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The task elicited the kinds of complex thinking and persuasive writing that university faculty consider important for success at the graduate level. The responses were varied in content and in the way the writers developed their ideas. To help you prepare for the Analytical Writing measure, the GRE Program has published the entire pool of tasks from which your test tasks will be selected. You might find it helpful to review the Issue and Argument pools. You can view the published pools at www. General Strategies It is important to budget your time. Within the minute time limit for the Issue task, you will need to allow sufficient time to consider the issue and the specific instructions, plan a response, and compose your essay. Within the 30minute time limit for the Argument task, you will need to allow sufficient time to consider the argument and the specific instructions, plan a response, and compose your essay.
Although GRE readers understand the time constraints under which you write and will consider your response a first draft, you still want it to be the best possible example of your writing that you can produce under the testing conditions. Although an occasional spelling or grammatical error will not affect your score, severe and persistent errors will detract from the overall effectiveness of your writing and thus lower your score. Analyze an Issue Task Understanding the Issue Task The Analyze an Issue task assesses your ability to think critically about a topic of general interest according to specific instructions and to clearly express your thoughts about it in writing.
Each issue topic makes a claim that test takers can discuss from various perspectives and apply to many different situations or conditions. The issue statement is followed by specific instructions. Your task is to present a compelling case for your own position on the issue according to the specific instructions. Before beginning your written response, be sure to read the issue and instructions carefully and think about the issue from several points of view, considering the complexity of ideas associated with those views. Then, make notes about the position you want to develop and list the main reasons and examples that you could use to support that position. It is important that you address the central issue according to the specific instructions.
Each task is accompanied by one of the following sets of instructions. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take.
In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based. Write a response in which you discuss your views on the policy and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider the possible consequences of implementing the policy and explain how these consequences shape your position.
Instead, the readers are evaluating the skill with which you address the specific instructions and articulate and develop an argument to support your evaluation of the issue. Understanding the Context for Writing: Purpose and Audience The Issue task is an exercise in critical thinking and persuasive writing. The purpose of this task is to determine how well you can develop a compelling argument supporting your own evaluation of an issue and communicate that argument in writing to an academic audience. Your audience consists of GRE readers who are carefully trained to apply the scoring criteria identified in the scoring guide for the Analyze an Issue task see pages 37— To get a clearer idea of how GRE readers apply the Issue scoring criteria to actual responses, you should review scored sample Issue essay responses and reader commentary.
The sample responses, particularly at the 5 and 6 score levels, will show you a variety of successful strategies for organizing, developing, and communicating a persuasive argument. The reader commentary discusses specific aspects of evaluation and writing, such as the use of examples, development and support, organization, language fluency, and word choice. For each response, the reader commentary points out aspects that are particularly persuasive as well as any that detract from the overall effectiveness of the essay. Preparing for the Issue Task Because the Issue task is meant to assess the persuasive writing skills that you have developed throughout your education, it has been designed neither to require any particular course of study nor to advantage students with a particular type of training. Many college textbooks on composition offer advice on persuasive writing and argumentation that you might find useful, but even this advice might be more technical and specialized than you need for the Issue task.
You will not be expected to know specific critical thinking or writing terms or strategies; instead, you should be able to respond to the specific instructions and use reasons, evidence, and examples to support your position on an issue. Suppose, for instance, that an Issue topic asks you to consider a policy that would require government financial support for art museums and the implications of implementing the policy. If your position is that government should fund art museums, you might support your position by discussing the reasons art is important and explain that government funding would make access to museums available to everyone. On the other hand, if your position is that government should not support museums, you might point out that, given limited governmental funds, art museums are not as deserving of governmental funding as are other, more socially important, institutions, which would suffer if the policy were implemented.
Or, if you are in favor of government funding for art museums only under certain conditions, you might focus on the artistic criteria, cultural concerns, or political conditions that you think should determine how — or whether — art museums receive government funds. It is not your position that matters so much as the critical thinking skills you display in developing your position. An excellent way to prepare for the Issue task is to practice writing on some of the published topics. No matter which approach you take when you practice the Issue task, you should review the task directions, then carefully read the claim and the specific instructions and make sure you understand them; if they seem unclear, discuss them with a friend or teacher think about the claim and instructions in relation to your own ideas and experiences, to events you have read about or observed, and to people you have known; this is the knowledge base from which you will develop compelling reasons and examples in your argument that reinforce, negate, or qualify the claim in some way decide what position on the issue you want to take and defend decide what compelling evidence reasons and examples you can use to support your position Remember that this is a task in critical thinking and persuasive writing.
