Please rate my essay !! GMAT on coming Wednesday :| : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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# Please rate my essay !! GMAT on coming Wednesday :|

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07 Aug 2011, 22:23
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Dear all,

GC is such a wonderful forum and I have been a regular follower of it.

Finally, I am about to take my GMAT .. Lurking, thinking, sleeping, I have finally managed to book the slot for the D-DAY on 10th Aug ..

I have just written my first essay (all mocks I took were without AWA )

Q. stem:

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 how to 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 1970 to 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 twenty-fifth birthday, we can expect that our long experience will enable us to minimize costs and thus maximize profits."

------

Argument essay

--------- My response:

The argument claims that over time, the organizations become more efficient, leading to lower processing costs and higher profits. It erroneously draws parallel between color film processing and food processing and states that Olympic foods will be able to maximize its profits since it will soon celebrate its 25th birthday. Stated in this way the argument reveals examples of leap of faith, poor-reasoning, and ill-defined terminology. The conclusion relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that cost of processing is the only factor that affects the profits and since with time the costs of processing go down, the profits will increase. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. The argument fails to consider the effect of other heads - such as demand in the market, equipment costs, employee costs, raw-material prices, logistics costs, market competition etc. - on the profits. It is very much possible that though with time the efficiency of Olympic foods has increased, but suddenly, it has to hire new employees, who are just starting in the industry and has to face losses because of poor end product and less demand. Thus, the argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that how other external factors and overhead costs affect the profits of Olympic foods business.

Second, the argument draws parallel between color film processing and food processing and claims that same principle applies to both. It thus suggests that this yet another reason for Olympic foods to minimize the costs and maximize profits. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not substantiate any correlation between the decrease of costs in color processing and food processing. This is a fatal error as the process chain and business models of both the businesses are entirely different. For instance, amount spent on raw materials/raw food items contributes to major chunk of costs in food industry, while in color processing/photography industry raw materials are not a major factor as most of the investment is on the machinery and hiring skilled employees.

Finally, the generalization that the organizations become more efficient with time and have lower cost of processing is not very convincing and has no legs to stand on. In fact, the reverse is true for organizations that are scaling up their businesses, or capturing new market segments. Further, a lot of companies are affected by economic factors and go bankrupt even after being in the business for 50 years.

In conclusion, argument is flawed and seems to be a case of wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. It could be strengthened by clearly mentioning the effect of economic indicators, market demands on the profits of organizations. Moreover, a convincing correlation between color processing and food processing would help in defining the merits of the argument.

Issue

Corporations and other businesses should try to eliminate the many ranks and salary grades that classify employees according to their experience and expertise. A flat organizational structure is more likely to encourage collegiality and cooperation among employees.

Response

The issue of whether the organizations should follow a hierarchical structure or a flat structure is a contentious one. While each side has its strengths and weaknesses, I believe that a hierarchical organization structure takes precedence over and has far better benefits as compared to a flat organization structure because hierarchical structure keeps the employees motivated and inspires them to perform well, which is good for both – the employee and the organization. Furthermore, it helps an organization to achieve its goals and meet its growth strategy.

First, the reasons for any employee to work in an organization are to learn and excel in a competitive environment, to earn a monthly income in order to maintain a standard of living and take care of his/her family, and to achieve professional goals by rising through the corporate ladder. Elimination of ranks and salary grades that distinguish the employees attacks all the three reasons in one-go and acts as a deterrent to any organization. For instance, in an organization, if a fresh out of college graduate earns the same salary as the vice president of the company then I ask you, where is the room for growth for the college graduate. Will he/she be ever motivated enough to work hard and learn from his/her peers? Similarly, will the vice president be too willing to stay in an organization in which his experience and pedigree is not valued. Clearly, a flat organizational structure is not beneficial from the employee point of view.

Second, a flat organizational structure is not good from the organization’s point of view. Every organization has certain goals and a growth strategy. These goals are laid out by people in senior management, who have vast domain knowledge and experience and then communicated to middle management. It is essential for the middle management to achieve these goals at end of each quarter/year. In a flat organizational structure, there will be no leader to achieve these targets and no decision makers to meet the deliveries. Thus, a flat organizational structure would lead to lower profits.

Some may argue that a flat structure would increase the camaraderie and provide a college like atmosphere. While, it is true to an extent that elimination of ranks and salaries might reduce the envy among the employees, this point is flawed, since there will be no decision maker in times of disagreement in the organization and no leader in times of change. Thus, a flat structure will turn into a no solution zone.

