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Argument Analysis: Please help to evaluate.

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New post 23 Aug 2010, 00:45
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Argument:
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper.
“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.


Analysis:
Argument claims that The Mercury Newspaper should lower its price to increase circulation, thereby, increasing profits because a wider readership attracts more advertisements. Argument fails to consider key factors, on the basis of which argument can be evaluated. Argument relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evident. Hence argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

Primarily, the argument readily assumes that decline in the circulation of newspaper The Mucrucry is only because of competing newspaper The Bigul’s low price. Author fails to consider other possible reasons for the decline. For example, decline of circulation could be due to major customer base of The Mucrucry changing their preference of news reading to another medium like internet, wherein they can get all the updates immediately and no need to wait until next day for fresh news. Or it could be because of recent change in newspaper format. There are various possible reasons which can result in decline of newspaper circulation. Author has simply assumed that lower price of competing newspaper is the only reason.

Secondly, the argument claims that reduction in price will increase the circulation. Author fails to mention the basis to support this line of reasoning. Reduction of price may have negative effect as well. For instance, the recent survey published by leading Business magazine concluded that cheaper does not always attract more customers. Survey asked people if they will buy “Nano”, world’s cheapest car, many people declined saying that they think “Nano” as as symbol of low status. Specifically, cheaper price may create doubt in customers mind about quality of newspaper and they may find it misaligned to their status. Author hasn’t considered this important factor.

Finally, the argument concludes that lower price will increase circulation and as a result attract more advertisements. More circulation, more advertisements this logic looks fine on face values but on closer observation, one can realize that it may not be the case. Advertisers may prefer the newspaper which has reach among wide demography or newspaper with customer base which matches the potential customer base of their business.

In summary, argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. To strengthen the argument, the author must identify and explore relevant factors beyond cost before concluding that lowering subscription price will increase circulation and, thereby, increase advertising revenues.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 21:08
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Looks fine to me, though some grammatical mistakes are there.

Also, do add this sentence in the last para, " Had the author answered the queries raised in above paras, the argument would have been logically more sound".
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New post 08 Sep 2010, 12:01
Looks good. Just brush up language and enhance writing style.
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New post 08 Sep 2010, 21:57
i think intro should include briefly what your body paragraph going to be
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New post 21 Jul 2016, 14:11
Hi Team,

I have just started my Awa journey and this is my very first analysis. Can somebody have a look at the following and let me know how else to improve ?

The argument claims that the circulation of “the Mercury” has declined because a of a lower priced newspaper available in the market and if “the mercury” lowers its price then they should be able to increase their circulation. The argumnet concludes that by taking into account only one differentiating factor between the two newspapers. Stated in this way the argument relies on the assumptions for which there is no proper statistical proof. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.

Firstly the argument readily assumes that the price is the only factor that has led to the decline in the circulation. What we need to look at instead is whether the reader find the quality of the content published in the new newspaper better ? in the event the better quality is the concern then even if “the mercury” reduces the price, it wont be able to achieve its goals. What “the mercury” will then need to do is have better writers and reporters.

Secondly what we also need to understand is whether the preference of the readers ,with respect to the type of information, has changed over the last five years. It is highly possible that the new newspaper adapted the style of publishing to the changing customers’ preferneces. In such a scenario “the mercury” will need to bring new perpective to its style of publishing and take corrective actions.

Finally the author has assumed that by reducing the price of the newspaper alone “the mercury” will be able to regain its circulation levels. The author needs to do a proper root cause analysis as the reasons behind the decline could just be more than one.

In conclusion, the argument is imperfect for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unpersuasive.
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New post 21 Feb 2017, 20:28
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Same argument as above:

“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulationn of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”


The argument claims that it is recommended to reduce the price of Mercury newspaper below the price of a competing newspaper, The Bugle. This recommendation respond to a severe decline in circulation of Mercury newspaper during the 5-year period following the introduction of The Bugle. Stated in this way the publisher assumes that lowering the price of The Mercury will increase its readership thereby increasing profits because a wider readership attracts more advertisers and instead fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on the assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and has several flaws.