The most successful responses will explore the complexity of the claim and instructions. As you prepare for the Issue task, you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions: What precisely is the central issue? What precisely are the instructions asking me to do? Do I agree with all or with any part of the claim? Why or why not? Does the claim make certain assumptions? If so, are they reasonable? Is the claim valid only under certain conditions? If so, what are they? Do I need to explain how I interpret certain terms or concepts used in the claim? If I take a certain position on the issue, what reasons support my position?
What examples — either real or hypothetical — could I use to illustrate those reasons and advance my point of view? Which examples are most compelling? Once you have decided on a position to defend, consider the perspective of others who might not agree with your position. Ask yourself: What reasons might someone use to refute or undermine my position? How should I acknowledge or defend against those views in my essay? Then write a response developing your position on the issue. After you have practiced with some of the topics, try writing responses to some of the topics within the minute time limit so that you have a good idea of how to use your time in the actual test. Try to determine how each paper meets or misses the criteria for each score point in the guide.
Comparing your own response to the scoring guide will help you see how and where you might need to improve. The Form of Your Response You are free to organize and develop your response in any way that you think will effectively communicate your ideas about the issue and the instructions. Your response may, but need not, incorporate particular writing strategies learned in English composition or writing-intensive college courses. GRE readers will not be looking for a particular developmental strategy or mode of writing; in fact, when GRE readers are trained, they review hundreds of Issue responses that, although highly diverse in content and form, display similar levels of critical thinking and persuasive writing. The readers know that a writer can earn a high score by giving multiple examples or by presenting a single, extended example.
Look at the sample Issue responses, particularly at the 5 and 6 score levels, to see how other writers have successfully developed and organized their arguments. You should use as many or as few paragraphs as you consider appropriate for your argument — for example, you will probably need to create a new paragraph whenever your discussion shifts to a new cluster of ideas. What matters is not the number of examples, the number of paragraphs, or the form your argument takes but, rather, the cogency of your ideas about the issue and the clarity and skill with which you communicate those ideas to academic readers. Sample Issue Task As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. Strategies for This Topic In this task, you are asked to discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement. Thus, responses may range from strong agreement or strong disagreement, to qualified agreement or qualified disagreement. You are also instructed to explain your reasoning and consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true. A successful response need not comment on all or any one of the points listed below and may well discuss other reasons or examples not mentioned here in support of its position.
Lower level responses may be long and full of examples of modern technology, but those examples may not be clearly related to a particular position. For example, a respondent who strongly disagrees with the statement may choose to use computer technology as proof that thinking ability is not deteriorating. The mere existence of computer technology, however, does not adequately prove this point perhaps the ease of computer use inhibits our thinking ability. To receive a higher-level score, the respondent should explain in what ways computer technology may call for or require thinking ability. With any approach, it is possible to discuss examples such as calculators, word processing tools such as spell and grammar check, tax return software, Internet research, and a variety of other common household and business technologies.
Other approaches could include taking a historical, philosophical, or sociological stance, or, with equal effectiveness, using personal examples to illustrate a position. One could argue that the value or detriment of relying on technology is determined by the individual or society using it or that only those who develop technology i. Again, it is important for you to avoid overly general examples, or lists of examples without expansion. It is also essential to do more than paraphrase the prompt. Surely there has been no time in history where the lived lives of people have changed more dramatically.
A quick reflection on a typical day reveals how technology has revolutionized the world. Most people commute to work in an automobile that runs on an internal combustion engine. During the workday, chances are high that the employee will interact with a computer that processes information on silicon bridges that are. Upon leaving home, family members will be reached through wireless networks that utilize satellites orbiting the earth. Each of these common occurences would have been inconceivable at the turn of the 19th century. The statement attempts to bridge these dramatic changes to a reduction in the ability for humans to think for themselves.
