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My first attempt at a GMAT Essay (AWA)

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saadishah Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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My first attempt at a GMAT Essay (AWA)

Post Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:00 pm
Hi guys,
This is my first attempt at an essay. Need you ratings and feedback.
Regards


Prompt:
The following appeared as part of a newspaper editorial:
“Two years ago Nova High School began to use interactive computer instruction in three academic subjects.
The school dropout rate declined immediately, and last year’s graduates have reported some impressive
achievements in college. In future budgets the school board should use a greater portion of the available funds to buy more computers, and all schools in the district should adopt interactive computer instruction throughout the curriculum.”

Essay
The above argument calls for allocation of higher budgets for implementation of interactive computer instructions in the school, and then in all the schools in the district citing the evidence from one school where interactive instructions were implemented for three subjects two years ago. The argument is substantially flawed as it uses vague language, provides not evidence for the direction of the causality, draws a conclusion which is not warranted by the evidence, and makes a sweeping recommendation.

The evidence cited involves ambiguous language. For example, the argument cites a decline in the school dropout rate without providing any information about its extent or its sustainability over time. It would have been easy to evaluate the argument if the argument had ruled out other possible reasons for dropout in school such as an increase in the overall enrollment, or had provided some information on how the decrease in dropout has sustained overtime. Another example of ill defined, subjective language is the use of the terms "impressive achievements". It would have been good if the argument had specified that these achievements were in the subjects where interactive instructions were implemented along with providing some objective measure such as improvement in grades.

The argument also muddles the temporal relationship between events and fails to provide any explanation for instant or delayed results. For example, a decline in dropout rate happens immediately after the interactive instructions are implemented while the "impressive achievements", assuming that these are in the subjects where interactive instructions were implemented, is delayed by two years. Any data that sheds some light on the immediate decline in dropout rate and a delay in achieving academic achievement would have made the argument less susceptible to criticism.

Then the argument goes on to draw a strong conclusion that the school board should provide more funds for interactive instructions, followed by an even stronger one which calls for the implementation of the interactive instructions in all the schools in the district. Even the first conclusion is not justified by the evidence provided let alone the second one which generalizes it on all the school districts.

Overall, the argument is flawed on many levels and doesn't make a convincing case neither for the increase in the budget for interactive instructions for the school nor for the implementation of the interactive instructions for all the schools in the district.

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