In summary, the opinion that a flat organizational structure would increase cooperation and collegiality like atmosphere is inaccurate. It only leads to poor motivation levels, bad performances, and hinders an organization in achieving its goals

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Re: Please rate my essay !! GMAT on coming Wednesday :| [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2011, 08:21
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Based on our essay response, you shouldn't be concerned about AWA at all. Both essays are wonderfully written and clearly convey your thoughts.

Since I always try to give a range, I would rate them at 5.5 - 6, but my inclination is towards 6.

Keep practicing!
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08 Aug 2011, 08:26
heregoesnothing wrote:
Based on our essay response, you shouldn't be concerned about AWA at all. Both essays are wonderfully written and clearly convey your thoughts.

Since I always try to give a range, I would rate them at 5.5 - 6, but my inclination is towards 6.

Keep practicing!

Thanks my friend for your kind words

I can sleep peacefully now .. Just needed an affirmation, after all m human

Cheers !!
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08 Aug 2011, 09:12
This if just from looking at your argument essay. Not to be harsh, but I just don't agree with heregoesnothing that you do not need to improve your AWA. Hope my feedback is useful, if not, please feel free to ignore.

You seem to have some problems on knowing when to add "the" and when not to. This is a common problem for non-native speakers. Some examples of this:
"over time, organizations become more efficient"
"in conclusion, the argument is"
"reduce envy"

Many of your sentences are phrased somewhat awkwardly. Some times you try to put too many subjects in a sentence or try to connect too many themes. While you should vary sentence length and include a few long ones, try to leave the long sentences for when you have a very clear idea of what you want to express. Here's an example:

"First, the argument readily assumes that cost of processing is the only factor that affects the profits and since with time the costs of processing go down, the profits will increase."

Again, no "the" in front of both instances of "profits." This one sorta sounds like a verbal SC sentence to be corrected. Its much easier to read especially for the human grader if you break it down. My humble suggestion below:

"The argument readily assumes that cost of processing is the only factor that affects profit, supporting this stance with the observation that as processing costs decrease, profits increase."

or

"The argument readily assumes that cost of processing is the only factor that affects profit. The author attempts to support this assertion with the observation that as processing costs decrease, profits increase."

With your preference for lengthy sentences , breaking down a few can also help vary sentence length which I think is a factor in grading.

Stay away from colloquialisms such as "a lot of", replace with numerous or many. Another example is "being in the business."

Also with word choice, make sure you use only those words and phrases that you know you can use correctly. Eg. you can't increase "collegiality like atmosphere."

Too many grammatical errors and awkward phrasing to be a six. You should not be making some of these grammatical errors like adding "that" when you shouldn't because the same concepts will be tested in the verbal section of the GMAT. You can get away with a few, but there's a significant number in this essay.

"Thus, the argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that how other external factors and overhead costs affect the profits of Olympic foods business."
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08 Aug 2011, 09:27
Wow, just realized that you're going to take the test on the 10th, same as me!

Arck, ignore most of what I've said, you're not going to make big changes in 2 days, and don't get hang up on the minor details I pointed out.

Just be a little more careful of grammar, especially since you studied so hard for the verbal. Good luck and all the best! Hope you get your dream score.
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08 Aug 2011, 12:18
openbox1 wrote:
Wow, just realized that you're going to take the test on the 10th, same as me!

Arck, ignore most of what I've said, you're not going to make big changes in 2 days, and don't get hang up on the minor details I pointed out.

Just be a little more careful of grammar, especially since you studied so hard for the verbal. Good luck and all the best! Hope you get your dream score.

Hey openbox1 ..

I really appreciate your feedback.. something is better that nothing u c !! I will try to incorporate whatever I can .. To be frank, I am not even thinking of scoring a 6 .. I am just thinking of writing !!

Well, I just finished my last mock (MGMAT 6).. it was a long 1 along with AWA ... (read ur post after the attempt though)

Can you put in your comments on this one and rate it on a scale of 1-6

Argument

ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in a science magazine:

“The “Space Race” of the 1960’s between the USA and Russia was very expensive but it yielded a tremendous number of technological advances. These advances have provided many economic and humanitarian benefits. The benefits have more than paid for the effort and money spent during the Space Race and therefore the government should make allowances within the budget to pay for a manned Mars landing by 2020.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

The argument claims that the government should make allowances within the budget to pay for a manned Mars landing by 2020 since the space race of 1960's between the USA and Russia yielded a tremendous number of technological advances that lead to humanitarian and economic benefits. Stated in this way the argument reveals poor reasoning, ill-defined terminology, and fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. In drawing the conclusion, the author relies on vague terms. Further more, the author assumes that whatever has been true in the past will be true in the future too.