The assumption is that an increased reliance on technology negates the need for people to think creatively to solve previous quandaries. Looking back at the introduction, one could argue that without a car, computer, or mobile phone, the hypothetical worker would need to find alternate methods of transport, information processing, and communication. Technology short circuits this thinking by making the problems obsolete. However, this reliance on technology does not necessarily preclude the creativity that marks the human species. The prior examples reveal that technology allows for convenience.
The car, computer, and phone all release additional time for people to live more efficiently. This efficiency does not preclude the need for humans to think for themselves. In fact, technology frees humanity to not only tackle new problems, but may itself create new issues that did not exist without technology. For example, the proliferation of automobiles has introduced a need for fuel conservation on a global scale. With increasing energy demands from emerging markets, global warming becomes a concern inconceivable to the horse-and-buggy generation. Likewise dependence on oil has created nation-states that are not dependent on taxation, allowing ruling parties to oppress minority groups such as women. Solutions to these complex problems require the unfettered imaginations of maverick scientists and politicians. In contrast to the statement, we can even see how technology frees the human imagination. Consider how the digital revolution and the advent of the internet has allowed for an unprecedented exchange of ideas.
WebMD, a popular internet portal for medical information, permits patients to self research symptoms for a more informed doctor visit. This exercise opens pathways of thinking that were previously closed off to the medical layman. With increased interdisciplinary interactions, inspiration can arrive from the most surprising corners. Jeffrey Sachs, one of the architects of the UN Millenium Development Goals, based his ideas on emergency care triage techniques. The unlikely marriage of economics and medicine has healed tense, hyperinflation environments from South America to Eastern Europe. This last example provides the most hope in how technology actually provides hope to the future of humanity. By increasing our reliance on technology, impossible goals can now be achieved. Consider how the late 20th century witnessed the complete elimination of smallpox. This disease had ravaged the human race since prehistorical days, and yet with the technology of vaccines, free thinking humans dared to imagine a world free of smallpox.
Using technology, battle plans were drawn out, and smallpox was systematically targeted and eradicated. Technology will always mark the human experience, from the discovery of fire to the implementation of nanotechnology. Given the history of the human race, there will be no limit to the number of problems, both new and old, for us to tackle. There is no need to retreat to a Luddite attitude to new things, but rather embrace a hopeful posture to the possibilities that technology provides for new avenues of human imagination. Reader Commentary The author of this essay stakes out a clear and insightful position on the issue and follows the specific instructions by discussing ways in which the statement might or might not hold true, using specific reasons and examples to support that position. The essay cogently argues that technology does not decrease our ability to think for ourselves. In further examples, the essay shows how technology allows for the linking of ideas that may never have been connected in the past like medicine and economic models , pushing people to think in new ways.
Examples are persuasive and fully developed; reasoning is logically sound and well supported. Thus, this essay meets all the requirements for receiving a top score, a 6. Furthermore, hanging around with the younger, pre-commute generation, whom tech-savviness seems to have rendered lethal, is even less reassuring. Indeed, they have seemingly evolved into intergalactic conformity police. Is this adolescence, or paparazzi terrorist training camp? However, I argue that we are merely in the inchoate stages of learning to live with technology while still loving one another. Certainly it has incapacitated our behavior and manners; certainly our values have taken a severe blow. However, we are inarguably more efficient in our badness these days. Harnessed correctly, technology can improve our ability to think and act for ourselves.
The first challenge is to figure out how to provide technology users with some direly-needed direction. Reader Commentary The language of this essay clearly illustrates both its strengths and weaknesses. The flowery and sometimes uncannily keen descriptions are often used to powerful effect, but at other times the writing is awkward and the comparisons somewhat strained. Score 4 Response In all actuality, I think it is more probable that our bodies will surely deteriorate long before our minds do in any significant amount. The ever increasing amount of technology that we incorporate into our daily lives makes people think and learn every day, possibly more than ever before. Our abilities to think, learn, philosophize, etc. may even reach limits never dreamed of before by average people. Using technology to solve problems will continue to help us realize our potential as a human race.
