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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 28 Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Technology
GMAT Date: 09-27-2013
GPA: 3.3
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

This is my first essay. Would like to have your inputs.

The following appeared as part of an annual report sent to stockholders by Olympic Foods, a processor of frozen
foods:
"Over time, the costs of processing go down because as organizations learn howto do things better, they
become more efficient. In color film processing, for example, the cost of a 3-by-5-inch print fell from 50 cents for
five-day service in 1970to 20 cents for one-day service in 1984. The same principle applies to the processing of
food. And since Olympic Foods will soon celebrate its 25th birthday, we can expect that our
long experience will enable us to minimize costs andthus maximize profits."
Discuss howwell reasoned you find this argument. In yourdiscussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and
the use of evidence inthe argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions
underlie the thinking andwhat alternative explanations or counterexamples might'weaken the conclusion. You can
also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would
make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

My analysis:

The argument that the company's 20 years of experience will help to minimize the costs and maximize the profits seems to omit some information which could have helped to substantiate the company's claim. The opening sentence of the argument which claims that the more experience gained in processing certain products, the lesser will be the cost is seriously flawed. Also the comparision of the color printing proces with the food processing is not clear. There is no logical explanation provided supporting the comparision. This doesnt constitute enough evidence to support this premise which inturn cannot strengthen the conclusion of the argument.

The argument doesnt provide any information regarding the industrial process involved which could have helped to evaluate the argument. This could easily be a human capital intensive industry as much as raw material. If the wages of the employees make up the majority of the costs, then the claim that the costs will go down with the experience gained will be weakened. Also if the company is operating in a market where the barriers to enter the market is much higher as compared to another industry, it will be easier for th existing operators to gain specific knowledge related to the industry without much competition. Also there is no hint at the kind of business environment the firm is operating right now in the argument. If the food processing industry is a lucrative segment with few to no barriers to entry, it would be to difficult for the company A to reap significant economic profits - Actual profits minus opportunity cost- while operating in a market with a lot of competition. Also its mentioned that with the experience gained, it will help in cutting down costs. What kind of advantage will be gained with experience as compared to a relatively new competitior. If the company A is assumed to hold significant number of patents in the food proccess, then it provide significant evidence which could strenghthen the authors conclusion. On the other hand, if from the experience gained the business helped the company to smoothen the other processes involved in the food proccessing, it can be emulated by the other companies which can inturn increase the competition and put downward pressure on the companies end products / services. All these statements prove that there are some gaps in the argument which, if filled, can further strenghten the companies claims.

With all the gaps in the premises based on which the conclusion is drawn makes the argument weak but with the help of additional information mentioned above, the argument can be evaluated and a sound conclusion can be drawn.
Princeton Review Representative
Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 163
Followers: 131

Kudos [?]: 229 [0], given: 0

Expert's post
This essay lays out many assumptions and does some analysis but the lack of organization and paragraph structure hurt the overall effect. I would give this essay a 2.5 or 3 as written.

your introduction does not need to list all of the points you are going to make in the article and doing so in this paragraph takes away from the point of the introduction, which is that the argument is logically unconvincing.

your body paragraph should be separated by ideas. ideally each paragraph should bring up one point and analyze it carefully.

your conclusion isn't quite on point as the argument can be evaluated whether or not it has the recommended items - it is just not logically cohesive.
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