This is my first time, PLEASE rate my AWA : Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)
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# This is my first time, PLEASE rate my AWA

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Intern
Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 39
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 16

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08 Mar 2014, 02:02
“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.”

Citing the evidence that color film producing organizations could decline their costs of processing overtime, the argument claims that Olympic Foods can be anticipated to be able to decrease its processing costs. Although the argument may appear well-founded at a superficial level, a critical assessment indicates otherwise. Stated in this way, the argument fails to address several key factors, on basis of which its reasoning could be evaluated. Consequently, the conclusion relies on assumptions for which there is a paucity of evidence; hence, the argument is fallacious and ultimately unconvincing.

First, the argument readily assumes that since the costs of color film processing could be minimized, this decline can be true for other processing, such as food processing, as well. Nonetheless, the argument neglects this fact that when a principle exists in one particular procedure, it is not possible to be generalized and be applied to other procedures unless all relevant factors are evaluated. To illustrate, the argument overlooks this consideration that whether conditions of processing both food and color film are the same. For example, if there are some factors in food processing that are not available in color film processing, needless to say, the presence of such factors may not lead to minimizing costs. The argument could have been much clear if it had considered all factors of both food and color film processing methods.

Second, the argument claims the expenditures of processing go down since the organizations learn how to make products more effectively and efficiency, however, this claim is a stretch because the costs of processing involve both fixed and variable costs. As a result, even though an organization may gain this ability to decrease its fixed costs overtime, variable costs, such as staff salaries or primary goods prices, go up overtime, especially according to inflation rate. If the argument had determined what kind of costs could be declined by color film companies, the argument could have been much more convincing.

Finally, Does Olympic Foods implement all parts of food processing by itself or it outsources some parts to other companies? Have the costs of color film processing kept going down so far? Was the decrease of 3-by-5 inch print service cost due to only decline in its processing costs or other elements were involved? Without convincing answering to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. In order to assess the merits of the arguments, it is essential to have full knowledge of all relevant factors.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 222
Followers: 55

Kudos [?]: 146 [1] , given: 28

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14 Mar 2014, 13:48
1
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Expert's post
Hi Hamidmax!

Happy to help!

Overall: 3

Positives: You seem to have a good handle on the major flaws in the argument. Your generally organize your essay well too.

Ways to Improve:
Aim to be clear, direct, and concise. Your first sentence is a good example of this. It is an awkward construction, packed full of info:

"Citing the evidence that color film producing organizations could decline their costs of processing overtime, the argument claims that Olympic Foods can be anticipated to be able to decrease its processing costs."

Shorten what you are trying to say: "Olympic Foods anticipates a decrease in processing costs based on evidence from the film processing industry."

Also it seems like you were rushed a little at the end and your final body paragraph suffers. Posing a lot of questions to be answered is not the same as critical analysis. I would strongly urge you to not pose questions unless you answer them immediately. It shows a lack of effort and work on the part of the author to just leave it up to the reader to come up with answers.

I hope this helps!
_________________

Kevin Rocci
Magoosh Test Prep

Intern
Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 39
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 16

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18 Mar 2014, 01:15
KevinRocci wrote:
Hi Hamidmax!

Happy to help!

Overall: 3

Positives: You seem to have a good handle on the major flaws in the argument. Your generally organize your essay well too.

Ways to Improve:
Aim to be clear, direct, and concise. Your first sentence is a good example of this. It is an awkward construction, packed full of info:

"Citing the evidence that color film producing organizations could decline their costs of processing overtime, the argument claims that Olympic Foods can be anticipated to be able to decrease its processing costs."

Shorten what you are trying to say: "Olympic Foods anticipates a decrease in processing costs based on evidence from the film processing industry."

Also it seems like you were rushed a little at the end and your final body paragraph suffers. Posing a lot of questions to be answered is not the same as critical analysis. I would strongly urge you to not pose questions unless you answer them immediately. It shows a lack of effort and work on the part of the author to just leave it up to the reader to come up with answers.

I hope this helps!

Dear Kevin,

Thank you so much for reading and evaluating my writing, that writing was my first writing for preparing AWA section of the exam.

I read your comment several times in order to grasp your recommendations well, however I have a few questions:

1- one of Manhattan books regarding to AWA& integrated reasoning suggests writing as much as we can, in other words, the book recommends making wordy and lengthy sentences (ex: more than 24 words per sentence) , however , you urged me to write shorter. would you please elaborate more.
I am not an English speaker, as a result I am not able to convey and express my meaning well and I have to write more in order to say my opinion in a better way.

