The following appeared in The Homebuilder- Rate Please : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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# The following appeared in The Homebuilder- Rate Please

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Joined: 11 Apr 2012
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27 May 2012, 08:40
Hello,

I am a non-native speaker and planning to present the GMAT this week or in the following weeks. I would like to have some advices on my writtings.
Can you please give me your feedback on the below argument and try to evaluate what score I deserve ?

By reading, you will quickly see that I used chineseburned.

Thanks a lot.

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The following appeared in The Homebuilder magazine, a local publication with a focus on construction and sale of real-estate properties:

“According to the most recent survey of our readers, nearly 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home over the next 2 years. These results indicate that the growth in the construction industry is likely to accelerate in the near future. Therefore, this industry continues to offer lucrative opportunities for investment.”

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 construction industry is likely to accelerate in the near future based on a recent survey of The Homebuilder magazine, reporting that 70% of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase a new home over the next two years. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumption for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak, and unconvincing and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that the respondents of the survey represent a good sample of the population. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. The respondents are more likely to be readers of the Homebuilder magazine because they are interested in purchasing or building a new house in the near future, and are looking for advices or opportunities in this magazine. For example, if I plan to build a new house, I will be really interested in searching advices in construction publication and looking for opportunity to find the field of my dream; this will be a good reason to read every week a magazine with a focus on construction and sale of real-estate properties. Clearly, the respondents of the survey are more likely to not represent the overall population of the country and the percentage of 70% would not be a representative percentage of the population. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that the survey was conducted on readers that are representing a good sample of the population.

Second the argument claims that because most of the respondents indicated that they are planning to build or purchase over the next 2 years, the construction industry is likely to accelerate and grow in the near future. This is again a very weak an unsupported claims as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the growth in the next 2 years and the situation after this 2 years period. To illustrate, let assume that the prediction of the survey will occurs over the next two years and that an important global crisis, like the one we encountered in the year 2010, will happen afterwards, the prediction of the survey that the industry will evolve is more likely to not happen due to others difficulties that the surveyed doesn't not took into account while responding to that survey. Furthermore, to estimate the evolution of an event with much reliability as possible, the past and present events are needed. However, the surveyed only provide information of the present period; nothing about the past. In fact, this is not all clear that the construction industry will accelerate while the next two years construction will grow to 2%. If the argument had provided evidence that the construction has continuously evolved since 10 years the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

Finally, more detailed information would be helping to evaluate the relevance of the argument. How are the other industries going to evolve in the near future in the country? Are there a lot of empty fields in the country allowing the inhabitants to build new constructions? What is the average age of the people willing to build or purchase an house and what is the average age of the readers of The Homebuilder magazine? Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more a wishful thinking rather than a substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all relevant facts : a sample representing the overall population, more information on the past evolution of the construction industry, and more detailed facts on the condition the survey was realized and on the evolution of the country in other industries. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
The following appeared in The Homebuilder- Rate Please   [#permalink] 27 May 2012, 08:40
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