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Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response?

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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
Concentration: General Management, International Business
GPA: 3.7
Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 03:51
The following appeard as part of an articel in a trade magazine:
During a recent trial period in which government inspections at selected meat-processing plants were more frequent, the amount of bacteria in samples of processed chicken decreased by 50 percent on average from the previous year's level. If the government were to institute more frequent inspections, the incidence of stomach and intestinal infections throughout the country could thus be cut in half. In the meantime, consumers of Excel Meats should be safe from infection because Excel's main processing plant has shown more improvement in eliminating bacterial contamination than any other plant cited in the government report.

My response:
The argument that appeared in a trade magazine claims that the government should increase the frequency of inspections at meat-processing plants because of the positive results in a recent trial period. Stated in this way the argument reveals examples of leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology.

First, the argument assumes that the higher frequency of the inspections is the reason for a decline in the amount of bacteria found in samples of processed chicken. This statement is a stretch and not substantiated in any way. The author compares the amount of bacteria with the amount in the previous year. It is possible that unusual incidents caused very high levels of bacteria in the last year and that the amount of bacteria reached its normal level again. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude that the higher frequency of inspections is the cause for the declined bacteria level. If the argument explicitly stated the bacteria levels not only of the previous year but of several previous years, then it could have been much clearer.

Second, the argument claims that the implementation of more frequent inspections will cut the incidents of stomach and intestinal infections throughout the whole country in half. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the author does not demonstrate a correlation between the frequency of inspections and the appearance of infections. The author mentions that the amount of bacteria in chicken decreased by 50% and therefore concludes that the infections can be cut in half. It is not at all clear how much the amount of bacteria in other types of meat changed and how much the bacteria in chicken contributes to the whole amount of infections. If, for example, the level of bacteria in other meat than chicken only decreased slightly during the trial period and bacteria in chicken only causes a small amount of infections, then the incidence of infections will decrease by a number smaller than 50% with more frequent inspections. Furthermore, the author claims that this cut will happen nationwide. However, he fails to mention whether or not the “selected” meat-processing plants are representative for the whole nation. If the author provided evidence that bacteria in chicken meat is the most serious cause of infections and that the selected meat plants are representative for the whole nation, then he could have been much more convincing.

Finally, the argument concludes that consumers of Excel Meats should be safe since the company shows the most successful improvement in eliminating bacteria. It is possible that Excel Meats shows the best improvement but it is also possible that they had the worst starting situation. In this case, they could still provide meat that, on average, contains more bacteria than that of competing companies. Without supporting evidence, showing that Excel Meats actually provides meat with less bacteria than that of their competitors, one is left with the impression that this is more a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence. As a result, this conclusion has no legs to stand on.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and therefore neither sound nor persuasive. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts.

Thank you in advance :)
Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 583
Location: United States (MA)
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Re: Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response? [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2017, 22:18
Hi Fabel,

Your essay looks great, especially body paragraphs!
I think you'd get 6 for this essay. You can alsi make intro more detailed like in this example:

The argument claims that the electronic games rating system, although similar to the movie rating system, is not working because it is self regulated and violation fines are nominal, Hence, the gaming rating system should be overseen by an independent body. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evidence. Therefore, the argument is rather weak, unconvincing, and has several flaws.



Joined: 10 Jan 2018
Posts: 10
Location: Morocco
Schools: HEC Montreal '19
GMAT 1: 490 Q36 V20
GPA: 3.1
Re: Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response? [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jan 2018, 15:32
This was my version for the same argument. Please kindly rate it accordingly if you get the chance to go through it.
In summary, the author assesses through the article that government inspections are a necessity in order to reduce bacteria contaminations in chicken and thus to ensure a higher consumer safety meat consumption. This alone doesn’t provide enough support or proof to the fact that customers will be safe from any infection whatsoever. The argument presents few defects that need to be analysed accordingly.

First, the argument fails to cite the activities that were ordered within the plants after the inspections were processed. Even if the audits were successful in determining that there are bacterias in chickens, the bacteria itself might be coming from the daily food which is given to the chicken, which could be contaminated itself and it is also probable that the same dairy food was healthier this year than last year. That being said, the article would have more consistent if it provided more insights about the sanity tasks ordered within the plant in order to ensure safer meat and also the origins of the bacteria.

Second, the author assumed through the text that stomach and intestinal infections would be further reduced in case there would be more inspections happening. But what if the contamination root is not related to the meat processing plant chain? It is evident that the meat goes through a large and wide supply chain, going from the plant to the wholesaler to the retailer periods during which it is subject to the air, cargos and trucks fridges and the subsequent fridges. Any of these cited could be causing an imminent contamination of the chicken if not preserved, packed and transported following the global consumer safety standards. Thus, the argument would have been more relevant, if it went deeper on the supply chain analysing each and every part, providing a certain guarantee of a safe environment.

Moreover, the argument ends up ensuring a safe consumption of excel meat as a certain plant in the country had experienced more improvement compared to other plants processing excel meats. But what about the other plants safety plan and environnement? It is clear that the argument failed to address the fact that other plants are also providing the country with excel meat and should also be subject to any improvement in meat processes, as the text doesn’t mention that.

In conclusion, although the argument has some merits, it failed to underline the points mentioned above. Therefore, this makes the argument deeply flawed and subject to a revision involving the conclusion which has been weakened in regard to the evidence provided earlier.

Thanks in advance!
Re: Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response?   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2018, 15:32
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Could you please give me feedback to my AWA response?

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