First, the author states his opinion and quantifies the benefits using the word "many". Clearly, this is a sign of weak evidence. What if, the economic and humanitarian benefits only helped 10% of the population and caused ill-effects for almost 30% of the population. Further, the author states that benefits have more than paid for the money spent during the space race. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. On the basis of this weak evidence the author draws a very strong conclusion and uses the word "should", making his opinion a moral compulsion for the government.

Second, the author readily assumes, based on the past results, that the manned Mars landing will also will be beneficial for the economy and humanity and hence, should be considered in the budget. This is a fatal error as the author fails to compare the scenario in 1960 with that of today's era. It could be possible that in 1960, the need of the hour was to develop better technology, however, now the need is to focus on unemployment, education, and other social issues. The assumption is unsubstantiated and has no legs to stand on.

Finally, the author fails to mention explicit cases in which the advances have balanced out the money spent on space race. Without convincing cases and examples, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather facts.

The argument could be strengthened by quantifying the benefits and providing examples of long lasting impacts on the economy and humanity. Furthermore, it could also be strengthened by citing estimated positive impacts of manned Mars landing in future. As it stands, however, the argument is flawed for the reasons indicated.

AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Issues

ESSAY QUESTION:
“People should be strictly prohibited from using their cellular phones in public places where their conversations could disturb others: on the bus, at a restaurant, or in a museum.”

From your perspective, how accurate is the above statement? Support your position with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

The issue of using the cellular phones in public places is a contentious one. While each side has its strengths and weaknesses, I believe that allowing people to talk on the phone takes precedence over prohibiting them from using it in public places because not using the cellular phones in public places directly goes against the purpose of carrying a phone and defies the very reason they have become so popular. Furthermore, prohibiting the usage of mobile phones in public places is similar to invading personal space of a citizen and denying the right to freedom.

First, people carry cellular phones to enable them to stay in touch with their friends and family, and handle their professional/business engagements and other personal commitments. A cellular phone is like a boon to a person in case of an emergency. For instance, consider a person who works out of town and daily travels almost 50 miles to his office by a bus. One day, his house catches a fire as soon as he leaves, and his neighbors want to inform him. However, since this person travels by a bus, on which he is not allowed to take calls, he cant pick up their call and their effort to reach him turns futile. The moment, he gets off the bus, he is informed of the unfortunate incident, but it's too late already for him and he has suffered substantial financial loss. Isn't this an attack on his very right to exist?

Second, mobile phones these days comes with multiple features that can help the cause of 'Do not disturb' as stated in the statement. A phone could be put on vibration mode to avoid a sudden loud ring from disturbing others. Furthermore, the efficient speakers in the mobile phones enable a user to speak slowly and still clearly convey his/her thoughts to the other end. For instance, blue-tooth hands free technology enable a user to plug a small device on his ear and talk on the phone smoothly without causing any nuisance.

Some may argue that public places such as bus, restaurant, or a museum are not meant for cellular phones. This point is flawed, since people are free to pursue their self-interests as long as they do not affect others.

In summary, the opinion that people should be prohibited from using their cellular phones in public places is flawed. It only leads to denial of the very purpose of keeping the mobile phones and defies the right to freedom.

Thanks again !! Good luck to you too for the test ..

Cheers!!
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08 Aug 2011, 17:23
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Changes I would make to make sentences more fluid (less awkward) or to remove grammatical errors are highlighted in red:
I'll help with one argument and someone else can help with the issues essay.

The argument claims that the government should make allowances within the budget to pay for a manned Mars landing by 2020, citing as evidence that the space race of 1960's between USA and Russia (remember if you put the USA, you have to put the Russia which sounds horrible, so remove both "the") yielded a tremendous number of technological advances that lead to humanitarian and economic benefits. Stated in this way the argument reveals poor reasoning, ill-defined terminology, and unsubstantiated premises. The author also relies on vague terms to arrive at the aforementioned conclusion (in drawing the conclusion sounds odd). Further more, the author assumes that whatever has been true in the past will be true in the future (removed "too") (While "further more" is correct here, I would suggest you stay away from "further" and "further more" because you occasionally made errors in this and previous essays with regards to their usage).