If you think about it, using technology to solve more complicating problems gives humans a chance to expand their thinking and learning, opening up whole new worlds for many people. Many of these people are glad for the chance to expand their horizons by learning more, going to new places, and trying new things. It would be extremely hard for children in much poorer countries to learn and think for themselves with out the invention of the internet. Think what an impact the printing press, a technologically superior mackine at the time, had on the ability of the human race to learn and think.
Right now we are seeing a golden age of technology, using it all the time during our every day lives. Going off to school or work in our cars instead of a horse and buggy. Think of the brain power and genius that was used to come up with that single invention that has changed the way we move across this globe. Using technology to solve our continually more complicated problems as a human race is definately a good thing. The ability to use what technology we have is an example Reader Commentary This essay meets all the criteria of a 4-level essay. It is useful to compare this essay to the 3-level essay presented next. Though they both utilize some very superficial discussion and often fail to probe deeply into the issue, this writer does, however, take the analysis a step further.
In paragraph 2, the distinction between this essay and the next one the 3-level response can most clearly be seen. Like the analysis, the language in this essay clearly meets the requirements for a score of 4. The writer displays sufficient control of language and the conventions of standard written English. These errors, though, are minor and do not interfere with the clarity of the ideas being presented. Score 3 Response There is no current proof that advancing technology will deteriorate the ability of humans to think. On the contrary, advancements in technology had advanced our vast knowledge in many fields, opening opportunities for further understanding and achievement. This shows our initiative as humans to better our health demonstrates greater ability of humans to think. One aspect where the ability of humans may initially be seen as an example of deteriorating minds is the use of internet and cell phones.
In the past humans had to seek out information in many different enviroments and aspects of life. Now humans can sit in a chair and type anything into a computer and get an answer. Our reliance on this type of technology can be detrimental if not regulated and regularily substituted for other information sources such as human interactions and hands on learning. I think if humans understand that we should not have such a reliance on computer technology, that we as a species will advance further by utilizing the opportunity of computer technology as well as the other sources of information outside of a computer.
Supplementing our knowledge with internet access is surely a way for technology to solve problems while continually advancing the human race. Reader Commentary This essay never moves beyond a superficial discussion of the issue. In discussing the ability of technology to advance knowledge in many fields a broad subject rife with possible examples , the writer uses only one limited and very brief example from a specific field medicine and stem-cell research. Development of the second point is hindered by a lack of specificity and organization. The writer creates what might most be comparable to an outline. In the essay, there are some minor language errors and a few more serious flaws e. Despite the accumulation of such flaws, though, meaning is generally clear. This essay earns a score of 3, then, primarily for its limited development. Score 2 Response In recent centuries, humans have developed the technology very rapidly, and you may accept some merit of it, and you may see a distortion in society occured by it.
To be lazy for human in some meaning is one of the fashion issues in thesedays. There are many symptoms and resons of it. However, I can not agree with the statement that the technology make humans to be reluctant to thinkng thoroughly. Of course, you can see the phenomena of human laziness along with developed technology in some place. However, they would happen in specific condition, not general. What makes human to be laze of thinking is not merely technology, but the the tendency of human that they treat them as a magic stick and a black box. Not understanding the aims and theory of them couses the disapproval problems. The most important thing to use the thechnology, regardless the new or old, is to comprehend the fundamental idea of them, and to adapt suit tech to tasks in need. Even if you recognize a method as a all-mighty and it is extremely over-spec to your needs, you can not see the result you want.
In this procedure, humans have to consider as long as possible to acquire adequate functions. Therefore, humans can not escape from using their brain. In addition, the technology as it is do not vain automatically, the is created by humans. Thus, the more developed tech and the more you want a convenient life, the more you think and emmit your creativity to breakthrough some banal method sarcastically. Consequently, if you are not passive to the new tech, but offensive to it, you would not lose your ability to think deeply. Furthermore, you may improve the ability by adopting it. Reader Commentary The language of this essay is what most clearly links it to the score point of 2. Amidst sporadic moments of clarity, this essay is marred by serious errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that often interfere with meaning.
