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Please rate my argument essay. Thanks.

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Manager
Joined: 10 Sep 2010
Posts: 127

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 7

Please rate my argument essay. Thanks. [#permalink]

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03 Nov 2010, 11:37
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 the editorial section indicates that only 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding, while majority of students stayed on campus or went on winter brake. The author concludes that state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.

The conclusion may well have merit. However, this poorly reasoned argument is based on questionable assumptions and premises. It lacks statistical data and is the result of generalization. I cannot accept the conclusion as valid.

First, it is not clear from the newspaper article how far is the state capitol building from Waymarsh State College. It could be that the trip requires substantial amount of money which majority of students do not have. In fact, difficult financial situation is the reason for the protest. Therefore, author's conclusion is wrong. Instead, it could be that all the students protest against proposed cuts in funding, while only 200 of them have sufficient funds to take a trip to capitol building. Newspaper article suggests that students protest happens during winter brake. Some students stayed on campus, while others left for winter brake. One can argue that students actually do have extra money, because they can leave for winter brake. However, the author of the article does not provide any information about relative numbers of students who stayed on campus and who left during winter brake.

Second, the article indicates that state legislature is planning to cut funding of several state college programs. It is not clear whether the funding of all college programs will be cut or only several selected programs. Thus it could be that 200 students who traveled to capitol building are enrolled in these selected college programs, which can potentially face the funding cuts. Thus, the author needs to provide specific information about the programs that can face funding cuts and about the number of students enrolled.

In sum, the conclusion may look appealing at first. The author looked over a number of points. If the author addresses the above points, he or she would have a better argument. As it stands, the logic has flaws and the argument is weak.

Kudos [?]: 37 [0], given: 7

Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 257

Kudos [?]: 117 [0], given: 66

Schools: UC Berkley, UCLA
Re: Please rate my argument essay. Thanks. [#permalink]

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13 Jan 2011, 13:47
Fijisurf wrote:
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 the editorial section indicates that only 200 students from Waymarsh State College traveled to the state capitol building to protest against proposed cuts in funding, while majority of students stayed on campus or went on winter brake. The author concludes that state legislature need not heed the appeals of the protesting students.

The conclusion may well have merit. However, this poorly reasoned argument is based on questionable assumptions and premises. It lacks statistical data and is the result of generalization. I cannot accept the conclusion as valid.

First, it is not clear from the newspaper article how far is the state capitol building from Waymarsh State College. It could be that the trip requires substantial amount of money which majority of students do not have. In fact, difficult financial situation is the reason for the protest. Therefore, author's conclusion is wrong. Instead, it could be that all the students protest against proposed cuts in funding, while only 200 of them have sufficient funds to take a trip to capitol building. Newspaper article suggests that students protest happens during winter brake. Some students stayed on campus, while others left for winter brake. One can argue that students actually do have extra money, because they can leave for winter brake. However, the author of the article does not provide any information about relative numbers of students who stayed on campus and who left during winter brake.

Second, the article indicates that state legislature is planning to cut funding of several state college programs. It is not clear whether the funding of all college programs will be cut or only several selected programs. Thus it could be that 200 students who traveled to capitol building are enrolled in these selected college programs, which can potentially face the funding cuts. Thus, the author needs to provide specific information about the programs that can face funding cuts and about the number of students enrolled.

In sum, the conclusion may look appealing at first. The author looked over a number of points. If the author addresses the above points, he or she would have a better argument. As it stands, the logic has flaws and the argument is weak.

It's a good essay I'd give it a 4, but please keep in mind that I'm no GMAT awa guru or anything like that...

Nevertheless here are a few things that I would suggest you consider when you write your essays.

1) "Therefore, author's conclusion is wrong."I would refrain from saying that what would be better is if you said that the arguement is weak, or that the conclusion is invalid.
2) "Instead, it could be that all the students protest against proposed cuts in funding", what does it refer to exactly. Being specific can improve your scores incredibly.
3) "In sum, the conclusion may look appealing at first. The author looked over a number of points." You can merge these two sentences together using 'but' to create a well-structured essay.

Other than that you point out good points! IMO

HTH
_________________

Thank you for your kudoses Everyone!!!

"It always seems impossible until its done."
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Kudos [?]: 117 [0], given: 66

Intern
Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 9

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 19

Location: United States
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
GPA: 3.44
Re: Please rate my argument essay. Thanks. [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2012, 17:08
Good stuff, I would agree with the rating of around 4.

One really obvious issue is that you have misspelled "break" and spelt brake numerous times. This mistake is avoidable since the word break is spelt correctly in the original text. Also, "in sum" sounds awkward to me, maybe "In summary.." would be better.

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 19

Re: Please rate my argument essay. Thanks.   [#permalink] 01 Sep 2012, 17:08
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Please rate my argument essay. Thanks.

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