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Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )

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Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 11:15
I'm giving GMAT in a week, and this is my first shot at the AWA section. I used a couple of online tools, they gave me an average of 5.5, but I wasn't too sure about the results. I would be really grateful if someone can give me a rough estimate of the score that this essay would fetch. (I used the ChineseBurned template.)

Question:

The following appeared as part of the business plan of an investment and financial consulting firm.

Studies suggest that an average coffee drinker's consumption of coffee increases with age from age 10 through age 60. Even after age 60, coffee consumption remains high. The average cola drinker's consumption of cola, however, declines with increasing age. Both of these trends have remained stable for the past 40 years. Given that the number of older adults will significantly increase as the population ages over the next 20 years, it follows that the demand for coffee will increase and the demand for cola will decrease during this period. We should, therefore, consider transferring our investments from Cola Loca to Early Bird Coffee.

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 underline 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 in conclusion.


Answer:

The argument states that the financial firm would do well to transfer its investments from Cola Loca to Early Bird Coffee, based on the results on the studies suggesting that demand for coffee would increase in the near future. Stated this way, the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. It reveals examples of leaps of faith, poor reasoning and ill defined terminology. The argument readily relies on assumptions for which there is no substantive evidence. Hence, the argument has several flaws and is a weak one.

First, the argument readily assumes that the studies are representative of the general demographic. This is not necessarily true, and there is no evidence to say it is. What if the studies were conducted only with a small sample of young people, and the majority of the populace was elderly citizens? This would add bias to the results. Maybe the studies were conducted primarily in cold areas, where a daily glass of coffee is the norm, thus adding to the bias. The studies also fail to put in quantitative terms, the details of consumption of either drink. High consumption of coffee could be a glass a day while low consumption of Cola could fall at 2 bottles a day. Clearly, the studies are not detailed enough, or the facts are knowingly obscured, making for a very weak argument. This could be fixed if the sources of the studies were provided, along with further details like the demographics, duration …etc.

Second, the argument claims a causation for which there is no proof, that is, an increase in age will lead to an increase in demand for coffee. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. Perhaps, only the previous generation, who grew up drinking coffee, continued doing so as they grew older. The new generation on the other hand, might have had access to a variety of soft drinks growing up, might continue to do so, leading to increased sales of soft drinks. There is simply no way of guessing the outcome, due to the vast number of unpredictable variables which will influence the outcome. The best that can be done, is make the prediction for a much smaller sample set, which is not the case here.

Finally, there are 2 questions which the author conveniently ignores.
Throughout the argument, only the average coffee drinker is compared to the average cola drinker. Why is this so? Is it because on average, coffee drinkers are more loyal to the product, and can help push forward the author’s case? Or is it because this conveniently covers up the fact that cola tends to have more overall sales than coffee? The other major question which is not borne into consideration is the fact that even with decreasing sales, would cola still contribute more to the sales than coffee, and would the increase in demand for coffee translate into the necessary gains to justify the transfer of investments? Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the feeling that the argument is based on wishful thinking rather than solid evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is unconvincing because of the flaws mentioned. In order to accurately asses a situation, it is important to have complete information. Providing evidence for these flaws would go a long way in shoring up the argument. Without, the argument is rife with holes, and open to debate.
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Re: Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 22:48
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Hi aditya3196, Welcome to GMAT Club!

I will write my comments in red in-line.

Overall I think this would definitely fetch you 5.5 or 6. No high-level issues. Try to keep the run-on sentences in check ( when joining two large sentences with a comma always be wary.

Good luck!
aditya3196 wrote:
I'm giving GMAT in a week, and this is my first shot at the AWA section. I used a couple of online tools, they gave me an average of 5.5, but I wasn't too sure about the results. I would be really grateful if someone can give me a rough estimate of the score that this essay would fetch. (I used the ChineseBurned template.)

Question:

The following appeared as part of the business plan of an investment and financial consulting firm.

Studies suggest that an average coffee drinker's consumption of coffee increases with age from age 10 through age 60. Even after age 60, coffee consumption remains high. The average cola drinker's consumption of cola, however, declines with increasing age. Both of these trends have remained stable for the past 40 years. Given that the number of older adults will significantly increase as the population ages over the next 20 years, it follows that the demand for coffee will increase and the demand for cola will decrease during this period. We should, therefore, consider transferring our investments from Cola Loca to Early Bird Coffee.