Holistically, the essay displays a seriously flawed but not fundamentally deficient attempt to develop and support its claims. Note: In this SPECIFIC case, the analysis is tied directly to the language. As the language falters, so too does the analysis. Score 1 Response Humans have invented machines but they have forgot it and have started everything technically so clearly their thinking process is deterioating. Such usage is the only clear evidence of understanding. The language, too, is clearly one-level, as the sentence fails to achieve coherence. Analyze an Argument Task Understanding the Argument Task The Analyze an Argument task assesses your ability to understand, analyze, and evaluate arguments according to specific instructions and to clearly convey your evaluation in writing.
The task consists of a brief passage in which the author makes a case for some course of action or interpretation of events by presenting claims backed by reasons and evidence. This task requires you to read the argument and instructions very carefully. You might want to read them more than once and possibly make brief notes about points you want to develop more fully in your response. In reading the argument, you should pay special attention to what is offered as evidence, support, or proof what is explicitly stated, claimed, or concluded what is assumed or supposed, perhaps without justification or proof what is not stated, but necessarily follows from what is stated In addition, you should consider the structure of the argument — the way in which these elements are linked together to form a line of reasoning; that is, you should recognize the separate, sometimes implicit steps in the thinking process and consider whether the movement from each one to the next is logically sound.
In tracing this line, look for transition words and phrases that suggest that the author is attempting to make a logical connection e. An important part of performing well on the Argument task is remembering what you are not being asked to do. You are not being asked to discuss whether the statements in the argument are true or accurate. You are not being asked to agree or disagree with the position stated. You are not being asked to express your own views on the subject being discussed as you were in the Issue task. Instead, you are being asked to evaluate the logical soundness of an argument of another writer according to specific instructions and, in doing so, to demonstrate the critical thinking, perceptive reading, and analytical writing skills that university faculty consider important for success in graduate school.
It is important that you address the argument according to the specific instructions. Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted. Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable.
Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the advice and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the advice. Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the prediction and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the prediction. Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation s can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.
Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be addressed in order to decide whether the conclusion and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to the questions would help to evaluate the conclusion. Consequently, the analytical skills displayed in your evaluation carry great weight in determining your score; however, the clarity with which you convey ideas is also important to your overall score. Understanding the Context for Writing: Purpose and Audience The purpose of the task is to see how well equipped you are to insightfully evaluate an argument written by someone else and to effectively communicate your evaluation in writing to an academic audience. Your audience consists of GRE readers carefully trained to apply the scoring criteria identified in the scoring guide for the Analyze an Argument task see page 39— To get a clearer idea of how GRE readers apply the Argument scoring criteria to actual essays, you should review scored sample Argument essay responses and reader commentary.
The sample responses, particularly at the 5 and 6 score levels, will show you a variety of successful strategies for organizing and developing an insightful evaluation. The reader commentary discusses specific aspects of analytical writing, such as cogency of ideas, development and support, organization, syntactic variety, and facility with language. For each response, the reader commentary will point out aspects that are particularly effective and insightful as well as any that detract from the overall effectiveness of the responses. Preparing for the Argument Task Because the Argument task is meant to assess analytical writing and informal reasoning skills that you have developed throughout your education, it has been designed so as not to require any specific course of study or to advantage students with a particular type of training.
Many college textbooks on rhetoric and composition have sections on informal logic and critical thinking that might prove helpful, but even these might be more detailed and technical than the task requires. You will not be expected to know methods of analysis or technical terms. For instance, in one topic an elementary school principal might conclude that the new playground equipment has improved student attendance because absentee rates have declined since it was installed. You will not need to see that the principal has committed the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy; you will simply need to see that there are other possible explanations for the improved attendance, to offer some commonsense examples, and perhaps to suggest what would be necessary to verify the conclusion.
For instance, absentee rates might have decreased because the climate was mild. Although you do not need to know special analytical techniques and terminology, you should be familiar with the directions for the Argument task and with certain key concepts, including the following: alternative explanation: a possible competing version of what might have caused the events in question; an alternative explanation undercuts or qualifies the original explanation because it too can account for the observed facts analysis: the process of breaking something e. There is no one way to practice that is best for everyone. Some prefer to start practicing without adhering to the minute time limit. If you follow this approach, take all the time you need to evaluate the argument. Then write an evaluation according to the specific instructions by fully developing each point that is relevant to those instructions.