2- the construction "citing.... the argument claims that...." was not created by myself, I saw it from some samples, although I agree with you that it is somehow awkward. I will never write it in that way. and for last parts of my writing I did not rush to finish it , in fact, I did not know what I had to write for conclusion. Later, I saw some examples and now I know how to finish it.
My questions is: will I get a 4 score,if instead of just asking some questions in my forth paragraph, I explain another flaw and support my idea? I mean you gave me score 3 and I want to know what may major problem is.

3- I live in an underdeveloped country and here we have no class for GMAT preparation and we also have no GMAT test center, so I have to travel another country to take the exam. So finding study materials is substantially difficult to me and I have nobody to give him or her to assess my writing. Is there a way I send you my writings ( once per week) and you evaluate them? I know how busy you are but since Ill take the exam in next 3 weeks, I do not know what I have to do.

Regards,
Hamidmax
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 222
Followers: 55

Kudos [?]: 146 [0], given: 28

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18 Mar 2014, 09:22
Happy to help! Let me answer your questions one at a time.

hamidmax wrote:
1- one of Manhattan books regarding to AWA & integrated reasoning suggests writing as much as we can, in other words, the book recommends making wordy and lengthy sentences (ex: more than 24 words per sentence) , however , you urged me to write shorter. would you please elaborate more. I am not an English speaker, as a result I am not able to convey and express my meaning well and I have to write more in order to say my opinion in a better way.

Any good writing will vary sentence length. So I wouldn't advocate that you write all short sentences or all long sentences. You need to demonstrate your ability to deal with lengthy ideas in a sentence, but you need to balance this with shorter sentences that are direct and poignant. If you want to write longer sentences, aim to form compound-complex sentences. You need to build these as individual units and then combine them together in a sentence.

The Manhattan books are generally good and give sound advice. Ultimately, and unfortunately, essays that are longer receive a higher score. That is just the way it works out. So don't feel like you have to have a lot of long sentences. Just aim to write as much as you can in short and long sentences.

hamidmax wrote:
2- the construction "citing.... the argument claims that...." was not created by myself, I saw it from some samples, although I agree with you that it is somehow awkward. I will never write it in that way. and for last parts of my writing I did not rush to finish it , in fact, I did not know what I had to write for conclusion. Later, I saw some examples and now I know how to finish it. My questions is: will I get a 4 score,if instead of just asking some questions in my forth paragraph, I explain another flaw and support my idea? I mean you gave me score 3 and I want to know what may major problem is.

There is nothing wrong with that format: "citing.... the argument claims that...." You can use this just don't pack it so full of information to make it awkward. For example,

"Citing the evidence from the color film producing industry, the argument claims that Olympic Foods can anticipate a decrease its processing costs."

Yes, you should discuss another flaw or pose one question and spend the entire paragraph answering the question. This would be an effective use of your time at the end. I gave you a 3 because the last part of your essay was not as strong as the beginning, your committed some grammatical errors, and your phrasing was awkward and cumbersome at times. If you can correct these issues, you can achieve a 4.

hamidmax wrote:
3- I live in an underdeveloped country and here we have no class for GMAT preparation and we also have no GMAT test center, so I have to travel another country to take the exam. So finding study materials is substantially difficult to me and I have nobody to give him or her to assess my writing. Is there a way I send you my writings ( once per week) and you evaluate them? I know how busy you are but since Ill take the exam in next 3 weeks, I do not know what I have to do.

Unfortunately, I can't make any promises, but feel free to send me an essay once a week and I'll try to send you feedback. I understand how hard it can be to practice the writing section in some places in the world. If you don't mind me asking, what question do you live in?

I spent a lot of time working with students from many different countries helping them prepare for the GMAT and GRE. So, I know how difficult the writing portion of the test can be. So just send me a message with the prompt and the essay and I will try to find time to at least send you a little feedback.

I hope that I have been able to help! Again, let me know if I can make anything more clear.

Kevin
_________________

Kevin Rocci
Magoosh Test Prep

Intern
Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 39
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 16

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28 Mar 2014, 22:04
Dear Kevin,

I have one week to the exam and I appreciate if you evaluate and rate my AWA. I hope this time you read an improved writing in comparison to the previous one.

