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Struggling to write enough... I think.

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Manager
Manager
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Status: Deciding
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 105
Schools: Ross or Fuqua?
WE 1: Master of Science, including Masters Thesis
WE 2: 5 years at multiple Government Contractors
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 6

Struggling to write enough... I think. [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 10:57
Greetings,

As I near my exam date, I've become more and more concerned about the AWA. I've never done well on these types of writing samples, dating back to the CAT in elementary school. I've read up on the AWAs and understand the templates, but I've noticed that I don't seem to write a lot. (250 words is pretty normal) Would someone please review the 2 sample essays I've copied from a practice exam I recently completed? I believe I understand how to structure the essays, but I struggle to write enough or I have difficulties coming up with good examples. I appreciate your thoughts.

(note: I wrote this before I really started studying for the AWA and I can see how I should acknowledge the other side, write more for the conclusion in the AoI Essay, and provide concrete rather than hypothetical examples when possible)

ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in an article in a human resources magazine:
"Six months ago, in an experiment aimed at boosting worker productivity, Company Z started providing free gourmet lunches to its employees. The Company hoped that these office lunches would encourage employees to remain in the building during lunch-hour and motivate employees to work harder throughout the day. A survey found that soon after the lunch program was implemented, the average number of hours worked by most Company Z employees increased dramatically. During this same period, the Company's profits also increased substantially. Thus, it is safe to say that the lunch program was a huge success and that Company Z should make the program permanent."
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.

YOUR RESPONSE: While the conclusion that Company Z should make the free gourmet lunch program permanent seems reasonable, the author has made a few assumptions which should be supported by evidence to strengthen this claim. By supplying such evidence, the author's argument would be more persuasive.

The employees worked longer hours, but that does not mean they worked harder. There is no proof in the argument that the employees produced any more work than they had previously. The author should document that that Company Z's employees created more work output since the free lunch program was instituted.

The fact that the employees worked longer hours does not necessarily mean their productivity increased. The goal of the free lunch program was to boost productivity, which means Company Z wanted their workers to produce more per hour. There is no evidence in the argument to show that the free lunch program obtained this goal.

Though Company Z's profits have increased substantially since the free lunch program's inception, the author is assuming the increase is due to the program. Company Z's profits could have increased for reasons other than the program such as increased sales or a reduction in overhead expenses. The author should provide evidence to support his or her assumption.

In conclusion, the argument above is weak because there is little evidence to support the claim. The author has based his or her conclusion on assumptions which are not necessarily true. By proving these assumptions true, the argument becomes more persuasive.
ESSAY QUESTION: “Poor health and high stress levels diminish the productivity of today’s office workers. In order to maximize profits, companies need to provide white-collar employees with free exercise facilities and free wellness classes.”

In your opinion, how accurate is the view expressed above? Use reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading to develop your position.

YOUR RESPONSE: Companies should provide free exercise facilities and free wellness classes to white-collar employees in order to increase their general health. Such facilities and classes provide an added benefit of reducing the employees' stress levels. With a healthier and less stressed workforce, companies could see increased profits.

Unhealthy employees can weigh on the profits of companies. They are more likely to take time off from work which increases companies overhead expenses and also reduces work output. Unhealthy employees also increase the cost of company provided health insurance because they require more visits to a doctor which is likely to cause the insurance companies to increase premiums.

Employees with high stress levels are less productive than employees with lower levels of stress. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress. By providing employees with access to free exercise facilities, companies can expect to see a more productive work force. This increase in productivity could lead to increased profits.

Employees who exercise regularly are more likely to have increased levels of productivity throughout the day. For white collar workers, sitting at a desk all day can be tiring because they are not being active. By working out for just 30 minutes a day, the employees could expect to feel more energized and thus more productive throughout the day.

In conclusion, providing workers with free exercise facilities and free wellness classes is a way to increase companies' profits. The companies stand to benefit from a healthier, less stressed, and well energized white collar workforce.
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Re: Struggling to write enough... I think. [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 13:23
wschaeff wrote:
Greetings,

As I near my exam date, I've become more and more concerned about the AWA. I've never done well on these types of writing samples, dating back to the CAT in elementary school. I've read up on the AWAs and understand the templates, but I've noticed that I don't seem to write a lot. (250 words is pretty normal) Would someone please review the 2 sample essays I've copied from a practice exam I recently completed? I believe I understand how to structure the essays, but I struggle to write enough or I have difficulties coming up with good examples. I appreciate your thoughts.