Even if you choose not to write a full essay response, you should find it very helpful to practice evaluating a few of the arguments and sketching out your responses. When you become quicker and more confident, you should practice writing some Argument responses within the minute time limit so that you will have a good sense of how to pace yourself in the actual test. For example, you will not want to discuss one point so exhaustively or to provide so many equivalent examples that you run out of time to make your other main points. You might want to get feedback on your response s from a writing instructor, a philosophy teacher, or someone who emphasizes critical thinking in his or her course. For example, an argument might claim that a certain community event is less popular this year than it was last year because only people attended this year in comparison with last year, a 33 percent decline in attendance.
It is important to remember that you are not being asked to do a mathematical task with the numbers, percentages, or statistics. Instead you should evaluate these as evidence intended to support the conclusion. In the example above, the conclusion is that a community event has become less popular. You should ask yourself: does the difference between people and people support that conclusion? Consider the claim that the drama club at a school deserves more funding because its membership has increased by percent. This percent increase could be significant if there had been members and now there are members, whereas the increase would be much less significant if there had been 5 members and now there are Remember that any numbers, percentages, or statistics in Argument tasks are used only as evidence in support of a conclusion, and you should always consider whether they actually support the conclusion.
The Form of Your Response You are free to organize and develop your response in any way that you think will effectively communicate your evaluation of the argument. GRE readers will not be looking for a particular developmental strategy or mode of writing. In fact, when GRE readers are trained, they review hundreds of Argument responses that, although highly diverse in content and form, display similar levels of critical thinking and analytical writing. Readers will see, for example, some essays at the 6 score level that begin by briefly summarizing the argument and then explicitly stating and developing the main points of the evaluation. The readers know that a writer can earn a high score by developing several points in an evaluation or by identifying a central feature in the argument and developing that evaluation extensively.
You might want to look at the sample Argument responses, particularly at the 5 and 6 score levels, to see how other writers have successfully developed and organized their responses. You should make choices about format and organization that you think support and enhance the overall effectiveness of your evaluation. This means using as many or as few paragraphs as you consider appropriate for your response — for example, creating a new paragraph when your discussion shifts to a new point of evaluation. You might want to organize your evaluation around the structure of the argument itself, discussing the argument line by line. Similarly, you might want to use examples if they help illustrate an important point in your evaluation or move your discussion forward remember, however, that, in terms of your ability to perform the Argument task effectively, it is your critical thinking and analytical writing, not your ability to come up with examples, that is being assessed. What matters is not the form the response takes, but how insightfully you evaluate the argument and how articulately you communicate your evaluation to academic readers within the context of the task.
Sample Argument Task In surveys Mason City residents rank water sports swimming, boating, and fishing among their favorite recreational activities. The Mason River flowing through the city is rarely used for these pursuits, however, and the city park department devotes little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities. In response, the state has recently announced plans to clean up Mason River. Use of the river for water sports is, therefore, sure to increase. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on the assumptions and what the implications are if the assumptions prove unwarranted.
A response that does not address these aspects of the task will not receive a score of 4 or higher, regardless of the quality of its other features. It is possible that they just like to watch them. This assumption underlies the claim that use of the river for water sports is sure to increase after the state cleans up the Mason River and that the city should for that reason devote more money to riverside recreational facilities. The assumption that what residents say in surveys can be taken at face value. It is possible that survey results exaggerate the interest in water sports. The assumption that Mason City residents would actually want to do water sports in the Mason River. As recreational activities, it is possible that water sports are regarded as pursuits for vacations and weekends away from the city. The assumption that the park department devoting little of its budget to maintaining riverside recreational facilities means that these facilities are inadequately maintained.
If current facilities are adequately maintained, then increased funding might not be needed even if recreational use of the river does increase. The assumption that the riverside recreational facilities are facilities designed for people who participate in water sports and not some other recreational pursuit. The assumption that the dirtiness of the river is the cause of its being little used and that cleaning up the river will be sufficient to increase recreational use of the river. Residents might have complained about the water quality and smell even if they had no desire to boat, swim, or fish in the river. The assumption that the complaints about the river are numerous and significant. Perhaps the complaints are coming from a very small minority; in which case cleaning the river might be a misuse of state funds.