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 underline 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 in conclusion.

Answer:

AWA Prompt:
The argument states that the financial firm would do well to transfer its investments from Cola Loca to Early Bird Coffee, based on the results on the studies suggesting that demand for coffee would increase in the near future. Stated this way, the argument manipulates facts and conveys a distorted view of the situation. It reveals examples of leaps of faith, poor reasoning and ill defined terminology. The argument readily relies on assumptions for which there is no substantive evidence. Please refrain from using all the tricks given in chineseburned template one after the other like this :-) It would make more sense to state one thing and then explain why you think so. Even though this is the intro part of the essay these three sentences make it look rather artificial. Hope you get my point. Hence, the argument has several flaws and is a weak one.

First, the argument readily assumes that the studies are representative of the general demographic. This is not necessarily true, and there is no evidence to say it is. Good usage this. What if the studies were conducted only with a small sample of young people, and the majority of the populace was elderly citizens? This would add bias to the results. Maybe the studies were conducted primarily in cold areas, where a daily glass of coffee is the norm, thus adding to the bias. The studies also fail to put in quantitative terms, the details of consumption of either drink. High consumption of coffee could be a glass a day while low consumption of Cola could fall at 2 bottles a day. High quality examples and reasons to refute the study presented. The essay is heading towards a 6.0 very quickly now :-) Clearly, the studies are not detailed enough, or the facts are knowingly obscured, Okay that is a bit harsh - you can probably say that not all evidence is provided / all the essential factors must be considered to arrive at a sound decision.making for a very weak argument. This could be fixed if the sources of the studies were provided, along with further details like the demographics, duration…etc. Warning - dont use such vague ending to a good sentence. Keep it simple.

Second, the argument claims a causation for which there is no proof, that is, an increase in age will lead to an increase in demand for coffee. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. Becoming repetitive now - already used this in the previous para - better to mix and matchPerhaps, only the previous generation, who grew up drinking coffee, continued doing so as they grew older. The new generation on the other hand, might have had access to a variety of soft drinks growing up, might continue to do so, leading to increased sales of soft drinks. Try to break down large sentences into smaller ones. This minimizes the risk of making grammatical errors - visavis run on sentences and the like. There is simply no way of guessing the outcome, due to the vast number of unpredictable variables which will influence the outcome. Intead of saying there is no way to predict the outcome - which is not true as even more complex systems are studied and predicted you might want to say "given the lack of variables ( or factors) considered the argument as stated cannot be considered as a strong one" The best that can be done, is make the prediction for a much smaller sample set, which is not the case here.Stick to the argument presented and what needs to be added instead of focussing on what can be argued given the info used. This again goes off track of your train of thought from previous para

Finally, there are2twoquestions which the author conveniently ignores.
Throughout the argument, only the average coffee drinker is compared to the average cola drinker. Why is this so? Is it because on average, coffee drinkers are more loyal to the product, and can help push forward the author’s case? Or is it because this conveniently covers up the fact that cola tends to have more overall sales than coffee? Again you are not a lawyer going after a person on trial - try to keep down the rhetoric while making sly questions. :-)The other major question which is not borne into consideration is the fact that even with decreasing sales, would cola still contribute more to the sales than coffee, and would the increase in demand for coffee translate into the necessary gains to justify the transfer of investments? Good point Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the feeling that the argument is based on wishful thinking rather than solid evidence. Good use of chineseburned template material vs. the opening intro para - this is how you should use it.

In conclusion, the argument is unconvincing because of the flaws mentioned. In order to accurately asses a situation, it is important to have complete information. Providing evidence for these flaws would go a long way in shoring up the argument. Without, the argument is rife with holes, and open to debate. Conclusion can be made longer - need to just revisit a point each from the paras that lead up to the argument.

Hope this helps. :-)
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Gladi



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Re: Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 11:23
Thank you so much! This really helps :)
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Re: Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 12:41
Over all I can say a good write .
As mentioned earlier by Gladiator, it will be good if you tone down little bit ,I could follow your fourth paragraph in one go :).


All the best
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Re: Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2019, 12:41
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Please review my AWA(GMAT next Tuesday :) )

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