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Requesting Feedback on AWA

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Joined: 29 Jan 2014
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Requesting Feedback on AWA [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2014, 18:07
Hey All,
Just getting back into PREPMODE after a 9 month hiatus. Worked on my first AWA in sometime, and was wondering if any of you would be kind enough to provide feedback (be as critical as you'd like, I won't feel bad :) )

The passage was as follows:
"Most companies would agree that as the risk of physical injury occurring on the job increases, the wages paid to employees should also increase. Hence it makes financial sense for employers to make the workplace safer: they could thus reduce their payroll expenses and save money."

My response:
This passage asserts that due to the fact that there is a strong positive correlation between the potential hazards and risks in the workplace and the wages paid to employees, it behooves companies to mitigate some of those risk factors in order to control expenses.
This argument, while sound, makes a number of assumptions to make a blanket statement that may or may not be applicable to all companies across the board. First, it assumes that all risk is quantifiable and can translate into a monetary benefit for a company. Take for example, a firm which has operations across the globe. Social and economic upheaval around the world may put a fraction of the company’s workforce at risk. However, how does one account for an event for which has not yet occurred, whose impact is not yet known, and most importantly is outside the control of the company? This is the type of risk, that while it puts employees at “risk for physical injury”, is not necessarily quantifiable beforehand, nor is it in the company’s hands to safeguard against it.
Secondly, the argument assumes that the cost of safeguarding the workplace is, on average, lesser than the amount of hazard pay the company would be responsible for otherwise. Truly, it depends on the safety protocols and standards employed by the company, some of which may be mandated by the government. The cost of making the workplace a safe having may not necessarily offset the cost of wages incurred by the company.
I think the argument may be strengthened if additional data is provided that proves that a company’s initiatives to make the workplace safe has in fact reduced the amount of hazard pay that would be otherwise necessary. Additionally, it would help if the data indicates that the cost of implementing safety measures has offset the wage expenses to such a degree that it positively impacts the company’s bottom line.

Like I said, please be as critical as you'd like, I really would like to improve.
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Expert Post
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Requesting Feedback on AWA [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2014, 14:20
Expert's post
I think I can help! :)

Overall I would score this essay a 3.5.

I think that you did a good job of identifying flaws and using examples to explain why the premises are flawed. This is not an easy thing to do so it's great that you are not struggling in this area. Also, I like that you talk about ways to strengthen the argument in your conclusion this is a great way to end. Finally, you do a good job of organizing your ideas. It is easy to follow your reasoning and logic.

To improve, I recommend be more direct in your writing. Don't dress it up more than you need to. For example, look at this sentence:

uhditi wrote:
"This argument, while sound, makes a number of assumptions to make a blanket statement that may or may not be applicable to all companies across the board."

Now aim to be direct and concise in your writing. "All companies across the board," is redundant and little too casual. I think that this sentence could easily be improved:

"This argument, while sound, makes a number of assumptions that need explaining before we believe the conclusion."

Also, I would include a sentence in the introduction that points out that the argument is flawed.

When you mention a flaw and present an example in your body paragraph, I recommend returning to the conclusion and stating specifically why the flaw leads to some doubt with the conclusion.

Finally, to improve your score, you will need to write more. You should aim to talk about three flaws. Try to be more detailed with your examples. Take time to describe them because it will, ultimately, lead to a stronger analysis of the argument.

I hope this helps. :)

Kevin Rocci
Magoosh Test Prep



Re: Requesting Feedback on AWA   [#permalink] 06 Feb 2014, 14:20
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