This assumption underlies the claim that the city should devote more money to riverside recreational facilities. The assumption that the city government ought to devote more attention to maintaining a recreational facility if demand for that facility increases. The assumption that the city should finance the new project and not some other agency or group public or private. That the state and city are spending their funds unnecessarily. It is easy to understand why city residents would want a cleaner river, but this argument is rife with holes and assumptions, and thus, not strong enough to lead to increased funding. It is not clear, however, the scope and validity of that survey. For example, the survey could have asked residents if they prefer using the river for water sports or would like to see a hydroelectric dam built, which may have swayed residents toward river sports. The sample may not have been representative of city residents, asking only those residents who live upon the river.
The survey may have been 10 pages long, with 2 questions dedicated to river sports. We just do not know. Additionally, the author implies that residents do not use the river for swimming, boating, and fishing, despite their professed interest, because the water is polluted and smelly. Though there have been complaints, we do not know if there have been numerous complaints from a wide range of people, or perhaps from one or two individuals who made numerous complaints. For example, if the decreased water quality and aroma is caused by pollution by factories along the river, this conceivably could be remedied. But if the quality and aroma results from the natural mineral deposits in the water or surrounding rock, this may not be true.
There are some bodies of water which emit a strong smell of sulphur due to the geography of the area. This is not something likely to be afffected by a clean-up. Consequently, a river clean up may have no impact upon river usage. For these reasons, city government may decide to invest in improving riverside recreational facilities. Reader Commentary This insightful response identifies important assumptions and thoroughly examines their implications. By showing that each assumption is highly suspect, this essay demonstrates the weakness of the entire argument. For example, paragraph 2 points out that the survey might not have used a representative sample, might have offered limited choices, and might have contained very few questions on water sports. Paragraph 3 examines the tenuous connection between complaints and limited use of the river for recreation. Complaints about water quality and odor may be coming from only a few people, and even if such complaints are numerous, other completely different factors may be much more significant in reducing river usage.
Finally, paragraph 4 explains that certain geologic features may prevent effective river cleanup. Details such as these provide compelling support. In addition, careful organization insures that each new point builds upon the previous ones. Note, for example, the clear transitions at the beginning of paragraphs 3 and 4, as well as the logical sequence of sentences within paragraphs specifically paragraph 4. Although this essay does contain minor errors, it still conveys ideas fluently. Note the effective word choices e. In addition, sentences are not merely varied; they also display skillful embedding of subordinate elements. Note, for example, the sustained parallelism in the first sentence of the concluding paragraph.
Since this response offers a cogent examination of the argument and also conveys meaning skillfully, it earns a score of 6. Score 5 Response The author of this proposal to increase the budget for Mason City riverside recreational facilities offers an interesting argument but to move forward on the proposal would definitely require more information and thought. While the correlations stated are logical and probable, there may be hidden factors that prevent the City from diverting resources to this project. For example, consider the survey rankings among Mason City residents. The thought is that such high regard for water sports will translate into usage.
But, survey responses can hardly be used as indicators of actual behavior. Many surveys conducted after the winter holidays reveal people who list exercise and weight loss as a top priority. Yet every profession does not equal a new gym membership. Even the wording of the survey results remain ambiguous and vague. What remains unknown is the priorities of the general public. Do they favor these water sports above a softball field or soccer field? Are they willing to sacrifice the municipal golf course for better riverside facilities? Indeed the survey hardly provides enough information to discern future use of improved facilities. Closely linked to the surveys is the bold assumption that a cleaner river will result in increased usage. While it is not illogical to expect some increase, at what level will people begin to use the river? The answer to this question requires a survey to find out the reasons our residents use or do not use the river.
Is river water quality the primary limiting factor to usage or the lack of docks and piers? Are people more interested in water sports than the recreational activities that they are already engaged in? These questions will help the city government forecast how much river usage will increase and to assign a proportional increase to the budget. Likewise, the author is optimistic regarding the state promise to clean the river. We need to hear the source of the voices and consider any ulterior motives. Is this a campaign year and the plans a campaign promise from the state representative?