Firstly the argument readily assumes that lowering the subscription price of will increase circulation of newspaper and would make the paper more attractive to the potential advertisers. This statement is a stretch its not obvious that lowering subscription price is the most effective way to gain the new readers. For example, The Mercury could be the established local newspaper, it is unlikely that such a mass exodus of its readers would be explained by subscription price alone. Clearly, with this differentiation of being locally established paper is less of attraction than The Bugle. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that both the papers contain local as well as international news and are not differentiated on these grounds than it would be evaluated more properly.

Second, the argument claims that due to its unpopularity or high price, it is rarely attracted by businessmen for advertisements. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between unpopularity and lack of advertisements in The Mercury. To illustrate, there are many other factors that might account for a decline in The Mercury’s unpopularity. For instance, readers might be displeased with the extent and accuracy of its news reporting, or the balance of local to other news coverage. Moreover, it is possible The Mercury has recently changed editors, giving the paper a locally unpopular political perspective. Or perhaps readers are unhappy with the paper’s format, the timeliness of its feature articles, its comics or advice columns, the extent and accuracy of its local event calendar, or its rate of errors. If the argument had provided evidence for defined above reasons then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

Finally based upon above scenarios, how can publisher be so sure that increasing circulation will attract more businessmen for advertisement? Will reducing the subscription price affect the popularity? Without convincing answer to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than the substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthen if the author clearly mentions all the relevant facts that there is a strong connection between the price of the paper and its popularity. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case author must identify and explore relevant factors beyond cost before concluding that lowering subscription prices will increase circulation and, thereby, increasing advertising revenue. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open for debate.
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New post 04 Oct 2017, 02:04
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“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”

Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
.

In the given excerpt of announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper, the publisher has claimed that reduction in the price of their paper below to that of competing newspaper, The Bugle would increase circulation of their paper. To support his claim he has added that the increased circulation would attract more businesses for advertising space in their paper. The argument is likely to fail due flaws in the reasoning.

At first, it has been assumed that being higher priced than mercury is the only reason for the loss of business for The Mercury. What if the content of the weekly newspaper is the reason behind loss of readership? There are several other factors other than price which might be the reason for the competing newspaper to attract more readership. Therefore proper reasoning as for why the five year old newspaper has got popular is missing that would make the argument misleading.

Secondly, The Bugle is the primary reason for the publisher to claim decline in the circulation by 10,000. A loss for The Mercury is The Bugle's gain, as assumed by the publisher, which might not be a mandatory case. It might be one of the reasons though but enough evidence citing the claim is absent making the argument preposterous.

Moreover, attracting more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper by just achieving former levels of circulation cannot be justified because reducing the cost might also have reduction in the number of pages or content reduction which might not work for The Mercury.

To conclude, the publishers claim could be true as The Bugle being lower-priced newspaper is one kind of upper hand in the business. But at the same time the line of reasoning is weak and therefore for various reasons the argument is not very convincing as the author has made some questionable assumptions that may or may not be true, given the data provided.


PLEASE REVIEW THE ESSAY (Also please rate on the scale 1-6)
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New post 09 Jan 2018, 09:45
In a recent announcement , the author argues that reducing price of The Mercury is the best way to compete with a lower priced newspaper, The Bugle. Author's argument not only makes critical assumptions but also overlooks alternate reasons. While, this argument has some merit, it is flawed for three important reasons.
Most conspicuously, Author assumes that low price of competitors newspaper is the only reason of decline in Mercuries circulation. It is entirely possible, however, that decline in circulation has happened because of poor news content. Moreover if Mercury is reporting irrelevant content, viewers are likely to shift to other available options . Author must provide more information on why he considers lower price from competition is the only reason of circulation decline. Without such information authors argument fails to convince audience.
Additionally, Author assumes that lowering price will be successful in increasing the circulation to former levels. This is too a gross assumption. No one can deny that, The Bugle, competition news paper, might respond by reducing its newspaper prices below new Mercury prices. If this happens, authors claim will not hold true. To substantiate his argument, author should provide detailed plan to tackle counter move from competition.
Finally, author claims that, increased circulation will attract more advertisement business. This claim looks far fetched. Advertisers consider many factors while choosing a circulation. one of the important factor is target audience. Author fails to consider possible changes in segment of people who subscribe the news paper. If the new segment is not preferred by advertisers the increase in advertising business is unlikely. Author should support his argument with substantial data to make it convincing.
In conclusion, Author's argument that reducing price of The Mercury is the best way to compete with a lower priced newspaper, The Bugle, is deeply flawed. To make the argument convincing, Author should substantiate his assumptions with additional information and logical explanations as suggested above.

