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My 1st AWA essay - assessment?

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My 1st AWA essay - assessment? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2014, 02:58
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Question:
The following appeared in a memorandum from the vice president of Gigantis, a development company that builds
and leases retail store facilities:
“Nationwide over the past five years, sales have increased significantly at outlet stores that deal exclusively in
reduced-price merchandise. Therefore, we should publicize the new mall that we are building at Pleasantville as a
central location for outlet shopping and rent store space only to outlet companies. By taking advantage of the success
of outlet stores, this plan should help ensure full occupancy of the mall and enable us to recover quickly the costs of
building the mall.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

Answer:

The argument claims that there has been a substantial increase in sales of outlet stores that are exclusively active in the area of low-price merchandise. The author, vice president of Giants, a company that builds and leases retail store facilities, therefore states that the store space at the company’s newly built mall should only be rented to outlet companies. This will lead to a full occupancy and a quick amortization of building costs. Stated in this way the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation.

First, the argument assumes that the significant sales increase from the past will equivalently continue in the future and contribute to the success of outlet stores. This assumption is not based on any evidence. The mentioned past sales increase could be attributed to a general upturn in the economy over the past 5 years, which led to an increase in consumer spending. However, since it is very unlike that the economy grows for an unlimited number of years, it is possible that consumer spending will fall in the future and hence the success of outlet stores cannot be certainly predicted. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that the success of outlet stores is independent from the economic situation and primarily based on the stores concept or other independent factors.

Second, the author claims that the company will achieve full occupancy and a quick amortization of building costs, if it rents the store space only to outlet companies. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim since the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the success of retail outlets and the full occupancy of the new mall. To illustrate a possible situation one should imagine that there are many malls in Pleasantville and the retail outlets could satisfy their demand elsewhere. Full occupancy and the quick amortization of building costs is therefore not ensured. If the argument had proven evidence that the new mall will be the only one in town then it would have been a lot more convincing.

Finally, the author did not consider some important facts. Are outlet stores that deal exclusively in the reduced-price merchandise willing to pay the same rents as companies which deal in higher price segments? Are there any other factors that could have an impact on the building costs, such as the fluctuation of raw material prices or energy costs? Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
To summarize, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of this particular situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all the contributing factors.

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Re: My 1st AWA essay - assessment? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2014, 12:12
lou34 wrote:
Question:
The following appeared in a memorandum from the vice president of Gigantis, a development company that builds
and leases retail store facilities:
“Nationwide over the past five years, sales have increased significantly at outlet stores that deal exclusively in
reduced-price merchandise. Therefore, we should publicize the new mall that we are building at Pleasantville as a
central location for outlet shopping and rent store space only to outlet companies. By taking advantage of the success
of outlet stores, this plan should help ensure full occupancy of the mall and enable us to recover quickly the costs of
building the mall.”
Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

Answer:

The argument claims that there has been a substantial increase in sales of outlet stores that are exclusively active in the area of low-price merchandise. The author, vice president of Giants, a company that builds and leases retail store facilities, therefore states that the store space at the company’s newly built mall should only be rented to outlet companies. This will lead to a full occupancy and a quick amortization of building costs. Stated in this way the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation.

First, the argument assumes that the significant sales increase from the past will equivalently continue in the future and contribute to the success of outlet stores. This assumption is not based on any evidence. The mentioned past sales increase could be attributed to a general upturn in the economy over the past 5 years, which led to an increase in consumer spending. However, since it is very unlike that the economy grows for an unlimited number of years, it is possible that consumer spending will fall in the future and hence the success of outlet stores cannot be certainly predicted. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that the success of outlet stores is independent from the economic situation and primarily based on the stores concept or other independent factors.

Second, the author claims that the company will achieve full occupancy and a quick amortization of building costs, if it rents the store space only to outlet companies. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim since the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between the success of retail outlets and the full occupancy of the new mall. To illustrate a possible situation one should imagine that there are many malls in Pleasantville and the retail outlets could satisfy their demand elsewhere. Full occupancy and the quick amortization of building costs is therefore not ensured. If the argument had proven evidence that the new mall will be the only one in town then it would have been a lot more convincing.

