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# Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...

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Intern
Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 12
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
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Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 12:35
... GMAT on 12 Sep 17, so any pointers, thoughts, and guidance (good or bad) is greatly appreciated.

AWA PRACTICE - OG 2018, p. 822 19 Aug 17

The following is from a campaign by Big Boards Inc. to convince companies in River City that their sales will increase if they use Big Boards Billboards for advertising their locally manufactured products:

"The potential of Big Boards to increase sales of your products can be seen from an experiment we conducted last year. We increased public awareness of the name of the current national women's marathon champion by publishing her picture and her name on billboards in River City for a period of three month. Before this time, although the champion had just won her title and was receiving extensive national publicity, only 5 percent of 15,000 randomly surveyed residents of Rover City could correctly name the champion when shown her picture; after the three-month advertising experiment, 35 percent of respondents from a second survey could supply her name."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyse 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 evaluation its conclusion.
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The argument being made by Big Boards Inc. is that there is a direct correlation between increasing sales of a company and the exposure of that company provided on one of Big Boards Inc's billboard. Although superficially sound, this lacks depth for a number of reasons, and this essay will examine three: the failure to establish a clear link between exposure and sales; the failure to assess the impact of the billboards in isolation; and the weak evidence base in the second survey. It will conclude with a number of measures that could be taken to improve its argument.

Firstly, no clear link is established by Big Boards Inc. between exposure and total sales. They have assumed (or assumed that people already believe) that because more people are aware of a name or a brand, there will be more sales of that brand. By using a non-commercial sample Big Boards Inc have simply avoided this critical causation issue, and have failed to provide a compelling argument to purchase their product. They need to somehow demonstrate that more exposure via their boards leeds to more sales; they have not done this.

Secondly, the experiment has not been conducted in a sterile environment, where all other things remain equal. There is no assessment, or consideration of, what other exposure the national marathon champion had been receiving, aside from a very broad assertion that she had, previous to the establishment of the billboad with her picture on it, received "extensive national publicity." It may be that since the national interest has died down she has been more consumed with local projects and media and received a concomitant increase in local coverage; similarly it may be that the residents of Rover City are more interested in local coverage, and national exposure holds little sway with them. There are simply too many other potential factors at play for this experiment to be robust enough to draw accurate and empirical deductions from.

Finally, there is little to no detail provided about the second survey, and this is in stark contrast to the first survey. In the first survey the quantity of residents surveyed is confirmed (35,000), it is made clear that it is of local residents, and the survey talks of people being randomly selected. This is a solid survey. Conversely, the second survey fails to confirm how many people are being interviewed - if it is a far smaller sample size then it is likely to be far less accurate. It does not confirm that it is of the same sample, ie local residents - if it were of local marathon enthusaists, for example, it is inevitable that the name recognition would be higher. Finally, it talks of "responders", rather than the random sampling used in the first survey. "Responders" to surveys are naturally biased in some way; they may well be more likely to respond to the question of name-recognition if they know it; people who do not know the runner's name may have just ignored the survey. This bias is not factored in, or even mentioned. In sum the second survey is too weak and different from the first to draw sold conclusions from or comparisons with.

There are a number of ways in which the argument could be improved. Firstly, the survey should be conducted with a commercial bent, rather than simply one of recognition. Alternatively - or additionally - the company should provide hard evidence that recogntion leads to improved sales. Secondly, it should use (as much as possible) an example which is isolated and thus not subject to other influences - all other elements should remain equal. Finally, it should conduct the second survey under the same conditions and with the same constraints as the first. This could mean, for example, surveying exactly the same demographic of people in both surveys (surveying exactly the same individuals may lead to a psychological bias in their secondary response, as they will have been triggered as to the likely question or area of interest in the first survey). If all these actions were to be implemented then Big Boards Inc. would be able to construct a far more rational, layered, and compelling argument with which to persuade potential clients of the merits of purchasing advertising space from them.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2016
Posts: 1066
Re: Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 02:35
1
OllieO wrote:
... GMAT on 12 Sep 17, so any pointers, thoughts, and guidance (good or bad) is greatly appreciated.