Please suggest your valuable inputs !!
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New post 20 Jan 2018, 04:34
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Quote:
It’s been stated in the weekly newspaper report “The Mercury” that in order to participate in the re-ascension of “The Mercury” newspaper in order gain its old notoriety, its price has to be decreased under the concurrent newspaper “The Bugle” price. And once the newspaper is back into circulation, then this will get more businesses to invest in advertising space. Although the argument has some merits, it undermines the claim that pricing would widen the newspaper market.

First, the argument fails to consider that there might be many factors other than the pricing which are causing the public to choose a newspaper over another: What if “The Bugle” newspaper provides a wider variety of articles concerning science, technology, business, international news that attracts an interesting wide niche of the public that “The Mercury” fails to magnet?

Second, the strategy proposed within the argument of reducing the prices temporarily until the circulation moves to former levels seems fallacious as this would imply that the public’s motives related to reading are only price driven and not content driven. In fact, the argument doesn’t address the fact that “The Mercury” newspaper could initiate a marketing strategy which relies on the content management and which also makes sure the newspaper is more available to the public eyes than “The Bugle” is. Therefore, reducing the price alone doesn’t constitute a solid/lone argument in order to get people to acquire a newspaper over another.

Moreover, the author implies that more businesses would buy advertising space once “The Mercury” newspaper is back on track in the market. This point seems to be logically defectuous because the decision of buying advertising space by a business is a constructed decision based upon other complex parameters which don’t involve certainly the notoriety only: Businesses especially rely on the long-term strategy once they make a decision of buying advertising spaces. Investing on a newspaper which has just made his entry in the competition market might present some risks to the businesses and the argument fails to put these points in the picture.

In summary, the argument failed in presenting a convincing argument as it didn’t mention the points stressed above. However, fixes could be implemented over the same report, and introducing a comparative analysis between both newspaper markets would have provided enough evidence to prove the author’s point.


Please rate my AWA accordingly.
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New post 24 Jul 2018, 20:26
Hi,

Here is my take on the essay for sharing purposes.

The argument suggests that by reducing the price of Mercury’s newspaper to below that of a competing newspaper, Mercury would be able to regain back its lost readership and attract more businesses to buy advertising space in its papers. However, the argument is certainly unconvincing as it suffers from several obvious gaps and flaws.

Firstly, the author cites the decline of 10 ,000 readers to suggest that there is a significant drop in readership. However, this assumption is certainly unfounded. Without a clear reference point or relative indicator, it is hard to tell the true impact of the 10 ,000 readers. Perhaps The Mercury is a global business newspaper that serves several million subscribers worldwide. In this case , 10 ,000 is rather insignificant and could be well-within the range of natural fluctuations. The author could strengthen the argument by providing some sort of relative indication of the impact of this 10 ,000 readers.

Secondly, the author implies that the reason for reduced circulation of The Mercury is due to the introduction of the cheaper The Bugle. However, this assumption is stretched. Perhaps there could be other reasons that have created this drop in readership and that the introduction of The Bungle was just a coincidence in this case . For example, a rise in popularity of online digital news could have cause the drop in demand for physical newspapers in general, not just The Mercury alone. The author could strengthen the argument by providing evidence, such as customer feedback, that pricing is indeed the main factor that caused the drop in readership for The Mercury.

