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Pls help rate this AWA (ARGUMENT)-Quite technical? [#permalink]
17 Jan 2011, 12:21
Argument essays are very technical in that we need to know certain common logic flaws and ways to correct them? Am I correct? When I start writing them, I found myself having to recall concepts from those logic books . . . But do rate my AWA. It's probably my first and my last. Exams are up in 2 weeks. I have 'cookie-cut' this from ChineseBurn's template. Kudos to ChineseBurn!
The following memo was circulated by the management team of a retail company:
“We are very pleased to announce that the relocation of our inventory, which had been located in four different warehouses throughout the country, to a single new warehouse near Company headquarters in Boston. This consolidated location will cut the company’s expenses for warehouse rent in half. As a result we expect our monthly profitability to go up by this amount.”
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound. -----
The management team of the retail company claims that the relocation of their inventory, which had been located in four different warehouses throughout the country, to a single new warehouse near Company headquarters in Boston would cut their company's expenses for warehouse rent in half and therefore would increase their monthly profitability but the same amount. Stated in this way the argument reveals examples of poor reasoning and leap of faith. The conclusion of the argument also relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak and unconvincing.
Most importantly, the argument readily assumes that the reduction of rent by a certain amount will boast profitability by the same amount. This statement is a stretch because profitability is a function of the difference between the sales and cost. The reduction of cost will only increase profitability provided that sales will be consistent. The argument failed to prove this point. For example, if the rent reduction amounted to $100 but sales dropped by $50, the profitability is only increased by $50 and not by $100. Therefore, the argument would be considerably strengthened if it had established that sales will be consistent.
In addition, the argument had left some very important questions unanswered- What are the other factors, such as cost of transportation and cost of inventory, that may affect the cost? How these factors will change the cost and therefore change the profitability? Without convincing answers to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking than a well though-through argument.
Specifically, the argument also claims that the consolidation of the warehouses throughout the country to a single new warehouse new Company headquarters in Boston will cut the company's expenses for warehouse rent by half. This is again very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not provide statistical data that doing so indeed reduces the company's expenses for warehouse rent by half. In fact it is more logical to conclude that that moving all four warehouses throughout the country to the bigger and newer warehouse in Boston will increase the rent because the larger prime land in Boston will cost more than the rents of the other four warehouses, which are probably located in the suburbs, added together. If the argument had provided evidence that supported its claim the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
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 strategy, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors.
Re: Pls help rate this AWA (ARGUMENT)-Quite technical? [#permalink]
20 Jan 2011, 12:22
Terrific essay. A clear 6.
One thing that could have been better is where you suggest how to strengthen the argument -- you're very vague here, and specifics are always better. However, you'd written such a strong essay up to that point that it can't drag the score down.
Another thing to watch out for on test day is the desire to argue anything about reality. You're making an assumption in paragraph 4 that Boston's rent is higher than the rent in the other locations; don't do this. The only thing worth writing is that we don't know, and it COULD be that Boston is more expensive. You walk the line here between noting assumptions and arguing that the argument is "wrong," and you stay on the good side of the line here ... just be sure not to cross over on test day.
Overall, splendid essay, great job; do it like this on test day and you'll score a 6 for certain!
To anybody else reading this: Read this wonderful example of an Argument Essay before attempting your own. It doesn't have to be as long as ohfred's, but this is still a good ideal to shoot for.