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# Americans spend far too much of their time- Kindly Review :)

Author Message
Current Student
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 107
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3.2
Americans spend far too much of their time- Kindly Review :)  [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2017, 06:35
ESSAY QUESTION:

The following appeared in a newspaper editorial during the holiday shopping season:

"Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential goods. Studies show that, on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. As such, it is no secret why America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. Instead of spending their time productively, Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption. In order to counteract this trend, Americans should spend more time focused on personal and communal development--by, for example, pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities."

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.

RESPONSE:

The author of the article in the newspaper editorial has claimed that Americans should spend more time on personal and communal development. However, the line of reasoning that the author has followed is problematic for several reasons.

First, the claim that the Americans spend far too much of their time on buying and consuming non-essential goods lacks evidentiary support. Although, the author has cited a study in trying to establish support for this claim, however, that study only points out how much of their leisure time is spent on shopping, but provides no information on how much leisure time does an average American have and whether the time spent on shopping is too much. In order to strengthen the support for this claim, the author must provide more information on how much time spent on shopping qualifies as too much and what amount of time does an average American spend on shopping.

Second, in his argument, the author has used vague and unclear terminology. He claims that America is losing its competitive edge, but fails to elaborate on what exactly he means by this. For instance, if competitive edge refers to how well the American economy is doing with respect to other countries, then one can safely assume that the more shopping an American does, the better it is for maintaining the competitive edge, as it would help the American economy. The author can corroborate the argument by explicitly clarifying all terminologies that he uses in his argument.

Finally, the author claims that Americans should spend more time in pursuing educational advancements, yet assumes that such pursuits do not involve any shopping and consuming. Any educational pursuits require expenditure on many items which may be considered "non-essential", such as books, pens, notebooks, computers, smartphones, etc. Therefore, such an assumption is highly questionable.

In summary, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons and is, therefore, unconvincing. If the author had included the items discussed above, the argument would have been more thorough and sound.
_________________

How ZenYogi got from 640 to 760
_________________

Trust yourself, you must

Intern
Joined: 30 Jan 2017
Posts: 28
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Kindly Review :)  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

21 Mar 2017, 14:01
ZenYogi wrote:
ESSAY QUESTION:

The following appeared in a newspaper editorial during the holiday shopping season:

"Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential goods. Studies show that, on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. As such, it is no secret why America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. Instead of spending their time productively, Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption. In order to counteract this trend, Americans should spend more time focused on personal and communal development--by, for example, pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities."

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.

RESPONSE:

The author of the article in the newspaper editorial has claimed that Americans should spend more time on personal and communal development. However, the line of reasoning that the author has followed is problematic for several reasons.

First, the claim that the Americans spend far too much of their time on buying and consuming non-essential goods lacks evidentiary support. Although, the author has cited a study in trying to establish support for this claim, however, that study only points out how much of their leisure time is spent on shopping, but provides no information on how much leisure time does an average American have and whether the time spent on shopping is too much. In order to strengthen the support for this claim, the author must provide more information on how much time spent on shopping qualifies as too much and what amount of time does an average American spend on shopping.

Second, in his argument, the author has used vague and unclear terminology. He claims that America is losing its competitive edge, but fails to elaborate on what exactly he means by this. For instance, if competitive edge refers to how well the American economy is doing with respect to other countries, then one can safely assume that the more shopping an American does, the better it is for maintaining the competitive edge, as it would help the American economy. The author can corroborate the argument by explicitly clarifying all terminologies that he uses in his argument.

Finally, the author claims that Americans should spend more time in pursuing educational advancements, yet assumes that such pursuits do not involve any shopping and consuming. Any educational pursuits require expenditure on many items which may be considered "non-essential", such as books, pens, notebooks, computers, smartphones, etc. Therefore, such an assumption is highly questionable.

In summary, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons and is, therefore, unconvincing. If the author had included the items discussed above, the argument would have been more thorough and sound.

Hi ZenYogi

I didn't go through all of it but saw something which might be important. I noticed that you used 'he' for the author as if it was a 'he'. I am no expert here and maybe the experts can pitch in to correct me but please refrain from using he or she as you don't know for sure.

Have a nice day..!!
Current Student
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 107
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3.2
Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Kindly Review :)  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

26 Mar 2017, 13:15
Manish99 wrote:
ZenYogi wrote:
ESSAY QUESTION:

The following appeared in a newspaper editorial during the holiday shopping season:

"Americans spend far too much of their time buying and consuming non-essential goods. Studies show that, on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. As such, it is no secret why America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries. Instead of spending their time productively, Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption. In order to counteract this trend, Americans should spend more time focused on personal and communal development--by, for example, pursuing educational advancement or participating in volunteer opportunities."

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.

RESPONSE:

The author of the article in the newspaper editorial has claimed that Americans should spend more time on personal and communal development. However, the line of reasoning that the author has followed is problematic for several reasons.

First, the claim that the Americans spend far too much of their time on buying and consuming non-essential goods lacks evidentiary support. Although, the author has cited a study in trying to establish support for this claim, however, that study only points out how much of their leisure time is spent on shopping, but provides no information on how much leisure time does an average American have and whether the time spent on shopping is too much. In order to strengthen the support for this claim, the author must provide more information on how much time spent on shopping qualifies as too much and what amount of time does an average American spend on shopping.

Second, in his argument, the author has used vague and unclear terminology. He claims that America is losing its competitive edge, but fails to elaborate on what exactly he means by this. For instance, if competitive edge refers to how well the American economy is doing with respect to other countries, then one can safely assume that the more shopping an American does, the better it is for maintaining the competitive edge, as it would help the American economy. The author can corroborate the argument by explicitly clarifying all terminologies that he uses in his argument.

Finally, the author claims that Americans should spend more time in pursuing educational advancements, yet assumes that such pursuits do not involve any shopping and consuming. Any educational pursuits require expenditure on many items which may be considered "non-essential", such as books, pens, notebooks, computers, smartphones, etc. Therefore, such an assumption is highly questionable.

In summary, the argument is flawed for the aforementioned reasons and is, therefore, unconvincing. If the author had included the items discussed above, the argument would have been more thorough and sound.

Hi ZenYogi

I didn't go through all of it but saw something which might be important. I noticed that you used 'he' for the author as if it was a 'he'. I am no expert here and maybe the experts can pitch in to correct me but please refrain from using he or she as you don't know for sure.

Have a nice day..!!

Hi Manish,

Thanks for your reply. Actually even I hosted this doubt earlier and therefore I scavengered through forums here at Gmatclub and Manhattan, and found that the consensus is that it's okay to use 'he' for the author as long as you are maintaining consistency with the pronouns. It does not seem to impact AWA scores on the official GMAT. Maybe, experts here can confirm my understanding.

Thanks
_________________

How ZenYogi got from 640 to 760
_________________

Trust yourself, you must

Re: Americans spend far too much of their time- Kindly Review :) &nbs [#permalink] 26 Mar 2017, 13:15
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