Finally, the author claims that with increased circulation, business would be attracted to buy advertising space. However, perhaps it is the sheer amount of advertisements that is causing the drop in readership of The Mercury. By having more advertisement in the paper, it could result in another drop in readership levels and the cycle repeats itself, creating an unsustainable business model. The author could strengthen the claim by proving that this is not the case .

In conclusion, the argument lacks substantiating evidences and hence fails to convince. In order to access the merits of the points mentioned in the argument, there has to be full knowledge of the contributing factors, which the argument lacks. The argument can be significantly strengthened by introducing sound evidences as described above.
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New post 09 Oct 2018, 08:16
chetanb wrote:
Argument:
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper.
“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.


Analysis: The argument that the best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former level omits some importatn concerns that needs to be addressed to substantiate the argument. The statement that precedes the conclusion simply describes a situation and the stastement that follows the conclusion describes what willl happen once the outcome is achieved. These alone do not constitute a logical argument in favor of the more people to read, and it certainly does not provide support or proof for the main argument.
Most conspicuously, the argument failed to point out the reasons of fall in circulation and the relationship between price and circulation. The argument also fails to establish an objective relationship between circulation and attraction of more business to buy advertising space in the paper. First, the argument assumes that the fall of circulation of The Mercury is caused by the introduction of The Bugle, the information regarding the quality of the newspaper or the news in either paper, or how the ciruclation was more than five years ago are unknown. The introduction of a new newspaper to a great extent does not gurantee the reduction of circulation of competitor, provided that lot of factors work behind the circulation of newspaper. If it happens that the circulation was declining before the introduction of The Bugle or if the decline was due to change in publishing policy then reducing the price of The Mercury won´t increase the circulation. Second, the argument never addresses the the relationship between price and ciruclation. It might happen that people will not purchase The Mercury if it is given at reduced price as reduced price sometimes signals low quality. Finally, the argument assumes without warrant that increased circulation will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper. The businesses might decide paper to advertise based on customers and preference of customer groups for newspaper may vary. In that case, the businesses may not prefer the newspaper based on circulation but on customers' preference of newspaper.
Because the argument leaves out several key issues, it is not sound or persuasive. if it included the items discussed above instead of simply describing the situation and the goal, the argument would have been more thorough and convincing.
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New post 10 Oct 2018, 09:42
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 15:29
Hi there! I also just started my AWA prep. Thought I would share and all feedback is welcome!


The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper: “Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”

The author’s argument that the best way to increase the readership of the struggling Mercury newspaper is to reduce its price below that of another newspaper (The Bugle) and that this decision will increase the paper’s circulation to a level that advertisers deem attractive, is flawed. The author presupposes a number of problematic things that make the conclusion questionable and poorly reasoned. In drawing this flawed conclusion, the author incorrectly attributes a mere correlation with the primary causation of a decrease in readership. Furthermore, the author also misidentifies certain factors as concrete, and definite outcomes rather than potential scenarios that may or may not happen based on a variety of unmentioned and unacknowledged catalysts. Lastly, it is also quite problematic that the author is only concerned with price as the driving force behind the argument’s conclusion.

In drawing the conclusion, the author assumes that just because another newspaper began distributing their papers at a lower price five years ago, the Mercury paper’s circulation declined by 10,000 readers. The author incorrectly maintains that this correlation alone is enough to hold the argument. The author fails to account for any other circumstances at the time that could have also impacted the reduction in Mercury’s papers being circulated. Perhaps another unmentioned magazine or newspaper began printing around the same time. It is also possible that around this time, print media as a whole became less popular, especially with the advent of mass online media. It is quite possible that the seemingly popular Bugle also lost circulation. None of these are mentioned and hence, lead to a faulty argument.