First, the author states his opinion and quantifies possible (rather than the since you don't outline what the benefits are) benefits using the word "many". Clearly, this is a sign of weak evidence. What if (no comma here) the economic and humanitarian benefits only helped 10% of the population and caused ill-effects for almost 30% of the population. Further, the author states that benefits have more than paid for the money spent during the space race. This statement (removed colloquialism) is made without any substantiation. On the basis of this weak evidence the author draws a very strong conclusion and uses the word "should", making his opinion a moral compulsion for the government (ummm.... conceptually, you may need to elaborate further)

Second, the author readily assumes, based on (removed the) past results, that the manned Mars landing will also (removed will) be beneficial for the economy and humanity and hence, should be considered in the budget. This is a fatal error as the author fails to compare the scenario in 1960 with that of today (today's era sounds extremely awkward). It could be possible that in 1960, the need of the hour was to develop better technology. (try not to use however as a connector, instead start a new sentence) However, in these uncertain economic times, unemployment, education, and other social issues have taken precedence. The assumption is unsubstantiated and has no legs to stand on.

Finally, the author fails to mention explicit cases in which the advances have balanced out the money spent on space race. Without convincing cases and examples, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather facts.

The argument could be strengthened by quantifying the benefits and providing examples of long lasting impacts on the economy and humanity. Furthermore, it could also be strengthened by citing estimated positive impacts of manned Mars landing in future. As it stands, however, the argument is flawed for the reasons indicated.

** Your conclusion paragraph and the preceding paragraph seem to both focus on points to strengthen the argument. You might want to shift all the points that mention how to strengthen the argument from the conclusion to the second last paragraph and just restate your points mentioned to flesh out the conclusion.

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08 Aug 2011, 20:08
openbox1 wrote:
Changes I would make to make sentences more fluid (less awkward) or to remove grammatical errors are highlighted in red:
I'll help with one argument and someone else can help with the issues essay.

The argument claims that the government should make allowances within the budget to pay for a manned Mars landing by 2020, citing as evidence that the space race of 1960's between USA and Russia (remember if you put the USA, you have to put the Russia which sounds horrible, so remove both "the") yielded a tremendous number of technological advances that lead to humanitarian and economic benefits. Stated in this way the argument reveals poor reasoning, ill-defined terminology, and unsubstantiated premises. The author also relies on vague terms to arrive at the aforementioned conclusion (in drawing the conclusion sounds odd). Further more, the author assumes that whatever has been true in the past will be true in the future (removed "too") (While "further more" is correct here, I would suggest you stay away from "further" and "further more" because you occasionally made errors in this and previous essays with regards to their usage).

First, the author states his opinion and quantifies possible (rather than the since you don't outline what the benefits are) benefits using the word "many". Clearly, this is a sign of weak evidence. What if (no comma here) the economic and humanitarian benefits only helped 10% of the population and caused ill-effects for almost 30% of the population. Further, the author states that benefits have more than paid for the money spent during the space race. This statement (removed colloquialism) is made without any substantiation. On the basis of this weak evidence the author draws a very strong conclusion and uses the word "should", making his opinion a moral compulsion for the government (ummm.... conceptually, you may need to elaborate further)

Second, the author readily assumes, based on (removed the) past results, that the manned Mars landing will also (removed will) be beneficial for the economy and humanity and hence, should be considered in the budget. This is a fatal error as the author fails to compare the scenario in 1960 with that of today (today's era sounds extremely awkward). It could be possible that in 1960, the need of the hour was to develop better technology. (try not to use however as a connector, instead start a new sentence) However, in these uncertain economic times, unemployment, education, and other social issues have taken precedence. The assumption is unsubstantiated and has no legs to stand on.

Finally, the author fails to mention explicit cases in which the advances have balanced out the money spent on space race. Without convincing cases and examples, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather facts.

The argument could be strengthened by quantifying the benefits and providing examples of long lasting impacts on the economy and humanity. Furthermore, it could also be strengthened by citing estimated positive impacts of manned Mars landing in future. As it stands, however, the argument is flawed for the reasons indicated.

** Your conclusion paragraph and the preceding paragraph seem to both focus on points to strengthen the argument. You might want to shift all the points that mention how to strengthen the argument from the conclusion to the second last paragraph and just restate your points mentioned to flesh out the conclusion.

Thanks man !! Really appreciate .. You have made it hell lot crispier ..