(note: I wrote this before I really started studying for the AWA and I can see how I should acknowledge the other side, write more for the conclusion in the AoI Essay, and provide concrete rather than hypothetical examples when possible)

ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in an article in a human resources magazine:
"Six months ago, in an experiment aimed at boosting worker productivity, Company Z started providing free gourmet lunches to its employees. The Company hoped that these office lunches would encourage employees to remain in the building during lunch-hour and motivate employees to work harder throughout the day. A survey found that soon after the lunch program was implemented, the average number of hours worked by most Company Z employees increased dramatically. During this same period, the Company's profits also increased substantially. Thus, it is safe to say that the lunch program was a huge success and that Company Z should make the program permanent."
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.

YOUR RESPONSE: While the conclusion that Company Z should make the free gourmet lunch program permanent seems reasonable, the author has made a few assumptions which should be supported by evidence to strengthen this claim. By supplying such evidence, the author's argument would be more persuasive.

The employees worked longer hours, but that does not mean they worked harder. There is no proof in the argument that the employees produced any more work than they had previously. The author should document that that Company Z's employees created more work output since the free lunch program was instituted.

The fact that the employees worked longer hours does not necessarily mean their productivity increased. The goal of the free lunch program was to boost productivity, which means Company Z wanted their workers to produce more per hour. There is no evidence in the argument to show that the free lunch program obtained this goal.

Though Company Z's profits have increased substantially since the free lunch program's inception, the author is assuming the increase is due to the program. Company Z's profits could have increased for reasons other than the program such as increased sales or a reduction in overhead expenses. The author should provide evidence to support his or her assumption.

In conclusion, the argument above is weak because there is little evidence to support the claim. The author has based his or her conclusion on assumptions which are not necessarily true. By proving these assumptions true, the argument becomes more persuasive.
ESSAY QUESTION: “Poor health and high stress levels diminish the productivity of today’s office workers. In order to maximize profits, companies need to provide white-collar employees with free exercise facilities and free wellness classes.”

In your opinion, how accurate is the view expressed above? Use reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading to develop your position.

YOUR RESPONSE: Companies should provide free exercise facilities and free wellness classes to white-collar employees in order to increase their general health. Such facilities and classes provide an added benefit of reducing the employees' stress levels. With a healthier and less stressed workforce, companies could see increased profits.

Unhealthy employees can weigh on the profits of companies. They are more likely to take time off from work which increases companies overhead expenses and also reduces work output. Unhealthy employees also increase the cost of company provided health insurance because they require more visits to a doctor which is likely to cause the insurance companies to increase premiums.

Employees with high stress levels are less productive than employees with lower levels of stress. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress. By providing employees with access to free exercise facilities, companies can expect to see a more productive work force. This increase in productivity could lead to increased profits.

Employees who exercise regularly are more likely to have increased levels of productivity throughout the day. For white collar workers, sitting at a desk all day can be tiring because they are not being active. By working out for just 30 minutes a day, the employees could expect to feel more energized and thus more productive throughout the day.

In conclusion, providing workers with free exercise facilities and free wellness classes is a way to increase companies' profits. The companies stand to benefit from a healthier, less stressed, and well energized white collar workforce.


It would help to introduce your reasons/arguments in the first paragraph and summarize them in the final paragraph.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Status: Deciding
Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 105
Schools: Ross or Fuqua?
WE 1: Master of Science, including Masters Thesis
WE 2: 5 years at multiple Government Contractors
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 6

Re: Struggling to write enough... I think. [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 05:20
lagomez wrote:
It would help to introduce your reasons/arguments in the first paragraph and summarize them in the final paragraph.


Good point, I will be sure to include that in future essays. Rereading these, I realized that the biggest problem is not having enough supporting evidence in the body paragraph. My essay, as written, reads more like an outline. Making these changes would certainly increase the word count.

Would someone take a shot at giving these two essays a grade? It would provide a valuable baseline which I will improve as I make improvements.
Re: Struggling to write enough... I think.   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2010, 05:20
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