AWA PRACTICE - OG 2018, p. 822 19 Aug 17

The following is from a campaign by Big Boards Inc. to convince companies in River City that their sales will increase if they use Big Boards Billboards for advertising their locally manufactured products:

"The potential of Big Boards to increase sales of your products can be seen from an experiment we conducted last year. We increased public awareness of the name of the current national women's marathon champion by publishing her picture and her name on billboards in River City for a period of three month. Before this time, although the champion had just won her title and was receiving extensive national publicity, only 5 percent of 15,000 randomly surveyed residents of Rover City could correctly name the champion when shown her picture; after the three-month advertising experiment, 35 percent of respondents from a second survey could supply her name."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyse 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 evaluation its conclusion.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The argument being made by Big Boards Inc. is that there is a direct correlation between increasing sales of a company and the exposure of that company provided on one of Big Boards Inc's billboard. Although superficially sound, this lacks depth for a number of reasons, and this essay will examine three: the failure to establish a clear link between exposure and sales; the failure to assess the impact of the billboards in isolation; and the weak evidence base in the second survey. It will conclude with a number of measures that could be taken to improve its argument.

Firstly, no clear link is established by Big Boards Inc. between exposure and total sales. They have assumed (or assumed that people already believe) that because more people are aware of a name or a brand, there will be more sales of that brand. By using a non-commercial sample Big Boards Inc have simply avoided this critical causation issue, and have failed to provide a compelling argument to purchase their product. They need to somehow demonstrate that more exposure via their boards leeds to more sales; they have not done this.

Secondly, the experiment has not been conducted in a sterile environment, where all other things remain equal. There is no assessment, or consideration of, what other exposure the national marathon champion had been receiving, aside from a very broad assertion that she had, previous to the establishment of the billboad with her picture on it, received "extensive national publicity." It may be that since the national interest has died down she has been more consumed with local projects and media and received a concomitant increase in local coverage; similarly it may be that the residents of Rover City are more interested in local coverage, and national exposure holds little sway with them. There are simply too many other potential factors at play for this experiment to be robust enough to draw accurate and empirical deductions from.

Finally, there is little to no detail provided about the second survey, and this is in stark contrast to the first survey. In the first survey the quantity of residents surveyed is confirmed (35,000), it is made clear that it is of local residents, and the survey talks of people being randomly selected. This is a solid survey. Conversely, the second survey fails to confirm how many people are being interviewed - if it is a far smaller sample size then it is likely to be far less accurate. It does not confirm that it is of the same sample, ie local residents - if it were of local marathon enthusaists, for example, it is inevitable that the name recognition would be higher. Finally, it talks of "responders", rather than the random sampling used in the first survey. "Responders" to surveys are naturally biased in some way; they may well be more likely to respond to the question of name-recognition if they know it; people who do not know the runner's name may have just ignored the survey. This bias is not factored in, or even mentioned. In sum the second survey is too weak and different from the first to draw sold conclusions from or comparisons with.

There are a number of ways in which the argument could be improved. Firstly, the survey should be conducted with a commercial bent, rather than simply one of recognition. Alternatively - or additionally - the company should provide hard evidence that recogntion leads to improved sales. Secondly, it should use (as much as possible) an example which is isolated and thus not subject to other influences - all other elements should remain equal. Finally, it should conduct the second survey under the same conditions and with the same constraints as the first. This could mean, for example, surveying exactly the same demographic of people in both surveys (surveying exactly the same individuals may lead to a psychological bias in their secondary response, as they will have been triggered as to the likely question or area of interest in the first survey). If all these actions were to be implemented then Big Boards Inc. would be able to construct a far more rational, layered, and compelling argument with which to persuade potential clients of the merits of purchasing advertising space from them.

Did you write this essay in 30 minutes?

I would change the structure of the intro slightly, so it looks more like in here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... 64327.html
_________________
Non progredi est regredi
Intern
Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 12
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.9
Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 04:31
Yes, 30 mins. I'm a pretty fast typer. A time format that seems to suit me (noting that I'm a firm believer in getting 80% of your info down in 20% of the time...):

-5 mins - Read and get the main structure of the argument, identify the areas of weakness.
-3 mins - Typo intro para
-5 mins - para 1
-5 mins - para 2
-5 mins - para 3
-3 mins - concluding para

Thanks for the pointer - I'll examine

Ollie
Intern
Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 18
Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2017, 07:01
Ollie again this is a nifty piece of inventive writing, easily a 6. You've avoided the typical paint-by-numbers language
most writers fall back on, and have sprinkled the thing with mature phrases and color ("concomitant;" "holds little sway;" "commercial bent," etc.)
You don't really write like a business-school applicant, but like a graduate.
Oh you did spell "leads" wrong (paragraph 3).
I'm standing by for the next one . . .
Intern
Joined: 30 May 2017
Posts: 12
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.9
Re: Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2017, 01:06
Thanks again. How did I spell "leeds"??? How on earth did that come out?!

Sent from my SM-G900F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Re: Second AWA attempt - just trying to keep it ticking over until...   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2017, 01:06
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