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Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt]

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Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt]  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 28 Nov 2018, 10:14
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The following appeared as part of a campaign statement for Velazquez, who is seeking election as alderman in the town of Barchester:

“Under Police Commissioner Draco, the city of Spartanburg began jailing people for committing petty crimes such as littering, shoplifting, and spraying graffiti. Criminals in Spartanburg must have understood that lawlessness would no longer be tolerated, because the following year Spartanburg saw a 20% drop in violent crimes such as homicide. Our town should learn from Commissioner Draco’s success, and begin a large-scale crackdown on petty crime.”

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.


The argument states that Velazquez is seeking election as alderman in the town of Barchester. It advocates learning from Commissioner Draco’s success in the city of Spartanburg, and recommends beginning a large-scale crackdown on petty crime. Stated in this way, the argument fails to mention several key factors on the basis of which the argument cannot be evaluated.The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence.
First, the argument readily assumes that Police Commissioner Draco’s success is largely attributed to jailing people for petty crimes such as littering, shoplifting, and spraying graffiti and this is what has led to the drop in violent crime rates. This statement is stretch because jailing people for petty crimes may have detrimental effects on the city economy. For example, if many factory workers are jailed for petty crimes, production in the city will fall or atleast be impacted. This could have several domino effects; businesses may produce less, this could lead to increasing general prices in the market and thus could eventually lead to a rise in inflation. The argument would have been clearer if it explicitly mentioned how Draco’s tenure was a success.

Second, the argument claims that Barchester should begin a large-scale crackdown on petty crime. However this is another weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between large scale crack down on petty crime and reduction in violent crimes. It is very possible that the violent crime rate in Spartanburg fell due to other factors, for example, social awareness. If there were multiple social awareness campaigns to spread peace, the violent crime rate could have fallen as more people would have been more conscious about spreading peace and brotherhood. If the argument provided evidence about how a large scale crackdown can lead to the drop in violent crime rates, the argument would’ve been more convincing.

Finally, one must ask the question: Would Draco’s success in Spartanburg be applicable to Barchester? Without a convincing answer to this question, the argument remains based on wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is weak and unconvincing due to the above mentioned reasons. It would have been considerably strengthened if it had mentioned relevant facts such as statistical information on how a large scale lock down can impact violent crime rates.
To evaluate the merits of a certain situation, one must have full knowledge on all the contributing factors such as all factors that led to Draco;s success. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open for debate.

Originally posted by rs22 on 23 Sep 2018, 10:40.
Last edited by rs22 on 28 Nov 2018, 10:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt]  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 11:38
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Right of the bat, the essay has a problem: It doesn't identify the conclusion of the argument.
The fact that Velzques is seeking re-election is not the point of the argument. The argument is that jailing people for pity crimes reduces violent crimes - this is the point, this is what you need to criticise. The introduction needs to make this clear.
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Re: Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt]  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2018, 08:38
Thank you for the detailed feedback, David! I hope to get better!:)
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:
Right of the bat, the essay has a problem: It doesn't identify the conclusion of the argument.
The fact that Velzques is seeking re-election is not the point of the argument. The argument is that jailing people for pity crimes reduces violent crimes - this is the point, this is what you need to criticise. The introduction needs to make this clear.
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Re: Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt]  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2018, 16:35
There seems some typos in the essay. I think its better if you can avoid those otherwise the essay looks perfect.
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Re: Please Rate My Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) [First Attempt] &nbs [#permalink] 15 Oct 2018, 16:35
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