“This past winter, 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding for various state college programs. The other 12,000 Waymarsh students evidently weren’t so concerned about their education: they either stayed on campus or left for winter break. Since the group who did not protest is far more numerous, it is more representative of the state’s college students than are the protesters. Therefore the state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.”

Citing the number of students who did not protest is much more than that of students who protested, the argument claims that state legislature need not pay attention to the demands of protesting students. Although the argument may appear well-founded at a superficial level, a critical assessment indicates otherwise. Stated in this way, the argument fails to address several key factors, on the basis of which its reasoning could be evaluated. Consequently, the conclusion relies on assumptions for which there is a paucity of evidence; hence, the argument is fallacious and ultimately unconvincing.

First, the argument readily assumes that just 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building in order to protest against the proposed cuts, however, the argument does not evaluate this fact that there might other protesting students in Waymarsh State College who were not able to travel to the state building for protesting against the proposed cuts. Thus, if the argument had mentioned the precise number of angry students about the cuts and had shown a better picture of the atmosphere among students about the cuts, the argument would have been much clearer.

Second, the argument claims that since the other 12,00 Waymarsh State College students either stayed on campus or left for winter break, they were not concerned about the proposed cuts, nonetheless, this is again a weak claim since the reason why those 12,00 students did not protest could be they were not aware of the plan of protesting against the cuts and 200 students had traveled to Waymarsh State College in order to protest, so if they had known about the protest, they would have been participate the protest. If the argument had determined whether those 1200 students were aware of protest or not, the claim would have been more strengthened.

Finally, the argument states since the number of students who did not protest is far more than the number of protesting students, it is more representative of the state`s college students than are the protesters. This statement is a stretch because in all communities in which members are unhappy about a decision just a limited number of all distressed members start protesting. In fact, since some people are shy or they do not have this ability to express their ideas freely and without fear, they do not participate in protests. So this claim that the number of protesting students is fewer than that of those who did not protest does not demonstrate just a limited number of students are not satisfied with the proposed cuts.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. In order to assess all merits of the argument, it is essential to have full knowledge of all relevant facts. The conclusion could be considerably strengthened, if the author mentioned all the corresponding factors pertaining to the exact number of angry students, whether those 1200 students were aware of protest, and the personality of students regarding protesting. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and vulnerable to criticism.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 222
Followers: 55

Kudos [?]: 146 [1] , given: 28

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31 Mar 2014, 10:48
1
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Expert's post
Happy to help! I hope I haven't kept you waiting too long!

Overall: 4

Positives: I think that you made some great gains. You are more clear and precise in your language overall. The essay is balanced from paragraph to paragraph. You don't commit as many errors in grammar too. Also, I think you do a nice job of analyzing flaws, although at times I was hoping for more detail.

Places to Improve:

I suggest cutting a sentence in your introduction. This sentence doesn't convey a lot of meaning, doesn't push the introduction forward at all, and takes up time and space.

hamidmax wrote:
Citing the number of students who did not protest is much more than that of students who protested, the argument claims that state legislature need not pay attention to the demands of protesting students. Although the argument may appear well-founded at a superficial level, a critical assessment indicates otherwise. Stated in this way, the argument fails to address several key factors, on the basis of which its reasoning could be evaluated. Consequently, the conclusion relies on assumptions for which there is a paucity of evidence; hence, the argument is fallacious and ultimately unconvincing.

Run-on sentence and an error with your numbers: 12,000:
hamidmax wrote:
Second, the argument claims that since the other 12,00 Waymarsh State College students either stayed on campus or left for winter break, they were not concerned about the proposed cuts, nonetheless, this is again a weak claim since the reason why those 12,00 students did not protest could be they were not aware of the plan of protesting against the cuts and 200 students had traveled to Waymarsh State College in order to protest, so if they had known about the protest, they would have been participate the protest.

Need to use "that" in this formulation—"states that"
hamidmax wrote:
Finally, the argument states since the number of students...

If you can write an essay like this on test day, you will be in good shape. Try to limit your errors as much as possible and provide an in-depth analysis of the flaws and you will be on track for a score of 4 or higher!

Best of luck on test day!
_________________

Kevin Rocci
Magoosh Test Prep

Re: This is my first time, PLEASE rate my AWA   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2014, 10:48
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