Finally, the author did not consider some important facts. Are outlet stores that deal exclusively in the reduced-price merchandise willing to pay the same rents as companies which deal in higher price segments? Are there any other factors that could have an impact on the building costs, such as the fluctuation of raw material prices or energy costs? Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
To summarize, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened if the author clearly mentioned all the relevant facts. In order to assess the merits of this particular situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all the contributing factors.


Hi lou34 :)

Respected Sir ,

I think it is perfect . Full marks . I do not wish to add anything more to your essay , well thought , well articulated , assertive , pretty good understanding of the argument , you have identified & covered all the assumptions , raised questionable flaws . In summary You! have used all the templates , which makes the essay look more comprehensible . Good job!

Although I am not a a very high scorer in GMAT hence I'm not qualified to give GMAT advice , but I took the GMAT twice and got a 4.5& 5.0 essay score respectively , In hope you will find my essay templates/advice useful , I wish to share templates , that were advised by my GMAT instructor .

Paragraph 1: "Introduction"

As advised , I always start by saying, "In the preceding statement, the author claims that (paraphrase of the author's argument)."

This shows that I understand the author's argument. I continue with my disagreement (and, becauseit has been often said, ALWAYS! disagree with the author's reasoning, and I pretty much always used the same statement, like:

Though his claim may well have merit, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument, based on several questionable premises and assumptions, and based solely on the evidence the author offers, we cannot accept his argument as valid. “

I can use that statement for pretty much any and every argument essay I encounter. I also use "we" but I try to avoid using "I". ( Take that as you wish! )

Paragraph 2: "Attacks the premise of the author's argument"

For me, paragraph 2 always attacks the premise of the author's argument. I usually write down a premise and then I attack the lack of evidence that the author bases his premise on.

I usually begin with same statement all the the time :

"The primary issue with the author's reasoning lies in his unsubstantiated premises".

I like "primary" and "secondary" as transitional tools because they are more complex than "first" and "second". Throughout the first paragraph, I show flaws in the author's premises by pointing out his lack of evidentiary support (they pretty much always lack evidentiary support!!!) . I generally end with something like:

"The author's premises, the basis for his argument, lack any legitimate evidentiary support and render his conclusion unacceptable."

Paragraph 3: "Attack the assumptions"

In the third paragraph, I always attack the assumptions

I usually begin with :

"In addition, the author makes several assumptions that remain unproven. "

My assumption paragraph ends with something like:

"The author weakens his argument by making assumptions and failing to provide explication of the links between X and Y he assumes exists. "

Paragraph 4: How I can strengthen the argument

Paragraph 4 is where I talk about how the author could strengthen his argument

I usually begin this paragraph with something like:

"While the author does have several key issues in his argument's premises and assumptions, that is not to say that the entire argument is without base."

Then I provide some concrete ways the author could strengthen his argument. The easiest way to do this is to give examples of what kind of evidence the author could provide, and discuss how he can fill the holes in his assumptions.

I generally end with something like:

"Though there are several issues with the author's reasoning at present, with research and clarification, he could improve his argument significantly. "

Paragraph 5 : Conclusion Para

As advised , This is my conclusion paragraph. I pretty much always conclude with the same sentence:

In sum, the author's illogical argument is based on unsupported premises and unsubstantiated assumptions that render his conclusion invalid.


As advised , I usually use "in sum" because it's considered better stylistically than "in conclusion" but signals to the e-grader that you're at your conclusion.
I usually add a couple sentences in between and then I end with:

"If the author truly hopes to change his readers' minds on the issue, he would have to largely restructure his argument, fix the flaws in his logic, clearly explicate his assumptions, and provide evidentiary support. Without these things, his poorly reasoned argument will likely convince few people. "

I hope you find it useful .

Regards
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Re: My 1st AWA essay - assessment? [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2017, 03:10
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Re: My 1st AWA essay - assessment?   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2017, 03:10
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