What is the timeline for the clean-up effort? Will the state fully fund this project? We can imagine the misuse of funds in renovating the riverside facilities only to watch the new buildings fall into dilapidation while the state drags the river clean-up. Last, the author does not consider where these additional funds will be diverted from. The current budget situation must be assessed to determine if this increase can be afforded. In a sense, the City may not be willing to draw money away from other key projects from road improvements to schools and education. The author naively assumes that the money can simply appear without forethought on where it will come from. Examining all the various angles and factors involved with improving riverside recreational facilities, the argument does not justify increasing the budget.
While the proposal does highlight a possibility, more information is required to warrant any action. Reader Commentary Each paragraph in the body of this perceptive essay identifies and examines an unstated assumption that is crucial to the argument. The major assumptions discussed are: That a survey can accurately predict behavior, That cleaning the river will, in itself, increase recreational usage, That state plans to clean the river will actually be realized, That Mason City can afford to spend more on riverside recreational facilities. Support within each paragraph is both thoughtful and thorough. Paragraph 2, for example, points out vagueness in the wording of the survey: Even if water sports rank among the favorite recreational activities of Mason City residents, other sports may still be much more popular.
Thus, if the first assumption proves unwarranted, the argument to fund riverside facilities — rather than soccer fields or golf courses — becomes much weaker. Paragraph 4 considers several reasons why river cleanup plans may not be successful the plans may be nothing more than campaign promises, or funding may not be adequate. Thus, the weakness of the third assumption undermines the argument that river recreation will increase and riverside improvements will be needed at all. Instead of dismissing each assumption in isolation, this response places them in a logical order and considers their connections.
Note the appropriate transitions between and within paragraphs, clarifying the links among the assumptions e. Along with strong development, this response also displays facility with language. Minor errors in punctuation are present, but word choices are apt and sentences suitably varied in pattern and length. The response uses a number of rhetorical questions, but the implied answers are always clear enough to support the points being made. Thus, the response satisfies all requirements for a score of 5, but its development is not thorough or compelling enough for a 6. Score 4 Response The problem with the arguement is the assumption that if the Mason River were cleaned up, that people would use it for water sports and recreation.
This is not necessarily true, as people may rank water sports among their favorite recreational activities, but that does not mean that those same people have the financial ability, time or equipment to pursue those interests. If recreational facilities already exist along the Mason River, why should the city allot more money to fund them? If the recreational facilities already in existence will be used more in the coming years, then they will be making more money for themselves, eliminating the need for the city government to devote more money to them. According to the arguement, the reason people are not using the Mason River for water sports is because of the smell and the quality of water, not because the recreational facilities are unacceptable.
If the city government alloted more money to the recreational facilities, then the budget is being cut from some other important city project. Also, if the assumptions proved unwarranted, and more people did not use the river for recreation, then much money has been wasted, not only the money for the recreational facilities, but also the money that was used to clean up the river to attract more people in the first place. Reader Commentary This competent response identifies some important unstated assumptions: That cleaning up the Mason River will lead to increased recreational use, That existing facilities along the river need more funding. Paragraph 1 offers reasons why the first assumption is questionable e. Similarly, paragraphs 2 and 3 explain that riverside recreational facilities may already be adequate and may, in fact, produce additional income if usage increases.
Thus, the response is adequately developed and satisfactorily organized to show how the argument depends on questionable assumptions. This essay does not, however, rise to a score of 5 because it fails to consider several other unstated assumptions e. Furthermore, the final paragraph makes some extraneous, unsupported assertions of its own. Mason City may actually have a budget surplus so that cuts to other projects will not be necessary, and cleaning the river may provide other real benefits even if it is not used more for water sports. This response is generally free of errors in grammar and usage and displays sufficient control of language to support a score of 4.
Score 3 Response Surveys are created to speak for the people; however, surveys do not always speak for the whole community. A survey completed by Mason City residents concluded that the residents enjoy water sports as a form of recreation. If that is so evident, why has the river not been used? com Share Share this post on Digg Del. us Twitter. nagalaxmi - , PM. Best GRE. Unregistered - , AM. hi the above mentioned books are not avail in the drive. kindly help us in getting the materials. thanks for your anticipation. sunilzs - , PM. Please reupload the books, Manhatten Gre atleast, Thanks a lot. swathi - , PM. Hi The above mentioned book's links are not available in the drive.
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