stayed back or went for winter break.
As it stands , the argument is not well reasoned and would not stand without the support of evidence.

Read the Official Sample Analysis of an Argument Question on the MBA.com Website at http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-structure-and-overview/analytical-writing-assessment-section/sample-analysis-of-an-argument-question.aspx

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With each $29.99 subscription you purchase, you’ll receive two unique essay prompts and have the chance to write four essays, two for each prompt. After completing the essays, you will receive immediate results that show you how you would likely score on the writing exams and how you could improve your scores. This practice tool will help you prepare for the GMAT exam, for business school, and for your career. http://www.vantageonlinestore.com/product.php?productid=16441&cat=299&page=1 GMAT Write™ 2 This web-based essay writing practice tool offers you real GMAT writing prompts along with feedback on how well your essays demonstrate your ability to think critically and communicate ideas. Each practice essay will be scored in real time with the same automated essay-scoring engine used by the official GMAT® exam. Upon submitting each essay, you will receive feedback on how well your essays— •Identify and analyze significant flaws in the argument •Support your critique using relevant supporting reasons and/or examples •Develop a clearly organized and coherent response •Demonstrate control of language, including diction, syntax, and conventions of standard written English With each$29.99 subscription you purchase, you’ll receive two unique essay prompts and have the chance to write four essays, two for each prompt.
After completing the essays, you will receive immediate results that show you how you would likely score on the writing exams and how you could improve your scores.

Current Analytical Writing Assessment Topics
You may download the complete list of current Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) Analysis of an Argument Topics used during the administration of the GMAT exam at
http://www.mba.com/~/media/Files/mba/NEWTheGMAT/AnalysisofanArgument100606.pdf.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elements_of_Style
William Strunk, Jr. (1 July 1869 – 26 September 1946), was a professor of English at Cornell University and author of the The Elements of Style (1918), which, after being revised and enlarged by his former student E. B. White, became a highly influential guide to English usage during the late 20th century.

http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X/ref=sr_1_1/186-8560226-2308145?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1375054689&sr=1-1
The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition [Paperback]
William Strunk Jr. (Author), E. B. White (Author), Roger Angell (Foreword)

You can read the book online at http://www.bartleby.com/141/
The University of Amsterdam has the made the earlier edition of the book available in pdf at http://www.cs.vu.nl/~jms/doc/elos.pdf.
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