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New post 27 Oct 2017, 23:28
The following appeared in a magazine article on trends and lifestyles:

“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 the 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 Café, an old vegetarian restaurant, are still making a modest living, but the owners of
the new House of Beef across the street are millionaires.”

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 claims that people nowadays are not as concerned about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses as they were a decade ago. Stated in this way, the argument fails to consider several key factors, on the basis of which it can be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions, which are not supported by clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

Firstly, the argument assumes that people were more concerned about their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses a decade ago than they are now. This assumption, however, is unfounded, for there is a lack of data to show the difference of intake between now and a decade ago. It can be the case that the intake of red meat and fatty cheeses has always been high and that there is no substantial difference between the intakes of now an then. The argument, having failed to provide any data to support this claim, falsely assumes it to be the case. This weakness can be overcome by a simple provision of data supporting the claim. The data can take a form of a gradient showing the trend of intake of red meat and fatty cheeses along with time. This kind of data would show us whether the intake has really considerably increased.

Additionally, the argument fails to explain how the wide selection of cheeses made with high butterfat content at the Heart's Delight relates with intake of fatty cheeses. The author assumes that since the store provides a wide selection of cheeses made with high butterfat content, the intake of fatty cheeses also should be high, but this assumption is not very appealing. There can be an alternative explanation as to why the store is hosting the wide selection. It is possible, however, less likely, that store is trying to create a new demand for the high butterfat cheeses by promoting the same with a wide selection, to increase their sales. The argument could counter all the other causes by seeing how many of these high butterfat cheeses are being sold and when did the store start to sell them.

Finally, the argument assumes that just because the owners of the old vegetarian restaurant are not as rich as the owners of the beef store, it means that the consumption of red meat has increased. This statement is a stretch because there is no direct causal relationship evident between the increase in intake and the economic status of the owners. There can be a variety of causes that can lead to the situation observed. It can be the case that meat is always costly and hence the owners of the beef store have made considerable money out of their endeavours and also we do not have the data about the costs of maintainance of the stores, costs associated with salaries of employees, etc. The argument can avoid these doubts by providing clear financial data of the both stores with all the costs.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above stated reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened by clearly mentioning all the relevant facts to support the assumptions. In order to evaluate the merits of the situation, it is essential to have the full knowledge of all the contributing factors. In this particular case the trend of intake with time. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to a debate.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you.
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New post 28 Oct 2017, 02:34
DIII wrote:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The argument claims that people nowadays are not as concerned about regulating their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses as they were a decade ago. Stated in this way, the argument fails to consider several key factors, on the basis of which it can be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions, which are not supported by clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

Firstly, the argument assumes that people were more concerned about their intake of red meat and fatty cheeses a decade ago than they are now. This assumption, however, is unfounded, for there is a lack of data to show the difference of intake between now and a decade ago. It can be the case that the intake of red meat and fatty cheeses has always been high and that there is no substantial difference between the intakes of now an then. The argument, having failed to provide any data to support this claim, falsely assumes it to be the case. This weakness can be overcome by a simple provision of data supporting the claim. The data can take a form of a gradient showing the trend of intake of red meat and fatty cheeses along with time. This kind of data would show us whether the intake has really considerably increased.
This seems unnecessarily technical, just leave it as something like "there is no trend or link between consumption over time"


Additionally, the argument fails to explain how the wide selection of cheeses made with high butterfat content at the Heart's Delight relates with intake of fatty cheeses. The author assumes that since the store provides a wide selection of cheeses made with high butterfat content, the intake of fatty cheeses also should be high, but this assumption is not very appealing. There can be an alternative explanation as to why the store is hosting the wide selection. It is possible, however, less likely, that store is trying to create a new demand for the high butterfat cheeses by promoting the same with a wide selection, to increase their sales. The argument could counter all the other causes by seeing how many of these high butterfat cheeses are being sold and when did the store start to sell them. A little weak...not so sure this is the best angle to counter the claim. Trying to create a demand would in fact imply that consumption is going up, there needs to be a reason for their idea. A better counter point would be that it isn't selling well, and there is a surplus, or perhaps this is the ONLY shop around that carries these and is an exception to the rule

Finally, the argument assumes that just because the owners of the old vegetarian restaurant are not as rich as the owners of the beef store, it means that the consumption of red meat has increased. This statement is a stretch because there is no direct causal relationship evident between the increase in intake and the economic status of the owners. There can be a variety of causes that can lead to the situation observed. It can be the case that meat is always costly and hence the owners of the beef store have made considerable money out of their endeavours and also we do not have the data about the costs of maintainance of the stores, costs associated with salaries of employees, etc. The argument can avoid these doubts by providing clear financial data of the both stores with all the costs. By the far the easiest counter in the whole statement and you did an decent job, but I don't like the sentence highlighted above. I might just be being picky, but profit/status and number of sales due to an increase in intake are indeed causal. A busy business is far more likely to be profitable than an empty one. A good counter here would be that they were millionaires before opening the store, or that they own a wide range of stores that cater to all types of food and they haven't made their wealth selling meat alone.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above stated reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthened by clearly mentioning all the relevant facts to support the assumptions. In order to evaluate the merits of the situation, it is essential to have the full knowledge of all the contributing factors. In this particular case the trend of intake with time. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to a debate.
We need all the factors, but then you isolate just one single factor to make your conclusion. These two statements are not in agreement.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you.


Overall its pretty solid. I'm being nitpicky because there isn't much else to criticize and that's a good thing for you. Graders know that you have a short amount of time to get this put together so they will be mostly forgiving to the things I've pointed out.

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Rate my AWA Essay.   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2017, 02:34
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