+1 to u. I just noticed that this wud be ur 1st '+1'.

Can you rate the argument essay on 1-6 ?? I just dont want to fall below 5 ..

Regards,
!!
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09 Aug 2011, 04:38
I wouldn't be the best guy to ask dude, that's why I didn't score it. Just pointed out some areas you might want to be careful about. You took the GMAT before right? How'd you do last time?
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09 Aug 2011, 04:49
openbox1 wrote:
I wouldn't be the best guy to ask dude, that's why I didn't score it. Just pointed out some areas you might want to be careful about. You took the GMAT before right? How'd you do last time?

I hit a 5 iver ..but that was 2 yrs ago... With time, we improve, don't we??

Thanks !! Gud luck for ur test 2mrw .. Just Chill .. I saw ur scores and they look promising ..

Pls dnt even think of taking a mock 2mrw .. Do well !!
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Re: Please rate my essay !! GMAT on coming Wednesday :| [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2011, 05:07
BearBelly wrote:
openbox1 wrote:
I wouldn't be the best guy to ask dude, that's why I didn't score it. Just pointed out some areas you might want to be careful about. You took the GMAT before right? How'd you do last time?

I hit a 5 iver ..but that was 2 yrs ago... With time, we improve, don't we??

Thanks !! Gud luck for ur test 2mrw .. Just Chill .. I saw ur scores and they look promising ..

Pls dnt even think of taking a mock 2mrw .. Do well !!

Thanks! And yeah, if you got a 5 you'll probably hit it this time round too.

I saw your post about the 720. 720 with AWA 5 is damn respectable, but its just on the cusp of a 80/80 split right, which I'm guessing is the reason you're retaking? Or was it skewed heavily to Quant? Also you must be an Indian IT professional aren't cha. I'm kinda in the same boat... East-Asian, male, with a finance background. Our demographics kinda suck. Oh why couldn't I be a minority that actually gets perks.
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09 Aug 2011, 05:33
openbox1 wrote:
BearBelly wrote:
openbox1 wrote:
I wouldn't be the best guy to ask dude, that's why I didn't score it. Just pointed out some areas you might want to be careful about. You took the GMAT before right? How'd you do last time?

I hit a 5 iver ..but that was 2 yrs ago... With time, we improve, don't we??

Thanks !! Gud luck for ur test 2mrw .. Just Chill .. I saw ur scores and they look promising ..

Pls dnt even think of taking a mock 2mrw .. Do well !!

Thanks! And yeah, if you got a 5 you'll probably hit it this time round too.

I saw your post about the 720. 720 with AWA 5 is damn respectable, but its just on the cusp of a 80/80 split right, which I'm guessing is the reason you're retaking? Or was it skewed heavily to Quant? Also you must be an Indian IT professional aren't cha. I'm kinda in the same boat... East-Asian, male, with a finance background. Our demographics kinda suck. Oh why couldn't I be a minority that actually gets perks.

Yeah, the distribution was 50,36 .. Secondly, my prep was very random, badly planned at that time.. SC was more on what sounded right ..

Well, I have worked in IT, but now I am working in Market Research and Analytics.. so something to differentiate ..

ha ha .. you need perks, I just need a seat with good merit aid (another reason to retake) ..

Cheers! man happy testing.. What schools are you sending your scores to?
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09 Aug 2011, 07:57
No idea. I'll just slot the usual big names and hope i get lucky. I'll tailor my essays of course, but to me they're all pretty much the same. Just another line to add to the resume. I just want to take two years off to smell the roses and remember what the sun looks like. I think I deserve it.

To the haters, hey, at least I'm honest. Of course I'll hide my happy-go-lucky attitude under 6 inches of TYPE A GO GET 'EM bull-shit.
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09 Aug 2011, 08:04
openbox1 wrote:
No idea. I'll just slot the usual big names and hope i get lucky. I'll tailor my essays of course, but to me they're all pretty much the same. Just another line to add to the resume. I just want to take two years off to smell the roses and remember what the sun looks like. I think I deserve it.

To the haters, hey, at least I'm honest. Of course I'll hide my happy-go-lucky attitude under 6 inches of TYPE A GO GET 'EM bull-shit.

ha ha !! GO GET 'EM dude.. GO GET THE GMAT 2mrw ... M outta here.. u shud be too.. dnt browse too many threads on the last day...

Stay off the pc 4 2dy .. start afresh at the test center 2mrw ...
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