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29 Mar 2014, 12:00
This is my first AWA I've tried and my test is in a month. Any feedback is appreciated!

The following appeared in the editorial section of a local newspaper:
“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.” Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

The author of this argument states because only a small percentage of the Waymarsh State College student body protested at the State Capitol, the state legislature doesn’t need to worry about the appeals of protesting students. This argument is flawed for the following reasons.

First, the article does not state any information about protests from students attending other state institutions. Although the ratio of the number of participating students from Waymarsh is small, the overall percent of the state’s college students protesting at the State Capitol may be much larger. Therefore, the percentage of students from other colleges or universities in the state could be much higher than Waymarsh’s participating student rate.

Secondly, the author provides no further insight into other protests that may have occurred at locations alternate to the State Capitol and presumes if students at Waymarsh State College did not participate in the protest at the State Capitol they either stayed on-campus or left for winter break. Some students at Waymarsh could have participated in protests on the campus at Waymarsh State College. This would indicate that a higher number of students at Waymarsh actively participated in a protest of the proposed cuts.

Lastly, the article assumes only students who protest in person at the State Capitol are the only ones who disagree with the state’s plan to cut funding to college programs. Other ways to voice disagreement with a proposed legislation include calling or writing your state legislator. The author does not discuss how many students at Waymarsh or at colleges statewide participated in calling or writing their state legislators.

The author’s argument could be strengthened by discussing how many students from other state colleges or universities participated in the protests at the State Capital or whether protests occurred by the state’s college students at locations other than the State Capitol. Furthermore, the author could strengthen their argument by discussing in what numbers the state’s college students participated in calling or writing their state legislator to voice their disagreement with the proposed cuts. The argument in its current form is flawed.
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