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AWA Essay Feedback Requested

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Intern
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Joined: 02 Dec 2017
Posts: 2
Location: United States (MA)
GMAT 1: 700 Q45 V41
GMAT 2: 730 Q46 V44
GRE 1: Q163 V164
AWA Essay Feedback Requested  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2020, 15:38
Hey all - retaking the GMAT to tip a WL decision (and hopefully, swing any potential outstanding scholarship decisions). I previously scored a 4.0 and 4.5 on the AWA during my two prior GMAT sittings over a year ago, which I didn't care much for at the time as I ended up applying with a GRE score. However, considering I'm trying to clear an extra hurdle (or two) and still have an outstanding application, I'm aiming to address all areas of my GMAT score.

The essay below constitutes my first practice attempt for my upcoming test on 2/15. Hoping to complete several more of these over the next week or two to get comfortable with the example structure provided by chineseburned (gigantic thank you!! before finding your post, I didn't have a solid approach other than stream of consciousness on test day) and with outlining the key points for the essay.

I'd appreciate any feedback regarding grammar, structure, word choice, etc. that might help improve my score.

Thanks a million in advance!!


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"In general, people are not as concerned as they were a decade ago about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses. Walk into Heart's Delight, a store that started selling organic fruits and vegetables and whole-grain flours in the 1960's, and you will also find a wide selection of cheeses made with high butterfat content. Next door, the owners of the Good Earth Cafe, an old vegetarian restaurant, are still making a modest living, but the owners of the new House of Beef across the street are millionaires."

The argument claims that people are not as concerned about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheese as they were a decade ago, citing the selection of cheese products at a local grocery store and the relative wealth of the owners of a meat-oriented restaurant in comparison to the wealth of the owners of a vegetarian restaurant nearby. Stated in this way, the argument reveals examples of leap of faith, poor reasoning and ill-defined terminology, and fails to mention several key factors on the basis of which it could be evaluation. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. As a result, the argument is weak and has several flaws.

First, the argument readily assumes that the general population is less concerned about dietary choices based on anecdotal evidence from what seems to be a small stretch of stores in one community. It is unclear what general population the author is referring to - the general public in a specific community, a region, or even an country? It is easy to envision a scenario where the dietary habits of a small community may vastly diverge from the general trend - the high level of consumption of sugary beverages like Mountain Dew in the Appalachian communities compared to that of most other areas of the United States is one example of many that comes to mind. The argument could have been strengthened had the author clearly defined the population they were referring to and relied on hard data associated with the population - for example, meat and cheese consumption levels over the years in the community they focused on.

However, even taking a narrow approach and defining the population as the community in which the businesses are located in, this statement is a stretch in that it assumes that the product selection of a grocery at a point in time reflects the changing consumption habits of a population over a decade. For example, the author cites the current cheese selection of Heart's Delight, a store whose primary focus in the 1960s was to sell fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain flours. The reader is given no information regarding the product selection at Heart's Delight a decade ago - perhaps there was a shift in the 1970's to focus on cheese to meet a need in the community and Heart's Delight has had a wide selection of cheeses for some time now or perhaps, as the author suggests, the product selection has changed in the past decade to reflect the changing consumption habits of the community. It is difficult to correlate the current product selection at a singular grocery store without additional information to understand what drove the store to stock those goods.

Finally, the author tries to tie the wealth of two restaurant owners - one who owns an established vegetarian restaurant and one who owns a new, meat-oriented restaurant - to the purported shift in people's dietary habits. The evidence, as presented, is unclear. For example, were the owners of the House of Beef millionaires before opening the restaurant? If so, their wealth may be completely unrelated to what types of food people choose to eat and thus cannot be compared to the wealth of the owner of the Good Earth. However, even assuming the wealth of the owners is directly tied to their restaurant's profits, it is difficult to equate this data point to a population's consumption habits without understanding the rest of the financial picture of the restaurants. Does Good Earth Café have a higher expense to revenue ratio? If so, even if the same number (or even more) people frequented the House of Beef, the owners of Good Earth Café may take less home. Perhaps the newness of House of Beef encouraged more customers to try the restaurant out? House of Beef's profits may have been temporarily boosted and eventually regularized to the level of a more established restaurant like Good Earth Café. Without clear, convincing answers to these questions, the claim is unsubstantiated and the reader is left to weakly connect the dots.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above-mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. The author could considerably strengthen their claim with relevant facts and data, as specified. In order to assess the merits of the evidence presented, it is essential to glean the entire picture. In this case, additional clarification around the population the author is concerned with, as well as quantitative data directly tied to the argument in question, would help the reader understand the conclusion the author is trying to make and strengthen its validity.
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Re: AWA Essay Feedback Requested  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 04:53
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manjund
Your writing is great. I can't find something significant to comment on.
This can easily score at least 5.5
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GMAT 1: 700 Q45 V41
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GRE 1: Q163 V164
Re: AWA Essay Feedback Requested  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 13:26
MahmoudFawzy
Thanks! I did notice a few typos/grammatical errors, so I'm thinking I just need to give myself a couple mins at the end to proofread.
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Re: AWA Essay Feedback Requested  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 22:53
manjund wrote:
MahmoudFawzy
Thanks! I did notice a few typos/grammatical errors, so I'm thinking I just need to give myself a couple mins at the end to proofread.


I already noticed some minor issues, but I can tell that their impact is infinitesimal.
However, my only thought that I had in mind is that the current word count is 700+ words. That is great, but if you tried to adjust it to 500-600 range, this would be sufficient and would save you time to revise what you wrote and correct the minor mistakes that I am sure you figured out yourself without support from others.
And what impressed me is how you merged between the template and your personal touch.
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Re: AWA Essay Feedback Requested   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2020, 22:53
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