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Intern
Joined: 10 Aug 2013
Posts: 10

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31 Aug 2013, 15:53
Business manager of a TV station:
“Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this time period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have just canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to the program and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should restore the time devoted to weather and local news to its former level.”

Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
------

The reasoning that the TV station manager has expressed is flawed for several reasons. The most egregious flaw is that there was no indication that viewership has actually decreased. Also, the manager has not effectively argued that advertizers have pulled out because of the lack of local coverage, nor has he/she shown that viewer complaints about local coverage are due to its being too short.

Firstly, there is actual no evidence that viewership has decreased. Besides generating more advertising revenue, another aim of the new policy is to attract more viewers to the program. However, the manager only presupposes that viewership has actually decreased. If the manager tries to infer that it has decreased just from the fact that the station has received complaints concerning weather and local coverage, this inference is not valid since viewership could possibly stay the same or even increase in the face of receiving complaints, since the silent majority could be in favour of their coverage.

Also, even the mere fact that many advertisers have suspended their contracts does not necessarily imply that ordinary viewers, many who are not business people, are still watching the late news program. The manager, then, would still need to find evidence based on ratings that viewership has indeed decreased.

Secondly, local advertisers canceling their contracts with the station were not shown to be a result of devoting less time to local news and weather. The manager here is fallaciously attributing a cause to the effect. It could be that local advertisers have become fed up with the expensive cost that the station charges for advertizing spots. Or, it could simply be that the advertizing manager is rude, and offended most of the local advertisers. Whatever the case, the manager must produce stronger evidence, even anecdotal advertiser feedback, to show that the loss of advertising contracts is specifically caused by less coverage of weather and local news.

Thirdly, complaints from viewers concerning weather and local coverage are not necessarily indicative of too little coverage of those subjects. As it stands, complaints "concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news" is vague. Especially in light of the specific changes that the manager proposes, one would have wanted the complaints to be specifically identified as dissatisfaction with the meagre coverage given to local news and weather.

This vagueness leaves room open to multiple alternate explanations for what viewers were unhappy about. It could be that viewers did not like the inexperienced weatherman doing that segment every night. It could be that the local news reporting was too biased in favour of some local corporation. Ironically, the dissatisfaction could even be that there was too much time devoted to local news and weather. To remedy this, the manager would be well advised to specify what viewers were unhappy about, perhaps even conducting a viewer survey of their news program.

Thus, to rectify the flawed argument, the manager must give indication that viewership has actually decreased. Also, the manager must effectively argued that advertizers have pulled out because of the lack of local coverage, and show that viewer complaints about local coverage are due to its being too short. Otherwise, as it stands, the manager's argument is severely flawed.

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 2

Manhattan Prep Instructor
Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 194

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 0

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31 Aug 2013, 18:56
I think this is fine .. maybe a 4.0 or a 4.5? Here's a question -- how many 'points' are you trying to make here? Three? Six? I don't think you need to make more than three main points -- the little 'mini' paragraphs that you've created could wind up being more confusing than helpful.

Let me know what you were thinking there.

Thanks.

-Brian
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Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina

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Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 0

Intern
Joined: 10 Aug 2013
Posts: 10

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31 Aug 2013, 21:10
brianlange77 wrote:
I think this is fine .. maybe a 4.0 or a 4.5? Here's a question -- how many 'points' are you trying to make here? Three? Six? I don't think you need to make more than three main points -- the little 'mini' paragraphs that you've created could wind up being more confusing than helpful.

Let me know what you were thinking there.

Thanks.

-Brian

Hi Brian,

Three points. The mini paragraphs were logically part of the paragraphs preceding them. Instead of starting the mini-graph I could have just extended the original paragraph, but didn't want the paragraph to be too long. But what you would say is it would be better to keep them together, because the mini-graphs make things more confusing. If I had joined the mini-graph to its parent-graph, would the resulting paragraph be of acceptable length (i.e not too long)? And would the score have been better?

I remember hearing somewhere that quantity matters. Thanks! I do need at least a 5.0, so appreciate your ongoing help.

B.

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 2

Manhattan Prep Instructor
Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 194

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 0

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25 Sep 2013, 19:34
Yeah -- I like a simple five paragraph outline.

I. Intro
II, III, IV -- Body Paragraphs
V. Conclusion

5-7 sentences per paragraph. You're writing a GMAT essay, not a thesis paper

Good luck.

-Brian
_________________

Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina

Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 0

Senior Manager
Joined: 26 Aug 2016
Posts: 465

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 49

Location: India
Schools: Duke '20, Tepper '20
GMAT 1: 690 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 700 Q50 V33
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Consulting)

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18 Mar 2017, 03:41
brianlange77 wrote:
Yeah -- I like a simple five paragraph outline.

I. Intro
II, III, IV -- Body Paragraphs
V. Conclusion

5-7 sentences per paragraph. You're writing a GMAT essay, not a thesis paper

Good luck.

-Brian

Hi Brain
Can you please review this essay for me.

The article states that America is losing its competitive edge relative to other countries because some studies show that on average Americans spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping. I find this logically in-convincing in several aspects.

First of all America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries is based on questionable assumption that This is happening only through shopping which uses only quarter of leisure time of Americans. Suppose there are other Causes of the America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries such as Economy growth of other countries are higher than the America due to their increase in production and growth in technology. This leads to some other cause rather than the spending time on shopping which is causing America to lose its competitive edge. Hence, This argument is not justified.

Secondly Author uses casual flaw, Where two incidents happen together, the author mistakes for one is the cause of other. Americans, Here, spend over a quarter of their leisure time shopping, and America losing its competitive edge relative to other countries, these two events are happening. The argument assumes that Americans spending on shopping is causing the America to loose its competitive edge over other nationalities. There by making the argument flaw.

Finally, The author conveys himself that shopping is not a productive activity.By stating that Americans spend quarter of their time shopping, instead of spending their time productively.Here, shopping in some cases can be a productive activity such as shopping of personal development materials, books, and more. Thereby, Leading to the fall of conclusion. Therefore the argument is defective.

In conclusion, The argument is flawed and defective, and the argument is not a strong argument.Because depending on the studies which show that Americans spend quarter of their leisure time on shopping and Americans are wasting time through frivolous consumption does not support the conclusion that Spending time on shopping is causing the America to lose its competitive edge relative to other countries. To strengthen the argument the author must, at very least , provide the assumption stated and correct the flaws mentioned above.

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