Secondly, the author also fails to account for any other factors in the argument. By stating and maintaining that the best way to get more people to read the Mercury paper is to undercut the price of one of its competitors, the author is choosing to ignore many other factors that may account for the relationship he/she is trying to prove. What if the price was not the only concern of Mercury’s readership? Perhaps quality, and content itself were factors that consumers took into account as well? If a good is priced below that of its competitor yet it lacks the quality that consumers are looking for, will that be incentive enough for them to make the purchase? The author does not mention any of these things and hence, presents a weak, unsupported argument.

Lastly, it is important to note that the author assumes that the undercutting of price will definitely have the intended effect of increasing their readership. This flawed use of language allows for vague and problematic inferences to be made. How is the author certain that the reduction in price will increase circulation to former levels and that this supposedly definite increase will be followed by another definite increase in attracting more businesses to the paper to advertise. The author provides no proof that this will happen and hence, the argument’s conclusion becomes inviable and poorly illustrated.

To summarize, the author has provided a number of faulty basis of reasoning and therefore, the argument presented above cannot be taken at face value. It is inherently flawed in that it fails to differentiate between mere correlations and causations, it fails to acknowledge other potential factors that could have contributed to a decline in sales, and it maintains that the supposed undercutting of prices will have the intended effect without any basis for this belief. In order to strengthen this argument as a whole, the author will have to bring more factors into the picture to draw a more concrete relationship between why the Bugle and Mercury papers’ circulations are related. The author will have to account for other outside influences and be less vague if the argument is to hold.
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New post 02 Aug 2019, 05:33
Hi all! Just would like to share the AWA I've constructed on this (I timed myself exactly 30 minutes to write the below paragraphs). Feedback and suggestions welcome :)

[BEGIN]

The argument states that the circulation of “The Mercury” has declined by 10,000 readers with the introduction of a new, cheaper newspaper “The Bugle”, and that Mercury can regain its readers by reducing its price to become lower than Bugle. The argument assumes that by doing so more businesses will be attracted to purchasing advertising space in The Mercury. Stated in this way, the argument manipulates facts and creates a distorted view of the situation. Furthermore, it displays a leap of faith based on poor reasoning. At its state, the argument is unconvincing and possesses several flaws.

Firstly, the argument assumes that Mercury has lost its readership due to the lower price-point of The Bugle. In this way, the argument lacks concrete evidence and did not take into consideration other factors that may influence Mercury’s loss in readership. Could the content of the Bugle simply be more interesting in contrast to Mercury? Could people have gradually lost interest in reading newspaper altogether? Without identifying other levers that can possibly influence the reduction in readership, the argument has unfortunately jumped to conclusions.

The second flaw of the argument is that it assumes the number of Mercury’s readers can be increased by reducing Mercury’s price point below that of The Bugle’s. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as there can be a multitude of other ways of increasing the number of readers, such as by advertising or by improving article quality, that can be used by itself or in tandem with the price-reduction strategy. It could very well be that there are even some customers who are attracted to Mercury for its higher pricing, which customers may perceive as an indication of higher news quality. The argument can be better strengthened by ascertaining the impact of the aforementioned levers, as without it, the argument is left weak and unsubstantiated.

Finally, the argument suggests that the increase in readership will attract business to buy advertising space. As with the first and second flaws, this assumption readily states that the increased number of newspapers in circulation will attract businesses to advertise with The Mercury. However, the argument did not quote any ground or research that strengthens that claim. Further, it readily assumes that an increased number of readers would directly equate to more advertisers. For instance, would a high-end brand like Rolex advertise in a newspaper that is high in circulation, but with a middle-to-lower class audience that does not match its customer target? To strengthen its claim, the argument could have made references to studies that can perhaps quote the correlation between number of readers and volume of advertisers. Doing so will eliminate doubts that the reader may have on the argument’s claims.

In conclusion, the argument is ridden with flaws discussed in the previous paragraphs. However, the argument can be further strengthened through applying the recommendations mentioned above. In order to assess the merits of a particular initiative or situation, it is important to obtain as much relevant information as possible from multiple different angles. Without those information, the argument is left weak and unsubstantiated, and is subject to critical debate.

[END]
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