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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 29 Nov 2018
Posts: 1

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30 Jul 2019, 01:00
Prompt -> “During a recent trial period in which government inspections at selected meat-processing plants were more frequent, the number 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.”

Essay -
The argument concludes that the incidence of stomach and intestinal infections throughout the country could be cut in half if the government inspects the meat processing plants more frequently. This conclusion is based on the fact that the number of bacteria in samples of processed chicken decreased by 50 percent on average from the previous year’s level in select meat processing plants which were inspected by the government more frequently. Stated in this way the argument fails to mention 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 incomplete.
First, the argument draws this conclusion based on the results of inspection of only a sample of meat processing plants. The argument does not provide details of the criteria used to select the sample meat processing plants. It is possible that these plants were selected due to some complaints made against them. Because these plants were not maintaining the minimum standards of operation and hygiene set by the government, these plants could have shown significant improvement after the inspection. Most of the other plants which are already maintaining the required standards might not show such improvements post inspection. This proves the conclusion to be wrong.
Second, the argument states that 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. The argument only mentions that Excel’s main processing plant has shown improvement but does not provide any evidence to show that it has now reached a level which will be safe for consumers. The pant could have improved from Hazardous to Poor level which would make the meat produced by it unsafe for consumption. Also since only the main plant has shown improvement meat produced by other plants could still be unsafe and might cause stomach and intestinal infections in consumers.
Finally, some additional information would have strengthened the argument. As explained before, providing information on the criteria for selecting the sample meat processing plant could have helped to understand the real impact that frequent government inspections would have throughout the country. Also information about the standards to be met by a meat processing plant for it to be considered safe and also the quantum of improvement by Excel’s main plant could have helped evaluate whether the meat would be safe for consumption or not. The claim would have been strengthened if it mentioned these relevant facts cited before.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. Actually, in order to assess the merits of a decision, it is essential to have a full knowledge of all contributing factors. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.
Director
Status: Manager
Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 803
Location: Egypt
GPA: 3.67
WE: Pharmaceuticals (Health Care)

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30 Jul 2019, 10:10
1
Hi guptanishant24,

I think your essay is very good in terms of word count, grammar and vocabulary.
Besides, you correctly addressed 2 main gaps in the argument and attacked them with a strong logic, I point to:
(1) to what extent can a sample represent the population
(2) misinterpretation of "improvement"

I think this essay can get at least 5
Intern
Joined: 29 Jul 2019
Posts: 19
Location: United States (NJ)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.51

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03 Aug 2019, 17:35
Good job!

First, in the intro you should mention that one of the main arguments is that Excel Meats' meat is safe for consumers. You do a good job picking this apart in your third paragraph, but I would also add it as one of the author's conclusions.

Second, you have some very awkward phrasing in your intro: "Stated in this way the argument fails to mention key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated." This is passive voice which should be avoided at all costs. A better way to phrase could be: "The argument fails to mention key factors without which it cannot be evaluated".

Third, in your second paragraph you state "This proves the conclusion to be wrong." You should be careful here - this did not prove that the conclusion is wrong. A better phrasing would be "This would disprove the author's conclusion." These are very different. Additionally, note how the change takes away the passive and awkward "to be wrong" from your original.

Finally, "finally" is generally used to provide additional evidence (as in, the "final" piece of evidence), but you use it in a way to re-hash your argument, which is, in fact, a conclusion. You can group the last two paragraphs together and start it more effectively (and correctly) with "in conclusion".

In conclusion, quite well written and you hit on the major points. I think it would score in the range of 4 to 5. 5 on structure, 5 on evidence, 4 on depth of logic, and 4 on style.

P.S. For others reading this, another point of evidence to consider is that the decrease in bacteria does not necessarily mean a decrease in the bacteria which cause infections.
Manager
Joined: 21 Jun 2019
Posts: 99
Concentration: Finance, Accounting
GMAT 1: 670 Q48 V34
GPA: 3.78

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07 Aug 2019, 01:09
hello,
follow this structure for a high score

1. General Structure
Intro - Restate argument, point out flaws or state intention to discuss them below
1st Para - First,...
3rd Para - Third/Finally,...
Conclusion - The argument is flawed/weak/unconvincing because of the above -mentioned...Ultimately, the argument can be strengthened if/by...

2. Structural Word (should be all over the essays)
1. Supporting examples - for example, to illustrate, for instance, because, specifically
2. Additional support - furthermore, in addition, similarly, just as, also, as a result, moreover
3. Importance - surely, truly, undoubtedly, clearly, in fact, most importantly
4. Contrast - on the contrary, yet, despite, rather, instead, however, although, while
5. Decide against - one cannot deny that, it could be argued that, granted, admittedly
6. Ying-yang - on the one hand/on the other hand
7. Concluding - therefore, in summary, consequently, hence, in conclusion, ultimately, in closing
8. 3. Templates
9. Intro:
The argument claims that ....(restate)
Stated in this way the argument:
a) manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation
b) reveals examples of leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology
c) fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated
The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak/unconvincing and has several flaws.

1st Para:
First, the argument readily assumes that......
This statement is a stretch....
For example,...
Clearly,...
The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that...

2nd Para:
Second, the argument claims that....
This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between....and...
To illustrate,...
While,...
However,....indeed....
In fact, it is not at all clear...rather....
If the argument had provided evidence that.....then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

3rd Para:
Finally,...
(pose some questions for the argument).....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.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, 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 a certain situation/decision, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case....
Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.